Glee “Child Star” Review (Season 6 Episode 9)

Glee 2009 Season 6 Episode 9 03

Okay, who’s responsible for the kid? Who?!

Myron the tormentor aside, ‘Child Star’ could have been a lot worse. Of course, it could also have been a lot better, but I’ve long since given up on Glee reaching it’s full potential more than once a season. The episode was simple, sweet and fun, feelings that haven’t really been around a lot this year given the difficultly of both cleaning up a mess and driving headlong into some kind of grand finale.

After last week’s deeply flawed, emotionally-draining but ultimately lovely wedding party, then, ‘Child Star’ was a great palette cleanser. We did nothing of note, just spending some quality time with a group of newbies that are so wonderful they deserve another six-season spin-off just to showcase their overflowing levels charisma and talent.

Since they entered the frame during ‘Homecoming,’ they’ve been terrific, immediately erasing the memory of season four’s clumsy introductions for Marley, Jake, Ryder and Kitty. Kitty’s still the highlight – which is why she’s the only one of the New New Directions still sitting in the choir room – but even she takes a back seat in this episode to make room for Mason, Madison, Spencer and Roderick’s individual fabulousless.

All of this was the reason I was excited about the episode, despite it being placed dangerously close to the final curtain call, but a lot of it felt necessary – we have to care about these kids as much as we’re impressed by them, to double the impact when Rachel, Will and Kurt lead the New New New Directions to victory at sectionals. The mission is successful, even though as much of the episode misses as it manages to hit.

The stories are slight – Mason wants to date Jane but Madison keeps getting in the way, Roderick is being taunted about his weight, and Spencer has a crush on a guy he doesn’t know how to approach. Most of it is charming, especially the Spencer stuff, and showcases the characters efficiently enough to not feel pointless.

Glee 2009 Season 6 Episode 9 04

Mason and Madison continue to be majestic creatures worthy of every scene and number the show has left, Roderick’s laid-back demeanour is pointed out as a character flaw, Spencer gets a vulnerable side and Jane, well Jane is wasted yet again. But the awkwardness works – they feel like teenagers more than the originals ever did, and I kind of got a kick out of how terrible the final number was. No elaborate set or seamless choreography – just a bunch of kids stumbling around the stage.

I’m not embarrassed to say I also had a religious experience during Mason’s ‘I Want to Break Free’ (the best Queen cover since Jesse’s ‘Bohemium Rhapsody’?), and it was lovely to see Jane briefly take lead on ‘Uptown Funk’.

But the kid. The kid is an abomination, and to have such a ridiculous character pull focus (or, rather, have focus foisted upon him) from the main cast at this critical stage is baffling. Sam doesn’t speak again this week, there are (rightly) no visiting alumni, and Kurt and Blaine are still off on their honeymoon. They didn’t even bother to get a truly ‘prodigiously talented’ child to match the role – his Destiny’s Child performance was as painful as it was irritating.

Worst of all, season six is continuing on its Sue thing, despite the fact that the only people still watching tired of her four seasons ago. Didn’t we already wrap up Sue and Will’s feud in ‘The Hurt Locker’? If we didn’t, then why in the hell was it a two-parter? *implodes*

So, as has becoming a common feeling after watching an episode of Glee, if you ignore half of the episode then it was actually pretty good. I liked spending time with the 3.0s, and that part didn’t let me down, but then I remember Myron, and I’m fearful again.

Next week’s Dalton saga is make or break time, depending on how they play it, but maybe the last stretch will just be better with expectations at basement level. This show has a habit of pleasantly surprising me when it comes to the important stuff and, perhaps foolishly, I still have faith in that.