May 31, 2013
This post has been days in the making. On a whim, I stopped into the Barrymore after lunch on Monday to ask the dumb question of if they still had Youth tickets for that night’s performance of The Scottish Play (Macbeth) … and as luck would have it, they did.
My eyebrows shot up in shock and I quickly yanked out my wallet and slid $30 and my ID under the window in the lobby to pay for my ticket and prove that I was, in fact, under the age of 30. (All Broadway shows have different rush policies, and Macbeth’s is that they have a limited amount of $30 tickets for patrons under the age of 30… I don’t turn 30 until November, so I’m trying to take full advantage of these “Under Age 30” deals while I can.)
That night, I sat down in my 11th row aisle seat (partial view seat, but that was expected) and waited anxiously for the play to begin. Instead of reading the synopsis of the play and character breakdown provided in the Playbill, I filled out a survey from the Broadway League and then looked about the theater, hoping to see a familiar face or two.
A couple minutes before the play was to start, I did see a familiar face. Jane Lynch (dear Lord she is tall) walked down the aisle to my left and was shown her aisle seat a few rows up from mine. Just as the lights were turned off, I slid over a few seats (as my row literally had me and a pair of older gentleman several seats down from me) so I could have a better view of the stage. I also ended up having a better view of Jane Lynch. It was odd watching her watch the play, but my attention stayed mainly on the stage because Alan Cumming was completely mesmerizing.
For those of you who are not aware, this version of Macbeth is a one-man show starring Alan Cumming as all the characters. Set in a hospital of sorts, Cumming is left on his own accord (but then watched and tended to from time to time by two doctors) and proceeds to act out the entire Scottish Play.
I was remiss that I didn’t read the synopsis and character breakdown because it took me awhile to figure out some of the relationships between the various characters and keep them all in check. Cumming did a miraculous job at giving each character a distinctive voice or movement (sometimes both). There were also a few key props (an apple, a creepy doll, a wheelchair and a sweater) that were important throughout the play.
If you’re like me, you probably read Macbeth once or twice in high school and haven’t paid much thought to it over the past decade or so. You remember the story and a couple key lines of dialogue, but you probably don’t remember how everyone is related or why this person wants to kill that person. However, even though I forgot a majority of the plot from when I last read Macbeth (which was fall of 1998 or spring of 1999…), that didn’t mean I appreciated the play any less.
Alan Cumming is a force to be reckoned with. I now fully understand why he doesn’t do matinees during his run because if watching him was emotionally taxing (which it very much was), I cannot imagine the stress doing this show puts on his body and soul. He literally flings himself around on stage for an hour and a half, baring every aspect of himself – inside and out.
Yes, there is nudity. From the start, Cumming’s character is stripped from his everyday clothes and changed into hospital garb with the help of the two doctors. During the play he takes a bath in a tub onstage and is in varying stages of dress throughout. Despite seeing every inch of Alan Cumming (which I think was accidental… but from where I was sitting, his towel didn’t quite cover him post-bath), this was the least distracting/unnecessary stage nudity that I’ve ever seen in a show. It wasn’t that I didn’t notice – it’s that it was very much a believable and necessary part of the story that it never took you out of the moment.
Plays like this make me glad the theater was mostly dark throughout the entire time. My facial expressions ran the complete gamut of emotions. I laughed. I gasped. I winced. I shuddered. I was startled. I was stunned. I was horrified. I was charmed. I was scared.
I was moved.
My eyes were glued to the stage and I couldn’t peel them away. I had to keep following Cumming as he purposefully positioned himself around various parts of the stage, using three surveillance cameras and a bathroom mirror as both allies and foes. These were means where he could play several characters at once, or highlight the epic loneliness that was really being shown on stage.
One of the biggest thrills for me was getting to hear Cumming speak in a Scottish accent/dialect throughout the entire play. Most of the time when we see him on film or on television, he’s got an American accent or something that is not entirely his own brogue. Though he used many different voices throughout the show, I got a kick out of hearing the Scottish Play being performed by a Scot with a proper accent.
Macbeth is at the Barrymore through July 14th. If you want to see the Bard’s words being masterfully spoken by one of the greatest stage performers of his generation, get yourself a ticket and settle into your seat. Don’t say the play’s name while in the theater, but this intermission-free performance of Macbeth is worth a see if you are in the city before the middle of July.
May 28, 2013
I consider myself an unofficial scholar of Baz Luhrmann’s films. (Well, considering that I wrote several papers in college about Moulin Rouge, maybe I’m a legit scholar…) I walked into The Great Gatsby ready to be visually assaulted and expecting a Meh film, having read mixed reviews and not being wholly impressed with Luhrmann’s last film (Australia). I walked out of the theater both pleasantly surprised and similarly unimpressed. The Great Gatsby is a colorful and wildly manic film with quiet moments, but feels like a retread of all of Luhrmann’s past projects. We know Luhrmann is a master of heightened reality – and that actually works for The Great Gatsby – but I’m ready for something different.
