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GLEE Just Makes Me Happy

October 1, 2009 by  

Being the Editor of isn’t my full time job. It’s a side hobby. A passion project. It came to be as a result of my love for television and the thrill I felt when I was able to discuss, analyze and celebrate my favorite shows with others who loved TV just as much as I did. The very nature of the blog requires that I spend a lot of time watching TV. Some of it’s ok. Some shows are really well done. And I think we all know that some of what makes it on to our TV sets is just plain ridiculous. But it’s not often that I find a show that I deem as special. To me, GLEE is special. It’s the most refreshing show on TV.

I’m the first one to admit that GLEE is not for everyone. But it’s so right for me. As an ex-Gleeker myself, I identify with the pure joy that these characters find in music and by being part of the Glee Club. I was lucky enough to go to a University where the Glee Club was not only really good, but also socially accepted (whatever that means), but still there was something special about being part of the group. I really loved it, and while I was never the star, Glee Club was an incredibly important part of my life all throughout college.

All this to say, that yes – I am the target demo for GLEE. I love the musical numbers (although I still contend the show would be better if the performances weren’t so overproduced). The humor of Ryan Murphy and the GLEE writing staff is sly, witty, with just enough crass to make me happy. While some of the characters are still finding their voice (pun intended of course), some like Rachel, Sue, Emma and Kurt are already delicious little dishes of goodness. The humor is broad which makes the smaller, more tender moments that much sweeter. And the hidden gems – those details you don’t sometimes pick up on until your second or third viewing – feel like the prize at the bottom of the cereal box.

I’m in. They put it on Craigslist and I bought it.

If by now you haven’t realized that I really loved tonight’s episode of GLEE then I think you should probably stop reading and go walk it off. Because yes, I enjoyed tonight’s episode of GLEE so much that I couldn’t wait to grab my computer and come here to share my enthusiasm with all of you. And not to be glib, but after a few years of writing a TV blog, well let’s just say that not every show brings out this level of excitement for me.

Where to begin? Pink balls? The 11 year old milkmaid? Ok, how about The Cheno!

Broadway star and Emmy award winner, Kristin Chenoweth, owned this episode of GLEE. Her quirky comedy and powerful voice was a fantastic match for the show. As April Rhodes, a former McKinley High Glee Club great-turned blousy alcoholic (just they way Josh Groban likes ’em), Chenoweth brought an amazing amount of energy and charisma to the show. Her comedic timing fit in so well with the tone of the show that I’m just waiting for that press release from Fox letting us know when she’ll be back. Fingers crossed.

Mr. Schu recruited April as a replacement for Rachel who quit the GLEE to be the lead in the school’s production of ‘Cabaret’. The Gleekers are skeptical of why a woman of April’s, um, experience, would be interested in coming back to her high school glee club. When Will encourages April to bond with the others in the group she quickly becomes a hit. In the process the gleekers become drunks and thieves, but at least they love April. Well not everyone. Emma isn’t such a fan.

Jayma Mays really got a chance to shine this week as Emma had a role in a little bit of all the drama that was happening. Initially Em was a wee bit jealous of Will’s high school crush coming back into his life, but when she realized what a bad influence April was on the kids (and Will), she made her displeasure known. And her ill feelings towards April had nothing to do with her not so ill feelings for Will.

When Emma wasn’t keeping an eye on April, she was encouraging Finn to consider pursuing a music scholarship. But just as the football team can’t win without Kurt and Beyonce, the Glee Club can’t make it far without Rachel. Finn set in motion a plan to bring Rachel back to the group. Unfortunately that plan included Finn taking advantage of Rachel’s feelings for him. Finn paid special attention to Rachel and manipulated her by using her own insecurities against her. He even went as far as taking her on a date and reciprocating her kiss. But when Rachel later found out that Quinn was pregnant with Finn’s baby she vowed never to return to Glee.

John Scott, the director of this episode, did a fantastic job at keeping Finn somewhat sympathetic despite his deplorable behavior. What he did was wrong, but we the audience knew that his intent, while misguided, was somewhat honorable. But while Finn was consciously trying to deceive Rachel there was an undercurrent of self doubt. There’s certainly something there between the two of them. With Quinn being pregnant, Finn can’t allow himself to explore what those feelings might be. He needs to focus on being a good father. But there’s something there and they both know it.

At McKinley High there’s only room for one star, and with April Rhodes back on the stage, Rachel is left in the wings. But when April’s drunken ways keep her from performing when it really matters, Rachel is there to step in and be there for her friends in Glee.

As for tonight’s musical numbers, there were many. You may be shocked to hear this, but the duet between Kristin and Lea was probably my least favorite. I was told that they would be singing together so I had something a little different built up in my mind. Maybe that’s my fault.

