September 13, 2011

Top 5 Musical Performances from GLEE: Season 2

Last year, I put together a Top Five list of my favorite musical performances from Season 1 of Glee, and with the Season 3 premiere coming up next Tuesday, I thought I'd do the same for Season 2:

5. "I'm A Slave 4 U" from "Britney/Brittany"
"Britney/Brittany" has been labeled as the weakest episode of the series, and it's hard to debate that argument since it did feel like a string of homage music videos connected with the flimsiest of story. That being said, I'm not going to hate on an episode that allowed Heather Morris to dance around in a belly dancer costume. I mean seriously, look at the picture. There ain't nothing wrong with that. Say what you will about the entire thing, Brittany's "Slave 4 U" moment was definitely memorable.

4. "Sing!" from "Duets"
From one of the worst episodes of Season 2 to one of the best. "Duets" was one of the rare outings that truly focused on the students of New Directions and their relationships. One of the newest ships to sail during last season was Tina and Mike (I still refer to them as Asian Fusion), and seeing them as a couple was a nice change of pace. Their duet,"Sing!", from A Chorus Line was not only cute, but a great way to give Mike more to do, and it fit with their overall storyline. In a lot of ways "Sing!" was the perfect example of how music can be used on Glee. Let's hope we're in for more of these performances in Season 3.

3. "Valerie" from "Special Education"
Season 2 was a breakout year for Brittany and Santana. They were able to get out of Quinn's shadow and became fully realized characters themselves, and they even got their own stand-out musical moments. One of Santana's highlights took place during the sectionals episode, "Special Education", where she got a solo singing "Valerie". I had never heard of the song before the episode, and I was really impressed with Santana's performance, and the fact that Brittany and Mike had a dance routine didn't hurt either.

2. "Get It Right" from "Original Song"
If you're like Jeff Winger, you've been waiting for New Directions to try singing their own music and Season 2 answered your prayers. I was happy to see the show move out of its comfort zone and actually try something different. Out of the four original songs that New Directions sang during the season, "Get It Right" was the strongest mostly because it was a natural selection for Rachel. Also, it was a solid effort from Lea Michele who seemed to be given less time to shine. I can understand why Rachel was held back a little during Season 2, and "Get It Right" was a welcomed comeback for the character.

1. "I Feel Pretty/Unpretty" from "Born This Way"
While "Sing!" was a great song that combined theme, character, and story, it was no where near as great as the mash-up of "I Feel Pretty" from West Side Story and TLC's "Unpretty". Season 2 was a little mash-up crazy, and most were OK, but "I Feel Pretty/Unpretty" was perfectly melancholy, and both songs combined to be one of the best musical moments on the show. It also was a great way to underline the self-accpetance theme of "Born This Way" and finally gave Rachel and Quinn the chance to sing together. Faberry shippers must have been going nuts. Silly shipper non-sense aside, "I Feel Pretty/Unpretty" was extraordinary from start to finish and definitely the highlight of Season 2.

Much like the overall season, the song choices and musical performances during Season 2 could not match up to Season 1. We did get some fun moments throughout the year, but most felt out-of-place, over the top, or just didn't work as well. From what I've been reading about Season 3, it should be a return to form, and let's keep our fingers cross that it will be.


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