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'Glee's' 'Rocky Horror' week: We watch so you don't have to

Dr. Carl -- er, Eddie -- interrupts a performance with Finn (Brad) and Rachel (Janet) in "The Rocky Horror Show"-themed episode. (FOX/Adam Rose)

[This blog post was filed by Emily Yahr.]

[This post has been updated.]

Body image issues! John Stamos! Sue Sylvester tries to take down the glee club, but in a big surprise, is foiled -- again!

Fox's "Glee" returned from a baseball-induced rerun this week with the much-hyped "Rocky Horror Picture Show" episode.

And, in one of those incredible coincidences, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" 35th Anniversary Edition DVD on Blu-ray was just released last week -- by Fox! Ohhh...

"Glee" worked in the cult classic "Rocky Horror" theme without having the tops of the Fox network decency police heads come off by having some of the naughtier bits played the show's adults -- teachers, dentists and the like. Only, correct me if I'm mistaken, isn't this a show about a high school glee club, not a community theater?

New glee club member Sam plays Rocky. (FOX/Adam Rose)

But, watching the performances of some of the "adults" on the show was a welcome change. At least, it was welcome until a few minutes in, when Spanish teacher/glee club director Will Schuester started getting jealous that guidance counselor Emma Pillsbury was in a happy, functional relationship with dentist Carl (Stamos) and decided to manipulate her into spending time with him by corralling the glee club into performing Emma's new favorite musical -- "Rocky Horror Picture Show." The TV academy really does need to create an Emmy category for Most Convoluted Plotline. This episode would win hands down.

Naturally, this led to:
a) Emma ripping off Will's shirt while singing the classic "Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me,"
b) Stamos showing up to accuse Will of stealing his woman and
c) Will canceling the performance when he realized he maybe shouldn't, you know, be such a louse. He scrubs the show -- except, of course they perform for themselves, everyone sings "Time Warp" and they all live happily ever after. You can already see that Emmy sitting on Ryan Murphy's bookcase.

Sue Sylvester makes an appearance, trying for the umpteenth time to ruin the glee club and humiliate Will. This time, her nefarious plan involves exposing him on local TV news for using tax dollars to such skeevy ends. On the bright side, it gave the creators a way to work original "Rocky Horror" cast members Barry Bostwick and Meatloaf in as guest stars, playing news station executives who help Sue with her evil plot.

The writers also used the episode to give equal time to the guys who, turns out, are just as insecure about their bodies as are the chicks. Yeah, uh huh.

McKinley High School quarterback Finn, tapped to play the part of Brad, was required to strip down to his "tighty whities," which had him feeling very self-conscious. This led to one of those Very Important After School Specials-type talks among the guys about why it's important to eat healthy and constantly work out -- to get chicks, naturally. Somewhere in all this, Finn gains the confidence to walk down the school hallway in just his ... white boxers. Not tighty whities! We feel robbed and he is nearly suspended which, as far as we're concerned, serves him right. We're pretty sure there was a lesson in there somewhere -- probably about not setting up viewers to expect to see hot actors in briefs and then giving us boxers.

Finally, how will diehard "Rocky Horror" fans, who fill midnight screenings and throw toast at the screen, take the episode? Mercedes took the Dr. Frank-N-Furter role made famous by Tim Curry, singing "Sweet Transvestite":

I'm just a sweet transvestite
From Trans-sexual, Transylvania.

No, it's just not right.

Take a look at "Glee's" "Rocky Horror" performances and then take our poll, in re which you thought was done best:

Mercedes taking the role of Dr. Frank-N-Furter with "Sweet Transvestite"

Will and Emma on "Touch-a, Touch-a Touch Me"

John Stamos (Dr. Carl) on "Whatever Happened to Saturday Night?"/"Hot Patootie"

Finn and Rachel channel Brad and Janet in "Damn It, Janet"

Rachel and Finn take on "There's A Light (Over At The Frankenstein Place)" before an interruption:

The famous lips singing "Science Fiction/Double Feature"

The whole cast sings "Time Warp":

By Lisa de Moraes  | October 27, 2010; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  Glee  
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Next: 'Dancing's' Audrina gets hook -- and new show, but still clueless on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live'


Last time I checked, the name of the song was "Hot Patootie", and not "Whatever happened to Saturday Night". Hell, they even said the title of the song on the episode. "Hot Patootie, B Flat." -Carl

Posted by: richching | October 27, 2010 5:25 AM | Report abuse

Seriously? You ragged on Glee when the Post chooses DWTS as a front web page story? "A 'Dancing' star heads for the hills. Did rock dance by Audrina Patridge, Tony Dovolani save ''Hills'' star from elimination?" with a photo of whoever-this-is in their dancing paraphernalia in a contrived competition? At least Glee doesn't pretend to be "reality."

