The episode starts with Hunter being interviewed by the media amidst a steroid scandal. Our crafty Glee writers poke fun at most shows with teenage casts as one reporter asks “what about reports that you look way too old to still in high school?” Ha ha! I do have to say that I think the Glee characters look age appropriate (so job well done casting!). It is revealed that The New Directions will be going to Regionals! I knew they had to, but it was just a matter of how they were going to manage that.
They run into the typical issue of lack of funding, and Tina presents her with the idea of “Men of McKinley calendar” (sign me up for one of those!). Tina is put in charge of the beefcake, and the Glee Club (minus Artie) is excited.
“Fondue for Two” is resurrected, and Marley is the guest of honor. Lord Tubbington was the best part of that shaky “skit,” and he wasn’t that great.
For some odd TV reason, Principal Figgins has called Britney and Sam into his office to tell them they received the highest and lowest SAT scores for the school. The surprise here was that Britney was the “secret genius.” Britney’s attempts at cheering Sam up, talking about her potential future options, displayed her true nature of ditziness.
Rachel has received an offer to be in a movie for a student’s thesis but learns that she needs to be willing to do topless nudity. Rachel is being haunted by her prudish/conservative self who trying to talk her out of accepting the role. Rachel (and Rachel) sing Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn.” The way this was shot was really unique and enhanced the message of the song. At the end, she decides that she will do it.
I thought the whole Tina’s crush on Blaine thing had been resolved, but it appears it’s not. Quite frustrating to say the least! Sam is dealing with his low SAT by going to school topless and showing off his best asset. He instructs the Glee Club men in the ways of bro-ga (yoga for bros).
This leads to a fun mash up of “Centerfold/Hot in Herre” (The J. Geils Band/Nelly) sung by Sam, Jake, Ryder, Blaine (and appearances by Kitty & the Cheerios) over a cute montage of them getting fit and ready for the calendar shoot. Artie is still not thrilled by the calendar project.
Sue has her typical face-off with Finn about the calendar, calling it porn. Finn has a nice retort about a supposed Penthouse centerfold Sue did a eons ago.
Brody is being rude and making himself way too comfortable around the apartment. I know he is trying to do it for Rachel’s benefit, but it’s rude nonetheless and inconsiderate of the third person who lives there. Kurt admonishes Rachel for her decision to do the film, and she shoots down everything he has to say.
Marley and Jake sing “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri. This was a good song choice for her vocals (finally), and it was a good duet. Ultimately, it ends with a kiss and a confession from Marley that she “loves this song” (which originally wanted to be “I love you”). Is it just me, or is it a little premature to be saying “I love you?” because they have been dating for about a nanosecond (I know –- they’re stupid teenagers so reality need not apply!)
Finn puts Artie on the assignment to find Sue’s Penthouse issue to use as blackmail later. Artie admits that he doesn’t want to pose for the calendar because his “body is broken, and I’m not really eager to start showing it off” (awwww). Finn tries to come up with other options and decides that Artie doesn’t have to do it. Finn continues to impress me with his maturity and amazed me that he took the time to recognize Artie for his bravery in voicing his feelings to Finn.
Jake tells Ryder that he loves Marley, and these two proved again why they make good buddies. Ryder tells Jake to take the first step, telling Marley how he feels. This advice leads to Jake singing Ne-Yo’s “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself).” At times, he does this song justice while others you felt it was a little too big for him. Either way, the faces Marley were making while he was singing were distracting.
Santana and Quinn arrive at Rachel’s place at the request of “Lady Hummel” to do an “emergency intervention” and help her see the light of doing nudity for a student film.
The boys are shooting the centerfolds for the calendar, and Sam and Blaine have an enlightening, bonding conversation regarding Sam’s body obsession.
Finn tricks Sue into confessing to the existence of the Penthouse centerfold and has it recorded.
Rachel predictably can’t do the topless scene (even after getting the crew to remove their shirts). Rachel, Quinn, & Santana sing “Love Song” by Sara Bareilles (accompanied at times by a shirtless band), and it was good to hear and see them together again.
Blaine motivates and encourages Sam by showing him clips of his friends talking about what Sam has accomplished and how good of a person he is.
The calendars are a hit. Jake and Marley say “I love you.” The New Directions sing “This is the New Year” by A Great Big World and parts of the performance are done as a tribute to the video with the cast singing directly to the camera. Very well performed and great ending to the episode!
Final (extra) thoughts:
First useful/amusing Kitty quote: “Those twilight books are poop on paper, and we’ve turned them into a billion dollar industry.”
“Blaine has an awesome body and a perky and delicious behind that looks like it got baked to perfection by some sort of master chef.” ~ Tina
Blaine’s eyes looked stunning while singing “This is the New Year.”
Author: Karen Walsh
Season 4, Episode 12
Original Air Date: January 31, 2013