Gleecap: Dream On
Okay, I love Glee now, but not for the show it is, rather for what it represents—and it’s everything I love about the FOX network (yes: I LOVE the FOX network): They gave us the X-Files and The Simpsons…Married…with Children, Futurama, Family Guy (the early years count for a lot), and COPS. Step back and think about it. Is there any connection between those shows? You have something for the paranoid fantasy sci-fi-philes; something for the beer-swilling fratboys, something for people who like to watch handy-cam pursuits of a suspect on foot…
The key to Glee (tee hee) is that it (and why it was picked up) tries to appeal to every demographic—the shallow popular girls, brooding broodersons, insecure wise-crackers–if we can get a handycam pursuit of a suspect on foot, it’d be awesome. It’s superficial as hell, but a lot of people like that, so you go FOX.
In tonight’s Joss-Whedon-directed episode, Will’s high-school arch-nemesis former-crack-addict-turned-born-again-Christian –accountant-and-glee-club-survivor Bryan Ryan (guest star Neil Patrick Harris) shows up to audit the high school. He has a bone to pick with glee clubs for dashing his high school dreams.
Sitting in on the glee club, his first order of business is to have the students write down their dreams…and then throws Artie’s in the trash, informing the students that they’ll never amount to anything. Artie, downtrodden that his dream of being a dancer will never be realized, decides to go into filmmaking, but his crush Tina, after sneaking a peek at his crumpled dream, prods him into performing a dance routine with her.
Rachel’s dream is to whinely wish to know about her mother—not meet her or anything like that, just know what she does, who she is, you know: Be a stalker. And her boyfriend Jesse (I honestly didn’t think he existed) likewise encourages her—kind of a sweet Starkweather/Fugate thing.
Things with Artie and Tina (ArTina?)’s routine(a) aren’t going so well, as it’s tough to dance from a wheelchair. He tries it with crutches, which goes worse, resulting in him falling and blaming Tina for pressing him.
Rachel’s stalk goes not-so-hot either. Mostly she’s trying to convince herself that her actual mother is a Broadway star—any Broadway star.
And Will and Bryan are still at odds. Bryan’s steadfast insistence on taking down glee club abruptly breaks down after one beer, and he admits to Will that he still loves glee, and the two share a “Piano Man” duet. That was quick. They also decide to try out for a production of Les Miserables.
Back at Rachel’s house, she and Jesse are investigating a box of Rachel’s childhood paraphernalia, searching for clues, when Jesse slips a cassette tape that’s supposed to be from Rachel’s mother (I didn’t quite understand his plan—was it a recording of his voice or what?), but she whinely refuses, stating she’s not ready yet.
Back at the rehersal, Bryan steals Will’s song, reigniting their feud. And the two share a duet of “Dream On.” At school, Bryan decides not to drop glee club until he finds out that Will got the role he wanted in Les Miserables. Will graciously offers Bryan the role, and Bryan once more decides not to not not cut glee club (can’t say he’s especially professional).
Tina’s been researching therapies to help Artie walk, and after one treatment, he can somehow walk again (What the hell kind of therapy was he going through before? If I were him, my first order of business would be to kick that doctor’s ass)—and then everyone does a number to “Safety Dance.” Oh, and I guess the walking was another fantasy sequence.
It’s later revealed that Jesse’s a plant from Shelby, the coach of Vocal Adrenaline and Rachel’s real mother. Jesse continues to press Rachel to listen to the tape, which she eventually does. Whinely. And the two share a (dream) duet of “I Dreamed a Dream” She then cries.
The episode ends with Tina’s acceptance of Artie’s refusal to dance, and she chooses Mike Chang as her partner. Artie finishes up the episode with a rendition of “Dream a Little Dream.”
Rachel’s really starting to get on my nerves. It’d be easier to identify with her if she weren’t so damn mopey. Or at least would do something. She’s way too passive a character. If her big dream is to be a star, you’d think she’d do more than sit around looking whiney while waiting for everyone to do everything for her.
And I liked the little bit of Jane Lynch we got in this episode (“Angry sex is the only sex I have.”) And when she announced who got what in Les Miserables, it felt like she’d orchestrated some grand plan to destroy and backstab everyone–even when she didn’t actually do anything.
And NPH was a nice treat, too. His character was played for waaayyy too stereotypical a villain, but damn, the guy can sing.