The Great Gatsby has been called Moulin Rouge 2.0 and that’s not too far off. Both films feature highly anachronistic music to score/underscore a real time in history with fictitious characters. Bright costumes, amazing production design and pretty young things splash across the screen via quick edits and other visual illusions. Wild parties and the illusion of having it all tantalize the characters and the audience until everyone realizes (sometimes too late) that the high life does not last forever.
Full disclosure – I read The Great Gatsby once in high school when everyone was forced to read this American classic. I didn’t retain much from it except that it was set in New York and that Jay Gatsby loved Daisy Buchanan (who is already married) who was cousin to Nick Carraway who lived next to/was friends with Gatsby. As I watched the film, I found myself wondering if the book had as heavy homosexual undertones as the film did (with regard to Carraway and Gatsby). In my opinion, while watching the film, it appeared that Nick was very fond of Gatsby and seemed to admire him as a little bit more than a friend. There was no actual physical contact or outright declaration of feelings for Gatsby, but at the same time, Carraway seemed to be in the middle of the Kinsey scale. In the film, he only made out with women when he was drunk and he never sought any sort of relationship with the golfer (who was the only other lead character that was “single” besides Gatsby… who was in love with Daisy, so he wasn’t really “single” in his own mind). I didn’t mind this – I just didn’t remember this from the book.
Other Luhrmann fans likely saw parallels and/or people from his previous films. The father from Strictly Ballroom was seen at Gatsby’s parties. I already mentioned the use of music (though instead of pop songs, The Great Gatsby relied heavily on rap and R&B), but The Great Gatsby also utilized some of the same types of camera moves and filters seen in prior Luhrmann pictures. I opted not to see The Great Gatsby in 3D (as I think 3D films are a waste of money, as well as uncomfortable to sit through as I have to wear the 3D glasses on top of my regular glasses), but I don’t think I really missed out on anything. This wasn’t one of those films where objects are thrust out from the screen – it seemed more of a depth perception thing. In that case, 2D suited me just fine.
I’m used to the flashiness of Luhrmann films (Romeo + Juliet; Moulin Rouge) as well as the grandiose period piece (Moulin Rouge; Australia) and The Great Gatsby fits into both categories. There were a lot of “in your face” sequences where people were dancing and partying, but then there were also some quieter moments where the audience was just supposed to be in awe of the sheer size of the property Gatsby owned.
One of my favorite recurring themes of the film was the sense of being alone even though one is physically surrounded by so much. The three main characters (Gatsby, Daisy and Nick) all are lonely people who are often in the midst of something crazy. Gatsby throws these lavish parties, but no one seems to know him or see him that much. Daisy lives in a huge house, but her husband has a mistress and she seems to be all by herself even though she’s got family and friends. Nick lives alone, but is often immersed in somebody else’s world. Even when there is a crowd of people, he often comments how he is “within” and “without” in these situations. You’re supposed to want to envy these characters and the lives they live, but it’s hard to do so when they are just as miserable as they are content (maybe even more so).
I’m a huge Leonardo DiCaprio fan and have been for years, so I was not going to pass up a chance to see him on the big screen. Though Gatsby is one man, you could tell Leo was playing two roles. There was the Jay Gatsby who threw big parties and lived large, calling everyone “Old Sport” and being the link to a lot of people. But there was also Jay Gatsby, the quiet man who was in love with Daisy. The one who dropped his heirs and vulnerably said “Hi” to Daisy after seeing her for the first time in five years. This latter Gatsby was my favorite of the two – seeing someone so sure and yet completely unsure, but somehow still willing to wear his heart on his sleeve. I fell for this Gatsby when he was in his sweater and chinos instead of a three piece suit. With his boyish grin, you would have thought this was Leo circa 1997, when Jack and Rose were frolicking about the Titanic pre-iceberg. I couldn’t help but grin too (even though I knew the ending of the story, which I won’t spoil for anyone), because it’s just real nice seeing people find each other again after an extended period of time.
Conversely, I also like it when characters flip out on screen – and there was plenty of that in The Great Gatsby. That much anger and betrayal among characters made for some cuh-razy shouting matches. As odd as this sounds, Angry Leo is actually a comforting sight for me (see also: The Departed), so I eagerly took in the scenes where Old Sport Gatsby completely lost his shit and got all red in the face as he screamed at whomever was antagonizing him in that particular scene.
I didn’t not like The Great Gatsby, but I also wasn’t completely over the moon for it. The aesthetic was great (if a repeat of prior Luhrmann films) and the cast was solid. I found the film ran a bit long (nearing two and a half hours, I began yawning during some of the “quieter” moments toward the end) and was very self-indulgent. However, since a lot of the people in the film were self-indulgent, it kind of was fitting (if a bit grating at times).
I don’t think I’ll need to own this one (I do have Strictly Ballroom, Moulin Rouge and even Australia… for reasons), but I was grateful to have seen The Great Gatsby once in theaters. This kind of film’s visuals work best on a huge screen, so it’s bits with manic pacing and all the color and spectacle of it all can be properly enjoyed.
May 17, 2013
So, this is obviously more than a week late, but I don’t even feel bad because that wasn’t a Glee finale, per se, but a poorly cliffhangered episode that will just pick back up exactly where it left off in a few months. If anything, I’m welcoming this hiatus Journey-style (with Open Arms) and am hoping that when the writers get back to work, they can step their game up and give Glee Season 5 some much needed help.
