Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Thoughts On The Past 2 Episodes of 'Glee'

The end of 'Glee' season 2 is upon us. What am I supposed to do all summer long??? I guess I will count the days until season 3 ; ). Here are my thoughts on 'Funeral' and the grand finale 'New York':

1. Funeral -

Jesse St. James “Killer of Dreams” – (I stole his title from Jesse was so hilarious in this episode – it was truly fantastic and made me remember why I loved his character in season 1. His purpose in this episode was to basically trash the Glee kids. First, he tears Finn apart (more on that later), next he suggests that Will hosts try-outs for the “star” role at Nationals that Jesse will help judge. He learned his judging skills from a reality tv show judging class - so naturally it was hilarious. Santana sounds perfect singing Amy Winehouse – her voice is perfect for it. She belts out “Back to Black” but according to Jesse she was “not emotional enough.” He was so bored with her performance that instead of taking notes he drew a cat. Kurt sings “Some People” but I was too distracted by those pants to tell if he was good or not (I am sure it was amazing). As Jesse points out - the song was meant to be sung by a woman and more specifically – Broadway legends “those are some big heels to fill.” Then we are treated to another spectacular Mercedes performance– probably one of her best ever. I love how Jesse tore her down - “You’re not a star – you’re just a girl who can sing” followed by “how long did you work on that choreography? Oh wait…there wasn’t any.” And then.... he called her lazy. I almost died. Now it is Rachel's turn - of course Jesse praises her performance (would he have if she admitted using Finn as her inspiration for her stunning version of “My Man”?). I am at a loss for words. Once the tears started building up in her eyes I was an emotional wreck. It just seriously blew me away. I think it might be her best performance on the show – at least it is a very close second to “Don’t Rain On My Parade”. The only thing that would have made it better is if Finn actually got to witness the performance.

Finn’s abilities – I admit Finn is not the best male singer in the Glee club (I’m pretty sure that title belongs to Artie). I enjoy that Glee is the type of show that is self-reflexive and brings up things that it is often criticized for. Having Jesse flat out tell him that he is not good enough to be the male lead was actually really hilarious and really well done – “the fact is that most of the other guys in here are better singers and Mike Change, who can’t even sing, can at least dance”. I remember being a little confused in the first few episodes of season 1 as to why they would cast someone who wasn’t strong vocally. But, then I quickly realized that Cory’s presence, charisma and acting skills definitely outweigh his singing ability. And the thing is – you can teach someone how to sing, charisma on the other hand is something that just comes naturally. Also, I think on a personal level I think it speaks very highly to Cory’s personality that he embraced the challenge of holding his own against mega-talents like Lea Michele every week. He has been widely criticized and I love that he is proving everyone wrong. The scene where Rachel asks Finn why he hasn’t signed up for the solo audition was really heartbreaking because it is really Cory that has been “busting his ass for two years to be a better singer and dancer”. And then when he said“I’m Lima good, I’m not New York City good” – I just melted. It think it is widely agreed that he has improved tremendously. For me it started at the end of last season with songs like “Jesse’s Girl” but really hit me with the “Faithfully” duet with Rachel. I wasn’t really that impressed (because I believed that hype that they are all auto-tuned) until I saw the live version they performed on tour (seen here: ). I’ve seen a lot of live artists who don’t sound anywhere near that good (I won’t name names…). In Season 2 he has been amazing – every song, every episode. All the haters can suck it.

The Death
– I heard the rumor that it was Sue’s sister that died, but I didn’t really believe it because the spoiler hint was that the death would effect the Glee club and I couldn’t really figure out how Jean would effect the club. They did a really great job relating the two stories because of course, Kurt and Finn would pay their respects to her – they have both lost a family member. I love Jane Lynch in this episode – she is so great at being emotionless and distant but still hilarious at the same time. She had some of the best lines of the episode like: “I had to throw some of them out…I’m allergic to pansies and I don’t mean that as a swipe at either of you”. (Sure Sue). Then she refers to Kurt and Finn as “Eddie Munster and Herman Munster”. OMG That was epic - but then she topped herself by calling Finn “Cottage Cheese”. I love that Finn and Kurt decide that the Glee club needs to help Sue even after she still makes fun of them and that they decided to sing “Pure Imagination” - it was really sweet. We also have to talk about the other death – the death of Finn & Quinn. I agree that it was a little rude to break up with someone at a funeral – seriously Finn, bad timing bro. But I knew as soon as Sue mentioned being “tethered” to someone and the camera panned to Finn that he was finally going to come to his senses. The break up scene was well done, but I thought Quinn was pretty emotionless and her shedding one small tear did not prove to me that she cared at all about what was happening. I did love the cryptic ending about her plans for NY.

Highlights – Overall Sue was a highlight. The scene with her, Howard (a.k.a "Panda Express") and Terri was a perfect scene with one funny line after the next. She tells them that she is "lactating with rage” and that they must keep the New Directions from getting to NY - "Panda...make it so". Oh and Figgen's e-mail - too perfect. Other highlights: Becky’s response to Will’s question “can you sing?” – “not really….but neither can most of the kids in Glee club”. The return of Rachel’s inner monologue – I have missed her and her gold star so much!! Sue's decision to run for the United States House of Representatives. Please, keep that going for next season. But the biggest Highlight – Finn with a stuffed cat. How adorable is he?

