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Blaine: Mix Up the Letters, Eventually, You'll Get Nebali


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#16831

Jester85

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 7:39 PM

One thing which bothered me a little was how stereotypically mannered some of Blaine's gestures were, while he was reacting approvingly to Kurt's performance. We already know he's gay; no need for him to drive the point home by behaving as if he's in a film comedy from the 30s or 40s.


Frankly, Darren tends to have "stereotypically mannered" gestures IRL, so I'm not convinced that was a deliberate acting choice and not just Darren's own mannerisms.
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#16832

MGaboriau

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 9:29 PM

Frankly, Darren tends to have "stereotypically mannered" gestures IRL, so I'm not convinced that was a deliberate acting choice and not just Darren's own mannerisms.

DC is indeed one of the most flailing members of the cast. But here I am talking specifically about the pursed lips, the rolling eyes and shoulder shimmy, the affected self-hugging and small gestures, etc. that we see as he watches Kurt's audition. I thought these choices were very similar to moves by countless "sissy" characters as portrayed in movies and on TV over the years, which were code (sometimes very blatantly) for "gay". Whether these were offered by DC, suggested by the director or developed jointly, they were very deliberately filmed this way in this scene; since the camera frames him tightly in a small group of three, it is not like a background reaction somewhat lost in a wide shot of the whole club in the choir room, something which might be detected only on close watching of the filmed material later on. I think that here they must have seen exactly what they were capturing and decided to keep it because it suited their intent. Myself, I just don't see the need to suddenly go back once again to the sissy stereotype in portraying a gay teen.

And I also enjoy Darren's occasional look of wild-eyed mania.

That look would fit perfectly with him having an obsessively earnest discussion about bowties or the relative merits of capri pants and mini-socks vs. regular pants.

Edited by MGaboriau, May 4, 2012 @ 10:14 PM.

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#16833

lleykian54

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Posted May 5, 2012 @ 2:13 AM

I guess it's all perception then because I didn't really see any of that. I saw him looking on with adoration and some mixture of nervousness, tension and giddy excitement which kind of fit the storyline of him watching the person he loves fight for something he wanted so badly. I noticed that he has a dainty way of clapping but honestly, I saw shades of that back in S2 when they were still at Dalton. Also, some of the ways Blaine looks at Kurt and reacts to him at times, again, I saw that back in S2 once he realized he was in love with Kurt.

I think Darren plays Blaine as having a good mix of slight feminine qualities and masculine qualities (and I hate using that term because it sounds so gender normative and all but it's the best way I can find to express what I'm saying). He's certainly not effeminate like Kurt but is not as butch as say a Karofsky and honestly, I think that's been true of the character back in S2. The slight feminine qualities were a bit more pronounced later in the season, think back to their scene at the Lima Bean in the season finale but it's been there for awhile. And I don't know, I kind of like that about Blaine. It does also seem like the more delicate side becomes more pronounced when he's out of the Warbler uniform. I wonder if that was a conscious acting choice by Darren.
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#16834

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Posted May 5, 2012 @ 5:09 AM

saw him looking on with adoration and some mixture of nervousness, tension and giddy excitement which kind of fit the storyline of him watching the person he loves fight for something he wanted so badly.

I agree. And some of the weirdness came from them being really excited but trying to contain themselves as it's probably bad form to be cheering and clapping at an audition, so all we get is an ants-in-the-pants burst of aborted clapping as they try not to annoy La Tibideux.
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#16835

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Posted May 5, 2012 @ 10:19 AM

And some of the weirdness came from them being really excited but trying to contain themselves as it's probably bad form to be cheering and clapping at an audition, so all we get is an ants-in-the-pants burst of aborted clapping as they try not to annoy La Tibideux.


The thing is you don't see those same mannerisms from Rachel and Will.
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#16836

Jester85

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Posted May 5, 2012 @ 11:34 AM

I think Darren plays Blaine as having a good mix of slight feminine qualities and masculine qualities



I agree, and honestly I think the same is true of Darren himself, so I don't know how much of his slightly effeminate mannerisms are acting, because honestly at times I think he's more effeminate IRL than he is on Glee.

