Thursday, October 1, 2009

Glee: Of Roads Not Taken, Bowling as Foreplay, and Epic Broadway Collaborations

It has come to my attention that a lot of the people who appreciate television romances also appreciate things like Broadway musicals and Taylor Swift songs. I'm not trying to speak for everyone, as I'm sure there are plenty of people who love them some TV but found themselves on Team Kanye, but it seems that enjoying plot expressed in lyrics and melody is something many fangirls have in common.

So you can imagine how unsurprising I find it that Glee has quickly become a show with a strong and active fandom.

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Yesterday's episode was quite good, even if it was the third straight episode centering around somebody quitting Glee.

"The Rhodes Not Taken" had good romantic development on all fronts, with Finn and Rachel sharing another kiss and Will and Emma having their first disagreement. It was the first episode in which I really felt engaged in the Finn/Rachel dynamic (has "Finchel" caught on yet?), as allllll that angst landed on them.

Finally, as always, the strongest part of the episode was undoubtedly the music. Not only did this episode dispense with the dream sequence numbers--all of these numbers were legitimately being performed--but they also, of course, featured the megatalented Emmy-winning actress, Kristin Chenoweth, for whom, incidentally, my sister claims she would go gay.

Her numbers, particularly the duet with Rachel, "Maybe This Time," were pitch-perfect, ranging from the forlorn "Alone" to Carrie Underwood's bouncy "Last Name." All of them were thoroughly delightful.

What was perhaps most poignant about her guest appearance was how it led to the absolutely show-stopping final number, "Somebody to Love." With Rachel back in Glee, the club performed their first song as a group since the newbies joined up. It was nothing short of incredible, with just about everyone rocking a solo. Of course, the song belonged to Finn and Rachel, who showed their onstage chemistry with not only some pretty outstanding vocals, but choreography that was oh-so-reminiscent of their first outing in "Don't Stop Believing."

Lastly, if you had told me a year ago, as I baked a cake while listening to the Spring Awakening, Hairspray, and You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown cast recordings, that I would one day watch Lea Michele, Matthew Morrison, and Kristin Effing Chenoweth do such a pitch-perfect project together--and one that would set Trending Topics afire, no less!--I would have slapped you in the face. And not just because a year ago I had no idea what Twitter was.

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