Because this is hella late (real life happened, you guys… and would you believe some of that real life involved me watching a number of the Glee cast practically bypass the fans at the Fox Fan Front – though, bless Darren’s heart because that boy tried to sign stuff for people and take pictures with as many people as he could), I’m not even going to bother re-capping the whole episode, but I will touch on the major storylines – those that were wrapped up and those that weren’t. (Spoiler alert – most weren’t, though I kind of didn’t care.).
Rachel’s Funny Girl Audition
I was grateful they got this out of the way near the beginning of the episode. She sings Celine Dion’s “To Love You More” (a personal favorite of mine that I have sung into my hairbrush/water bottle/shampoo bottle/writing implement more times than one should ever admit) and it’s good, but is it Fanny Brice good? One of the people auditioning her says, “Thank you, Rachel. We’ll let you know.”
And then that was it of the Rachel Berry story line for the episode! Does she get the part? Does she not get the part? We don’t know and I don’t care. Honestly, I don’t think the character of Rachel Berry is ready for a leading role on the Great White Way. But, since Rachel gets everything handed to her, she’ll probably get the part. But, like I said, I’m not invested in anything to do with Rachel Berry anymore.
Bye Bye Brittany
Brittany started the episode at MIT and was being spoken to by some professors and Deans. Though she had a near perfect SAT score, she got a 0 on a math test that morning. She scribbled (in crayon) a bunch of numbers down and they believe her to be the most brilliant scientific mind since Einstein.
When she got back to Lima, something was off. Brittany started acting out and demanding solos at Regionals. She quit Glee club, then broke up with Sam via text while he was in the same room as her and said she missed lady kisses.
Brit quits Cheerios and nails her 95 Theses to the door of Roz’s office. Sue and Will then tried to talk to Brittany, but she only said she would talk on her own terms, so they do an episode of Fondue for 2. Brittany asked if Will and Emma were getting married (they were after Regionals) and then claimed she knew the identity of Sue’s baby’s celebrity father (Michael Bolton – which Sue confirmed as true).
Meanwhile, Sam called Santana and said he needed to speak with her about Brittany and asked for her help. That raised a red flag for Santana because she knew Sam wouldn’t call unless it was important.
Santana came back to Lima and does a Fondue for 2 with Brittany where she confronted her and told Brittany to stop. She also said she still cared about Brittany (which we all knew anyway).
Brittany came back to Glee club before they were supposed to go on for Regionals. They do a show circle and she tearily admitted that she was offered early submission to MIT and that she needed to leave immediately. She gave a really sad speech about how people told her she was stupid but that the glee club made her believe in herself. (It was here in my notes that I jotted down, “Brittany, your HeMo is showing.”) Then, Brittany said something nice(ish) about everyone in the room. I got a little bit said when she addressed Sam because they were crying and then there was hugging and it got a little emotional, but in a good way instead of a preachy way that Glee has been known to do.
After Regionals, Brittany sat alone on the stage and Santana joined her. They hugged and I was kind of confused/not paying attention to their storyline. I’m assuming since Brittany is leaving that the Britanna storyline is over (or at least very much on hold)? Who knows?
I’m not shocked that Brittany is leaving. HeMo is pregnant and that character has gotten less interesting ever since they made her extraordinarily stupid. It used to be that she would have quality one-liners, but then they made her meanish and really dumb and it was a huge turn off to watch.
The Catfish is Revealed and It’s a Surprise to No One but Ryder
You guys – Ryder just couldn’t take it anymore. He stopped Glee rehearsal and demanded to be told who his catfish was or else he wouldn’t perform at Regionals. He started to go berserk, so Marley stood up and said it was her (but you could totally tell she was covering for someone). Ryder got pissed off and walked out.
Later, Marley tried to convince Ryder that they needed him for Regionals. He just wanted to know why she did it when she had told him before that it wasn’t her. Unique stepped out and revealed that she was the catfish and that Marley didn’t have to cover for her. Marley left the two of them to talk and Unique spilled that she liked Ryder and that everything they shared was real. She said she didn’t do it to hurt Ryder and asked that he not punch her. Ryder told her, “We don’t have anything” and that while he wasn’t going to punch her, he also was not going to talk to her.
After their Regionals victory, Ryder and Unique shared a hug that was in the moment, but then he backed away from her and their relationship (or lack thereof) was left hanging.
This is a plot that I hope they revisit and address next season. Ryder and Unique were at odds earlier in Season 4 when Ryder would not acknowledge Unique as a “her.” They made up after that feud, and things seemed fine. But, now that Unique knowingly advanced upon Ryder using another person’s identity, which is a horse of a different color. Ryder bared his soul to “Katie” and Katie did the same thing in turn, but Ryder was under false pretenses that Katie was Katie and not Unique. Though they are likely to work it out (because you can’t have two glee kids flat-out hate each other for an extended period of time), it’ll be interesting to see how it is addressed. Ryder is understandable upset because he thought he was falling for a girl and he wasn’t – he was falling for Unique. And while Unique identifies as female, she is not the kind of girl that Ryder is looking for.
