The determined and plucky New Directions got the standing ovations and the big win in Glee “Hold on to Sixteen” – but were they really the best of the night?

Glee Review – Season 3 – Hold on to Sixteen

As much as I wish I could approach this Glee review with tons of enthusiasm and a renewed love for the unique and beloved show, I’d be lying if I said I was blown away by the “Hold on to Sixteen” episode. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not forsaking Glee or giving up the show. We’re not at those kinds of dire straights! However, I was underwhelmed by the performances that New Directions gave at Sectionals. The fact that they won, therefore, sours this episode a bit for me.

You wanna be able to quote the episode, right? Best Glee Quotes for Season 3 ‘Hold on to Sixteen’ – You Smell Like Craigslist

Much as I wanted the New Directions to win Sectionals, I also wanted to believe they deserved the win. Based on the three numbers we saw them perform, I did not. In fact, it was with a sigh that I realized that Mike’s Dad was supporting him for the first time and he had to see these as examples of Mike’s talent. Because Mike Chang (Harry Shum Jr.) is better than this. In fact, they all are.

Now that New Directions has won, they have embraced the Trouble Tones back into the fold. Doesn’t that seem somehow unfair that these two groups would merge no matter which won, but demanded two slots at sectionals? It also strikes me as odd that New Directions is now totally cool with having Sugar Motto in the club now, as before they told her she couldn’t.

When just Harmony (Lindsay Pearce) performed “Buenos Aires” from Evita with the Unitards (what kind of name…ugh), I had a lot of trouble believing that the rest of the Glee club wouldn’t be mad that they didn’t even get to throw in some background vocals. She also looked way too happy to be announced as getting third place. I’m all for putting on a brave face, but there wasn’t any hesitation in her smile! Getting third place out of three is not… good. Maybe she’s just not as good in math as she is at singing? (She even had her rivals Rachel and Kurt secretly mouthing along to her – that’s how good she was.)

When Sam (Chord Overstreet) returned to McKinley he decided to celebrate by singing “Red Solo Cup” (Toby Keith.) Because the depth of my country music love doesn’t extend much farther than loving a few Taylor Swift songs, I have legitimate never heard this song before. And although I started out with a wince, I grew to enjoy the sporadic and carefree atmosphere that everyone in New Directions had as they sang along. It reminded me of the Glee season 1 moment where everyone busted out singing “Ride wit Me” as an impromptu way of celebrating being a team. And now that I’ve watched MTV’s Awkward (“Think about the red cup photo opps!”)

I now understand the true importance of red cups (and those  inherent photo ops) to highschoolers. (One of my lasting memories of Felicity: the later years is a scene where the character of Ben, played by Scott Speedman, and another more rebellious student played by Christopher Gorham of Covert Affairs are going to be attending a party where you have to bring your own cup. Since they’re in the science lab they just grab some beekers. It was creative and cute, and I was really sad that Popular with Gorham had been canceled. And as you guys know, Ryan Murphy created both Popular and Glee. Full circle tangent!)

The title of this episode is revealed when Sam tells Quinn (Dianna Agron) that one of his favorite lyrics is “Hold on to 16 as long as you can,” from the John Mellencamp classic song “Jack and Diane.” Immediately, I wished he had sung this. But I also felt troubled, because I recently made the mistake of learning all about the tragically sad movie “Splendor in the Grass” (starring Natalie Wood, and yes I bet you realize why I was googling this given that she’s been in the news and I felt I wasn’t properly educated on her films…) Anyway! John Mellencamp based his song “Jack and Diane” on this plot of this seriously devastating movie.

There was a lot about Quinn being crazy and how Rachel (Lea Michele) and Sam talked her down from the ledge of whackadoodle. But I was very surprised that Rachel didn’t bat an eyelash about the fact that her biological Mom, Shelby, was screwing around with her ex-boyfriend Puck (who is still in her life and her boyfriends best friend!) I mean, really? Rachel doesn’t care? She’s suddenly all cool and carefree? I don’t buy it.

I was also surprised that I agreed with Quinn that Shelby (Idina Menzel) should not have shown up in town, at McKinley. It messes with three students lives: Rachel’s, Puck’s, and Quinn’s. Is it really any wonder that Quinn got so messed up by her presence?

The episode was nice, but it’s hard to get over a “little” thing like thinking that the New Directions didn’t really deserve the Sectionals win.

What did you guys think?

Misc great Glee things:

– Rachel handing a dollar to White Chocolate while looking away was played brilliantly.
– When Sam came into the choir room Mike was SUPER excited.
– Blaine (Darren Criss) getting into “Red Solo Cup” as Kurt (Chris Colfer) watched in horror with a WTF face. Blaine will get on any party bus, he’s not picky and I love that about him. He’s one of the truly nice characters on a show where everyone seems to have at least one major flaw.Since we haven’t seen Blaine’s major flaw yet I suspect he’ll cheat on Kurt or he’ll be discovered to be the Craigslist killer.
– Hey, another kudos for Blaine when he was working out (boxing? I don’t know the terms!) and he mentioned a fight club that he “obviously” couldn’t talk about. Referencing that movie will never get old.
– Rachel’s dress at Sectionals was so pretty, but with that kind of neckline on a dress it absolutely demands that you pull your hair back and possibly also up. Sigh!
– The cutaways of Mr. Schuester (Matthew Morrison) half-dancing to New Directions off stage made me laugh.
– When Mr. Schu blew a kiss I totally forgot that he was dating Emma (Jayma Mays)! They better bring this into the foreground again before everyone else forgets, too.