Kristin’s take on Carrie Underwood’s “Last Name” was fierce. I’m devastated that the song isn’t going to be on the forthcoming GLEE soundtrack. Here’s to hoping it at least ends up on iTunes. Please!

What will be on the soundtrack is the Matthew Morrison & Kristin Chenoweth duet on “Alone” by Heart. Reason enough to buy the CD. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone back and watched that scene. The actors looked like they were having a blast, and they sounded so amazing together. Two Broadway stars up on stage doing a little karaoke – and I get to enjoy it from the comfort of my living room.

(Sorry, this is just the audio, but if you want to listen over and over again I wanted to make it easier for you.)

Tonight’s show stopper (literally), was Glee’s performance of “Somebody to Love” by Queen. When I tell you I’ve been listening to this song non-stop all week, I’m not lying. Actually,  I’m not sure if I’ve listened to much else this past week. We only got a small piece of the song in tonight’s episode, but the full version is incredible. Go buy it on iTunes now.  It was so incredible that I was a wee bit disappointed that only a small section was performed in the episode. All week I’ve been trying to decipher the various solos throughout the song. I thought tonight I’d finally be able to figure out who is singing which section. Ugh! Looks like I’m going to have to hit up the cast of Glee of Twitter to see if they can help a sista out!

So much to love. I might go back and watch the entire episode one more time.

A few notable quotables and favorite moments before I open up the comments to all of YOU! This episode was so quotable that it was hard to choose my favorites. Please feel free to add your own.

  • April: “If you can master this, you can sneak anything out of a store between your knees. Shoes, prom dresses. I once almost got a cake out of a kid’s birthday party….with the candles still lit.”
  • Finn:”Do you know what we should do?”
    Rachel: “Elope?”
    Finn: “What?”
    Rachel: “Nothing.”
  • Emma: “I had them give me four decontamination showers.  I think they call that the the full Silkwood.”
  • Emma: “Kurt was drunk and he ralphed on me. Not really fessing up to how he got the booze just get, but I’m pretty sure it’s not a fake ID because he looks like an 11 year old milkmaid.”
  • Drunk Kurt was hilarious! How they got the cherubic Chris Colfer to look like a dirty, old drunk (who looked a little bit like Jimmy Kimmel if I’m being honest) is beyond me.  Drunk Kurt might need to be my new desktop wallpaper.
  • Finn: “Ball sharing is all part of the fun.”
  • Emma: “A few years ago, I started an online flirtation with a high school friend, Andy. Things got weird and I called it off. And two months later, Versace was dead.”
  • Sue:”You know, when Sandy wanted to write himself into a scene as Queen Cleopatra, I was aroused, then furious.”
  • And one of my favorite moments of the whole episode (and don’t ask me why but it caught me off guard and I couldn’t stop laughing)….
    April: “Me, me, me, me, me
    Finn: Y”ou, you, you, you, you”

Well, that was certainly a long winded blather, but hey, I’m in a gleeful mood (sorry, couldn’t help it…ok I could have but I didn’t want to.)

Filed under #1 featured, Glee, TV News


22 Responses to “GLEE Just Makes Me Happy”

  1. Sara on October 1st, 2009 12:24 am

    Just reading your gleeful review of Glee made me happy. I completely agree that the show leaves me happier as does the music when I listen to it. The show really truly is something special and I hope enough people realize it to keep it around for a while.

    I don’t know if I consider myself part of the target demographic to be honest. In junior high, I was in “Mini Express” for a year. The younger version of the high school’s show choir. Loved the free tee, hated the experience. In high school, I made fun of my friends that were in showchoir, we didn’t have a glee club. Never really had a big connection to music. I’d rather toss in a movie or tv season to take my mind off something. But somehow, this show changes all of that. Does it make me feel like I missed out on something in high school by not being a part of it? No. Not at all. I do find myself listening to my ipod more lately though.

    I feel awful for Finn. I know he was being rather selfish to get the scholarship tonight but to have to try to ignore and put off feelings for someone because you think your girlfriend is pregnant with your baby has to be a lot to handle. At this point, I still can’t tell what Quinn wants. She had the excuse for sleeping with Puck but would she want to raise their baby with him? But could she face Finn and raise a baby with him when they both know that it’s not his? I’m curious to see what will happen when he finds that out.