The New Directions were up against the Waffletoots (played by the Wiffenpoofs) and the Hoosierdaddies (which featured guest star/American Idol alum Jessica Sanchez as Frieda Romero).
The Waffletoots sang a classy version of Rainbow Connection (another personal favorite) and they did not get enough screen time.
The Hoosierdaddies sang “Clarity” (not the John Mayer song) and “Wings.” I was not familiar with either of these songs, nor was I a Jessica Sanchez fan while she was on Idol, so I tuned out while they were on screen. I would have rather had some plot with characters I cared about instead of two songs from someone I hope to never see on the show again.
When the New Directions FINALLY took the stage, they sang songs I didn’t know either. The guys sang “Hall of Fame” (okay, so I knew this one…) and then the girls sang something called “I Love It” (I think?). They then ended their set with Blaine and Marley singing one of Marley’s original songs, “All or Nothing” (Also the title of the episode… though silly me was hoping they would sing the classic O-Town jam “All or Nothing.” Alas.). During this song, a tearful Santana passed a tissue to a similarly tearful Kurt and just this week we found out that there was supposed to be a line of dialogue during this scene where it is announced that Kurt still loves Blaine. (This will be important in the Klaine section coming up…)
The New Directions placed first and Nationals is in LA, so we’ll get that at some point in the middle of next season. (Cooper Anderson lives in LA, right?)
Wemma got married after Regionals. Their vows were basically flashbacks to moments from Season 1 when he was still married to Terri. They blab on about “one true loves” and the camera pulled back to reveal Blaine standing next to Kurt while wiggling an engagement ring box behind his back.
So, the engagement ring box was the big cliffhanger of the season, which caused a lot of us to groan because Blaine should not be asking Kurt to marry him (for a couple reasons – 1. They aren’t even officially back together yet and 2. Burt Hummel just told Blainers last episode that they are not ready to be getting engaged/married. AND YOU ALWAYS LISTEN TO BURT HUMMEL.)
So how did we get here?
Well, near the beginning of the episode, Sam stopped his BFF Blaine in the hallway and said that Blaine was not ready to get married yet. (That’s TWO people telling you this, Blainers. Two.) Sam brought up how Blaine wasn’t even sure where Kurt stood with Adam (oh, he’s still a character?) and that he’s just not ready. Blaine, being the romantic young gay, said that people like him have been waiting hundreds of years to be able to get married legally. Then he tried to guilt Sam into ring shopping with him by saying that he wanted Sam to be his best man.
Blaine did go ring shopping and he brought Tina. Ugh. Tina, stop trying to make Blina happen. She goes on about what she would want for a ring and Blaine reminded her for likely the umpteenth time that the ring is for Kurt. Luckily, a kindly saleswoman named Jan (Patty Duke!) stepped in and ran interference. She asked who the ring was for and Blainers poorly explained that it was for his boyfriend, or rather they weren’t boyfriends, but it was for someone he loved very much and wanted to spend forever with. When Jan asked Blaine to tell her about his man, Tina rolled her eyes and exited the conversation (because Blaine wants a MAN, Tina, geez). Blaine was all sorts of shocked when Jan legitimately wanted to hear him out. Turned out Jan had a partner named Elizabeth and they talk about soul mates and Blaine was smitten with Jan and how she wanted to be his gay fairy godmother. Jan told him it didn’t matter how young or old you were with regard to love.
Just then, Sam walked in the jewelry store and told Blaine that he loved him and wanted to support him. Jan thought that Sam was Blaine’s loved one, but they quickly shook her off. Sam said, “He wants to do me, but we’re just friends.” This annoyed Blaine (and made me love Sam that much more), causing Sam to retort, “You do want to do me.”
I love Blam. Blam is the second greatest thing to ever happen to Glee. (The first being that Darren was cast as Blaine.)
Blaine, Kurt, Jan and Elizabeth all go out for dinner at Breadstix and the women tell the boys about how they met and their relationship. They broke up twice and got back together twice and had basically been through thick and thin with each other over the past 30 years. Kurt asked how Jan and Blaine met and they lie – saying they met at the food court in the mall. (The truth best come out at some point – just sayin’.) Elizabeth called Kurt and Blaine a sweet couple and Blaine thanked her while Kurt quickly quipped “Oh, we’re not a couple.” Blaine’s heart broke just a little bit and I just got angry at my television. I get that they aren’t together and am fine with that, but we know how Blaine feels about Kurt. We have little to no idea what Kurt feels about Blaine. (Now, remember back to the cut line of dialogue between Kurt and Santana from Regionals… Kurt still loves Blaine. BUT, based off of what we are seen on the show and Kurt’s dialogue post-4×15, we actually have no idea because most of Kurt’s scenes have been about Rachel, or his dad, or there were a couple involving Blaine in 4×21 – but even those were from Blaine’s POV.)
While still at Breadstix, Jan proposed to Elizabeth and they kiss. It’s adorable and Blaine and Kurt (and everyone else in the restaurant) are happy for them, but you could see that Blainers was a little sad/jealous.
