Chris Colfer, the actor responsible for everyone’s favorite countertenor Kurt Hummel, makes his television writing debut with Glee’s second to last episode of the season, “Old Dog, New Tricks”. While Colfer is new to writing TV scripts, he’s not new to writing. The actor turned author is responsible for two New York Time’s bestselling children’s novels and an screenplay for the award-winning film Struck By Lightning.
The somber opening to Glee’s “Bash” sets the tone for the episode and it’s a somber one. The acapella version of “No One is Alone”, originally from the musical Into the Woods, is haunting and beautiful. Somehow even the comedic relief, Sam Evans, is quiet and that speaks volumes to the seriousness of the issue being addressed.
It is always a treat to see Lea Michele or Darren Criss do a Broadway number. Despite Madame Tibaduex’s disapproval, it is especially nice to see them perform together, this time doing their own theatrical rendition of “Broadway Baby” from Follies. I’d imagine due to the close proximity between Michele and Criss’s characters’, Rachel and Blaine will probably be singing some more Broadway ditties in the future.
After failing to create any original story lines or legitimate interest with the newbies at McKinley High, the creators and writers of Glee made a game-changing decision last week. They cut their losses, crushed the underdogs with a fatal almost win at nationals, and set up a new base camp in New York, New York. This is a giant leap in the right direction and this episode is proof.
Good news, Glee fans. The Bermuda Triangle school year at McKinley is actually over. Seniors Artie, Sam, Tina, Blaine, Becky, and even Brittany, back from her imprisonment at MIT, have all flipped their tassel over to the other side. They are moving on, but not before leaving us with one more iconic moment. “Don’t Stop Believin'” was quite obviously the only song to end the Glee Club’s five year run and this version does an amazing job of pulling the original characters and the newbies together in a single, meaningful act. While Kurt, played by Chris Colfer, lends his voice as the male lead and shows off his vocal range in the process, “Don’t Stop Believin'” is missing something without Finn. The chemistry between Kurt and Rachel could never mimic the sparks between her and Finn; intentional or not, the missing piece is a bittersweet tribute to both Finn Hudson and fallen actor Cory Monteith.
Glee’s 100th episode, cleverly entitled “100”, is a reminder of what’s been missing since most the original New Direction members graduated. What could have been, in turns, a little too sweet and fake ends up being a fun episode with enough bite to keep most of the tears at bay. Seeing the gang back together in the choir room singing the classics is nostalgic and unsurprisingly, everyone is back to their high school antics.
Glee’s second episode of the season and second half of their Beatles tribute is fun and filled to the brim with well-executed and unique Glee-ifed versions of The Beatles’ best experimental era work. While the musical performances are strong, this episode seems to highlight all the character development issues viewers have been fed up with in the recent past. Likewise, writing for this episode is not as strong as the season opener. On a positive note, the actors are spot on and distract from some of the cheesy dialogue.