I like that Blaine has ways in which he's stereotypically gay--gushing about Vogue, Marion Cotillard, etc.--and ways in which he's not--boxing, being a football fan.

I think it's a good mixture.
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#16837

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Posted May 5, 2012 @ 11:50 AM

I agree, and honestly I think the same is true of Darren himself, so I don't know how much of his slightly effeminate mannerisms are acting, because honestly at times I think he's more effeminate IRL than he is on Glee.


I agree that Darren often does seem to have more effeminate mannerisms than Blaine and also can act campier, which brings an interesting element to the discussion, since Darren is straight and Blaine is gay -- which would make it seem that those are not acting choices about acting more stereotypically gay.
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#16838

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Posted May 5, 2012 @ 1:45 PM

The thing is you don't see those same mannerisms from Rachel and Will.


Rachel and Will aren't in love with Kurt. I think it's reasonable to imagine there was more emotion going through Blaine watching Kurt than the other two. Rachel alone, no matter how supportive she was had her own audition to worry about and as for Will, well I've never gotten the impression that Kurt was high on Will's totem pole of ND kids. I'm sure he likes him well enough but yeah, it's unlikely we were going to get any kind of giddy excitement from him watching Kurt audition. A simple and calm joy for Kurt...sure, but that's about it. Blaine was a completely different story.
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#16839

Jester85

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Posted May 5, 2012 @ 2:21 PM

I don't think anyone besides Finchel is high on Will's totem pole of ND kids.

I can't help but question how he can sit there and watch Kurt sing so many times and NEVER give him a competition solo, or ANY significant role at all at competition.
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#16840

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Posted May 5, 2012 @ 2:37 PM

Well, Blaine's been in two competitions with ND and has already gotten more to sing than people like Kurt and Tina (and Puck too I think) who've been there since the beginning.

Not that I think who sings in competition really reflects what Will thinks about anyone.
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#16841

Jester85

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Posted May 5, 2012 @ 4:00 PM

Well Will was pretty delighted to get Blaine in ND. But that probably had a lot to do with A) his grand purple piano project to attract new members not attracting anyone except the talentless Sugar, and B) he's already seen Blaine perform, so he knows he's a great addition to ND with leading man and competition experience.
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#16842

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Posted May 5, 2012 @ 4:36 PM

Yeah the Warblers were reasonably tough competition for them last year, tying with them once. I'd imagine Will would be happy about getting their lead. I try not to think too much about who gets what at competitions, especially since Sam singing before Kurt proved once and for all to me that it doesn't matter how long someone has been in the club, if they're gonna sing they're gonna sing. I'm honestly shocked Rory hasn't passed Kurt up yet. And it's not even about vocal talent, remember Brittany singing at Nationals last year? Yeah, Kurt still wasn't singing then.

If I were Will I'd use Blaine in group numbers and maybe find a way to showcase his dancing with Brittany and Mike, those three being the strongest dancers.
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#16843

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Posted May 5, 2012 @ 7:54 PM

The next logical step would be for him to launch into a dissertation about bowties and how wearing the right one incorrectly can doom your whole day; plus, his tips on how to keep them fresh all day and create an "all new look". ;-)


Blaine does have some reversible bowties. ;)

One thing which bothered me a little was how stereotypically mannered some of Blaine's gestures were, while he was reacting approvingly to Kurt's performance. We already know he's gay; no need for him to drive the point home by behaving as if he's in a film comedy from the 30s or 40s.


I honestly don't see it that way. I really think that was just Blaine's natural flailing coming out and his attempts to contain his urge to cheer. Also, Tumblr picked up on this bit of common mannerisms with Kurt.

Edited by StaceyinMA, May 5, 2012 @ 7:55 PM.

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#16844

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 3:33 AM

Will has shown there really is no rhyme or reason as far as who he picks for solos/leads at competitions.
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#16845

MGaboriau

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 6:31 PM

I don't know how much of his slightly effeminate mannerisms are acting, because honestly at times I think he's more effeminate IRL than he is on Glee.