And that was the last of Klaine in the episode. They were in the same room during the show circle before Regionals, and they were next to each other while Wemma was exchanging vows, but we got no sense of Klaine closure.
This is not a cliffhanger, though – it’s just more of the same from Season 4.
Glee starts back up at the end of August/beginning of September and plot-wise, it should be picking up exactly where it left off. The McKinley kids are mid-school year, so graduation will likely be happening around the time the Christmas episode normally airs. It’s going to be a bit of a mind game, but my guess is that they were just trying to keep this crop of McKinley seniors (mostly Blam) at McKinley as long as possible. I’m hoping once they “graduate,” the show will just shift to NYC and that the back half of Season 5 and then all of Season 6 will be Klaine in NYC. (And Sam needs to be there too…)
I’m going to be just fine during this hiatus because there were no plot lines to even remotely panic over.
Have a great summer, Gleeks. I’m sure I’ll see some of you at Darren’s concert in June.
May 16, 2013
(This is actually spoiler free!)
Last night, I had the pleasure of seeing Star Trek Into Darkness at an advanced screening. I have been waiting for this movie since the day the first Star Trek film came out back in 2009. No, I’m not a Trekkie (I was actually obsessed with Star Wars when I was younger…), but I am a huge fan of the cast and creative team behind this franchise.
I had unfairly huge expectations walking into the movie theater last night and I am pleased to say that not only were those expectations met – they were SHATTERED.
Somehow I managed to successfully avoid spoilers for Star Trek Into Darkness and was entirely grateful that I had. I won’t spoil any of the huge plot points for you either (as you should have the same right to walk into that film unspoiled), but I will say that there were plenty of moments where I audibly uttered “Holy shit!” to no one in particular.
Star Trek Into Darkness retained all of the same cast from the first film with a few notable add-ons. Alice Eve plays a new weapons specialist aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise and her role was a welcome addition to the crew as she was a confidant, smart character. Though she was eye candy to some of the fleet, Eve’s character held her own with regard to necessary knowledge and know-how needed to actively play a part in helping to save the day.
Everyone and their mom will be walking out of Star Trek Into Darkness talking about Benedict Cumberbatch. If you see this movie and are not affected by his performance in some way, then you apparently don’t have functioning eyes and/or ears.
I have been a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch ever since 2007 when I first saw him in Starter for 10. My appreciation of him has only grown because of Sherlock. And now, after Star Trek Into Darkness, my love of Benedict Cumberbatch has increased even more. Because holy smokes – what a transformation.
Just from the poster, trailers and commercials you know Cumberbatch plays a bad guy. I won’t delve into just how bad a guy he plays, but trust me – he is evil.
However, this evilness did not stop my jaw from dropping any time he was on screen – if anything, this dark side and raw masculinity only added to the attraction of Cumberbatch up on screen. This was a role unlike any I had seen him in before. And while he did play a bad guy in Atonement, that character was passive (albeit an aggressive passive person, as he did rape someone), this bad guy in Star Trek Into Darkness was full of revenge and animosity – actively trying to make up for lost time with a similar smarminess that comes through in his Sherlock character. Cumberbatch’s character in Star Trek Into Darkness is very smart, to the point where he rivals Spock and his use of logic and knowledge to have advantages over other. However unlike Spock, Cumberbatch’s character is completely human and his emotions get the best of him several times, causing explosions of rage and anger to drive his actions.
There is no denying that the entire cast of Star Trek Into Darkness is attractive. Chris Pine is a handsome protagonist with an equally fine crew. Though apparently a shirtless scene of Cumberbatch was left on the editing room floor (WHY?!), he filled out his form fitting wardrobe quite well and there were definitely some pronounced arm and chest muscles going on that were not seen as such on Sherlock.
As referenced in the title of this post, I claimed that Star Trek Into Darkness was my favorite chick flick since Bridesmaids. I will argue that Star Trek Into Darkness is a chick flick until the end of time.
“Why?” you ask.
To me, a watchable chick flick has stereotypically good looking people and good stories about relationships that punch you in the feels.
As I already mentioned, the main characters on the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise (as well as it’s #1 enemy in this film) are ridiculously attractive. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto make a handsome team and when flanked by the likes of Zoe Saldana and Karl Urban, you kind of can’t go wrong. These actors aren’t just pretty faces, though – they all have masterful acting chops.
I was not a fan of Pine’s before Star Trek. I had seen some of his other stuff, but it was fluff like Just My Luck or Princess Diaries 2, where he was just a handsome face with not too much substance. Pine’s Captain Kirk is a smart alec, but he’s also a determined leader and fierce friend. There is pain behind his eyes and a depth to that character that people might be surprised to find.
When I write about “relationships that punch you in the feels,” I was referring to Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock’s friendship.
