I had a meta experience last night while watching Glee.
It was during the last musical number (not "Vogue"--more on that stupendously awesome video later), "Hello Goodbye." Rachel and Finn were dancing around onstage. Artie was spinning around in his wheelchair.
I started to get a tear in my eye. A tear of sheer joy.
This is what television should be about. Joy. Not hoping someone gets eliminated or hoping a bad guy gets killed. Pure, simple joy. It is a rare show on television that gives its fans this feeling every week, and off the top of my head, I can think of just two other shows that does this as well as Glee: Chuck and Ugly Betty.
I don't even know where to start. Last night's Glee wasn't a gamechanger. Nothing major happened. It was just the simple return of a beloved show that left us for four months, making the winter feel colder and longer than it has ever been. Glee, your absence made my heart grow fonder.
Last night, we were introduced to a few new cast members: Idina Menzel and Jonathan Groff, who are both Broadway vets and already have ties to Glee. Idina costarred with Kristin Chenoweth in Wicked, and Jonathan is Lea Michele's BFF and former Spring Awakening costar. I didn't care much for their characters--Idina made out with Will, who is supposed to be dating Emma, and Jonathan looked like an '80s rock star. He looked about 30 years old. And speaking of looks, Idina is basically Rachel Berry in about 30 years. Holy future self, Batman!
Glee didn't change too much during its absence: Sue was still evil and funny, Terri was still just evil, Finn was still cluelessly cute, and Rachel was still...well, Rachel. Actually, Will changed a little--he is now a player, or at least, he fancies himself one. Whatever. I am still rooting for him and Emma to work things out. Also, Brittany the blonde cheerleader is hilarious. "Sometimes I forget my middle name."
Another choice line from the show: Rachel's "Who's there? I carry a rape whistle."
My favorite number of the evening was "Gives You Hell." I am listening to it right now as I type this (thank you, GummyBearGleeks for uploading it onto YouTube). Lea Michele's voice is pure magic. She can sing anything and make it ten times better than the original. Sorry, All-American Rejects. I like your version, but Lea killed it.
Oh and how foxy is Harry Shum, Jr. (aka Mike Chang)? CHEESUS. I don't know what I would do if he and John Cho ever appeared on a show together.
Fox did something very smart with the scheduling of Glee right out of American Idol. I don't know what ABC was smoking, putting V right after Dancing with the Stars. Or putting Shaq Vs...., well, putting that show anywhere on the schedule. But Fox, oh, Fox. You're a genius. Also, you're REALLY showing appreciation for your viewers. Glee right out of Idol. In fact, Glee DURING Idol. Did anyone else see Simon, Randy, Kara, or Ellen last night? Me neither. I was busy checking out Will and Sue and Finn and Tina C. and Artie sitting behind them.
Here's what was arguably the best part of the evening: The "Vogue" video. The original Madonna song was a little before my time, and I've only ever seen snippets of the video here and there. Didn't matter at all. Sue Sylvester was a genius, and so were Kurt and Mercedes and everyone else in the video. And so was the person who shot the video. And so was the person who changed the lyrics to "Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire. Sue Sylvester, dance on air" and "Lauren, Katherine, Lana too. Will Schuester, I hate you."
Isn't life better now that Glee's back?
(Pictured: Sue Sylvester vogueing. I spent about 20 minutes making that using screenshots from the video. The tilting is completely by accident. But it still came out pretty great, huh?)