Glee Review: Fairytale of New York
The Glee moment we’ve been waiting for all season long finally arrived! Our sweet, little New Directions glee club hit big, bright New York City with eagerness and enthusiasm, ready to battle the 49 other show choirs they’d have to beat to take home the crown.
This season has been fairly uneven compared to its debut run, so the pressure was on the finale to really provide a satisfying conclusion after so much hype. Honestly, I will shower love over Glee all day, but I was hoping to really be WOWED this week, and I just didn’t feel it. About half way through the episode, I realized that my laughter quota would certainly not be met, so I relied heavily on the emotional payoff, and at least I got that. Here’s what I loved and loathed about Glee’s season finale.
New York. From the first scene with its sweeping, 360 degree view of Times Square, I knew something about this episode was going to be different. The kids were pretty adorable, frockling happily around NYC and definitely looking like teeny bopper tourists, as they should. Whether the kids were singing throughout the streets about how much they loved NYC or Rachel and Kurt were sneaking into Broadway theaters or Finn was sweeping Rachel off her feet with a with a romantic date, something about being in the big city with their big dreams felt pretty magical.
Another Kurt and Rachel Duet. That is really all that needs to be said, but I’ll take another moment to espouse how wonderful these two pair, vocally. Add the fact that they were giddy over sneaking into the Wicked theater where they could sing a real Wicked song on the real Wicked stage, and this was any Broadway lovers’ dream. Plus, it allowed some quality time between two friends who’ve gotten very little screen time since they’ve actually become true buds. Kurt pushed Rachel to figure out what she wants from the future and from Finn, and after getting a small taste of her dream, she realized the stage was her true love…for the moment, at least.
Dustin Goolsby. As I said earlier, the laughs didn’t runneth over, so anytime the Vocal Adrenaline coach hit the stage, I could at least be confident I would have a few seconds of rolling on the floor and clutching my stomach. The combination of his envy and hatred of Will, a man who loves his work and can be brought to tears by his students, makes for a perfect new foe. I hope to see much more of him next season.
The Superman of Kisses. Finchel’s inappropriate onstage reunion, at the expense of Nationals, may have earned them a 12th place finish but boy was it worth it. They sang. They felt. They kissed. Yes, Santana wanted to skin Finn and Rachel alive for costing them the title they’d be working towards for two school years, but I was in the mindset of Brittany, who felt that the year had never been about winning. Unlike last year when the kids were utterly crushed, it appeared like most recovered pretty quickly from the loss and were just generally happy to have the experience. And Rachel and Finn went into summer happy…again.
Klaine. Kurt has come a very long way in feeling confident in himself and secure in his relationship, but it brought me to tears when, out of nowhere, Blaine said, “I love you,” as if it was truest fact in the entire world. Kurt looked completely taken back and flabbergasted, but so easily said I love you back. That’s payoff folks.
To Be Original or Not Original. I vote for not. I enjoyed Regionals’ “Loser Like Me” and “Get It Right,” though they both took a while to grow on me. This episode’s original songs, however, still haven’t clicked to me yet, and I doubt they will. I can’t take away from the awakening moment between Rachel and Finn during “Pretending” because it certainly endeared me to the song more, but not enough to download the songs on iTunes. Plus, when an original really flops, it takes the viewer out of the moment.
Will Rejects Broadway. A good part of these final episodes focused on Will’s desire to fulfill his dreams and his battle with having to leave his students to do that. All the women in his life appeared to support him wholeheartedly, yet when he got there, he didn’t see April, he didn’t perform a Broadway song, and when heaped with praise by a random musical vet, he basically threw the compliment back in Broadway’s face. You left your “prized and cherished” kids to write the songs for National in the hotel on their own for this?! Really? Did you even want them to win?
Charice. Sunshine Corazon sang her pants off. That can’t be discounted, and good for Rachel that she saw the error of her ways and apologized and supported the scared girl that the Vocal Adrenaline machine almost crushed, but boy was that a boring character. Let’s not forget, Jesse was the previous Vocal Adrenaline demi-god, and he sure left a mark on me. I could care less if I ever see Charice again, and I remember when I was excited about her Glee debut.
