Monday, September 24, 2012

Glee's Britney Spears Tribute: Britney 2.0? More Like Britney 2.No Thank You!

It's Britney, bitch.
Britney Spears evokes many different connotations, from queen of pop to mentally unstable hasbeen and everything in between. But to me, the legendary Miss Britney Spears means only one thing: God. That is why I was so incredibly appalled by Glee's latest tribute episode to the pop star.

The episode, entitled "Britney 2.0", focuses on Brittany (Heather Morris) losing her way and subsequently attempting to make a comeback, much like her idol Britney Spears. The episode's plotline paralleled Britney's highly publicized breakdown and included jabs at the infamous head-shaving incident and disastrous 2007 MTV Video Music Awards performance, among other gems from Britney's colorful past in the limelight. They made a complete mockery of her, taking cheap and easy shots at the lowest point in her life all the while failing to express the fragility, confusion, and vulnerability the singer was experiencing at the time.

As if that wasn't enough, the episode featured eight of Britney's hits, and only three of them were done well. Morris completely butchered "Gimme More" and "Hold It Against Me" by trying to replicate Britney's sound rather than make the songs her own. The result is one not unlike karaoke day at your local middle school. The acoustic rendition of "3" had potential until Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) opened her mouth and decided not to hit a single note. She also tainted "Womanizer" with her vocals for absolutely no apparent reason other than to piss off anyone with ears. Show of hands: who actually wanted to hear Tina sing? Yeah, I didn't think so. She can stay silent in the background where she belongs.

Perhaps the most heinous performance was "Everytime", my personal Britney favorite. The song was performed by newbie Marly Rose (Melissa Benoist), who sings the lamenting ballad after ending a relationship with another new character that literally lasted half an episode. Why, please, was my favorite song wasted on a plotline about two characters I don't give a flying fuck about? What's worse is Benoist has absolutely no talent or conviction and is totally boring to watch and listen to. As far as I'm concerned, that Lea Michele wannabe bitch can sway in the background with Tina.

Luckily, the episode was somewhat redeemed with its covers of "Boys" and "(You Drive Me) Crazy", which were mashed up to unexpectedly great results with Justin Bieber's "Boyfriend" and Aerosmith's "Crazy", respectively. But the best performance, hands down, was the slinky rendition of "Oops! I Did It Again", performed by the always enjoyable Lea Michele, whom I commend for reminding everyone that you don't have to be pretty to be sexy! As a matter of fact, I've been listening to that shit on repeat while writing this. Watch the performance below and judge for yourself. If you didn't enjoy it, you didn't watch it right.

Maybe I'm being a little harsh, but Glee's egregious tribute to Britney wouldn't have been so problematic had it been the first tribute episode to Britney the show completely fucked up. Back in 2010, there was an episode entitled "Britney/Brittany", which was all about the Brittany character seeking inspiration from Britney. This episode benefited from Britney's involvement, who made various cameos hollering all over the screen and whatnot, and basically kissed her ass, which I appreciated. However, when they only performed five songs from Britney's extensive catalog (including "Me Against the Music" ... WTF?!) and decided to end the episode with Paramore's "Only Exception", I flipped a bitch. Who the FUCK wants to hear a Paramore song in a Britney-themed episode? Who the fuck wants to hear a Paramore song, period? "Not I," said basically everyone who saw the episode.

At the end of the day, Glee has really fallen by the wayside and is only a pale version of witty, charming beast it once was. Now, the franchise is overexposed and its audience is shrinking. The show can't afford to rip on people like Britney, especially not twice. Obviously, this is a sensitive topic for me, but I think my thoughts can be summed up best by Britney Spears herself.

Bravo! Couldn't have said it better myself.

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