Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Gleek Critique: "New York" Episode

The glee kids seeing the sights in New York City!  Image property of Fox.
So last night was the second season finale of Glee on Fox and I had to work!  Oh, life can be cruel can it not?  But luckily Hulu was there for me this morning, so I was still able to see the spectacular farewell.

The episode opens with the sexy saxophone wail of George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue while showing us a glitzy shot of New York City's Time Square, ending on Rachel Berry standing in utter glee in the city of her dreams.  That's when the Glee title came up and I knew I was in love with this episode.  New York City, Gershwin, and Glee. Oh, I was in heaven!

So the kids are in New York City with Mr. Schuester for Nationals, and although they want to explore the city and have fun, Mr. Schu insists that they stay in the hotel room and write the songs they will compete with.  But feeling uninspired indoors, the kids sneak out anyway and explore the city!  But they aren't the only ones being sneaky.  Mr. Schuester still hasn't told the kids about his possible Broadway debut, and he sneaks off to rehearse onstage.  However, his secret doesn't stay a secret for long.  Dustin Goolsby, the coach of rival Vocal Adrenaline, finds out and tells the New Directions kids.  They approach Mr. Schuester about it, but he decides then and there that he's not going to leave them.  His true calling is teaching.

Meanwhile the boys convince Finn that he should ask Rachel out and tell her how he feels.  So he texts Rachel and tells her to dress up and meet him in Central Park.  She does and he surprises her with a date.  They go to dinner at Sardi where they run into Rachel's idol, Patti Lapone.  She tells Rachel to never give up on her dreams, also adding that Finn is "cute."  Finn and Rachel seem really happy later as they are strolling through the nighttime streets of the city, but when Finn tries to kiss her, Rachel says no.

We discover the reason behind this when Kurt takes Rachel out to stand where Audrey Hepburn stood in Breakfast at Tiffany's.  While eating bagels she reveals that she wants to go to New York after she graduates from high school, and she knows Finn won't want to.  She loves Finn, but she doesn't want anything to hold her back and keep her from pursuing her dreams.  Kurt then convinces her to break into the Wicked stage, where the guard lets them sing a song before kicking them out.  After singing on a real Broadway stage, Rachel is even more convinced that she belongs there.

The moment arrives for the big competition, and New Directions performs two original songs just like they did at Regionals.  The first song is a duet between Rachel and Finn, and in the heat of the moment, the two kiss.  Everything is silent before they move on to their next number and really knock it out of the park!  However, that unplanned kiss ruined their scores and the group doesn't place in the top ten.  The competition is over.

Although they are crushed by the loss, everything ends happy.  Back in Ohio, Rachel talks to Finn about the big kiss and makes it clear that she loves him, but will be moving to New York City in the future.  Finn understands, but figures they still have a whole year before that ever happens and he kisses her again.  Looks like Finchel is back.  Other happy endings include Blaine and Kurt telling each other "I love you" and the realization that Mercedes and Sam are now dating.  Brittany and Santana also have a tender moment together where they express their feelings.  The episode ends with the group celebrating their 12th place victory with the smallest trophy I've ever seen.

I cannot wait until next school year!

The Pros:
  • The episode was filmed on site in New York City!!!
  • The opening with Rhapsody in Blue.  I am in love with that piece of music!!
  • Quite a few original songs tonight!  Rachel and Finn's duet "Pretending" followed by the big New Directions number "Light Up the World" were both awesome.  The song "As Long as You're There" sung by Sunshine Corazon and Vocal Adrenaline was also an original song written for the episode.  And while Mr. Schuester's "Still Got Tonight" wasn't written for Glee, it wasn't a cover either.  It comes from Matthew Morrison's debut album.  Oh, and gotta love Brittany singing "My Cup"!
  • The opening mashup of Madonna's "I Love New York" and the song "New York, New York" from the musical On The Town was so colorful and fun!  It really made me want to run away and move to New York City!
  • Rachel looked unbelievably beautiful in this episode.  I couldn't get over it.  She was simply stunning on the date with Finn, in the blue dress with the adorable updo.  Who wouldn't want to kiss her?  And that rainbow coat she had on earlier?  So pretty!!
  • "Bella Notte" from Disney's The Lady and the Tramp was adorable.  Puck and Artie are fantastic, are they not?
  • Rachel and Kurt's duet "For Good" from the musical Wicked was also very, very good!  And it was filmed on the actual Wicked stage, how cool is that?
  • I am glad they didn't win Nationals.  As mean as that sounds, a win just wouldn't have been very believable.  Just making it to Nationals is a success in and of itself, and ranking twelfth in the nation is still pretty dang good.  They still beat out 38 other schools!  Besides, it gives them something else to aspire towards next season.  Maybe they can rank higher.
  • Finn and Rachel are back together and I love it!  Seriously, love it!!  The big surprise kiss where the sound disappeared and it was like they were frozen in that moment.  Oh, just spectacular!
The Cons:
  • I would have liked more New York-themed songs in this episode.  There was just the one mashup.
  • I'm also a little annoyed that they flew all the way to New York without even knowing what songs they were going to sing.  In fact, their first assignment there was to write them!  I love Glee, but sometimes I just roll my eyes at how they never practice for anything.  Ever.
  • Plenty of character closure at the end, but they left out Will and Emma.  I would have liked to see her waiting for him at the airport or something romantic like that.  Mostly I just love Emma and wish she were in more episodes...
  • They also wrapped up the season without Sue.  I guess she had her big moment last episode... but it seems odd to leave her out of the big finale.  Maybe a scene at the end of her saying "Congratulations" to the kids.  That would have been nice.
  • Jessie St. James.  Annoys me every time.

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