Spanish Teachers Don’t Look Like That
I’m switching it up a bit this week by reviewing a television show about and containing music, rather than a CD. Glee, a show about a high school show choir, went Spanish this week with their episode “Spanish Teacher,” guest starring Latin Pop superstar Ricky Martin. The premise of the episode is one of the show’s main characters Will Schuester is a Spanish teacher and his abilities have been questioned by a student of Spanish descent and a glee club member, Santana Lopez. Schuester goes to a night school Spanish class taught by Martin’s character David Martinez.
Martinez is introduced to the glee club by singing an extra-creepy, biilingual rendition of “Sexy And I Know It” by LMFAO. I’m no prude, and I didn’t have a problem with the sex episode earlier in the season, but the suggestive lyrics and intense gyrations made this number hard to watch. Sugar’s push-ups and Rory’s hand gestures put it over the edge. And while I can respect trying to integrate multiple languages into some songs, it didn’t work for this one, or “A Little Less Conversation,” which had so many offensive stereotypes in the performance, they don’t even bear repeating. Vocally, “Sexy” didn’t do Ricky Martin justice, but the only redeeming quality of “Conversation” was that Matthew Morrison actually sounded pretty good.
Songs that did work in bilingual form were “Don’t Wanna Lose You” by Gloria Estefan (sang by Amber Riley’s Mercedes) and a mash-up of “Bamboleo” and “Hero”, by the Gipsy Kings and Enrique Iglesias respectively (sang by Chord Overstreet’s Sam). The songs were important in each one’s character development, because they are professing their love for each other through song, while Mercedes is still involved with her jock boyfriend Shane. Mercedes sounded especially good because she found the sweet spot of her voice that’s not over the top, but still powerful enough to let you know, in her words, she “ain’t no Kelly Rowland.”
However, the best performance of the night by far had to be “La Isla Bonita” by Madonna, and sang and danced beautifully by David and Santana. With this performance, I almost forgot her and Brittany were dating, because her chemistry with David was phenomenal. The song worked as a faster tempo, almost dance club song. And since there were already a few lines of Spanish in the original, adding a few more seemed very natural. The visual performance was able to highlight Naya Rivera’s dance ability, which is overshadowed always by Heather Morris (Brittany) and Harry Shum Jr. (Mike).
I liked the fact that Will was able to give up his job as the Spanish teacher to the more experienced teacher in David, while still maintaining what he’s good at, teaching glee, and all the while learning it through music. A little cliche, but it has an important meaning behind it. Will needed a storyline, and he finally got a good one. Until next week!