Friday, May 27, 2011

Season Finale: Glee-"New York"

New Directions goes to New York on "Glee"
Credit: FOX

My thoughts on the season finale of Glee are after the jump.

Performance episodes generally give us the good side of Glee. This is where they bring their major arcs that they've been attempting to build for the past few episodes to a head and actually give us some character development. I feel like this episode falls to the bottom of my favorite performance episodes of Glee, but it was better then a lot of the episodes that we got this season. My major problem was they rushed a lot of payoff for some of the plotlines into maybe a minute or two each and some of the character material seemed out of character, but those are things that have plagued Glee for a long time now. The majority of the episode was (dare I say) fun to watch. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the episode, but that enjoyment came with major caveats.

One of the things that made it as enjoyable as it was, was the scenery in New York. The episode looked legitimately good and they used the location shot the best of its potential. While it's completely unrealistic that the Glee kids would have run around New York singing, the New York number was one of the better production numbers. The other scenes were what worked for me though. Rachel eating at Sardi's, Finn and Rachel walking around New York, and Kurt and Rachel performing in the Gershwin were all very well shot scenes.

While I have problems with the basis of the Rachel plotline, the execution was enough for me to not hate it. The idea of Rachel having to choose between love and her career in New York is ridiculous. There are many ways that she could have avoided this "choice" all together, but she didn't. That was what I was thinking until Rachel and Kurt stepped on the stage of the Gershwin Theater. The two of them singing "For Good" was a beautiful sequence. It didn't help my problem with the plotline, but it helped the execution of the plotline. It's just such a damn beautiful song and it was so well performed by the two actors. It allowed Rachel perform on a Broadway stage and reach her dream in an effective way. After this point, Rachel became much more bearable because she wasn't worried about the stupid problem she was having.

Some other thoughts:
  • I'm honestly glad they finished in 12th. They weren't ready to win it all yet, especially with the kiss. It would be unrealistic for judges of a serious competition like this to allow anyone who did that to win. I don't think it was unprofessional, I just think that the judges wouldn't like it.
  • Do I have to continue to pretend about who they decided to temporarily put Finn with this episode? Until they commit to one person, I don't care with whom they put him. I have stopped caring about that arc.
  • I didn't care about Mr. Schuester's brief moments on stage or that he stuck around. They didn't make a big deal about it in the episode, so I won't make a big deal about it here.
  • The Brittany and Santana material was shoehorned into the background of the episode. I'm slightly disappointed about this, even if the material we got was good.
  • Another issue of the lack of any sense of capability in their overarching storylines was the return of Sunshine. If they had her on the show for more then two episodes, it might have worked out better, but here it didn't work at all. Everything with her seemed very forced and I had no emotional connection to it whatsoever. 
  • The Nationals performances were all surprisingly decent.
  • They could have used Patti LuPone a lot better then they did. That was a waste of a guest star.
  • Matthew Morrision got his album promotion. I'm going to pretend to care.
Glee goes into its summer hiatus with an episode that certainly wasn't terrible, but it was still one with which I still had problems. I'm a little happy to forget about the show and let it disappear from my mind until September. Then it will have the opportunity to prove that it can be capable of being consistently entertaining.

What did everyone else think?

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