    Last thing, I promise. This ep lacked Jane Lynch whom I love, but to be honest, I didn’t miss her at all. Same with Terri, who is becoming harder and harder to even remotely like. Jayma really stepped it up and had some great Emma stuff. This was the first thing I’ve ever seen Cheno in (other than on a talk show) and she was great. And lucky for Rachel, about the same size to share wardrobe for the final number. 😉

  2. Kelly on October 1st, 2009 12:31 am

    Tonight’s ep made me just plain happy! Kristin Chenowith is B.R.I.L.L.I.A.N.T. and brought so much energy to the show. It’s incredible how she can play a character that is so clearly nothing like her and just completely own it.

    I think part of the reason I dug this ep so much is it featured less of the crazy Teri. I’m still waiting on the resolution of the baby angle for both Teri/Will and Quinn/Finn/Puck just so those storylines will be over. And hopefully the back and forth of Rachel leaving then rejoining the glee club ad nauseum is over as well.

    One of my fave moments was right after Rachel kissed Finn. The look on Cory Monteith’s face really made that scene. Finn’s manipulative actions were so horrible but you just felt for him so much because he clearly feels so desperate and scared that he’ll never make anything of himself and be stuck in his rinky dink town forever, not being able to take care of what he thinks is his baby. Now I just REALLY need him to find out that the baby isn’t his!

    And the music in tonight’s ep: simply divine! Ater last week, when there weren’t many big musical numbers, tonight was packed with awesomeness. I don’t think I could pick a favorite between Will and April’s “Alone” or “Somebody to Love,” although I thought “Last Name” was really well done as well. Didn’t love the Cabaret song quite as much, but I’m okay with that because everything else was so awesome.

    Fave line of the night: Emma saying Kurt looked like “an 11-year-old milkmaid,” mainly because it’s so true! 🙂

  3. Kerry on October 1st, 2009 1:52 am

    Kath, all three Cheno songs have been available since Monday night on iTunes, so even if they aren’t on the soundtrack, you can download them there.

    Everyone has already covered so many of the great moments and lines, so I’ll just say I loved the episode, and really hope they bring Kristin Chenoweth’s character back later in the season.

  4. sorano916 on October 1st, 2009 1:57 am

    Oh, my favorite line was Kurt calling Emma “Bambi” and saying how how he cried when his/her mother died. Heh…

    Now, is there a particular reason why you didn’t like Cheno’s/Lea’s “duet”?

    I have to say the lip-syncing was bothering me a little. Especially “Don’t stop believing” and “Alone.”

  5. mg714 on October 1st, 2009 2:27 am

    Loved, loved, loved this episode and absolutely adore this show! I look forward to watching it every week and listening to all the musical performances. I wasn’t in glee club but was in choir in high school so I do feel a “kinship” with the kids on the show.

    I only got Emma’s line about her high school friend, Andy, when I read Kath’s review! OMG – Only Ryan Murphy would think of that, which is why this show is so unique!

  6. tw111 on October 1st, 2009 3:56 am

    Another great episode of Glee, another set of great music! And Kristen C is my favorite….. please find her another show, quickly!
    The only thing I don’t like about Glee now is the heinous Terri storyline…. It’s not that I hate Jessalyn G, but her character is one of the least likeable I can remember ever. She just bites, every time in every scene, I want to throw up a’ la Quinn.
    This episode made me remember why I love Alone so much, but the Glee duet version was better than the original!

  7. GMMR on October 1st, 2009 6:47 am

    @sorano916: I didn’t say that I didn’t like the Lea & Kristin’s duet, it’s just that it was my least favorite of all the musical numbers. Clearly hearing the voices of those two women singing together is incredible, but I didn’t think it was the best song for them. I’ll still be downloading it, don’t get me wrong 🙂

  8. sorano916 on October 1st, 2009 9:14 am

    Ah. Gotcha. Now, let me get this straight, all the songs performed on the show have been/will be put on iTunes but only a selected few will be on the CD. Is there a listing of the CD somewhere? I’m debating on which to buy…

  9. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect on October 1st, 2009 9:43 am

    I really missed Sue and Curt in this episode, but other than that, I LOVED IT! I actually think I loved it more than last week’s ep!!

  10. Kimber on October 1st, 2009 9:57 am

    Aww, your love of Glee makes me HAPPY too! Last night was probably my most favourite episode, aside from the pilot. I loved it. Missed Sue, except for her brief appearance near the end. But OMG the musical numbers? And Cheno?!? It was fan-frickin’ tastic. There will be a rewatch (or two) this weekend, so I can relive the joy. After the ep, I immediately went onto iTunes and DL’d all the tunes from the episode. I notice that Fox has been releasing them before the episode, but I like to wait and be somewhat surprised as to who sings what.

    “Alone” – a duet with Cheno and Matty Fresh? Are you kidding me?! I CANNOT stop listening to that song! It was fabulous. A total dream come true for me (and maybe for them too). And Cheno doing Carrie Underwood with the Gleekers? Yes, please!

