I love Glee. I do. I can’t believe how much I love Glee. When they first started promoting it I thought it was going to be another nihilistic sardonic comedy. And there is some of that – case in point, Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch (aka Reid’s mom on Criminal Minds) is an evil miracle). And the pot-laced bake sale awhile back. Puck (Mark Salling), for the most part. And so on. But. I never dreamed (heh) they would even attempt to make it something from the heart, something … earnest. Even Sue Sylvester has some beautiful moments – what other show in the universe would give her a sister with Down Syndrome? The pot at the bake sale was to give the buyers the munchies so they’d buy more, so that the club would be able to get the bus that meant Artie and his wheelchair would be able to go to Sectionals. And Puck … Come on. “The Lady Is a Tramp”? Fabulous.
And, seriously, there is no more earnest character on television right now than Will Schuester. He’s not played for laughs. “Don’t lose track of who you are just because it might be easier to be somebody else.” He’s a character who honestly cares – you don’t see that all that much on tv, and especially not on anything on Fox that is in any way a comedy. Tonight’s episode was a shining example: he gave up Jean Valjean for the kids. Jean Valjean. (OK, so he doesn’t have the role. You teased me with “Impossible Dream” – just give me “Bring Him Home” sung by Matthew Morrison and I’ll be the biggest Gleek ever. I’m talking tattoos.)
I never know how an episode will hit me. I laugh out loud more often watching Glee than just about anything since I rediscovered Jeff Dunham. (“I’m pretty sure my cat’s been reading my diary” – God bless Heather Morris, she’s brilliant. Or as daffy as Brittany, but more likely brilliant.) (And she tried out for So You Think You Can Dance in 2006 – before my time; now I really really want dvd’s.) And then five minutes later I’ll be shamelessly weeping: the group sings “Keep Holding On” to Finn and Quinn. “Imagine” with the deaf school. Tonight they went for heartstrings and laughs both when Neil Patrick Harris made the group write down their biggest dream. Rachel, of course, wrote across the page “HUGE STAR”. Quinn’s biggest wish is “no stretchmarks”. Puck? “3some”. Artie’s, Tina discovers, was the heart-breaker: “dancer”. Ow.
Laugh (delighted): directed by Joss Whedon. Heartache: Tina is reduced to tears by Bryan Ryan’s rampage. Joy – I got the dream-sequence I was hoping for, along with the Artie-centric storyline I’ve been hoping for for awhile. And “Piano Man”. (NPH has pipes!) (Why isn’t that on iTunes?) Heartbreak: I will never, never be able to sit through “I Dreamed a Dream” without weeping like an idiot. Pang: Jessie is still playing Rachel (Lea Michele). Deeper pang: her mother is who? More joy: “Dream a Little Dream”. Sung by Artie (Kevin McHale), who may well be my favorite. And as he sings and tries not to watch Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) dance (beautifully) with someone else, Quinn (Dianna Agron) reaches out and touches his shoulder. Wow.
Kurt (Chris Colfer) had little air time tonight, but he’s magnificent. He CAN literally do things no one else can. My favorite line of last week (besides “Does he mean, like, a burglar alarm?” – God bless Brittany) was “I have exactly the same vocal range as 16th century castrato Orlando Di Lasso. But do you know what he didn’t have? A song by Miss Whitney Houston in his back pocket.” Oh, Kurt. (And what’s even better is that that’s almost a complete throwaway – how many people watching got that? If I hadn’t already been in love with the show that would have done it.) (That and the butchering of that horrible mountain song of the horrible Miley Cyrus. That made me gleef happy.) “Pink Houses” will never be the same. Oh, Kurt … The relationship between him and his father is really, really lovely.
So is the fact that his father is dating Finn’s mother. Finn (Cory Monteith) … as dumb as Brittany, with all the heart of Schue; poor Finn. He’s had a rough year. And I can’t not mention Mercedes (aka “black girl from Glee Club whose name I can’t remember right now”) (Amber Riley), who is her ownself fabulous. Stereotypes? Almost – and then they all of them pole vault right over the expected and land in brand new territory.
It shouldn’t work. It really shouldn’t. It’s highly improbable that a tv show of the 21st century – on Fox! – should be this heartfelt. It can be sweet – honest to God sweet – and is always funny – genuinely funny … Last week, “Laryngitis”, should have been just manipulative – Finn’s C4 friend Sean should have just made me mad, not made me sniffle. It’s remarkable. From writing to score (do do do do dooo) to acting to casting to guest casting (Kristin Chenoweth!) (Olivia Newton-John?! And never did I expect I would mention her twice on my blog) – it’s all good. All very good. I still keep expecting something to completely deflate the whole thing. But that’s because I’ve been burned before. I don’t really think it’ll happen this time. Glee is a joy – and I hope they keep these kids in high school for longer than should be logical. It will be a sad day when Glee sings its last note.