Finally, someone is honoring the late Whitney Houston in a serious way: that fever-dream-of-a-theater-queer Glee is currently filming a tribute episode that will feature eight songs from the singer's impressive catalog. But wait, you say, didn't they already honor Houston in a recent episode, with an Amber Riley version of "I Will Always Love You" and dedication card at the end? Yes, but that was unplanned and relatively classy! That's just not Glee's way:
…this Whitney episode was planned after Houston's death, and according to a reliable show source, will "not be a typical tribute"…
"It's using Whitney's music as a way to say goodbye," the source reveals. "A way to respectfully say thank you for her music."
I'm told that unlike the show's Madonna and Michael Jackson episodes, the Whitney tribute is more of a "character piece" that focuses on Glee's graduating seniors having a real hard time letting go.
Um, what? So your "tribute episode" to someone who just died won't be like your tributes to Madonna and MJ — which were pretty much forty-three minutes of characters talking about how amazing, inspiring, godlike, etc. those people are — but will instead focus on your poorly drawn characters having a hard time letting go of their whack-ass fantasy high school? Ha, okay. Great "tribute," Ryan Murphy. Obviously this episode, even if it comes from a place of good intentions, is using the death of Houston to garner ratings. I mean, that's just how TV works and I can accept and move past that. But to do that and not even blow smoke up her late ass? Weak.
(Counterpoint: those other tribute episodes were seriously terrible. I only watched the Michael Jackson atrocity to support my future husband and all-around perfect man, Darren Criss. And he only sang one song. Complete disaster.)
Anyway, as far as tributes to Houston go, I predict that this episode will fall somewhere behind this: