Neil Patrick Harris. Idina Menzel. Joss Whedon directing. I dunno about you, but I’m having a great spring quarter thanks to Glee.
This episode features Neil Patrick Harris as Bryan Ryan, former star of the glee club back before Will became the Troy Bolton of the school. Bryan was a role model for Will, yet he also made his glee life miserable — he was essentially the Cary Grant of McKinley High. He’s now back, refiguring the budgets cuts of extracurricular programs at school…and trying to cut the glee club.
There’s your focus: should the glee club create unrealistic expectations for students? Or should students be given the opportunities to do what they want and create those dreams and goals? Will tries to convince Bryan of the latter.
Unlike most of this season, Rachel does not actually dominate the episode — Artie does (yay!). His story explores the ways he can achieve his dream of being a dancer. He sings “Safety Dance” and “Dream a Little Dream of Me” (wonderfully if I may say so, with some Fred and Ginger dancing from Tina and Mike). Rachel is still with Jessie, Jessie is still with Vocal Adrenaline (surprise, surprise), and Rachel wants to know about her biological mother. There’s a lovely duet between Shelby (Menzel) and Rachel of “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables, and two between Will and Bryan: “Piano Man” and “Dream On” (with sick falsetto, Mr. Harris).
Music Tip: I loved how they used typically solo songs as duets. The three songs were well placed in the episode, and each song transitioned well into songs for more than one main singer. This task is often used in a cappella groups, arranging a song for multiple singers and choosing where the melody will be sung. Now these three can be on the market.