    We didn’t have “Glee” per se in high school, but we had choral and musical theatre, and I was a part of both. Choral was not show choir, so there was no dancing involved, but it was great, and watching Glee makes me miss those days.

  11. Karen on October 1st, 2009 10:00 am

    If you go to amazon, there is a list of the songs that will be on the CD. I’m d/l the songs that won’t be on there from Itunes, but will be in the store November 3rd to get the disc!

  12. Mandy on October 1st, 2009 10:32 am

    I can’t remember where I got it, but “Last Name” was either on iTunes or Amazon MP3. That and “Maybe This Time”, too.

    This show is just fantastic and I’m so happy to hear your review and love for it!

  13. Jen on October 1st, 2009 10:50 am

    The performances in this episode were amazing. I really don’t care when they’re overproduced numbers, but now that we’re getting to see the group actually perform on stage, I’m even more excited. And on top of that even the background music had me giddy: Hall & Oates? Huey Lewis?! Yes please!

    And if we can’t have Chenoweth on Pushing Daisies anymore, I’m so glad we got her here. Fingers crossed she makes a reappearance!

  14. Sus on October 1st, 2009 11:52 am

    “How they got the cherubic Chris Colfer to look like a dirty, old drunk (who looked a little bit like Jimmy Kimmel if I’m being honest) is beyond me.”

    That comment there made me laugh almost as much as the actual scene. 😉

    I am just absolutely in love with Glee. I didn’t think it was possible for me to love it more than I already did and then they put THIS episode on my screen. I’ve lost count of how many recruits I’ve gotten to watch and subsequently love.

    I’m so glad Alone is going to be on the soundtrack. I would have downloaded it anyway but it definitely deserves to be on there.

  15. Michele Dixon on October 1st, 2009 4:23 pm

    I immediately downloaded “Somebody to Love” and “Alone” from Itunes after this episodes. I love Kristen and Matthew singing “Alone” together. Amazing.
    Somebody to Love is fantastic as well.

    This show is just amazing. I found a few co workers who also love the show as well, so now I have people to talk about it with (as long as they are caught up, that is).

    I think the Terri storyline is rather creepy so I really hope that goes away soon.

  16. Carli on October 1st, 2009 5:20 pm

    Hmm, the Lea/KC number was actually my favorite. Go figure. I truly loved them all, but I just loved hearing their voices together. Good stuff.

    How awesome was the music it kept playing during any intense/dramatic scene.

    And that “me me me me me” “you you you you you” cracked me up.

  17. Dawn on October 1st, 2009 6:11 pm

    The show has some great lines. I think my favorite part was the Rachel/Finn rehearsal scene. “This play is weird” and “Elope” were great! I also loved Emma having some balls and calling Will out for being self-centered.

    I don’t love KC as much as everyone else on the planet. Her speaking voice is kind of annoying, but obviously her singing voice is fantastic. I didn’t like that her character took over the show. We know so little about some of the supporting characters, that I felt time was wasted on the guest star.

    Plus Will is still a dick. Last week he stresses the importance of the group, and that Rachel can’t have all the solos because he needs to boost Tina’s confidence. This week he hands over all the solos to April. How many times will he have to learn the “it’s not about me, it’s about the kids” lesson?

  18. Sus on October 1st, 2009 6:18 pm

    Hey Kath (or anyone else) do you know if Mark Salling’s hairstyle is a personal choice or if it’s for the show? Also, where is he from? I’ve detected a bit of an accent in some of his lines.

  19. Sus on October 1st, 2009 6:27 pm

    Also, if you do find that photo of Drunk!Kurt, please share with the rest of the class. 😀

  20. Forts on October 2nd, 2009 2:33 pm

    XD The mememe youyouyou thing was HILARIOUS. My Dad paused it just so he could laugh without missing the rest of the show. XD It took about that long.

    I totally don’t get what Cheno said aobut Versace. The joke is 100% lost on me. I’m not sure why.

    Full Silkwood. XD You knowThat based-on-a-true-event movie took place in Oklahoma! Same place where Chenoweth(and I) are from!

    And Drunk Kurt was adorable and nasty. XD Just the way I like it.

  21. Forts on October 2nd, 2009 2:35 pm

    Versace joke. Wow. Just checked out Ducky’s blog and NOW I get it. XD That’s funny and awful. 🙂 Thanks for the explanation!

  22. alexis nader on October 15th, 2009 10:36 pm

    i love glee but i think rachel and finn should be together. also that finn should find out the baby is not his. becasue finn loves rachel. and rachel and finn are a good couple together even in the movies

    but not that

    it so good the movie i hope it does not finish
    love it love it

    🙂 (L)