If an actor lets his personal mannerisms intrude on his portrayal of a character, I would judge that to be a fail (unless such mannerisms are a very good fit). As a counter-example, I don't recall DC being as mannered or as mincing on Eastwick as he sometimes is on Glee, especially in the scene I referred to earlier.

I would think that DC and the director(s) may have come up with those little touches to accentuate Blaine's vulnerability or emotional fragility, by having him display behaviour that is usually characterized as more stereotypically feminine (and are thus also linked to depictions of gay men). It would also be part of the process of his Juniorification, with as a result his now less advanced status as compared to the others, at least in grade and maybe even in age. An acting device to have him come across as less mature than the Seniors, including Kurt.

Edited by MGaboriau, May 6, 2012 @ 6:40 PM.

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#16846

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 7:03 PM

One thing which bothered me a little was how stereotypically mannered some of Blaine's gestures were, while he was reacting approvingly to Kurt's performance. We already know he's gay; no need for him to drive the point home by behaving as if he's in a film comedy from the 30s or 40s.

I honestly didn't pick up on them MGaboriau but then it is entirely possible (nay, a certainty) that you are better versed in such depictions in 1930s or 1940s film.

There was something that I did not like about his reactions to Kurt's rehearsal of the Phantom number, however (apart from the "oh god no, no more candles" part!). I think it was more to do with the critical thinking/constructive criticism part. We get it: Blaine loves Kurt and worships the ground he walks on. But Kurt's acting of that number was baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad and I would have liked Blaine to at least be a little more conflicted in responding to Kurt's questions? Cos it just made him look at bit like a goldfish as it was.

But yeah, maybe it's just part of the "let's drum it in that he's young" vibe.
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#16847

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 9:12 PM

We get it: Blaine loves Kurt and worships the ground he walks on. But Kurt's acting of that number was baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad and I would have liked Blaine to at least be a little more conflicted in responding to Kurt's questions? Cos it just made him look at bit like a goldfish as it was.

That is why one can't take serious how Glee can make a character swing from savvy to clueless one episode to the next. (Ie Rachel doesn't know "Cats" closed a decade earlier, but Quinn does). The Blaine who was the lone voice who could see the ridiculousness of the dramatic "pointing" by Cooper was MIA with Kurt's overacting the Phantom scene.

Edited by delplata, May 6, 2012 @ 9:13 PM.

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#16848

Jester85

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 9:20 PM

There was something that I did not like about his reactions to Kurt's rehearsal of the Phantom number, however (apart from the "oh god no, no more candles" part!). I think it was more to do with the critical thinking/constructive criticism part. We get it: Blaine loves Kurt and worships the ground he walks on. But Kurt's acting of that number was baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad and I would have liked Blaine to at least be a little more conflicted in responding to Kurt's questions? Cos it just made him look at bit like a goldfish as it was.


I think that's a significant part of Blaine's character though. He's hardly an objective observer when it comes to Kurt. If there is one thing Darren Criss has down pat as an actor, it's staring at Chris Colfer with hearts in his eyes. I do think though that Kurt is capable of being critical of Blaine more than vice versa, so maybe that is an accentuation of Blaine being younger and perhaps less emotionally mature.


That is why one can't take serious how Glee can make a character swing from savvy to clueless one episode to the next. (Ie Rachel doesn't know "Cats" closed a decade earlier, but Quinn does). The Blaine who was the lone voice who could see the ridiculousness of the dramatic "pointing" by Cooper was MIA with Kurt's overacting the Phantom scene.


