By our guest blogger, Catherine Fuentes
There’s nothing more cliché than a television show episode about a prom, yet somehow, Glee found a way to make their prom totally fresh. Maybe it’s because I was able to avoid spoilers of the newly minted prom king and queen, foolishly tweeted by an on-set extra, but I found the episode to be a solidly good one.
I laughed at the sharp writing, I felt proud of Brittany where she stood up for herself and her beliefs and articulated them incredibly – and shockingly – well to Artie when he asked her to prom and apologized for calling her stupid for the umpteenth time. I was thankful that Mr. Schuester had minimal on-screen time, and Sue Sylvester had more on-screen time than usual, this time with a dental interrogation kit, and an inappropriate yet hilarious joke about John McCain.
I even felt a surge of emotion over the relationship between Kurt and Blaine, a relationship I consider to be the best and purest relationship currently on television. (For anyone curious, my other favorite television relationship is Coach Eric and Tami Taylor on Friday Night Lights.) I think that everyone should hope that one day they find a partner who loves and supports him or her as much as Blaine loves and supports Kurt.
However, I found the prom episode’s weakest point to be the music, unfortunately. Though to be fair, given the episode’s premise, I wasn’t expecting the best musical performances of the season. I expected this episode to be one where plot and drama took a priority to music, even though a prom is all about dancing (although, to a high school student, it’s really all about the accompanying melodrama).
In an on-stage practice, Rachel decided to sing Adele’s ubiquitous #1 hit, “Rolling in the Deep.” I’ve said it before: I love Adele, and I love this song, but I am so ridiculously sick of everyone thinking that they should cover it now. I wish there could be a moratorium on the song, so that I don’t become so painfully sick of a song I loved the very first time I heard it. That being said, Rachel and Jesse didn’t bring a particularly new or interesting spin to the song.
I happened to absolutely love Artie’s prom proposal of “Isn’t She Lovely” to Brittany, who stood up for herself and said no. In all fairness, with such a beautifully sung and performed song, it must’ve been rather hard. To me, this song proved that Artie has the vocal chops to take on some serious meaty solos, and that the Glee club guys are so musically talented that they can create a rhythm section with found household items common to a kitchen or home economics classroom.
Perhaps my favorite song of the night was very shockingly, the rendition of Rebecca Black’s surprise hit, “Friday.” I knew this song would be covered in the episode, but being true to avoiding spoilers, I had no idea who would cover it. So when Puck, Trouty Lips and Artie took the stage with electric guitars and started to rock out to some song, I just figured that it’s some pop punk hit that I’m unfamiliar with… until it got to the chorus. By that point, I was already loving the performance too much to care that I love something that Rebecca Black created. These things are somewhat painful to admit.
I fast-forwarded through Rachel’s ballad of “Jar of Hearts,” pausing only to see the dialogue between the other characters. In all fairness, once you see one Rachel Berry ballad, you’ve seen them all, and I’ve seen enough to know that I don’t like them. From what I ascertained through my fast-forwarding, there were some endearing moments between Finn and Rachel (stolen glances during romantic ballads is a little trite for my tastes, but then again, this is high school), but the moment worth pausing for was Sam telling Mercedes that she looks beautiful and asking her to dance. That was one of the best moments of the episode.
While I was glad to see Blaine sing lead, I really missed him with the backing of the Warblers, and didn’t care too much for his version of the Black Kids’ “I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You.” The song was appropriate for the episode: fun and totally dance-able, but it wasn’t anything interesting or musically special.
For much the same reason, the version of ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” wasn’t that great either. I was far too invested in the plot that had just unfolded before it: Kurt was crowned Prom Queen to Karofsky’s Prom King, which brought Santana to tears and Quinn to a tearful nervous breakdown wherein she slapped Rachel across the face. However, being the strong guy that he is, and having the unwavering support of Blaine, Kurt decided to accept his title. That was great, but having “Dancing Queen” as the song playing when two guys (one in the closet and one out of the closet) were supposed to take their first dance seemed a bit much for me.