Glee 2x22 "New York"

The much hyped finale of Glee gave us Nationals, New York and a whole bunch of sappy charm in-between. Let’s break it down.

I was excited the moment I caught a glimpse of the New York skyscrapers. I saw some of the filming that took place on or around Washington Square Park and the hotel they stayed at.

Once I saw their (forever seared into my head) costumes appear on my TV screen, it brought me back to such a happy occasion. And then this happened…

I think I found my new ringtone. Laugh-out-loud hilarious; one of the many reasons why the show should continue throwing in the occasional original song.

Only okay. The prancing and New York iconography distracts from the messy vocals, but kudos for the energy.

Now this I loved. In theory, at least. Having performed once in Rock of Ages, there is no exhilaration like stepping foot on a Broadway stage, whether there is a packed house or its completely empty. I immediately identified with what Mr. Schuester (and later, Kurt and Rachel) were feeling. But that’s just me.

However, I am a little skeptical of Matthew Morrison doing a cover of his own song from his debut album that conveniently came out two weeks earlier. Sure, they treated it like the obvious thing it was, so much so it looks like “Still Got Tonight” was not released as a “Glee Cast” version on iTunes...but still.

While I could not care for the Finchel drama (and eventual reunion), that scene at Sardi’s was really something. Largely because I, again, could identify with Rachel and feeling star struck when a Broadway idol is nearby. Also, we cannot act like the episode was not a great tribute to Broadway, New York and Wicked.

Glee gone and went and pulled the Patti Lupone card. A really awesome exchange; she is a class-act and a talented diva at the same time. If they had her sing, I would have fallen over.

Cute and silly; I’m down. Hey, when did Puck learn how to play the accord-…actually, let’s not think about it.

Little did I know, I almost did fall over (metaphorically speaking) the moment this vignette showed up.

Wicked is one of my all time favorite shows and soundtracks, so having this implausible, but entertaining fairy tale of breaking into the Gershwin Theater and taking the stage…well, I would have teared up if I was not watching the episode with my parents.

But then this happened...

Wow. Just Wow. A number worth the price of admission if we had to pay for it. Let me fanboy for a quick second…

The moment I heard that Kurt and Rachel were dueting on “For Good,” I greeted the idea with enthusiasm. Their relationship mimics the friendship of Idina Menzel’s Elphaba and Kristin Chenoweth’s Glinda PERFECTLY as anyone familiar with seeing a production of Wicked or reading the book. Let’s not forget that this now genuine friendship started off as a tension-filled rivalry, going back to their dueling “Defying Gravity” days.

That is why I put this number up as the clear winner of the episode, as well as one of the best of the series overall. There is just nothing like a well deployed Broadway number. A lot of thought went into the set-up and staging; one of Wicked’s best numbers was selected - which is applicable to the Kurt/Rachel relationship while also being applicable to Rachel’s career vs. talent dilemma – and they NAILED it with some impeccable acting and singing.

Well done, Glee. Numbers like this make me forgive a lot of your flaws; when you are on you’re A+ game, you cannot be topped.

My “For Good” high was brought to a crashing halt when I realized that Cheyenne Jackson was not getting a number this season or doing anything but make snarky comments. What a waste of a talent; here is me hoping he will return next season and bring the house down with a killer Broadway number.

As unfortunate as that was, I then surmised that the downfall to the trickily sweet New York episode was Nationals itself. Why?

Other then foreseen conclusion that New Directions was not going to win (what’s the point of the show if they won Nationals?), both these numbers sucked. The all-girl group ruined a great Usher number, looked hideous in their dresses and the casting was problematic given the average age of the students looked to be early-40s. TERRIBLE all-around.

And speaking of terrible, let’s talk Charice and Vocal Adrenaline. Her amazing initial impression has been eradicated by her terrible acting and standard “small girl, large voice” diva solos from her past two appearances. We know Vocal Adrenaline can bring it – think season one’s “Rehab” or “Bohemian Rhapsody”– so this original song (were we supposed to ignore that fact? When did they start doing originals?) seemed like an afterthought.

If we were chucking all sorts of TV conventionality, you would think that New Directions would have it in the bag considering their main competition blew hard. As it turns out…

The competition was reduced to choosing the lesser of two evils. “Pretending” was okay, but “Light Up the World” did not come together like it should; the song came off way too teeny-bopper generic. However you look at it, both of these numbers were a far cry from the amazing “Get it Right” and “Loser Like Me” that won them Regionals. In fact, thinking of every Invitational, Sectionals and Regionals appearance by New Directions, this was their worst competition showing. How ironic given that it was the time they needed to bring it the most.

Sure, they tried to pin the New Directions fail on the kiss heard around the world, but honestly, I would have preferred to have some judge point out or a crashing realization that they sucked this go-around.

Fortunately, the show recovered the moment they vacated New York in post-Nationals defeat.

Sigh, I miss her already. Hilarious.

Uh-freaking-dorable. The two should get married and be forced to pro-create; that conversation was both sweet and had so much sexual tension, I was waiting for them to start doing it on the table.

Shocking, Glee gone and made ANOTHER crack pairing. Throw it on top of the pile with the rest of them.

But hey, at least it is not Mercedes with mashed potatoes or french fries this time.

You know, this was actually a pretty good wrap-up to their complicated relationship. Color me intrigued.

Enh, if I was forced to have an opinion, I would keep Rachel single. But who cares? I do like that Ryan Murphy is keeping to their whole graduation plan; this episode hammered that point home well.

And with that, plus one last shot of the choir room, Glee wraps up. Another uneven episode, but nothing we should not be used to by now. Its high points were enough for me though; I am mostly indifferent to this season’s conclusion. Last season had that sweet “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” montage to make me joyful and slightly-weepy, but like the show itself, that overall effect and quality has departed long before this episode.

Awkward Glee? One final time pleaseee...

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