Someone as obsessed with Broadway as Rachel not knowing that Cats closed a decade earlier was indeed ridiculously out-of-character. As for Blaine seeing when Cooper is being ridiculous but not when Kurt is, that's a little more excusbable IMO (just playing devil's advocate). Recognizing faults in your narcissistic older brother who's picked on you your entire life, and recognizing them in your boyfriend who you're desperately head-over-heels in love with are two different situations.
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#16849

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 9:24 PM

I don't really get the complaints about Blaine in that brief scene. Kurt's singing was fine and yes maybe his acting was not the greatest but Blaine really didn't have a chance to voice any major complaints because Kurt was already doing it all on his own. Before Blaine was done applauding, Kurt was already nitpicking every single thing about the performance and I actually thought Blaine's advice to him that he was over-thinking things was fairly good advice. Yes Kurt's instincts ultimately steered him right but in general, not over-thinking something is good advice.

The story really wasn't about Blaine. Yes it would have been nice to see them as a couple break down the performance and work on a new idea and all together but with this show, that wasn't going to happen. I feel like Blaine was basically to Kurt in that episode what Finn was to Rachel...there as a support and an anchor. This was Kurt's journey to follow his gut, believe in his instincts and triumph. The story didn't call for Blaine to do that for him and I for one see nothing wrong with that. This almost feels a little like nitpicking imo.
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#16850

Jester85

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 9:33 PM

I didn't have a problem with it either. It was a Kurt-centric story, not a Klaine-centric one, and that's how it rightfully should have been, IMO. NYADA is Kurt's journey and arc, not Blaine's, not Klaine's.
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#16851

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 9:34 PM

I guess, upon further reflection, that my "complaint" is also borne in part that Blaine's reactions in this scene remind me of his reactions at the beginning of the Whitney episode when he was just kinda nodding at Kurt without engaging, something I took to be a symptom of the distance that had come between them and Blaine being distant because of his fears about Kurt leaving for NYADA the next year.

Now I'm not going to complain about something that apparently indicates continuity (gasp!), but I guess the part of me that now actually cares about Blaine (as opposed to just being happy to have Darren Criss on-screen - I'm a fan and I can admit it) felt a little bit sad about what that might mean.

I really should use my brain for more productive things...
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#16852

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 9:42 PM

I guess, upon further reflection, that my "complaint" is also borne in part that Blaine's reactions in this scene remind me of his reactions at the beginning of the Whitney episode when he was just kinda nodding at Kurt without engaging, something I took to be a symptom of the distance that had come between them and Blaine being distant because of his fears about Kurt leaving for NYADA the next year.

Now I'm not going to complain about something that apparently indicates continuity (gasp!), but I guess the part of me that now actually cares about Blaine (as opposed to just being happy to have Darren Criss on-screen - I'm a fan and I can admit it) felt a little bit sad about what that might mean.

I really should use my brain for more productive things...


See, I thought he was engaging. He was there, he was listening to Kurt's issues, he probably helped him set up the candles. ;) When he was distancing himself, he was making excuses to avoid spending time with Kurt, but in this case he was there every step of the way. Remember when Rachel approached Kurt about his song choice? She only found out that he wanted to change his song from Blaine, so it seemed like Kurt and Blaine were communicating pretty well. I'll go so far as to say that Blaine may have been the only person Kurt talked to about it at that point, since if he told Finn (a good friend that he lives with), Rachel probably would have heard it from Finn before Blaine and he obviously didn't tell Rachel directly. Those two seem like other very likely candidates in general.
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#16853

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 10:26 PM

[snip]

Remember when Rachel approached Kurt about his song choice? She only found out that he wanted to change his song from Blaine, so it seemed like Kurt and Blaine were communicating pretty well.

I had forgotten that detail. I haven't been able to re-watch the episode - did we get any indication Blaine tried to talk Kurt out of it? I didn't think he had but then someone I was talking to seemed to think so. I thought it was only Rachel?

Edited by TWoP Howard, May 6, 2012 @ 10:30 PM.
Quoted post was deleted

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#16854

lleykian54

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 10:34 PM

I guess, upon further reflection, that my "complaint" is also borne in part that Blaine's reactions in this scene remind me of his reactions at the beginning of the Whitney episode when he was just kinda nodding at Kurt without engaging, something I took to be a symptom of the distance that had come between them and Blaine being distant because of his fears about Kurt leaving for NYADA the next year.