No Brittana…Yet. Hooray for Santana and Brittany hugging and ending on a good note, but I wanted a real and passionate kiss. None of those lady kisses, folks.
Yet, as the season came to a close, most of the bad faded away, and the glee (I know I’m a dork!) this show really did bring to me on a regular basis, and how many hours their songs kept me company on long trips and long lines and long waits, is what I remember. Though extremely uneven, the highs were extremely powerful and moving or hilarious and ridiculous, and that’s what this fan is going to choose to focus on.
So sound off? What’d you think of the songs of “New York?” Jesse showed up for the performance, and were you hoping Rachel would stick with him instead?
“My Cup” (Original Glee song)
Sung by Brittany Pierce and Artie Abrams
Sure, I know this isn’t a “real” song, but the stupid original songs are almost always better than the actual ones.
“I Love New York”/“New York, New York” by Madonna/from Gypsy: A Musical Fable
Sung by New Directions
I wanted to like this song. All the kids seemed so happy discovering the city, but one of the weirdest mashups yet.
“Still Got Tonight” by Matthew Morrison
Sung by Will Schuester
Mr. Morrison, you are quite the entrepreneur, slipping a song off your own album into the show, and it certainly isn’t the worst song, but never again please.
“Bella Notte” from Lady and the Tramp
Sung by Noah Puckerman, Sam Evans, Artie Abrams and Mike Chang
Rachel and Finn almost kissed. SQUEE! The music was perfect, but where was the spaghetti when you needed it?
“For Good” from Wicked
Sung by Rachel Berry and Kurt Hummel
“Yeah!” by Usher featuring Lil John and Ludacris
Sung by Crawford County Girls Choir
I’d forgotten how much I miss these quick glimpses at other show choirs, but why do all the all-female choirs always have to be so trashy?
“As Long as You’re There” (Original Glee song)
Sung by Sunshine Corazon and Vocal Adrenaline
“Pretending” (Original Glee song)
Sung by New Directions
“Light Up the World” (Original Glee song)
Sung by New Directions
- “A year and a half ago, the New Directions were nothing but a group of 6 misfits, stumbling their way through a horrible rendition of ‘Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat.’” – Kurt
- “The guy did seem crazy. He charged my credit card by swiping it through his butt crack.” – Rachel
- Concierge: “You guys here for the show-choir competition?”
Mr. Schue: “Yeah, why?”
Concierge: “Most of the other teams just went by sexual orientation.”
- Kurt: “I feel like Eloise.”
Brittany: “I have pills for that.”
- “Take her on one of those big, romantic dates you see in romantic comedies that you grow a vagina if you watch all the way through” – Puck
- “If I was in love with a girl, and I wasn’t homeless, I’d totally go for it.” – Sam
- Patti LuPone’s guest spot where she gives Rachel the simplest and purest advice of “never give up” and called Finn cute.
- Kurt and Rachel’s “breakfast at Tiffany’s.”
- “It’s all over the Broadway blogosphere, and by ‘Broadway blogosphere,’ I mean the one blog that actually cares about Broadway.” – Goolsby
- Goolsby: “I hate my kids. I would literally whip them if I could…”
Will: “I love my kids.”
Goolsby: “What?! No, you don’t. They’re hideous. My kids are at least attractive. Yours looks like they haven’t been baked properly.”
- “You’re starting to tear up. People are starting to stare. They’re going to think I just broke up with you.” – Goolsby
- Quinn’s fab, short haircut.
- Puck initiating the Mr. Schue group hug.
- “It was the Superman of kisses. It came with its own cape.” – Finn
- Santana’s angry Spanish-fueled rant.
- Kurt’s musical based on Pippa Middleton “Pip Pip Hooray.”
- The secret hand holding action between Mercedes and Sam
- Santana’s Rachel Berry voodoo doll.
For another take on is week’s episode, check out If They Can Make It There by Alana D.
Season 2, Episode 22: New York (originally aired May 24, 2011)
Rewatch Glee Thursdays this summer on Fox.
Images courtesy of Craig Blankenhorn, Adam Rose, and Fox.