Tuesday, June 8, 2010

don't stop believin'

I remember hearing something in passing about some new show. I didn't remember the name of the show. I vaguely had an idea of what it was about. I didn't catch my attention, so I didn't watch it when the pilot was aired.

But then, my friends started talking about it. And they really seemed to like it. And they said the pilot was available online. And they said I'd like it. So I gave it a try.

And that's how I was introduced to "Glee".

I've loved the show since I saw the pilot streaming online. And the weird part about me liking the show is that I normally don't like covers of songs. If it's not the original, I don't want to hear it. But for the most part, they've been very faithful in their covers of their songs, and on the occasions when they haven't been, I've liked the new arrangements. Of course, it helps that they're always so passionate when they sing the songs. It's also introducing me to new songs I didn't know and reintroducing me to songs I haven't heard or thought about in a long time, sometimes, in decades.

I like the various storylines that are going on, but really, the hook for me is the songs themselves.

Tonight was the finale of the first season. And wow, did they do an amazing job. I've liked some of the episodes more than others, but the finale was spectacular. I'd read a news blurb earlier in the day about Jonathan Groff having gotten hurt during a number, so whereas I hadn't gone to look at the CD to see what songs would be sung tonight, I did end up finding out one song they did.

And I'll admit I was a bit shocked. They were really going to take on something as iconic and classic as "Bohemian Rhapsody"? Lots of people attempt that, but trying to do justice to Freddie Mercury is no easy feat. I was curious to see what they did. And wow, it was more spectacular than I had expected. I thought Jonathan was good at singing the song. He didn't try to imitate Freddie, so I liked what he did with the vocals. The choreography was cool. But to intercut the performance with Quinn being taken to the hospital and be in the throes of labor was genius. Her motions and sounds and screaming fit right in with the song, and the cadence and rhythm of the song matched the frenzy of her struggling through labor and then finally giving birth. Much as I hate to use the word, it was the ultimate mash-up.

I loved that the series went full circle by starting with Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" and ending with a medley of Journey songs, including one of my favorites, "Faithfully". And what was even funnier was that I totally recognized the venue where the regionals were being held - it was the Saban Theatre, the new home of Paley Fest, where "Glee" had a panel this year!

Here's the "Faithfully" segment.

It was sweet that Shelby was the one to adopt Quinn and Puck's baby, appropriately named Beth. (How cute was Puck tearing up when his daughter was born?) And the last song was a truly great ensemble piece, and yes, it made me cry.

Here's a compilation video with some of the cast members about their journey (pun intended) through the first season of the show.

The show has already been picked up for a second and third (yep, you heard that right) seasons, so I'm looking forward to more "Glee"!

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