Thursday, December 10, 2009

"Glee" Fall Finale: Sectionals!

I have no great insights to offer on this week's "Glee," only this observation: I can't remember the last time a season finale so fully embodied both the best and worst aspects of the show overall. (Ok, so it wasn't exactly the season finale - but it's the last new episode until April, so it's at the very least a mid-season finale.) Plot holes galore, inconsistent characterization, too much treacly sentimentalism mixed with overly broad humor - yet it had a verve, an energy, a sly sparkle that in the end proved irresistible.

Was there ever any doubt that the McKinleyites would prevail at sectionals? That Finn would come back and rally them to victory? That Emma would not, in fact, marry Ken? Not for a minute. But I thought it was interesting that even though "Glee" did end up where we knew it was going, it didn't always take the obvious path. In fact, the episode was as remarkable for what it didn't show as what it did. There was no crowning moment of victory - no suspense-laden announcement of the winner - heck, we didn't even get to see the Gleeks' last number. (Probably because it was one we've seen them perform before - though I for one was hoping for a recap, since "Somebody to Love" happens to be my favorite "Glee" song.) There was no dramatic confrontation between Ken and Emma, or Ken and Will, and no scene of Will rushing in to interrupt the ceremony. (Thank goodness.)

Ok, so we did get to see Will rushing to intercept Emma just before she left - and the big kiss, of course. Have to say I'm a little ambivalent about the timing, even though the writers have obviously been building up to this all season. Will may have left his wife, but he's still married, and I don't see that divorce being a quick one. But who knows, the way "Glee" is paced, the proceedings may all be wrapped up by the time the show returns in the spring.

So very glad the ridiculous pregnancy lies are no longer continuing. And that Quinn is choosing to go it alone, at least for now. Wonder where she'll go live now?

Rachel once again proves that despite her staggering egotism, she is basically a good person. I'm glad she's finally starting to break through to the others. Their dislike, while plausible enough, was getting a bit tiresome.

Sue: same old same old. Jane Lynch is great, but that character is in danger of becoming too one-note. (Except when she reads to her differently abled sister, of course.) However, more Sue Sylvester also generally leads to MORE FIGGINS! Figgins cracks me up even more than Sue does. While he wasn't as funny today, he was oddly impressive - I wasn't expecting him to stand up to Sue. We'll see how long that lasts. Loved the little wink he gave Will afterwards.

On the musical front, we of course had to have the obligatory showstoppers. After all, it's sectionals, bitches! I actually hate the song "And I Am Telling You I Am Not Going," but there's no question Amber Riley (who plays Mercedes) is a vocal powerhouse. As is Lea Michele (Rachel), in a different way. Quite enjoyed her performance of "Don't Rain on My Parade," though in what musical universe is that a ballad? And in general, I wish that all of the songs weren't autotuned to death. These kids don't need it.

I could write reams about all of the flaws of both this episode and the season in general...yet I know I'll be suffering "Glee" withdrawal this time next week. There's really nothing else like it on TV these days. And that counts for a lot.


Blogger Dave said...

I've only watched the "highlights" of this episode but generally I think your comments are spot on. Really solid, feel-good, and highly polished musical performances but poorly written dialogue and poorly thought through story lines. I'm afraid they're falling back to letting plot and character take second fiddle to the musical numbers, something I thought they did NOT do in the middle of the season with the Wheels episode. Oh well, they can't all be Mad Men!

8:21 PM  
Blogger lylee said...

Yeah, this show is wildly uneven, and sometimes I think I really do just watch it for the musical numbers...but somehow it keeps bringing me back in. We'll see if still has its mojo come April!

1:28 AM  

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