When the Dream Becomes a Lie
Let me start by saying how much I love both Joss Whedon and Neil Patrick Harris. I’m a burgeoning Whedonite, having just finished the first season of Dollhouse, but I’m gonna say he really knocked last night’s Glee out of the park. And more importantly, he showed us that if we scale back a little on the musical numbers, the numbers themselves are a) able to be more quality and b) the show itself can incorporate more minor character development. And it’s a great trade off! We were 18 minutes in before we had a musical number, and even then it was a sing-along to a jukebox in a bar…understated but still fabulous – in large part because it was NPH doing it! And now on to NPH…
The man is amazing! Did you watch his musical number at the Oscars? Did you know you can watch Doogie Howser on hulu (I’m not kidding!). The man has charisma! He made that Dream On duet and, my goodness, I hope they bring him back to show us his Jean Valjean! With perfect tongue-in-cheek humour, we got a few playful references to NPH’s own coming out – the “showtune conversion group” with the return of Molly Shannon and a cameo from John Michael Higgins is the only mocking of “scared straight” type programs that has ever made me laugh; his sobbing about living a lie and being a ‘closet’ music lover was played so earnestly it had me in stitches; and of course, his hidden angry sex scene with famed lesbian actress Jane Lynch! But importantly, while alluding to his sexuality, that’s not what was on show for NPH – rather, it was his musical talent and acting chops, both of which he has in spades. Like I said, I love the guy!
Artie and Tina kind of stole the show tonight too – something I’m sure was made possible by Whedon’s direction. The imagined mall-dancing scene was a great allusion to another recent viral explosion (man, I want to be in a mall one day when one of those flash dances happens!). Rather than move this narrative to a schmaltzy resolution, though, Whedon brought it through false hope into a much sadder resignation. There was no way around Artie’s sad song at the end. “Dream a Little Dream for Me” simply sat with the tragic, and that was good. It actually allowed for some real, difficult character development!
So we finally got to see what Jessie was up too, and I gotta say, I didn’t see this one coming! Sure, I thought he was double-teaming, doing some scheme on Rachel that would lead to his really falling for her such that dramatic yet tender hilarity would ensue. But it turns out his infiltration has nothing to do with Glee club, but rather has everything to do with reuniting a mother with her daughter. Post Britain’s Got Talent, “I Dreamed a Dream” is kind of sacred in tv land – I’m proud of Glee for not leaving it that way. Susan what’s her face is great and all, but Rachel and Mother really hit it with that one!
I wonder if it’s possible they’re assembling a full Les Mis episode – that would be awesome!
Oh my goodness – next week is Gaga week! As my husband and I often break out into Gaga dance parties on car rides, while cleaning the kitchen and simply whenever we can, I truly cannot wait!