When your opening act is the single biggest sporting event in the country, you have to really dig deep and go big to come up with a topper.
Luckily, if anyone knows how to go big, it's the cast of "Glee."
In some circles the anticipation is as high for the postgame episode of Fox’s musical phenom as it is for the final score of the big game, so PopcornBiz tackled some “Glee” castmembers until they sang about some of the details from the show, appropriately titled “The Sue Sylvester Bowl Shuffle.”
“We’re doing an episode of ‘Glee’ that’s on steroids and writ large,” explains star Jane Lynch, whose track-suited TV alter ego kicks off the episode in a fit of ennui. “Sue Sylvester is a little bored with her routine, even though she has kids riding around on BMX bikes and jumping through fire in one routine with Katy Perry’s ‘California Gurls.’
“She wants to top herself,” Lynch revealed to PopcornBiz, “so she’s finds out there’s a human cannon in town and she buys it and wants to shoot Brittany out of it. Principal Figgins doesn’t allow it – it’s a liability issue – and she has a hissy fit. She actually has two hissy fits, and she rips two rooms apart. So you’ll definitely see Sue Sylvester on the warpath.”
That’s only a portion of the ep’s action – much of the rest of the episode involves the McKinley High Titans’ oft-fractured football team competing to win their division championship, and a major production undertaking for the undead-looking glee club.
“We're doing a big football-themed episode to go with the Super Bowl,” says star Matthew Morrison, who plays show choir teacher Will Schuester. “We're doing Michael Jackson’s 'Thriller' for the halftime show, so we're going to get all zombified and get in there. That’s an amazing number.”
Unlike some previously stunt-y outings, this one is pure “Glee” – if a little amped up – promises Kevin McHale, who plays the wheelchair-bound Artie. “It's not like a themed episode,” he says. “There's a great storyline and it's kind of a real 'Glee' episode. A little exaggerated - it is the Super Bowl! So we get to do 'Thriller,' and that’s all I care about. I've always wanted to do Michael, and I got to sing some of it on the football field. I had never really performed on the football field, and for the first time I was actually sore the next day. My back was like, 'Oh.' But if we keep doing that, I'll get some muscle out of this.’”
Of course, it wouldn’t be “Glee” without some choice guest-casting: look for newscaster Katie Couric to drop by McKinley. “She's actually playing Diane Sawyer,” says Morrison. “No – I'm kidding! No, she plays herself and I actually get to dance with her. The music's on and I'm teaching her a little dance, with choreography.”
Lynch says the episode’s storyline, balancing athletics and the arts, makes a perfect fit to follow up after the year’s biggest gridiron game. “The Super Bowl is indeed very masculine, and then you’ve got these light-in-your-loafers guys – and I’m talking even the straight guys – singing and dancing. I love seeing these two things come together.
And which NFL team does Lynch favor as the victor in “Glee’s” pre-show entertainment? “I saw Green Bay because I’m from the Midwest – but really, I don’t care,” she says with an evil Sue Sylvesterian deadpan.