The Glee Britney Spears episode devoted itself to all things Britney, and Brittany. In addition, the Glee episode found time for John Stamos, hallucinogenic fantasies, sex riots, and life lessons. Season 2 Episode 2 served as the show’s third musical tribute to one specific artist. In volume, at least, Season 2 Episode 2 was more like the extensive Madonna episode than the Lady Gaga homage, which only had a few Gaga songs. For the Britney Spears episode, however, several of Britney’s routines and music videos were parodied, with some help from Spears herself.
Warning: Spoilers follow
Kurt’s suggestion for a Spears-centric assignment doesn’t go over well with the uptight Will, or the show’s own clueless Brittany. But the power of Britney overwhelms Brittany when she has an anesthesia-fueled vision of singing “I’m A Slave 4 You.”
Although the Glee Britney Spears episode was filled with subsequent Spears fantasies, John Stamos was the one to open the door. Stamos made his first appearance as Emma’s new dentist boyfriend, sparking the expected jealousy and envy in Will. But both Dr. Carl, and the club’s insistence on playing Britney, force Will to undergo an identity crisis.
However, an even more extreme identity crisis came from Rachel, of course. Her insecurity over Finn’s desire to return to football sparked her own Spears makeover, after seeing herself in “Hit Me Baby, One More Time.” The Spears episode therefore served to give both Will and Rachel a life lesson in losing control — though at least neither of them shaved their heads.
Thanks to the Spears songs being anesthesia fantasies, Season 2 Episode 2 could go all out in recreating her dances and videos. In addition to “Slave,” Brittany also sung “Me Against The Music” with Santana — which could count as another Madonna homage. But in that homage, and in two others, Glee actually had a cameo from the star herself.
Spears mainly popped up in brief moments before and after the songs — even appearing in Cheerios garb at one point. But her music was the major focus of Season 2 Episode 2, with additional tributes to “Toxic” and “Stronger” also weaved in. Yet it was Paramore’s “The Only Exception” that was used to tie it all together at the end.
Even considering the bar set by the Madonna and Lady Gaga tributes, the Glee Britney Spears episode was an off-the-wall homage to an often off-the-wall star. It also served as part of her current career reinvention — but as Will and Rachel also proved, reinventing one’s self is not an easy, or sometimes wise, thing.
Once the buzz over Season 2 Episode 2 dies down, Glee will turn more toward religion as a theme for next week’s show — along with a plotline guaranteed to activate waterworks.
Television Without Pity- “It’s Brittany, Bitch”
MTV.com- “The Britney Spears Glee Episode Upstaged By Paramore’s ‘The Only Exception'”