Wetpaint Exclusive! Tabloid Terror and a “Painful Breakup” in Glee’s “Rumours”
The “Rumours” are true: Glee is going to attack Fleetwood Mac (musically, that is), and Wetpaint’s got more than just whispers and innuendo about exactly who’s spreading what gossip around McKinley High.
First, let’s break down the high-concept hook: The episode’s title derives from the legendary, Grammy-winning 1977 album “Rumours,” an enduring best-seller that’s sold more than 40 million copies worldwide since its release. The album was recorded during a period of major tension within the group, one characterized by in-fighting, bickering, romantic partner-swapping and loads of excess.
Sounding a lot like Glee already, right?
And, just like New Directions, Fleetwood Mac made some truly magical music often when the interpersonal drama was at its craziest: the track list for “Rumours” includes a slew of classics like “Never Going Back Again,” “Songbird,” “I Don’t Want to Know,” “Go Your Own Way” and “Don’t Stop” — every one of which is reinterpreted in the new episode by one or more members of the glee club.
Glee creator Ryan Murphy says his team was itching to tackle a bulletproof collection of songs from one indelible disc. “We’ve always wanted to do an episode that’s a tribute to not just a musical act, but an album,” says Murphy. “And one of the albums that all of us love is 'Rumours' by Fleetwood Mac. So the miracle of miracles is that we actually can get Stevie Nicks on the phone. We get Lindsay Buckingham on the phone, who has kids and said ‘I’d love that.’ So, 12 hours later, we got the rights to ‘Rumours.’”
What better album to provide songs for an episode featuring the fracturing effects of a nasty wave of gossip that threatens to undo the glee club's harmonies before Nationals? McKinley’s aptly named newspaper The Muckraker becomes the catalyst for Sue and Terri’s tabloid-style assault on Will and his students. Among the mud being flung:
— Someone’s rumored to be playing for “the other team.”
— Someone’s suspected of having hush-hush, after-hours check-ins at the local motel, but are they meeting up with a guy or a girl — or one of each?
— Someone — or maybe two someones — might be leaving McKinley. For good.
We’ll never tell which of these is true — but at least one of them is!
But wait, there’s more! April Rhodes (and Kristin Chenoweth’s uh-MAZE-ing pipes) make a comeback, fresh from the failure of her all-white production of The Wiz, and her latest musical venture brings its own kind of discord to New Directions. Yes, she gets her Stevie Nicks on, but she sings TWO original songs as well. One is deliriously autobiographical — “It’s 10 a.m. and I’m Drunk,” from the inimitable pen of Ian “Hell to the No” Brennan — and the other is… a duet.
And you’ve probably gotten an early peek at one glee clubber’s new online chat show, which mixes two of her favorite things: “hot cheese and talking to people.” But our favorite thing is the de facto co-host who — at least on the air — goes by the name of Lord Tubbington.
Now let’s mix our teasing with some rumors of our own:
— Have you been hoping for David Bowie to make a Glee appearance? Your wish is granted… kinda sorta.
— Can grapes be consumed without individual scrubbing?
— Does someone wear boxers or briefs… or maybe a more unconventional option?
— And will a Glee couple suddenly face a painful breakup? OK, we’ll throw you a bone: That ain’t no rumor.