See, chick flicks don’t have to be about the girl getting the guy. Bridesmaids is one of my favorite chick flicks ever because of the relationship between Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph’s characters. Their friendship is basically like being sisters and that is a powerful relationship to see crumble and reunite on screen. The same goes for Kirk and Spock. These guys were getting to be friends in the first Star Trek film, but in Star Trek Into Darkness, their relationship is already established and they are closer to best friends or brothers than we’ve seen them before to the point where Kirk expresses his hetero-lifemate feelings for Spock. Though Spock does not vocally reciprocate those feelings, his actions throughout the film do. Spock is definitely more in touch with his human side in Star Trek Into Darkness and that allows him to convey a range of emotions with regard to Kirk’s plot in relation to Cumberbatch’s character.
Seeing men in a meaningful relationship is something that a lot of women I know are interested in when it comes to plot of movies/television shows/books/etc… We might not have firsthand experience having a brotherly bond with someone, but to see men be vulnerable around each other and talk about feelings is definitely something that piques a lot of our interests. This is why I argue that Star Trek Into Darkness is a chick flick – because the amount of emotion, feelings and vulnerability displayed by the main characters is very relatable and something we “chicks” stereotypically love to watch unfold.
People will likely refer to this as a “buddy/action film” whereas I will continue to call it an “action/chick flick.” The action and fight sequences were amazing and highly entertaining. Some of the violence was a little painful to watch/hear, but in the best way possible. I still can’t get over the fact that Benedict Cumberbatch is a legitimate badass/action movie star.
I’m still shaking my head in disbelief how much I loved this movie. Rarely do movies like this live up to the hype or my expectation, but this was just great fun and a swift kick to the feels. If you enjoyed the first Star Trek film, you will likely also very much enjoy Star Trek Into Darkness. I need to see it again. And I wish the DVD was out right now so I could have a Star Trek/Star Trek Into Darkness marathon whenever I wanted.
May 15, 2013
I was beyond lucky to score a ticket for Matilda last Friday night. Since they changed their rush policy from Student Tickets when the Box Office opens to a general lottery, I was able to show up after work with enough time to spare to put my name in the bag. I only needed one ticket – I was hoping to treat myself to a nice night at the theater. I, along with scores of other people, was hoping to be the lucky recipient of a ticket or two.
There were 20 tickets available. My name was called when there were just three tickets left. I stuck my hand up and hollered out “That’s me! And I just need one ticket!” and the crowd cheered that there were still two tickets left as I made my way to the line reserved for us lottery winners.
I waited patiently among the fellow victors as we were ushered into the lobby of the Shubert to pay for our tickets. I handed the woman at the window my money and she gave me change and a partial view ticket in the orchestra – Row G Seat 20. Having worked on tickets for The Performers back in November, I knew exactly where I was sitting and what kind of view I would actually have – the back right corner of the stage was out of view, but other than that, I was at an ideal distance from the action.
Since I had about an hour or so before the show, I treated myself to a slice of heaven at Carve (barbecue chicken pizza… come visit me and I will take you to this Holy Land) and then I walked to 45th/9th for a cookie at Schmackery’s (Choconut Chip… chocolate chunks, coconut, walnuts and sea salt… oh so deliciously indulgent).
Filled to the brim with dinner and dessert, I made my way back to the Shubert and stood among three schools-worth of slightly naughty children (how appropriate…) and a bunch of elderly regular theatre-goers.
After being misdirected by an usher (I knew where I was going, but he insisted I was over another aisle… I wasn’t), I found my way to my seat. I snagged a second Playbill (for my sister) and settled in my seat, hoping whomever I was seated by was friendly.
I hit the seatmate lottery as well. I ended up next to a man a little bit older than me who also loved theater and inappropriate humor. He was up from Florida with some family members (who were seated behind me) and we chatted about our favorite shows. I offered to switch seats with his niece (as she was behind me and maybe 11 or 12 years old), but she declined. They had spent $500+ dollars for the five of them to see the show, whereas I had the best seat out of the lot and paid $27. Oh happy day, indeed.
Matilda is nominated for 12 Tony Awards, so I was anxious to see the show before the ceremony. My favorite show headed into the Tonys is Kinky Boots (which has 13 nominations) and I wanted to see if Matilda was worth all the hype. Matilda and Kinky Boots are two completely different shows, so it’s like comparing apples and oranges, but I still give the edge to Kinky Boots (and I will argue this until it’s not true anymore, but seeing Kinky Boots is the most fun theater-going experience I’ve ever had).
Don’t get me wrong, I was beyond excited to see Matilda. I’m a huge Ryan Steele fan (he’s in the ensemble and dances like a DREAM) and was grateful to finally see Taylor Trensch (Michael/ensemble) on stage having seen his understudy when I went and saw Bare a few months ago. I was also interested in seeing Bertie Carvel play Miss Trunchbull, as he was nominated for a Tony for Best Actor in a Musical.
I read the book and saw the movie ages ago, but was actually surprised how little the Broadway show relied on the more fantastical elements of Roald Dahl’s work.
For those of you who do not know the story, Matilda is about a little girl of the same name who is born into a family with god-awful parents (Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood) and an imbecile of an older brother (Michael). They sit around all day watching the television and ripping people off while Matilda reads books and has morals. She is sent to this private school run by the evil Miss Trunchbull – a grown-up bully who likes to punish misbehaved children by throwing them in the chokey (a narrow cupboard of torture), among other torments. The only nice/normal adult is Miss Honey, Matilda’s teacher (who sees how gifted Matilda is). Matilda also has these magical powers… like, she can control things with her mind. (This was not all that present in the musical, though… Matilda had powers for about 15-20 minutes in Act 2. And I was like, “That’s it?”)
