SPOILER ALERTS

 I’ll tell you what. These last two discs of Glee that I’ve watched have been pretty fantastic. The quality has been consistently great which is really not the norm for Glee. The show is finally realizing the potential for story lines and character development for characters like Artie, Tina, Kurt, and Mercedes, and that the show doesn’t always have to focus on Rachel, Will, and Finn. That isn’t to say that the show starts to ignore them, but it is finally giving everyone else a chance to shine. Two out of the three episodes that I watched featured Kurt in a fairly significant role. So, yeah the season is coming to a close, but it’s reaching that end in a pretty spectacular fashion and not limping to the finish line.

We are so close to regionals now, and you can taste it in the very air. Glee is bringing its “A” game in a way that lets you know all of the chips are finally on the table. Some major story lines that are examined in this particular stretch include Rachel finding out that her mother is actually the coach of Vocal Adrenaline (Idina Menzel). Lea Michele and Idina Menzel resemble each other so much and have such similar vocal styles that I honestly can’t think of a better actress to cast as her mother for this show. We also discover that helping Rachel find this out is the reason that Jessie St. James joined Vocal Adrenaline and started dating Rachel. Kurt’s dad and Finn’s mom move in together and this causes tension between Kurt and Finn because Kurt is in love with Finn. Neil Patrick Harris also joins the cast for one episode as a former Glee stud who found out that life after show choir isn’t as glamorous as he dreamed and now wants to crush the dreams of the kids before they’re hurt worse later on.

The first episode, “Laryngitis”, has Will tasking the kids with singing a song that really expresses who they think they are. However, Kurt is in the midst of an identity crisis because his father is growing much closer with Finn than he ever has with him. Kurt tries to act more masculine and straight to please his father, and it’s a heart-breaking portrayal of a kid trying so hard to make others happy at the sake of his own happiness. Joss Whedon directed the second one, “Dream On”. I’m a huge Joss Whedon fan and this is probably the best episode of the whole show. It’s absolutely heart-breaking and tragic. Artie’s fantasy sequence to “Safety Dance” is just devestating. “Theatricality” covers the songs of Lady Gaga and Kiss and also reminds me of why Burt Hummel is the best father on TV right now (not the funniest though. That’s Phil Dunphy on Modern Family). I really hope he wins some GLAAD awards for his performance.

The musical selections in this stretch of episodes is A+ work. I clearly remember my best friend Sally purring like a cat in heat when Will and Neil Patrick Harris performed a duet of Aerosmith’s “Dream On”. If you watch How I Met Your Mother or the Harold and Kumar movies, you know how much of a comedic talent NPH is. However, he is also a fantastic singer. Finn does a pretty good job with Rick Springfield’s “Jesse’s Girl”. I’ve come to the conclusion that he can sing rock a lot better than he can sing show tunes. Idina Menzel brings the house down with a rendition of Barbara Streisand’s “Funny Girl.” I used to talk as much crap about Lady Gaga as the next guy, but she’s really grown on me. She has an unparalleled ability (compared to other modern pop artists) to make well composed and undeniably catchy pop music. I love the girl’s version of “Bad Romance” on this show almost as much as I do the original version. Rachel and Idina Menzel do a chill-inducing duet of Les Miserables “I Dreamed a Dream”. Kurt also gives my favorite performance of his, “Rose’s Turn” from Gypsy.

Now that my dad and I finished watching Breaking Bad, I’ll be able to devote the proper amount of time to finishing the first season of Glee (there’s only two episodes left), and then also reviewing what’s aired so far for the second season. Glee isn’t Lost or The Wire or Arrested Development, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t fun and entertaining. It also includes a powerful pro-gay liberties message that is sadly missing from so much of modern television. The second season even puts this message front and center. Glee might not be for everybody, but for me, it’s a fun way to escape back into my days as a performer and get to listen to incredibly talented young performers bringing all of their showmanship to bear.

Score in Progress: A-

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