Lowlights – funeral tracksuit for Sue? I can’t think of anything else. The episode was solid and reminded me of a season 1 episode – it broke my heart, made me cry, left me speechless and made me laugh hysterically. To do that all in one hour is pretty damn impressive.

1. New York

The Big Apple – The episode felt very different than the rest of the series simply because it was the first episode to take place outside of Ohio! I was tempted to go watch the cast film while they were in the city, but I didn’t really feel like getting trampled by screaming girls (which is why I won’t go to the live show). I watched some fan videos on line and was super excited by the Glee kids running around in Times Square, Central Park etc. They seemed so out of place in such a big place, but I think the idea of “New York” sets up a nice backdrop for season 3. We get to see Rachel & Kurt feel an overwhelming sense of belonging that they don’t experience in Ohio. They shine together getting “breakfast at Tiffany’s” and sneaking into the "Wicked" stage and singing “For Good” – what a perfect and beautiful song for them to sing together. We know that Rachel & Kurt will do anything to get there – but who else will it inspire? I appreciate that Rachel’s hesitation to get back together with Finn was more about her realizing her dreams and less about Jesse. Maybe Finn will go with her (and help move heavy things…)?

The Questions – The episode left me feeling a little empty – sure, we finally got a satisfying resolution for “Finchel” but I feel like all of the other story lines were resolved rather quickly and vaguely. Here are my questions (lots of them...) 1. Where was Quinn’s sabotage? She gave Finn a cryptic message in the previous episode that was deliciously evil (plus she threatened to transfer in the prom episode)….but then she didn’t really live up to her own hype. Her big sabotage was to encourage the club to hang out in NY instead of write songs and take too long in the bathroom? And then she just bursts into tears and cries about how no one loves her? Come on Quinn – are you really that pathetic? I expected more. 2. Why would the Glee club wait until the week of Nationals to write their songs? Wouldn’t they need time to practice, choreograph etc? I know, I know ….suspend belief- it is a fantasy – but still, it is just slightly annoying. 3. Why did Will give up on his Broadway dreams? I totally get his attachment to the kids and not wanting to give up on them…but couldn’t he just do it for the summer? That wouldn’t effect the club (or the show) at all except for giving them hope (that they could perhaps sing on Broadway too). 4. If Brittany is single and Santana is single and they both love each other ---then why are they not together? 5. Why didn’t we get an awesome Vocal Adrenaline performance? Seriously, usually VA performances are my favorite (I love the New Directions…but they are simply just not as good), but this one sucked. Charice is extremely talented but I have had enough of her power ballads. Fast-forward please! We did get to see another club doing a version of Ushers “Yeah” but I actually thought it was a joke…was that supposed to be good? Because I laughed through its entirety. 6. What was the snow globe that Finn was obsessed with it? Did I miss the significance of it? He was holding it in the NYC hotel and then again in the Library. Someone help!

The Highlights – The episode was good, but I was expecting more....epicness. There were some awesome highlights: Brittany’s ‘My Cup’ song was genius (not good as ‘My Headband’). She was also super cute singing it. Rachels Rainbow Bright outfit was almost as good as her dress in the 'Blame it on the Alcohol' episode – it was completely ridiculous. Finn & Rachels perfect New York city date was super adorable – when did Finn become such a romantic? I loved every second of it – especially the boys serenading them. I laughed at’s description – “A painfully romantic tune sung by a group of decent-to-smokin' dudes with a beautiful city backdrop? Yes, yes, and yes”. Which one is the “decent” one? Ha.Ha. Kurt was in his element and he was perfection - can we get back to this Kurt, pretty please? The original songs were much better this time around. “Pretending” is really catchy and who can resist a Finn/Rachel duet? We really have been deprived this season (since “Damnit Janet” – has it really been that long?). “Light up the World” was also really fun and catchy, but I knew that they lost (it had nothing to do with that “kiss of the century”). Speaking of…the kiss was pretty epic – I loved the way it was shot and the silence of it was breathtaking. Really well done – Kudos. Other highlights: Quinn finally cut her god-awful hair! It has been so unflattering for months now – she looks super cute now. It is amazing what a haircut can do to one’s face. I loved Puck starting the group hug but my favorite moment was the “I love you’s” between Kurt & Blaine. Sooo freakin' adorable.

The Lowlights – The other songs – “I Love New York”/”New York, New York” mash up was not good at all (not really their fault – the Madonna song is awful, probably her worst. The lyrics are just cringeworthy). “Still Got Tonight” – I had to look up the song because I had never heard it before, only to find out it is a song from Matt Morrison’s new album. Holy self-promotion! This is completely unacceptable to me (the only way they can make it up to me is if they do a Bonnie Dune song in season 3…it’s only fair). Anyway, the song was boring. I almost fell asleep. I obvi didn’t enjoy Quinn’s emotional breakdown – it was completely unsatisfying. And new couple alert: Mercedes & Sam? Really? Does that mean he will stick around for next season? Ugh. The biggest disappointment was that I barely laughed at all!! Really only 2 things come to mind: Finn calling the kiss “the Superman of kisses – it came with it’s own cape” and one of the Glee clubs that placed was called “The Waffletoots”.

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