Friday, January 1, 2010

Review - The Road to Sectionals - The Best Underdog Moments of Glee

When we returned from our holiday trip to my hometown, I was greeted by an advance review copy of Glee Season 1,Volume 1: Road to Sectionals, and it couldn't have arrived at a better time. I've watched my saved recordings of Glee so much, I think I saw my DVR putting an ad for itself on Craigslist.

I can't count how many times I've seen Rachel bust through the curtain at Sectionals, or how many times I've choked up during "Somebody to Love." These amazing musical moments make Glee work in a way that other musical television shows have tried and failed. At its core, though, Glee is about the underdog, and there's somebody for each of us to love at McKinley High.

Every week, Glee sneaks up on us and throws a slushie in our face with a moment we never expected and didn't see coming. Quiet moments that might otherwise go unnoticed, but reveal the depth of character development and perfection in casting. And so as we enter a new year, with nine new episodes of Glee to anticipate, I offer you my choices for The Best Underdog Moments of Glee.

Michael Hitchcock as Dalton Rumba. Anyone who has followed Hitchcock's career knows that he is a master of comic timing and delivery. He needs only to walk in front of a camera to completely steal a scene. "Don't Stop Believin' is the most downloaded song in the history of iTunes. I've only got one good ear and even I know that!" The man is comedy genius.

The Acafellas performance. The cameo casting on this show is perfection. Josh Groban, Victor Garber and Debra Monk all in one scene would have been enough, but then they gave us "Josh Groban loves a blowsy alcoholic." WE'RE NOT WORTHY. WE'RE NOT WORTHY.

Sandy Ryerson at home. Dolls. Kimono. Paneling. Enough said. Stephen Tobolowsky is incredible in this role.

April Rhodes joins Glee Club. Dear Anyone Who Gives Awards, make sure Kristin Chenoweth GETS THEM ALL.

Terri confronts Emma. I'll never understand why so many people find Terri so evil. I think she's quite the opposite. Would anyone with crushed expectations of their own future be any different (except for the whole giving drugs to kids thing)? We'd be clinging to the one thing that made us feel like we were still living in the sweet spot, too, and for her, that's Will. Cheers to Jessalyn Gilsig for her richly layered characterization of Terri.

Kendra and Brittany. Every time I drive over the railroad tracks on my way home, I'm going to lift up my feet and make a wish that the creators and writers continue to develop these two characters and give them more air time. The lines written for them are as hilarious as any of Sue Sylvester's and delivered with as much finesse by Jennifer Aspen and Heather Morris.

I had a unique opportunity to meet Heather Morris (Brittany) last week, and I can assure you that she knows the square root of four is NOT rainbows.

Artie rejects Tina. Artie's character is incredibly complex, and it's moments like this one where we discover that, of all the Glee kids, Artie is perhaps the most self-assured.

Suzy and Rachel. Ryan Murphy, Ian Brennan, and Brad Falchuck are incredibly adept at writing significant moments of self-discovery through almost cartoonish events. It's Suzy Pepper who points out Rachel's insecurities and her attraction to the unattainable. I could almost feel her little perfectionist heart jump in her chest.

Kurt's dad and Finn's mom. Could these parent-child relationships be any more fantastic? I know I shouldn't wish for such a Brady Bunch plot, but I so want these two to hook up and get married, even though it would leave Kurt lusting after his own stepbrother.

The Swingle Singers background music. Admit it, you're singing it right now.

The judges at Sectionals. No topic, individual, or group is protected from Glee's wry humor, and Anna Camp as Candace Dystra may very well have had the line of the season, delivered with perfection: "They weren't singing, they were, like, HONKING, and everyone was crying, and I was like, 'Get off the stage, you're terrible, and you're making me super uncomfortable.'"

Finally, I'd like to thank Glee for bringing back the underdog of fonts, Century Gothic.

If you haven't gotten a copy of Glee Season 1, Volume 1: Road to Sectionals, what are you waiting for?

Stay tuned for a review of the Extras and Bonus Features on Disc 4 of the DVD set!

What are your favorite Underdog Moments of Glee?


Rachel K said...

I could not agree more about all of your insights. I love Jessalyn as an actress but I don't care of her character however the show would be too campy without her. I just know she's going to keep my Wemma from living happily ever after in the back 9 which makes me sad though. Oh and I have decided that Kendra is one of my favorite characters and NEEDS more screen time. I am dying every time she opens her mouth! "I would do something like that for Phil if I didn't think it would make him so happy." LOVE HER!!!

Danielle said...

I was just howling over that very line today! Kendra is hysterical!

And Brittany! "I bet the duck is in the hat." HAHAHAHAHA!

Rachel K said...

Another underdog worth mentioning is Jacob Ben Isreal played by Josh Sussman. This kid has some zingers and is pretty hysterical. "Now bust those sweater puppies out of their cashmere cage."

MC said...

Sandy Ryerson cracks me up! I hope he's around more in the next episodes. "I'm living in a cocoon of horror!" is one of the most hilarious lines -- always makes me laugh. And of course "Who is Josh Groban?! Kill yourself!" is another classic.

Kristin Chenoweth is so talented and wonderful there are no words. I've been watching "Pushing Daisies" lately, and she's even more amazing as Olive Snook than she was as April Rhodes. Here's hoping April makes a "Glee" comeback sometime.

Sarah said...

You totally called Kurt's dad and Finn's mom, according to previews for next week's "Home."
(Can't wait can't wait April Rhodes can't wait!)

Their styles totally go together! (Though that much denim in one household be make something explode.)

Sarahnargle said...

*might make

See, it's already exploded my capacity to type. :)

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