Just a few weeks ago, Glee’s renewal for not just a season 5, but a season 6 too was announced and like any self respecting Gleek I was delighted. On the whole season 4 has been pretty enjoyable and I was definitely not ready to say goodbye to Rachel, Kurt, Santana and the gang.
Since my last post, Glee aired the final episodes of the season, including one of its most controversial, Shooting Star, where the issue of guns in schools was addressed. The episode featured the usual inane daftness for the first half until the gang gather in the choir room and suddenly a shot rings out. The following 10 minutes or so were some of the most unique ones Glee has ever done. No jokes, no music, just drama and panic and fear. Personally, I thought they handled it very well indeed, showing the different reaction of the kids and Mr Shue actually acting like an adult for the first time in 4 years! Extremely uncomfortable viewing and totally out of character for the show compared to the way Glee usually handles ‘issues’. The shots of Brittany hiding in the toilets was heartbreaking, and the director and actress Heather Morris (above) did very well.
The episode ‘Lights Out’ featured probably one of my favourite musical numbers of the season, a five minute version of ‘At the Ballet’ from the musical A Chorus Line, which has some gorgeous vocals from Naya Rivera and Sarah Jessica Parker singing pretty well too. It was a real love it or hate it number for fans, with some of us playing it on repeat for ages, while others complained it was far too long!
The penultimate episode of the season was a Stevie Wonder episode. Not a bad idea, and he does have some great songs, but there were too many karaoke style covers, with what sounds like the original backing and someone trying to be Stevie. The only slightly original one was Chris Colfer’s You Are the Sunshine of my Life. That makes, what 4 or 5 songs for him this year? Not enough anyway..!
Which brings us to the finale, ‘All or Nothing’ which aired this week. Oh dear, oh dear! By far the weakest season finale the show has ever done, largely because the music was just HORRIBLE!! I mentioned in an earlier post that this year they have really gone for very current songs, including some that are not even that big yet (Glee pretty much helped ‘We Are Young’ by fun. to get a huge launch and become a massive hit) but this episode featured the Regionals competition – conveniently taking place at McKinley – with three songs from New Directions and two from chief rivals, the Hoosierdaddies featuring American Idol runner up Jessica Sanchez. I DON’T CARE ABOUT AMERICAN IDOL!!! and I hated the forgettable cheesy pop songs. One was an original (supposedly written by Marley) which was equally forgettable.
The only other song was Rachel’s Funny Girl audition where she sang Celine Dion’s ‘To Love You More’. Of course Lea Michele performed brilliantly and it was a great showcase for her voice, but I HATE Celine Dion!
To make matters worse that audition was the only Rachel scene and Lea Michele’s total lines to learn for this episode “Hello my name is Rachel Berry and I’m auditioning for the role of Fanny Brice’ and “Thank you’. OK so Cory Monteith’s trip to rehab might have affected this as surely Finn would have had some sort of conversation with Rachel, but a season finale with 3 minutes of Lea Michele is just not right!
The main drama was the reveal of Ryder’s catfish girlfriend and the odd Brittany storyline. I’m guessing Heather Morris won’t be around for a while due to her pregnancy, but in this episode we hear she is a mathematical genius and is off to MIT. This means she gets to act like a bitch for a while before breaking down and giving teary goodbye speeches to everyone. At least we got some sweet Brittana friendship moments as Santana is called back by Sam to help out but it was pretty heavy handed. I miss random one-liner Brit.
Blaine is determined to propose to Kurt – which is even more stupid than the Finchel engagement. At least they were together at the time! The leads to a totally random meeting with Patty Duke and Meredith Baxter as a pair of ‘mature’ lesbians who take Kurt and Blaine out to dinner. I have no idea why these characters were plopped into the season finale so randomly unless the gay marriage message is one the Glee writers really think their viewers are unaware of…really???
It’s a shame the obligatory stinker of an episode that occurs every season had to be the season finale, but this really was a mess. It looks like (and probably was) hastily re-written to cut out Finn, write out Brittany and fill in the gaps, while the producers were also negotiating new deals with the network.
Interestingly, this is NOT the end of the school year – time seems to have slowed in the Glee-verse, so season 5 won’t begin with Blaine and Artie (that we know of) heading to NYC. They still have their senior year to finish, and I wonder how long that will take into the new season.
One of the questions is of course, will Rachel get the lead in Funny Girl. It’s a tricky one. With the show guaranteed 2 more seasons, is it too soon for major Broadway success for our Rachel? Someone suggested she be cast as the understudy which might make her still have something to strive for. Or maybe GleeNYC will become Smash with the production taking 2 years to reach Broadway. I still think Rachel achieving her dream is the endgame of the show. Something for the series finale – or at least the season 6 finale.
Whatever else though, Glee MUST do better with its music. This has been by far the poorest year musically in my opinion, with only maybe 10 really good numbers that could stand alongside the previous three years. (Torn, The Scientist, At the Ballet, Chasing Pavements, Lets Have a Kiki, Give Your Heart a Break, Being Good, Don’t Speak, Mine, Being Alive, Love Song, Creep, Girl on Fire – ok that’s 13!) I suppose their target audience is a lot younger than me, but Glee didn’t become the show it was on bubblegum pop, it was Journey, Rolling Stones, Queen, even Madonna and Gaga – mixed with Broadway. Proven class and quality songs and artists. Get that Beatles tribute episode going, or the Carpenters or even Country (I am a Nashville fan) or a proper Spice Girls episode. That and more Rachel, Kurt and Santana please.