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Glee Series Finale

20 Mar

Let’s be honest, Season 5 of Glee kinda sucked.  A lot.  With all the kids leaving and going off to college and stuff, it pretty much turned into the Rachel Berry show.  Most people expected it, but I thought it would focus more on the kids at the high school, not venture off with the original cast.  I still watched it but it didn’t have the appeal that the previous seasons had.

This season started with Rachel failing in Hollywood and coming back to run the Glee club.  It was odd and I wasn’t really sure what to do with the season up to the finale.  A lot of the kids just come back and hang out at the high school which makes me feel a bit awkward.  I’d feel weird if I went back to my high school, but then again, my high school was a little redneck and unwelcoming.  Returning there really would be admitting failure to me.  The new club members aren’t that intriguing and the school gets combined with Dalton Academy (seems like a stretch) to fill up their ranks.  Overall it was an okay season, but not something I’d clear my schedule for at 9pm on a Friday night.

Tonight I was at home and thought why not, it’s the last episode, I’ll go ahead and watch it and I’m very glad I did.

The first half of the finale starts with some flashbacks to when the glee club was getting started.  We’re reminded of how arrogant Rachel is and hinted that Kurt might be thinking about suicide.  We are bought back to the initial struggles of the main cast, except for Finn of course.  There is some original footage from the pilot episode of Finn and the classic Don’t Stop Believing.

The second half brings us back to the present.  Well slightly ahead from the previous episode where the team just won sectionals.  They are at Nationals and of course win first place.  After that there are a lot of changes at McKinley.  Mr. Schuester is asked to be the new principle and the school is converted into a center of the arts and Sam becomes the new coach of the New Directions.  There are then some flash fowards into the future.  Kurt and Blaine are successful and doing their thing in New York, Mercedes gets to tour, Artie and Tina get together, Will has a house full of kids, and Rachel finds a new love, Jesse from Vocal Adrenaline, and is carrying a child for Kurt and Blaine.  Everyone has gathered at 10 years in the future to watch the Tony Awards as Rachel is nominated for one.  She is absolutely shocked when she wins and gives an acceptance speech that perfectly wraps up the series.  The last scene is a fairwell number after Sue dedicates the stage to Finn.  While I think it would have fit better earlier in the episode, I do like that it ended with an upbeat song.

Usually when a series ends for good, the finale leaves a lot to be desired for me.  How I Met Your Mother just made me angry and felt cheated in a way.  But Glee did not.  It’s always going to be bittersweet, but given season 5 and the start of season 6, I think it had outlived it’s prime in a way.  But the finale to me was perfect.  I started watching the series in 2009.  I was so excited when I saw the original trailer because I have a major soft spot for musicals (sue me) but I didn’t think I would become so attached.  It’s understandable why though.  I was a bit of a misfit in high school as well.  I was geeky and didn’t really fit in with most crowds.  Thankfully there was little bullying and no one throwing slushies, but it can still be isolating.  In college I struggled with making friends and in 2009 I was second to last year of undergraduate.  I had very few friends and an almost non-existant support network.  In a way, Glee was there to show me I’m not alone and maybe it will get better.

I’ve since finished a graduate degree and scored a job that I love, but there are still days that I feel alone.  The finale may have hit me so hard because today was one of those days for various reasons.  I know that the show is not real and it shows a pretty ideal future for all of them, but think back to where they started.  Rachel was a pretty awful person, she wasn’t personable or nice. Over the years of the show she grows into an extremely caring and dedicated individual.  Kurt struggled with his identity and was in a very dark place, but he found happiness.  And I know it’s cheesy, but it’s the little things that remind you that maybe, just maybe, life doesn’t suck as much as you think.  Even when something ends, it may be bittersweet, but there is always hope.  The major takeaway for me from the series finale of Glee:  It gets better.

Glee – Sweet Dreams

19 Apr

So you may be thinking… wait wait wait you skipped an episode!  You are probably aware that it was a very controversial episode and one that hit especially close to home for me.  I made it about halfway through before I had to stop for reasons that will be explained if/when I write about it.  I read about what happens, so I am still up with the plot, plus Glee is good with giving little snapshots of what’s been happening to keep you up to date.  Moving on to this week’s episode, Sweet Dreams.

So far this season, I have been a little underwhelmed with everything that’s been going on.  Half the cast is gone and the new one has been struggling with getting through sectionals and stuff.  Mr. Schue and Emma had a major rough patch and Mr. Schue even had a falling out with Finn.  However, this episode truly revived my faith in the show.  This is the show I fell in love with during the first season.

