Glee’s Britney Spears episode: trying too hard or hitting all the right notes?

The much anticipated Britney Spears episode of Glee aired last night. While it started out rough and with (excellent) musical numbers crammed into a thin plot it partially redeemed itself by the end. Britney herself made several brief appearances, all within the context of the students’ fantasies while they were under dental anesthesia.

The performances were top notch, but I wasn’t really feeling the plot or understanding the point of the show. If felt disjointed, and last week’s season two premiere was tighter in terms of balancing the storyline with the performances. The last song this week, the probably not-so-ironically named “The Only Exception,” did tie into the plot but wasn’t a Britney song at all. Still, it was a fine tribute to Britney and one that she expressed her appreciation for on Twitter. It just didn’t do justice to the show.

Spoiler for future episode
EW has a very good recap if you’re interested, and I agree with their take. E! has more on this episode, including the detail that Gwyneth Paltrow is going to be on twice in November as a substitute teacher and “love interest for Will.” Please spare us! She’s even going to sing.

Here are all of Britney’s clips from the show, thanks to ONTD. The epsiode is not yet up on Hulu, but should be available soon.


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47 Responses to “Glee’s Britney Spears episode: trying too hard or hitting all the right notes?”

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  1. Rachel says:

    I loved it! It didn’t further the plot, however my love for Britney made it great. Can’t wait for GOOPy on Glee.

  2. Marjalane says:

    Initially I really liked Glee; you know, back when it was about the kids? They started getting full of themselves last season with their “star” shows, and now it’s just ridiculous. Really? Gwyneth Paltrow? Do the kids who watch Glee even know who she is?! Looks like a good season for the Biggest Loser.

  3. serena says:

    She’s good! I like her figure (hair) and all, I happy for her.
    A good performance too!

  4. Samigirl says:

    I loved everything, except for Lea singing Baby, One More Time. I thought she tried too hard. But Ms. Brittany S. Piers did a FAB job. That b*tch can DANCE!

  5. Anaya says:

    Great dancing from Heather Morris who plays Brittany. She was on fire! I wish the real Britney still danced like that today. But anyway Britney looked cute. Maybe a tad bit too old for the cheerleader costume but at least it fit.

    Britney’s acting was not great but I didn’t expect it to be. To sum it up it was a nice tribute to her golden days as a pop princess. Nice job!

  6. YOYO99 says:

    Heather Morris was great. Lea singing was really bad

  7. hstl1 says:

    I thought it was awful except for the Toxic number with Mr. Schuster.

  8. maria says:

    Brittany and Santana were great. I am disturbed by the dentist drugging them so willingly. Lea needs to stop with the weight loss, she is starting to look like a frog.

  9. Riley says:

    I now love the Britney character and she can move. She is a better dancer than the other Britney. It will only be a matter of time, though, til she gets a nose job, I’m sure.

    But, and not to come of ass a brown nose, but I have to agree with you, Celebitchy. The plot kind of suffered and the musical numbers were a bit too much and bit too long.

    Also, and this is going off the subject a bit, but I wish they would do more with the black girl on the show. She is a fantastic singer and I think she is beautiful and a very good actress but they push her to the back too much. It is not realistic. In a real high school, a girl with that much talent is not going to sit on the sidelines.

  10. Samigirl says:

    @riley, mercedes was a big part of the story line last season. I’m sure they will bring her more into it this season, but wanted to let the character of brittany get her time, which she did not have much of in the first season.

  11. kelbear says:

    The girl that plays Britney busted out some awesome dance moves. Didn’t expect that from her.

  12. Mindy says:

    I agree with Marjalane and hst/1. The show has lost focus.. there is no story line at all and hasn’t really had one since mid season last year. This episode shows they have no idea what to do with the plot anymore and are cow-towing to everything that stars who want to guest on the show and websites are asking for. Last night was absolutely awful… does the show really need to basically be a vehicle to remake videos shot by shot?

  13. Lynn says:

    I am getting sick of the character, Rachel. I really liked that Brittany had so much face time, and I would have liked to see Kurt sing, since he was the one pushing so hard to do some Britney. But no, we get Rachel, crying her eyes out….again.

  14. guesty says:

    the chick playing britney was an awesome dancer. dance is obviously not lea’s forte.

  15. spooge says:

    Heather Morris was amazing as usual but the rest of the show… meh…
    Baby One More time was an insult to the original and the whole plot line sucked big time.
    I’d rather just watch a whole hour of Heather’s dancing and hilarious one liners.

  16. Riley says:

    The Heather Morris Wikipedia page is pretty interesting.

  17. Moore says:

    Heather and Naya were awesome in this episode. I don’t usually like Glee but they made this one great all around. I loved it. I’m so glad Heather got to dance full out too. Leah/Lea still bugs the crap out of me.

  18. omondieu says:

    I wish they’d do more with Harry Shum Jr’s character (he’s the only reason I continue to watch the show). At least when Dijon Talton was on the show last season, both of them were sidelined together. Now that he’s the only guy not getting lines, it’s really obvious and pathetic. I have a feeling that once Artie and Tina get back together (because they will), he’ll be off the show, as well.