The musical is a battle between good/a little bit naughty and evil. It’s a dark show with dark, twisted stories (which are mostly told through the eyes/voice of a five year old) and is mostly quite sad. There are moments of cheerfulness and hope and the feeling that things will get better in the future for the good/a little bit naughty characters.
I thought the ensemble was well cast. Everyone’s performance was really great and very energetic (or not, depending on the character). Roald Dahl’s creations are often twisted takes on the norm where his characters’ “normal” is real life’s crazy people who are likely on reality shows on E! or MTV. There are a couple characters whose heads are on straight (like Matilda and Miss Honey, who have the same morality base as Charlie Bucket and his family from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), but they are all seen as the outsiders from the rest of the people inhabiting their fictional town.
There were several songs I preferred out of the whole score – my favorites being the opening number “Miracle” (a lively romp that introduces the children as well as the horribleness of the Wormwood parents), “Naughty” (Matilda’s solo about making your own story and how “sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty”), and “Revolting Children” (the school children’s anthem of revolting against Miss Trunchbull).
I was not disappointed with the performances I was looking forward to see in the first place. Since I was seated so close, it was easy to see Ryan and Taylor in the ensemble numbers and follow them as they danced across the stage.
There are four girls who rotate the part of Matilda. The little girl I saw was the same one who performed on Good Morning America the other week. I thought she was great and was amazed as her ability to really run the gamut of emotions throughout the show. Matilda’s been through some serious shit in her five years of living and this little girl pulled it off beautifully.
And Bertie Carvel – my, my my. Though I still give Billy Porter the edge to win Best Actor in a Musical for Kinky Boots, Bertie Carvel was a delight to watch. I didn’t look through the Playbill before the show since I was chatting with my seatmate, but I was gobsmacked when a young guy came out at the stage door and everyone murmured that he was Miss Trunchbull. The man is only a few years older than me (and quite fit), but he masterfully plays a 50+ year old large breasted woman. If I wasn’t so in awe, I would have swooned a bit at the stage door. He didn’t have a marker and asked if anyone had something to write with. I had a green Sharpie, which I promptly leant to him and he looked me in the eye and thanked me with his adorable British accent. After a while he gave my marker back and thanked me for a second time, only to have to come back a moment or so later to borrow it again. He was just so damn polite.
Also polite – every cast member who came out and signed Playbills and took pictures with people. They were very friendly and gracious. I got a picture with Ryan Steele because he’s too adorable for words (I have a picture with him from after Newsies as well) and one of the nicest, most talented people I’ve “met” since I moved here.
I’m glad to have seen Matilda once, but I won’t be rushing back to see it again when there are other shows still to see. I am looking forward to an OBC Recording and their performance on the Tonys. I think Kinky Boots is still the frontrunner for Best Musical, but Matilda was a fun (albeit dark) time at the theater.
May 14, 2013
Yesterday, I had a chance to attend the first ever Fox Upfronts for fans, called the “Fox Fan Front.”
The event was to start at 2:00pm. They told people who RSVPed that wristbands would be handed out at 1:30pm but suggested to get there a little early because seats were not guaranteed. I got in line around 8:30am and was about 60th person there. Other people showed up at midnight.
Were these crazy fans there because of their love of Fox? No – they were there for their love of Glee, or more specifically, their love for Darren Criss.
It was not surprising in the slightest that an entire network’s event that was supposed to be about all of Fox’s returning programming and new programs for the fall ended up being a love fest by the fan’s for Darren Criss – one of Glee’s highly featured actors for the past two seasons (who started off as a guest star in the show’s second season). Though Darren wasn’t even part of the show’s original cast, he has quickly become its biggest draw because of who he is. He’s Darren Freakin’ Criss – and he’s probably the nicest famous person you could ever hope to meet.
The Fox Fan Front was a great idea that was sort of poorly executed. They had all 250 of us seated on these cramped bleachers in front of a small stage and a blue carpet. After we were seated, they showed footage from The Mindy Project, The New Girl and the worst BTS video from this season of Glee and told us to “feel free to get up and get a t-shirt and some popcorn or shaved ice.” So, we tried to get from our seats in the cramped bleachers to go acquire a shirt and some sustenance. Once most people were finally settled back down, they brought out Fifth Harmony from last year’s X-Factor and they sang a song.
Then, the emcee (who did not seem to know very much about actors or characters on Fox shows) read information about the shows off of the press release all of us had in our bag of swag they handed us when we walked in. (Don’t get too excited – the “exclusive swag” featured hand sanitizer, a stain remover stick, some mints, cheap sunglasses, a sticker, and other knick knacks with Fox show titles on it. The best swag was the t-shirt, which we were allowed to “customize” in that there were two colors to pick from and five different designs to choose from… I got a Glee shirt. For reasons.)