In this episode, things seem to be at an all time low for Mr. Schue.  Finn is off at college (and apparently partying it up with Puck) and Mr. Schue turns into, well, kind of a dick.  He picks a set of songs for regionals and is completely inflexible on them, even though Marley asks about doing some of her original songs.  The club bands together and tries to suggest to Mr. Schue that they could try some other songs instead and Mr. Schue calls out Sam, Blaine, and Unique.  Marley meets with those three later and asks them to sing one of her original songs with her that she specifically wrote for them.  The song was about how you really have more friends than you think you do and for the particular time in my life, it means a lot to me.  Think it’s sappy all you want, but this song won me over for the episode.

On another sideline, Beast encourages Mr. Schue to go to Finn and ask him to come back.  Finn is having too much fun at college and says no.  However, after a heart-to-heart with Puck about how they slacked off in high school and now they need to show people what they are really capable of, he decides to go back.  Mr. Schue agrees to treat Finn as an equal and he’s even getting college credit for his teaching degree from working with the glee club.  However, if you follow the news you’ll know that Cory Monteith (the actor that plays Finn) checked himself into rehab.  It is hard to say what the producers will do or if Cory will be able to be in the episodes while in rehab.

While things started tense with Mr. Schue and the glee club, he overheard Marley’s original and of course has a change of heart.  With Finn back, they say that they are going to work night and day to help them get through regionals and even asks Marley to teach the group some of her original songs.  They end the episode with the entire glee crew singing “Outcast”.  While it wasn’t as good as the first, I still loved the song and it brought back the idea that the glee club is for the misfits.

Outside of the high school, Rachel has a duet with her mother who has moved back to New York and started a Broadway daycare business.  Her mother encourages her to make sure she stands out for her audition for Fanny, instead of doing a Barbra Streisand song.  She later talks to Finn on the phone who encourages her to do something that takes her back to her roots.  At the audition, she walks on stage and gives music to the pianist.  Most of us, especially long time watchers of Glee, knew the song within a few beats.  Don’t Stop Believing.  You thought they were done with this song didn’t you?  Well, for those that are sick of the song, too bad for you.  For me, it brought back a sense of what the show started as and, in particular, how Rachel started.  After the first verse or so, Rachel has a sort of “vision” that she is on stage with all of the friends she started with in Glee club and uses that as a way to empower her performance.  After she sings, a producer asks her what changed midway through and she told him it was thinking about her friends and how much they encouraged her to become who she is today.  Of course, she gets a call-back.

The only thing that I did not like about the episode is that they pulled out the Harlem Shake.  I have a personal extreme dislike of the Harlem Shake.  The only good video is the one with Grumpy Cat saying NO.  Aside from that, this, for me at least, was one of, if not the, best episode so far of the season.  I think the use of the original songs really brought be back in, especially the meaning behind them.  It also gave a sense that everything is finally coming back into place and back to a sense of normalcy.  I am looking forward to more original songs.  There are only three more episodes in the season and this episode got me excited to watch them all.  I give this episode 9 nerd glasses out of 10.

rating_nerd_9.0

Glee – Guilty Pleasures

24 Mar

So I’m not starting off with a horribly geeky series, but Glee has been a show I have loved since the beginning   I will admit it, I have a horrible addiction to musicals… Granted it has been a little rough lately, I still keep up with it pretty well.

This week’s Glee started with Blaine confronting Sam about stealing from the cafeteria only to find out that Sam has a guilty pleasure for creating portraits out of macaroni.  Yes… macaroni.  The portraits are pretty cool, but it was kind of a bizarre way to start off the show, but what more do you expect from Glee?  This scene sets the theme for the rest of the show: Guilty Pleasures.

With this theme, I can’t help but think of the first book in the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series by Laurel K. Hamilton by the same name, which amuses me, but moving on.  The weeks homework for glee club is to sing songs from your guilty pleasure artist and it included Barry Malow, the Spice Girls, and Wham!.  It’s shocking that with the Spice Girls they didn’t include some Backstreet Boys or *NYSNC, oh wait… they did that last week.

The two major plot points were that Blaine is in love with Sam and Rachael finding out that Brody was a male escort to pay for school.  Neither are very in depth and they both seem like filler to me.  It was nice that Sam is okay with Blaine’s feelings, but the part with Rachael and Brody was disappointing.  Rachael freaks out over Brody’s method of paying for school, rather than trying to understand that not everyone has parents that are well-off.  It would have been nice to see more of an understanding, even if they do break up, rather than shaming him for what he does to get by.

All in all, it was an okay episode.  My favorite part was the creepy boyfriend arm pillow.  Especially since Kurt named his Bruce *snickers*  I give it 6 nerd glasses out of 10.

rating_nerd_6.0