Glee Does Rocky Horror Proud
"A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, God said, "Let there be lips. And there were lips. And they began to sing!"
Rocks Off will never forget the night we first heard a bunch of reprobates screaming at a movie screen while half-clad cult members pantomimed a rock musical from the '70s, and for a brief second while we watched the cast of Glee go through their weekly sing-along to Richard O'Brien's musical The Rocky Horror Picture Show, we were once again a 14-year-old outcast who had finally come home.
Glee on Facebook
There's been talk for years about a remake of Rocky. No one wants that. No one. And from time to time O'Brien teases us that the script for a real, full-on sequel is just about finished. No one really wants that either. What we who sold our souls to the fishnets and high heels really want is for, every once in a while, a bit of the mainstream to come down to the show with us.
We know it's not for the normals all the time, but if you'll just come down and let us, we'll show you something that was and remains unique in the realm of cinema, music and art. In the '80s, the cast of Fame took a trip to the New York theatre where the cult phenomenon really got going, and watched our Pope, Sal Piro, do a pre-show shtick that all midnight emcees have stolen from shamelessly.
In the '90s, Drew Carey and crew took a trip, only to wind up in an all-out dance battle between a rival group of cult fans who insisted that Priscilla, Queen of the Desert was the superior film. (It wasn't.) And now in the new millennium, Glee dedicates a whole episode to the Old Queen, and frankly, we couldn't have been happier.
Rocks off refuses to believe that this episode wasn't written by someone who isn't a cast director of a local shadowcast, or barring that, at least a full-time member. There were just too many little nuances that are only going to be picked up by those who have lived it week in and week out.
When Mercedes stands up and says she wants the traditionally male role of Dr. Frank-n-Furter, we literally applauded in our living room. The fight for female Franks is a constant thing, made all the more volatile by the fact that there are only three female roles in the show. By necessity, female Franks are usually twice as assertive and powerful as their male counterparts, for the sheer reason that they need that power to break into the role.
The list of such subtle nods is endless. The legendary lips opening could have been Lea Michele dubbed over Patricia Quinn's own lips. Brittany and Santana's semi-lesbionic flirtations meshed perfectly with the on-screen relationship between Magenta and Columbia; poor, dumb, sexy, good-hearted Sam is the walking reincarnation of Peter Hinwood's performance as Rocky; and Finn's douche-with-a-heart-of-gold struggle with himself could not have better embodied the ultimate asshole who is Brad Majors.