Posted by: pbd1 | October 27, 2010 6:23 AM | Report abuse

Only Mercedes came from "Sensational, Transylvania", which is tough to dispute.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 27, 2010 6:30 AM | Report abuse

Will Schuester is a Spanish Teacher, not a History Teacher. If you're going to take the time to rip apart a show, you may as well take the time to research the facts of the show a little more. Just saying.

Posted by: maggie_mer | October 27, 2010 6:48 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Schue teaches Spanish not history.

Posted by: phan1 | October 27, 2010 6:49 AM | Report abuse

As maggie_mer beat me to it.

Posted by: phan1 | October 27, 2010 6:49 AM | Report abuse

I've been on and off the bandwagon for a while... but I have to take issue with the prinipal's office scene (post boxer strut). Finn is about to be suspended for "a month" for ludeness and inappropriate behavior, only to have Schuster talk the principal down to "a warning"????

Sorry FOX... Evil Kenevil couldn't make that leap.

As a Glee Geek growing up, and now the parent of a Glee Geek... sure it makes for entertaining (sometimes) TV, but try to get real.

Remember... what goes on during Glee Club, STAYS AT GLEE CLUB!

Posted by: Fmr_u_bio | October 27, 2010 7:30 AM | Report abuse

I thought Will was a Spanish teacher, not a history teacher.

Posted by: natinva | October 27, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

I've never seen the RHPS, ever, or even a single scene. A lot of the show was lost on me but I really enjoyed it. Glad there was not so much of Rachel Barry, which gets old.

Posted by: Guest1234 | October 27, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

I too am glad it was not so much about Rachel and her ever-annoying eye-squint-when-I-emote singing. I haven't seen the entire RHPS movie, but I did recognize the characters enough to say that Glee did a good job recreating them. I was sad that Kurt didn't want the Frank-N-Furter character, but probably because of the network restrictions, couldn't have done it justice. He did a great job as Riff Raff I think. I didn't like Mercedes' interpretation, but love her singing. And the whole Will trying to get that mousy counselor subplot is so creepy and non believable. So is the incredibly hot John Stamos having a relationship with her. She did do a good job with the Touch A song. I didn't know she could do anything but make her eyes the size of saucers! Less covers and more just regular Glee plots from now on though.

Posted by: DeborahB45231 | October 27, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Will is a Spanish teacher ... it was "Hot Patootie", not "Saturday Night", and and they changed the words of "Sweet Transvestite" to "Sin-sational, Transylvania". If this were high school newspaper club, you'd get a F.

As for the Glee folks, it was nice to have Barry Bostwick and Meatloaf cameo, but I was really hoping to see Tim Curry.

Posted by: Diamondback1 | October 27, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Most. Boring. Glee. Episode. Ever.

Posted by: greenmountainboy | October 27, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

"Sue Sylvester makes an appearance, trying for the umpteenth time to ruin the glee club and humiliate Will."

they've got to find a new something to do with Sue.. great character, but soooo boring nowadays

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Posted by: jiajia1333 | October 27, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

People, it's a satire.

Posted by: reddragon1 | October 27, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

"I've never seen the RHPS, ever, or even a single scene." -Guest1234

Don't worry. If all you've seen was this 'Glee' version, you still haven't.

Posted by: OttoDog | October 27, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Once again, GLEE has converted a trite plot into great production numbers. It was good to give Madam Counselor a number - she carried it off well, but I was hoping for a duet between the two.
I watch GLEE only for the production numbers, which are about the best I've ever seen on a TV show. The plots are ludicrous, but they do serve as necessary segues between production numbers.
I have met the next Michele Lea. I await the time she begins professional performance.

Posted by: 12191946 | October 27, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

"Sue Sylvester makes an appearance, trying for the umpteenth time to ruin the glee club and humiliate Will."

they've got to find a new something to do with Sue.. great character, but soooo boring nowadays

Posted by: newagent99 | October 27, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

If you're going to choose a musical like Rocky Horror, then CHOOSE IT! Don't be chicken and change the song lyrics! I enjoyed the episode, but of course, the hype was overdone and made the show a bit of a letdown.

Posted by: daisyrose | October 27, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I agree daisyrose, they shoulda owned it. I had a feeling it wasn't gonna live up to the hype.

Posted by: wadejg | October 27, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

To all those pointing out that Will Schuestler is a Spanish teacher, not a history teacher - that is technically true, and something the article should have gotten right. But this points out one of the many issues I have with the Glee universe - He seems to spend 0% of his time actually teaching Spanish. Similarly, the students seem to have no English/Spanish/Math/Art/etc. classes whatsoever.

