In keeping with the Spanish-themed latest episode of "Glee," That second part of the title means, "It's not worth bothering with," and, truly it is not, unless you actually enjoy having your intelligence insulted. It may have been asking too much of the show's creators to cobble together two consecutive well-written shows (although they have done so in the past), but we might have hoped to be spared one this appallingly bad.
This episode, titled "The Spanish Teacher," was one of those instances where the people who put the show together fell into the slough of thinking, once they have lined up a popular guest star, they can phone the rest of it in. To be sure, the main guest actor, Ricky Martin, was not at all bad as an actor, especially for a guy who is primarily a singer. It's just everything around him that stunk the place up.
The worst thing the show's writers did in this episode was to take two somewhat amusing long-standing jokes and beat them to death. In one instance, the joke was Will Schuester's inattention to his supposedly primary duty as a Spanish teacher. In this episode, we see that he knows about as much as a beginning, first-year student of the language; maybe less, if you consider the underground hit song, "One Semester of Spanish - Love Song." Perhaps that, and not the mediocre song he performed, should have been Will's musical contribution to the show. The point is that Will's cluelessness about the subject he has supposedly been teaching for three or more years simply defies belief.
The other joke the writers beat to death involved Emma Pillsbury and the quirky pamphlets she hands out from time to time in her role as the school's guidance counselor. For example, in an earlier episode, when Rachel and Kurt had gone to see her about their college admission prospects, Emma, misreading their intent, handed Kurt a pamphlet titled "You and Your Hag." The writers' ham-fisted attempt to exploit this lady's quirk was as sad as it was unpleasant to watch. Even the otherwise fine actors who were involved with that plot thread, Matthew Morrison, Jayma Mays and Dot Marie Jones, seemed as though they were not very invested in it.
Another funny bit the writers ruined had to do with the new swimming coach, played so well by Nene Leakes in the previous episode. Her appearance, originally thought to be a cameo, was one of the most amusing aspects of that excellent show. When they brought her back for a far more tiresome rendition of her character in this episode, it was not funny at all.
The one part of the plot that was fairly well done involved the doubts that both Rachel and Finn have been entertaining over their recent engagement. Speaking of Rachel, we got a glimpse in the preview for the next show that we will meet her two dads. You may be surprised at who they turn out to be.
The musical numbers were not as spectacular as they usually are, with the best of them being the duet between Ricky Martin and Naya Rivera (Santana). This week's theme was to feature songs that were entirely or partially sung in Spanish. If they had not been so busy beating bad plot lines to death, they may have had time at the end of the episode for a really excellent bilingual song, when Sam sees that Mercedes has decided not to leave her current boyfriend after all. What a great time that would have been for Freddie Fender's greatest hit.
If you happened to miss this week's episode of "Glee," count yourself among the fortunate.
"Glee," Season 3, Episode 12: "The Spanish Teacher"