In the DWS episode, Blaine seemed distant and dismissive while Kurt was discussing what Whitney song he'd want to sing and quickly declined going with him to the record store and looked like he couldn't wait to get away from Kurt in that moment.

While Kurt was singing MOTN, Blaine had a broad smile on his face, his eyes were all shiny and his face was practically glowing and the second Kurt was done, he was out of his seat applauding and telling him he sounded amazing. Yeah, completely different reactions.

eta: No, they never showed Blaine trying to talk Kurt out of performing NTBND. The only thing Blaine seemed adamant against was Kurt's suggestion that he do his audition in the nude (lol) and his having any more candles on stage.

Edited by lleykian54, May 6, 2012 @ 11:04 PM.

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#16855

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 10:56 PM

The only thing Blaine seemed adamant against was Kurt's suggesting of auditioning in the nude


This calls for a fan fiction.
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#16856

lleykian54

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 11:04 PM

Ha, I'd be shocked if there's not already a batch of new ones about it. Hell, they were probably written an hour after the episode aired.
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#16857

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 7:33 AM

I do think though that Kurt is capable of being critical of Blaine more than vice versa, so maybe that is an accentuation of Blaine being younger and perhaps less emotionally mature.

Yes, it is probably part of the strategy I mentioned to further drive home the point of Blaine's Junior status, an approach which includes his feminine mannerisms. Blaine is more than ever subversient to Kurt, not only narratively but also emotionally.

Granted, the audition rehearsal was not a Klaine plotline and having a back-and-forth discussion might have interfered with the flow; but then, what was the point of having Blaine there? He might as well have said nothing instead of uttering his useless "Fantastic! I loved it!". He may be in a support and anchor role just as Finn is for Rachel but contrary to Frankenteen, Blaine has been shown as being able to actually make use of his little gray cells in the past. It seems they deserted him in this instance. As usual, the most substantive exchange between Kurt and Blaine on his audition song choice appears to have occurred off-screen, as reported by Rachel.
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#16858

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 8:31 AM

I saw Blaine's response to Kurt's Phantom number as wholly supportive, especially on the heels of "Dance with Somebody." Ultimately, Kurt's got to make his own choice about his audition and future, and I think Blaine might even know to keep out of it, other than to be supportive of his efforts. But I do agree that he's got heart eyes for anything Kurt does anyway. And the candles joke, I think, highlights that somewhere in there, he could have been critical if he'd wanted to; he's withholding. Reminds me of his reaction to Kurt's prom outfit, which flickers on his face for a moment. Blaine does speak up there, but only because Burt voices concerns first.

The Phantom number is the safe one--almost protective, just like the mask Kurt wears during it. I enjoyed seeing Kurt later bare himself, through costume and emotion, with "Not the Boy Next Door," and Blaine's reaction to that, which is so much more emotional in kind. Blaine's really overwhelmed by that performance, which was fun to see.

Edited by sothinky, May 7, 2012 @ 8:33 AM.

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#16859

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 1:59 PM

I enjoyed seeing Kurt later bare himself, through costume and emotion, with "Not the Boy Next Door," and Blaine's reaction to that, which is so much more emotional in kind. Blaine's really overwhelmed by that performance, which was fun to see.


Not the Boy Next Door was probably the first time Blaine really saw a classic, amazing Kurt performance. If you think about the solos Kurt has done that Blaine has seen verses the ones he did before Blaine was in the picture, it makes even more sense that NTBND would get this reaction from Blaine. Blaine has seen Kurt do his more subtle performances as a Warbler - and even Blackbird - while it obviously affected Blaine in a big way - didn't have any dancing and was very toned down. 4 Minutes, Le Jazz Hot, Born this Way, Bad Romance, etc were all done without Blaine there.
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#16860

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Posted May 9, 2012 @ 9:15 AM

I have a question about that reaction after the song and during Whoopi's speech. Do you think he was supposed to be crying? It almost looked to me like the actor was trying not to laugh.
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