In the Glee universe, Glee consumes the entire school day, set designs (including a working elevator!) come together in hours, and the cast can do perfect song & dance numbers at the very first rehearsal. (And they have unlimited budgets for elaborate costumes and sets, and the cheerleaders seem to wear their cheerleading outfits five days a week, and I could go on ...)

All this is generally worth it for the production numbers. But they should at least get those right. I generally liked this RHPS episode but, come on, "sensational" transvestite?! Putting Mercedes has an amazing voice, and it's a bold and exciting move to put a black woman in the Frank 'n' Furter role, but she wasn't half as good as Tim Curry in the original.

Posted by: marclips | October 27, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Time to update the blog again. "Meatloaf" is dinner, while "Meat Loaf" is the actor. And in this particular instance, he was billed as "Meat Loaf Aday."

I remember back in college getting a chuckle when David Letterman kept calling his guest, "Mr. Loaf."

Posted by: cpnich | October 27, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

And after Glee ended at 9PM, I was flipping through the channels and noticed after 9PM on Fox Movie Channel, Rocky Horror Picture Show was on! Coincidence? I think not. I wonder how may other Gleeks tuned in to watch the real thing!

Posted by: TheNervousCat | October 27, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

How hung up are we? Mercedes can sing "Transvestite" but she can't sing "Transsexual." What convoluted logic went into that decision? And Finn can walk the halls in boxers but not briefs. America, you're not getting laid enough.

The Glee Rocky Horror episode certainly captured how uptight we are. But do see the original "Rocky Horror" if you haven't yet. It's one of my all time favorite movies and one of the reasons is that it is open about sexuality. And you can watch it in its entirety without the guilt, navel gazing, and hand-wringing that the Glee episode injected.

I thought the neurotic guidance counselor was perfect reprising the Susan Sarandon role for the Touch Me number.

Posted by: aguy7 | October 27, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Poor ol' Rocky does not deserve to be abused in this fashion. Introduce RHPS to a new generation of kids? Laudable. But to mangle and censor it clumsily in the process? Dastardly.

It began well enough...the accurate renditions of the songs were fun. But then they started the clumsy censorship and you could feel it begin to crumble.

Mercedes as Frank? Ok, I see the necessity for prime time TV, no male actor could have been shown doing Frank. But her gospel-style treatment was sacrilege, pure and simple.

Enter Sue, the villain. But rather than delivering on the expectation that she would take the prudish route to work her evil, and ultimately be ridiculed for it as the kids emerged victorious over the forces of victorian prissiness, she presented sort of a over-rationalized and sympathetically conservative sermon in support of censorship. And won the day, as they caved and sold out.

The whole mess ended up looking like an obligatory bone thrown to the Christian Society for Decency in Television by the network execs. And they picked Rocky Horror, of all things, to throw.

Posted by: info53 | October 27, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

What's so hard to believe a male can have body image issues? Or is this a privilege reserved for females? Or a complaint by females? Anyway, my point is I found the comment snide and rude.

Posted by: JakesFriend | October 27, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

12191946 - How is Leah Michele not performing professionally now? She's certainly making a lot of money. She's even starred in a broadway role. Not sure what you're looking for there. Just because she plays a teenager doesn't mean she is one. Many "professional" singers would kill for that role.

But yes, it was good not to have a Rachel-centric episode. Glad I'm not the only one who thinks that character is getting old.

I really liked Quinn this week. She showed a lot of range!

Posted by: Roxie1 | October 27, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

JakesFriend - It's actually not hard to believe at all. It's that the show played that storyline as if it were indeed a revelation that made it tiresome.

Posted by: Roxie1 | October 27, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

The show was okay, but it could have been better, in my opinion, if Barry Bostwick had shown the kids how to do the 'Time Warp'.
As it was, Barry Bostwick was only in the show for less than five minutes. That's called a cameo role, not a 'guest star' role.
As for the 'decency' rules, does having the adults do certain roles count when the teens were still dressed scantily? What's the difference?

Posted by: momof20yo | October 27, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

If you're going to criticize the show on the high school details -- maybe someone can explain why the cheerleaders wear their uniforms everyday instead of game days like most schools. . . or how the sports teams have college level training equipment. . .and I don't even want to talk about how much the lighting, costumes, and effects would have cost -- that alone would have raised the money to take them to New York. So please, really, you're gonna pick apart body issue commentary as being unrealistic? How about a perfectly rehearsed band that can do instant requests? Breaking out into perfectly choreographed song? Relax and enjoy the show Lisa.

Posted by: guybrarian | October 27, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

The show got dull in a hurry.

Posted by: milevin | October 27, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

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