You want a piece of her?
Britney Spears was the name of the hour last night on Glee, with the show performing eight more of her songs, after a first “tribute” episode for the singer aired during the show’s second season.
Quality-wise, the episode was enjoyable with well-produced numbers throughout. But on Access Hollywood today, host Billy Bush reported that he’d spoken with Britney’s manager this morning, and her team was livid over the portrayal, which they had no idea was coming. (EW reached out to Spears’ publicist, who has yet to respond.)
If true, I can definitely see where the anger comes from. While the first Britney episode was about overcoming challenges, this tribute episode seemed to focus on the darkest periods of her life and make jokes about it. Everything from shaving her head and fighting with the paparazzi to her disastrous 2007 VMA performance was referenced in some way. On the show, Brittany was going through a similar breakdown that mirrored Spears’. I’m not sure “tribute” was necessarily the right word for this hour of television. It’s a part of her legacy, sure, but it’s not the part we need to celebrate.
To be fair to Glee, however, the overall theme of the episode was definitely focused on The Comeback. They had a joke about how now Britney gets “paid 14 million dollars to be on X Factor. She looks great, and she has a new perfume that you can smell from miles away.” Not to mention, the whole reason they were doing a Britney episode at all was because Brittany idolizes her. Other parts of the episode seemed like a tribute to the best of Brit – Rachel finding her sexiness to “Oops…I Did It Again,” or Jake and Marley’s sweet duet to “(You Drive Me) Crazy.” And Glee isn’t a Britney PR machine (officially). They can obviously do whatever they want, regardless of if they are making fun of their new lead-in.
I consider myself a pretty big Britney fan, and I definitely laughed throughout last night’s episode (I chuckled at a student screaming “Leave Brittany alone!”). I thought the focus was how about Britney was now stronger (than yesterday), and that things will get better for Brittany as well. But the more I think about it, the more I’m not sure. Is a total breakdown something you ever really laugh about? It it Glee’s responsibility to only show the positive in an episode about the icon, or did you like the acknowledgement of her dark days?