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12/7/12

Glee 3x09 "Swan Song"


FINALLY!

What does that "finally" refer to? Two things, actually...finally, I am driven to actually write a review of a Glee episode. And finally, they gave us an episode to whole-heartedly praise.

Did we fall down a time warp landing us back circa 2009 or 2010? Seriously, where the hell did this polished, wonderfully-rendered episode came from?

Oh, I love readers...I love a lot. For the first time in how long, I cared for the characters and the storyline had set-ups, surprises and tension. In addition, they also managed to integrate some sharp bits of comedy and a feel-good, underdog charm that has been conspicuously absent for God knows how long.

And how AWESOME were the musical numbers last night?!


Okay, maybe not that one. A bit of a throw-away if you ask me. Even so, I can appreciate them giving Heather Morris the opportunity to break away from her typical dance jam numbers.


This is a knockout performance, start to finish. I even love Kate Hudson here - being thin and sexy is right up her alley (if not her entire alley altogether). And unlike her first big number, she didn't try as hard and she looked a lot more comfortable performing.


My one minor criticism: Lea Michele. Her voice is tailor-made for Broadway numbers in the "belt your face off" kind of way, but "All That Jazz" doesn't really fall under that umbrella.

And speaking of "belt your face off" numbers...


Y'know, the point may have been overstated with the not-so-subtle lingers to the audience, but let's cut the shit; Lea SHUT.IT.DOWN on both of these numbers. Clearly, someone was dangling that Emmy reel in front of her during this week of production. I was convinced her rendition of "Being Good" was going to bring that really nice auditorium down to rubble and debris.


Not bad by any means - and bless Chris Colfer for selling the acting portion - but this is a song meant to be performed by a vocal powerhouses in the Raul Esparza, Lea Salonga mold.



A well-chosen, beautiful and impeccably-staged number to take it on home. Can you say you weren't moved or uplifted by the sight of a bunch of lost outcasts coming together to sing in the cold and snow? Throw in Kurt being accepted into NYADA and I was overwhelmed with giddiness as to what could happen next.


It wasn't just that this episode had some highlights, it was relatively bereft of detractors. No horrible Kitty sucking the life of the show with her unrestrained tirades of evil. No heavy-handed melodrama revolving around dyslexia or bulimia. No clumsily-inserted top-40 numbers whose only intention is to pad Ryan Murphy's wallet.

And can I just say...I totally miscalled the whole Sectionals thing. It's probably only temporary, but the New Directions no longer competing gives them the opportunity to explore new territories. I wouldn't have thought that idea would work because...well, what's the point if they are not a competition glee club? And maybe things will falter, who knows...but it is no coincidence that the best storyline all season began the moment Sectionals ended. In years passed, a New Directions victory was practically assumed...kudos to them for going this route and if it is anything like this episode, I am on board.

Up until now, the Lima, OH section of the show has mostly recycled itself (new cast withstanding) while the New York storyline was doing most of the heavy lifting. Now, both storylines are in prime position to deliver...how they achieved this feat in one episode is to the credit of the Glee folk really being on their A-game? Who knew they had it in them to course-correct so fast?

Also, the subtle The Breakfast Club reference with using "Don't You (Forget About Me)" during the e-mail montage? That had me wide-eyed and in love. Say what you will about this show tipping far to frequently towards disaster, but it can really be something phenomenal when it wants to be.

Photo Credit: Glee/FOX via PopCrush.com
Video Credit: GleeOnFOX

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