'Born This Way' on 'Glee': 'Best' episode yet
Tuesday's 90-minute Gaga-themed episode was the show's best ever, thanks to the "genius" of the actor who plays the gay student Kurt, says Matt Zoller Seitz at Salon
Another week, another highly publicized episode of Glee. Tuesday's installment, however, really was something special, says Matt Zoller Seitz at Salon. The 90-minute show, titled "Born This Way" as a nod to Lady Gaga's hit song about self-acceptance, was "the show's best episode to date" — "an engrossing exploration of a great character, [openly gay student] Kurt Hummel" that showcased the "once-in-a-generation talent" of the actor, Chris Colfer, who plays him. Here, an excerpt:
Like a lot of Glee fans, I bitch about the show as often as I praise it — more often, probably. But numbers like Kurt's "As If We Never Said Goodbye" are worth the agita — and it's Colfer who makes them great. I've read articles fretting that Kurt is too stereotypical a figure — slight, high-voiced, queeny, fascinated with Streisand and Judy Garland and other familiar signifiers. Couldn't he at least have been athletic? And did he have to be obsessed with clothes? But when Chris Colfer sings "As If We Never Said Goodbye," or "Rose's Turn," or "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," you don't think about identity politics. You just marvel...
I wouldn't be surprised if people one day look back on this actor-singer as one of the great aspirational figures in American pop culture, as important in his own way as Streisand, Sidney Poitier, or Selena. Colfer doesn't just sing and act. He stands for something.