Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My Top 10 Favorite Things About "Glee" Season One


So with my negative thoughts (or, more accurately, my nit-picky thoughts) on "Glee" in the past, it's time to focus on the positive. And let me be clear, there's a lot more positive than negative. "Glee" will definitely be on my weekly schedule this year, and will probably be one of the shows I look forward to more than others. In fact, watching the show last week, I found myself lamenting the fact that I hadn't been watching it all along, while continually finding new things to like about the show.

In fact, there were so many things I liked about Season One that I had to condense some of the together to keep this list to just ten. So, without further ado, here are my top 10 favorite things about "Glee" season one:

10. Lea Michele's Weird Hotness
At first glance, I'm not sure I would call Lea Michele "hot." She sure isn't helped by the horrid wardrobe of her character (one character on the show accurately described Rachel's style as dressing like both an old lady and a toddler at the same time). But there's just SOMETHING about her that works. Yes, a huge part of that is her voice, which is probably the best among show regulars, but she's attractive in her own weird way.

9. Emma Pillsbury's Quirks
Speaking of weird, I'm not sure there's a weirder character on the show than Emma Pillsbury (played by Jayma Mays), and on a show like "Glee", that's saying something. At first, I was convinced that her quirky behaviors, marked by her germaphobia and OCD, would grate on me, but instead they made her all the more lovable. And she looked amazing in her wedding dress (pictured above) -- I'm just happy she didn't actually go through with the wedding.


8. Quinn's Reunion With Her Mom
There were a lot of loose ends that needed to be resolved in the season finale, and I really enjoyed how they handled this one. Quinn's reaction upon seeing her mom backstage (a mix of surprise, disgust, confusion and happiness) was perfect, and her mom was sweet and sentimental without being sappy. Plus, just when the scene could have veered into teary-eyed reunion territory, when Quinn's mom asks her to say something, she responds with "my water just broke." I don't know why, but that makes me laugh every time.

7. "Imagine" in Sign Language
This is kind of a personal choice, but having grown up immersed in Deaf culture, this was a very cool scene for me. Honestly, I think it would have worked even if the Glee kids had just sat there watching the performance, but the way they joined in really pushed it to another level.

6. Artie Busts a Move
I'll have more on this episode in a bit, but I wanted to call out this specific moment. Kevin McHale (no relation to the basketball player) is probably the best dancer among the male castmembers on the show, but he plays paraplegic Artie, so he can't really show his skills. But in this dream sequence in "Dream On", he got his moment to shine. One on level, the scene is kind of heartbreaking, for the way it ends, but the dance itself was just a really fun moment. 

5. Sue Sylvester
Sue Sylvester (played by Jane Lynch) quickly moved into my top characters on TV today list. She's got some of the best one-liners on the show, particularly when verbally sparring with Will. She's just the right level of evil to be a good antagonist for the show, but her soft side works too. I remember how shocked I was when they first revealed Sue's sister, who has Down Syndrome, and how sweet Sue was with her (in contrast to how we see her with everyone else). Sometimes even the bad guys have layers.

4. "Don't Stop Believing"
I was going to single out the Journey medley from the season finale, but then I went back and re-watched the closing number from the series premiere, and I loved everything about it. It's a great song to showcase Cory Monteith (Finn) and Lea Michele (Rachel) and the direction -- with the cuts to the reactions of the various supporters and enemies -- is amazing. Also, don't forget, the "Glee" pilot aired in May of 2009, then the show didn't return until September, so this was the performance they had to use to sell the show to the audience, and it really worked (well, it did for most people... in my case it took about ten more months before I got on board).

3. Brittany
Just everything about Brittany (played by Heather Morris). The stupid one liners ("dolphins are just gay sharks"). The double date with Santana and Finn. The left hand/right hand confusion. The dating of Kurt. The dancing. The "hairography" Just everything. More Brittany please!

2. "Dream On"
When one of my "Glee" watching friends asked me what my favorite musical performance from the first season was, I didn't even hesitate to respond with this duet between Matthew Morrison and Neil Patrick Harris from the episode of the same title. In this episode, Neil Patrick Harris was legen... wait for it... dary. Legendary! (whoops, sorry, wrong NPH character.) And while normally I don't pay attention to individual TV episode directors, how could I not be all about an episode directed by Joss Whedon? Hell, I almost watched this episode live, just because of Joss, before deciding to put it off until the summer and catch them all in order. Morrison's little celebratory arm raise when NPH starts singing "Piano Man" is awesome, as is the showdown-style direction at the beginning of Aerosmith's "Dream On" (oh, and btw, the director of the play had to be a moron if he thought Morrison's performance was better than NPH's). Add in the aforementioned Artie dancing scene, NPH's quick turnabout when he finds out he lost the part (then the equally quick turnabout when Will gives it up for him) and Rachel's faux duet with her mother at the end (much better than their duet of "Poker Face" in the next episode) and this was my favorite episode of the season.

1. Mike O'Malley's Speech in "Theatricality"
Understand, I've never been a Mike O'Malley fan. I thought his self-titled NBC sitcom, which only ran for two episodes, ran two episodes too many. And that horror paled in comparison with "Yes Dear", an awful show that somehow managed to last for six seasons. So when I first so O'Malley on "Glee", I thought he was going to be awful again. Boy, was I surprised. O'Malley nearly stole the entire first season as the old school father to Kurt, the flamboyantly gay member of the glee club who came out in the first half of the season. The way O'Malley's Burt handled Kurt's coming out was pretty impressive, but I thought this scene from "Theatricality" was his Emmy moment (O'Malley did earn a guest star Emmy nod, but it was for "Wheels", another standout performance). I can't do the scene justice, so, instead, I'll just show it.

video

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