    The pilot was terrific, but nearly every episode since then has been written around songs (this episode, the Madonna one, especially), rather than used songs to advance plot.

    In addition, the characters’ development (or lack thereof), especially the female characters, troubles me. I can’t find one character with whom I identify, and that I actually LIKE. They’re all very bland, stereotypical, stock characters (Rachel’s the overbearing control freak, Tina the shy Asian, Mercedes the black diva, etc.). Any lesson they learn one week is completely forgotten by the following episode.

    That said, Glee’s still a fun show, if a poorly-written, overrated show. If you want a GOOD Ryan Murphy show, watch Popular.

  19. Gabby says:

    With all the money she has, why can’t she hire someone to make her hair look like that on a daily basis?

  20. Kate says:

    As I’ve said before, I want to like this show more than I do. I REALLY dislike Will Shuster and the actor who plays him. That’s a big problem. I am starting to REALLY dislike Rachel, although I think Lea Michelle is a wonderful singer.

    I enjoyed the Britney episode because it was a little different, but the screaming, moaning, fake orgasms from the students at the assembly were really way too much. I mean uncomfortably too much. The whole “sex riot” thing could’ve been funny without all the moaning.

  21. docalion says:

    Nice episode of Glee!! Really great production numbers.. Disagree with the writer’s thought of redemption on the last part,, i thought it was not really necessary.. My gosh!! Why should RACHEL BERRY SING ALL THE TIME?!! VERY THEATRICAL!!

  22. Lizzard says:

    I usually love this show, but last night’s did not live up to my expectations AT ALL. Lea singing Baby One More Time was an insult to my ears, and generally I find she has a great voice, but this seemed forced to within an inch of her life. I wonder if her weight loss has affected her voice somewhat? Also, Lea NEEDS to stop losing weight, she doesn’t look healthy anymore, and it makes her look SOOO tired!

    Heather Morris/Brittany is my absolute favorite, and if she hadn’t rocked it out with her incredible dance moves and her singing capabilities this episode would have TANKED… I’ve always loved Brittany, but last night she was at her prime.

    Britney looked cute. I think Glee needs to stop focusing on celebrity guest stars or entire epsiodes dedicated to one person’s work though. I thought the Madonna episode was pretty neat how well it blended, but then it was downhill after that.

  23. lucy2 says:

    I liked Popular too, but during its 2nd (and final) season, it started to fall apart too. I think Ryan Murphy is good at starting a show, but then doesn’t know how to maintain it at all.

    Heather Morris was awesome in this episode, that girl can DANCE, but beyond that it was a mess. I liked the Toxic performance, but it was ruined by those two students screaming ridiculous things in the stands. Half the show was just redos of Britney videos. Britney herself was barely in it, and there was no plot! And yeah, I found the dentist (Stamos!) drugging the girls a little iffy.

  24. Kbomb says:

    I love Glee and I was late to the party. I didn’t become a “Gleek” (ugh) until midway through last season. But even after this short love affair I am getting really sick of Rachel. It is so apparent that it’s in her contract to have a minimum one solo per show. It’s beginning to look like they are sort of crammed in. And I find her the least attractive on the show who comes off as thinking she is THE hottest. LOVE Brittany- would love to see more of her in the future.

  25. Abby says:

    I liked the episode. I think Brittney and crew delivered some of the best dancing ever on Glee. She looked fantastic.

    I saw this as a tribute ep, like Madonna’s. Not much happening with the story, but that’s ok.

    I’ve yet to hear a song this season that I rushed over to itunes to download because they sang it so well, but I am happy with the show.

    I was disgusted by Rachel’s afro-headed admirer this episode. Could have done without that.

    Britney Spears–girlfriend… your hair was bad. Please fix it!!

  26. Wiley says:

    Well, at least someone can actually sing the songs. Maybe she can fill in for Brit on the next tour and actually sing and dance! I wonder how Brit feels seeing others putting on a show the way Brit can’t.

  27. Obvious says:

    Heather Morris rocked it last night-and looked better in BritBrit’s costume than BritBrit did back in the day.

    I LOVED the Toxic number with the entire group I thought it was great-and props to Artie with Stronger.

    I’m not usually a huge BritBrit fan, but last night reminded me why I used to enjoy her music-when on the radio.

  28. Karen says:

    @22 – I co-sign everything you have said. I started girl crushing HARD on Heather Morris once I learned that she was a backup dancer for Beyonce. Heather performed Single Ladies with Beyonce on every major award show, talk show, variety show and that hot bitch can SHAKE IT. I love her so much and she is the funniest simple character when styled as Brittany the Cheerio but when she was styled to perform as Britney Spears…she was on fire.

    Heather Morris (and Naya Riviera) was the sole reason why the episode didn’t tank. Either way, I’ll be a Gleek until they make the show completely unwatchable. And yes, Lea Michele, quit with the weight loss. You were cast based on how you looked so why on earth change it up now???

  29. missmilly says:

    I just don’t get the whole Glee thing.

