When Glee first revealed that this year's big year-end musical would be based on the hit movie Grease, I literally cringed. After all, haven't we done Grease to death?! Especially on Glee?! I would have been happier to hear that they were covering Grease 2 simply so we could see someone do a really cool rendition of Michelle Pfeiffer's 'Cool Rider.' But that all changed the moment I heard Blaine start to sing 'Hopelessly Devoted To You.' Maybe this could work after all.
I love that Glee -- being a primetime show on a major network -- isn't afraid to tread where other shows are. Seeing Blaine pine for the loss of his boyfriend Kurt, albeit in his own way ('I don't even gel on weekends') and sing a song that has forever been associated with Olivia Newton John's Sandy as she wore her poodle skirt and sweater set without even wondering why he was singing 'the girl song,' was amazing. Then seeing transgender character Wade/Unique given the opportunity to play the part of Rizzo simply because she was the best person for the role even though Sue opposed the casting showed us that Glee isn't afraid to tackle tough subject. Then we saw Finn slip up and use the 'R' word when referring to Sue Sylvester's baby that was born with Down Syndrome. The very best part of Glee is that they aren't afraid to tackle the subjects that other major shows on big networks are.
Aside from being ballsy enough to go there, it's the show's musical numbers and cast of characters that really are making Glee shine this season. Fortunately this episode we were spared any side trips to NYC and we were able to just focus on McKinley High where some of our old favorites mixed with new characters. The introduction of The Glee Project's Blake Jenner as Ryder (aka the new Finn), coupled with Becca Tobin's Kitty (aka the new Quinn) and Jacob Artist's Jake (aka the new Puckerman), has revived the show after last season's lackluster performance and the loss of so many of our faves. Tobin has made her character so likeable in an unlikeable sort of way that she just might give Sue a run for her money in the 'best lines from Glee' category: "Who wants Justin Bieber hair? Half-black guys who can't grow it."
Glee took Grease last night and made it their own -- which, as clichéd as it sounds, is true. From the casting of Blaine as Teen Angel, to the hand jive dance-off, to underused Sugar Motta being cast as Franchise, I have never been so excited to see how this season will play out. Bringing Finn back as Mr. Schue's replacement was a great idea that hopefully means we'll see a lot more McKinley High and a lot less NYADA, because even though I like Rachel and Kurt, Glee is about a high school show choir. If anything, last night's episode shows us that everyone can be replaced.
Well done, Glee.