It should come as no surprise to anyone reading this blog that I am a major gleek. (As a musical theater nerd, I'm almost obligated to love the show.) So I thought since I'd been light on blog posts this week, I'd write up something on the first half of season 3. It feels silly to dissect a show mid-season, but then I remember that the first half of season 3 used 51 songs (or at least that's how many I have in my video folder for season 3). Which is a lot. So here were some of the highlights.
(Links to video of the performance whenever I could find it, but those generally get taken down pretty quickly, so if you want to watch, WATCH FAST.)
Best Kurt/Rachel Duet: "Ding-Dong The Witch Is Dead"
Kurt and Rachel have sung together on past seasons and always blend surprisingly well, but the two of them have never sounded better together than in this song from the season premiere. They look and sound like they're having so much fun. It's a lovely change from Lea Michele's usual tortured soul songs.
Most Surprising Song Choice: "It's All Over"
Yeah, "Listen" and "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going" from Dreamgirls have made appearances on Glee before, but I *loved* the use of this extremely theatrical song from the show, complete with costumes fitting the original musical. It's musical dialogue, much like you'd hear in a rock opera, rather than a solo song. It made Glee feel refreshingly like a musical rather than a drama with music videos thrown in.
I love how the Glee kids auditioning for West Side Story seem to have no idea what the show is or how to choose an appropriate song for it. Kurt auditions for lovestruck ex-gang member Tony with a flashy, flamboyant Barbra Streisand song about being a Broadway sensation. Yeah, because that'll convince them you're right for that part. Weirder still, the directors choose "Out Here On My Own" from Fame as a callback song for potential Marias. It's a belty song about feeling like a sad, alone outcast but powering through on your own strength... a vocal style and a theme that makes very little sense for Maria, a lyric soprano who sings about how pretty she is and seems to not feel like an outcast at all. Kurt, Mercedes, and Rachel all sing their songs beautifully, but they make ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE as audition songs for this show.
Most Moving Musical Moment (alliteration ftw): "Fix You"
I'm not going to lie - I cried during this one. Emma has just had an evening with her parents that has dredged up ALL her insecurities about who she is and the fact that she's not quite normal. She kneels to pray for God to fix something, anything, and Will, not knowing quite what to do, kneels and prays with her... and sings this song. It's heartbreaking and beautifully done.
Most Fun Group Number: "Last Friday Night"
I love when everyone gets up and just spontaneously dances around in the glee room. And no recent pop song is as suited to spontaneous dancing as this contagious Katy Perry hit.
(Honorable mention goes to "ABC," which only loses because "Last Friday Night" showcases Darren Criss' amazing ability to throw himself completely into his songs and look like he's having the time of his life.)
Best Mashup: "I Can't Go For That/You Make My Dreams"
Lyrically, these songs make no sense together, but musically, they fit fantastically, and the glee kids go all out, making this the most fun mashup they've done on the show since "Umbrella/Singin' in the Rain."
(Honorable mention goes to "I Will Survive/Survivor," which ALMOST won this category. I debated making it another tie, but the Hall & Oates songs were just so much fun.)
Best Puck Serenade: "I'm the Only One"
Puck ALWAYS falls in love with a girl in glee and tries to win her over by dedicating a song to her. And it works. (Well, except for "Fat Bottomed Girls.") Here, he secretly serenades Shelby while pretending he's singing it for Santana. This is one of my favorite performances he's ever done. They seriously need to give him some more songs.
Best Christmas Song: "Let It Snow"
First of all, Blaine and Kurt have always sounded AMAZING together. But this was a fantastic number for other reasons. Before the show turns into a silly but cheesy parody of old-timey Christmas specials, this opening number is a much classier throwback to those specials. The two boys have a sincere theatricality that make them absolutely perfect for this number. Even a month after Christmas, watching this clip still puts me in the holiday spirit.