Last fall, I raced back to my dorm every Wednesday night to join in the “Glee” weekly viewing party in my friend’s room. Although we would regularly hang out and watch television, and at least sit and later discuss our other favorite shows, we would all drop whatever we were doing (even if it was a 12-page paper due the next day) and set aside special time to get together to watch the sensation that is “Glee.”
Fox’s quirky musical actually released its pilot the summer before, and a bunch of my friends told me it was more than worth watching. The pilot was amazing, and definitely had me interested, but after watching a few episodes when the season started in the fall, I was hooked. “Glee” provides the fun of musicals with the brilliance of sitcoms that I thought had died amid the “reality TV” craze.
Seriously, have you seen what’s on television these days? I can feel my brain cells dying just knowing shows like these exist (start at the 11 second mark).
But “Glee” is different. It’s smart and funny, with a great balance of witty moments and moments so incredibly awkward that I can’t look away (remember when Finn serenaded Quinn and her parents?). The best part is that, unlike similar endeavors that focus on singing high school students – like *shudder* the “High School Musical” series – Glee manages to relate to its audience while at the same time providing fun, energetic performances. It handles real issues – teen pregnancy, identity issues, homosexuality, handicaps, relationship problems – but does so in a way that doesn’t feel preachy in the slightest.
Unfortunately, “Glee” took a break from air time to make room for the evil of reality television incarnated: “American Idol.” So, instead of the talented Lea Michele, sassy Amber Riley, endearing Chris Colfer, and crazy Jane Lynch, we’ve been stuck with this.
But, at last, “Glee” is set to return next week (April 13th!!!), and I’m already singing and dancing in anticipation.
To celebrate the return of my guiltiest of guilty pleasures and to invite newbies to join the ranks of us Gleeks, let us count down Glee’s 5 best musical moments. (Note: sorry for the poor quality on some of these – apparently Fox isn’t a fan of YouTube.)
5. “Don’t Stop Believin’”– This finale number from the pilot episode is what made people come back months later to watch the show when the real season started. It was basically the unity number, when the original core group joins the Glee Club (called “New Directions”) and commits to it, even though their mentor, Mr. Schuster, is leaving because he needs a more stable, higher-paying job to support his newly pregnant wife (more on that one later). The number is good enough to make him realize that teaching – and Glee – is his passion, and brings him back, and it does the same for viewers.
4. “Single Ladies”- The show actually features two versions of this number, but this one is infamous. I don’t know much about sports, but I’m pretty sure this isn’t allowed, which is really too bad because I’d definitely watch them more often if this sort of thing were a possibility. (Not the greatest video, but just turn up the sound and start around the 2:20 mark.)
3. “Proud Mary”– Whoever choreographed this number is an absolute genius. The episode focuses on Artie’s confinement to a wheelchair, so Mr. Schu decides to have the kids do a number in wheelchairs. The result? Brilliant, both visually and vocally.
2. “Jump”– I dare you to watch this number and NOT go jump on your bed singing afterward.
1. “Somebody to Love”– Quite possibly one of the group’s most beloved numbers, second only to their rendition of Journey’s classic. It’s simple, but really shows the talent among not just the main leads showcased, but the entire group.
So enjoy, listen to the rest of the soundtrack, and get excited for next Tuesday!
A Bonus serenade. Because he looks so damn good when he’s playing the guitar.