  30. viper says:

    Oh sadness, Britney is now not only lost it but she’s living in the past! It would have been better if she just showed up in the end and did somthing new to ‘wake up’ the girls. Rather than be back to her old outfits.

  31. SRM says:

    I loved Brittany S. Pierce. I love the show but other than the music this episode was kind of blah. I don’t like Mr. Shue all that much. I hated Artie’s cheesy “Stonger”.

  32. Xx says:

    She said it herself and I have to agree that Brittney S. Piers is the most talented of the bunch. She was amazing.

  33. Steph says:

    I don’t watch glee but I love Britney and I wanted to see this particular episode. Heather Morris was amazing! She made me miss SOOO much how Britney use to dance. I wish she would get it together and dance like that again. I was secretly hoping that the real Britney would dance the Madonna part in “me against the music.” Watching last nights episode made me remember my teen years. I was a teenager when Britney Spears was in her prime, and it made me miss them!

  34. Melanie says:

    I really loved the show but was disappointed that it didn’t move the plot along much.

  35. dancergirl says:

    Britney Spears needs to just go away. Enough already with the has been who never grew up and now lives in the past. I think it is hilarious that in her tweets from last night she didn’t even know the cast members real names and kept referring to them by their character names. What a great person, I mean, what a joke that Britney Spears is. Please just make her go away…

  36. Jeri says:

    I like Glee and it would be a shame if this talented cast did not get to sing & dance with & to some of the greats.

    Nothing with singing & dancing acts of this magnitude has ever been done on weekly TV before and I salute them for working so hard to entertains us.

  37. Darlene says:

    I loved it! Heather Morris is amazing and is a vastly under-used talent on Glee!

  38. Jover says:

    Yes, Glee needs to avoid too many of these celeb episodes in lieu of plot and character development. WTF, Gwenyeth Paltrow, I hope she at least plays a whiny snob with a bad British accent. All the characters need filled out much more as Omondieu stated – give them families, histories, interests beyond school, etc. otherwise Glee will falter.

  39. caroline says:

    didn’t i read somewhere that heather morris was a backup dancer in beyonce’s “single ladies” video (you know, the best video of all time. ALL TIME)? she was awesome dancing in the background of kurt’s “SL” remake first season!

  40. Kitten says:

    Did Busted Weave of Doom show up or did she leave that thing at home?

  41. apsutter says:

    I fucking hate gwyneth paltrow….she’s going to SING?!?!?!? Glee has officially jumped the shark

  42. BethL says:

    Glee should be embarressed by the Britney episode. It was so bad. I can’t believe that they didn’t do a storyline. This was basically a commercial for Britney’s music. I thought they were going to do they same thing as the Madonna episode, which was to use her music to tell a story.

    I think Leah did poorly on “Hit Me” because her voice is to strong. A lot of strong singers struggle when the song it to easy. If they remade the song to Leah’s capabilities, she probably would have sound better. She sounded great on The Only Exception.

  43. Musicfan says:

    UGH. Why the hell would they want Gwenyth Paltrow? She isn’t even famous anymore. I bet all of us could walk past her, and not notice who she was. She should just go away, and stop telling everyone how to live their lives.

    She definitely cant sing so why the hell is Glee putting her on? They are definitely messing up the show, with all these guest stars. Susan Boyle will be on the season, and Jennifer Lopez. Ugh. Who else? Jennifer Aniston? This isn’t Entourage.

  44. LolaBella says:

    I mostly enjoyed last night’s episode.

    The Good:

    Heather Morris. Whether it was her whole opposition to doing Britney (The whole ‘my name is Brittany S. Pierce’ explanation was hilarious) or her sexy dance moves and her voice, she was the true star of the episode.

    Naya Rivera. I love Santana’s irreverence and snarkiness.

    The Bad:

    Mr. Schue’s entire ‘life-crisis’ and Holy Hell a YELLOW sportscar???

    The Artie on the football team storyline. Really??

    The sex-orgy at the end. Um, it started out funny…then it just turned into one big creepshow.

    Last night’s episode made me bite the bullet and finally admit it: I despise Rachel’s character. The ultimatums to Finn and using Quinn to test him because of her own insecurity. Ugh.
    Also her performance of Hit Me Baby was horrible, un-sexy and cringe-worthy.

    There was nothing cute and sexy about Lea in that performance; she looks like an anorexic tomboy now.

  45. Arianna says:

    @ LolaBella

    amen. to everything!!

    i’ve always love britney and santana the best since day one they’re so underrated

    even kurt irritated me last night and he never usually does

    and yes i love harry shum jr pleaseeeeee use him!!

  46. angela says:

    I’m worried the show’s going to lose its heart with so many celebrity-based shows. I thought this episode was sort of creepy and extremely grating. The Jewfro kid should never be given that much air time ever again.

  47. Zoe says:

    I love glee, yes I will admit I’m a gleek, but I was just a little disappointed with the episode. However, Heather Morris is a FAB dancer and I love her character. She and Naya truly did save that episode. And yes, Heather did tour with Beyonce and is a professional dancer.