After being read all the same information we already had on hand, we were shown excerpts from the upcoming Fox shows that will be new this fall. Some of the shows actually looked really great. I’m most interested in Andy Samberg’s cop comedy (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) and Karl Urban’s futuristic cop drama (“Almost Human”). Oh, and the update of “Sleepy Hollow.”
Then, it was finally time for the actors and stars of the Fox shows to come out. As soon as the people from The Mindy Project walked out, our seats in the bleachers were useless and people just started rushing the front to try and get signatures and pictures with people. So, since I was in the third of four rows in the bleachers, I was SOL because I am not a pushy person, nor was I going to try and shove people out of the way to have access to these famous people. So, I stood on the second row of bleachers for the next couple hours and took pictures of other people getting pictures with all these television stars.
It was RIDICULOUS the amount of famous people I saw. Like… think of any show on Fox. I saw anywhere between 1 and 7 people per show.
Since most people (myself included) were there for Glee, the biggest cheers erupted when the Glee cast was announced. Chris Colfer, Lea Michele, Jenna Ushkowitz, Kevin McHale, Jane Lynch and Matthew Morrison paraded in front of the crowd, most of them extremely quickly. A couple people got pictures or autographs with the younger cast members. Jane answered some fan questions on stage. Matthew posed for a fair amount of photos. But, Chris, Lea, Jenna and Kevin pretty much flew by.
Then, the host announced that Darren Criss was there and the crowd cheered. Darren entered the tent and started at the very end and worked his way s-l-o-w-l-y down to the other end. He took pictures with as many people as he could, stopped and signed things, had small conversations with people, and basically was the most gracious person at that event. He must have known a majority of the fans were there for him and he was kind enough to try and oblige as many of them as possible. He was on the floor for far longer than any other person at that event. Numerous actors came and went by in the time it took Darren to move a few feet.
Though it would have been nice to get a picture with Darren, I was not about to elbow my way through the crowd. I have had the privilege of meeting him twice before (and have a few pictures with him/talking to him) and will be seeing him again at his concert. (I have a VIP ticket, so I’ll get a chance to say Hi face-to-face.) Even though I know a lot of the people who were there yesterday also have met him on previous occasions and have prior pictures with him too, I wasn’t going to squeeze my way through (especially since the partition almost fell over at one point anyway). I got some decent pictures and it was nice, as a fan, to watch him interact with others. He’s truly one of the nicest celebrities I’ve had the opportunity to meet/interact with before and I whole heartedly believe that he is 100% sincere in how kind he acts toward his fans (even though some of them can get a bit crazy).
There were a lot of actors I admire there yesterday, especially Chris Messina, Mindy Kahling, Kevin Bacon, Martha Plimpton and Greg Kinnear. I was hoping for a picture with Greg Kinnear (as the crowd of people had dissipated slightly at that point since Darren was gone), but some rep pulled him back once he got over toward where I was standing. I did get pictures with Karl Urban (!) and M. Night Shyamalan, so that was pretty cool.
But, one of the coolest things was that the Bacon Brothers performed after the pomp and circumstance past was over. They don’t play my kind of music, but it was AMAZING to see Kevin Bacon perform with his brother from roughly 10 feet away. They were really good and it was fun to see them play. I felt bad, though, because a lot of people had left by then – or were trying to leave during their set. The people at Fox obviously were not aware that the demographic of attendees were not those who listen to the Bacon Brothers. Demi Lovato or Darren Criss (both of whom were in attendance) would have been more appropriate performers for our crowd. But, I really appreciated seeing the Bacon Brothers and got a real kick out of the whole experience.
I’m grateful that Fox decided to do this kind of event for the fans and that I was able to attend. I watch an awful lot of television and admire/respect the work of a lot of people who I got to see yesterday. It was unfortunate that a majority of the people in attendance were unable to interact properly with the actors. We were told we would be “mingling” with the actors, so I thought that meant we’d get a chance to ask them questions and actually talk with them. Instead, it was more of a “grab the famous person closest to you and take a picture with them and hopefully ‘please and thank you’ was a part of the interaction.” I had a bunch of legitimate show/acting-based questions I wanted to speak with these people about, when the event actually turned into a “see how many famous people I can get my picture with because it’ll probably get me more followers on Tumblr or Instagram.”
I’m hoping Fox will do this again next year (though with slightly different/better organization) and that other networks will follow in its footsteps. I would LOVE to go to the NBC upfronts.
Television doesn’t exist without fans. I mean, it does… but if no one is watching your show, or talking about it, or recommending it to friends, then what is the point?
Major props to Fox for attempting to cater an event toward the fans. The network was able to dangle interacting with celebrities under our noses enough for us to bite. I would have loved the opportunity to formally talk to these people, if only for a minute or two, but I am content with at least being invited to participate in the hype.
Some of these new shows look great and I’ll definitely be giving them a whirl. And I’ll probably be wearing my Glee shirt this weekend… you know. For reasons.
May 4, 2013
It took Stevie Wonder music and the return of Burt Hummel, but I finally enjoyed a recent Glee episode. Though there were plot points that had me asking “What the what?!,” I thought “Wonder-ful” was one of the better episodes of the last half of the season.
As we head into the final episode, here are my thoughts on “Wonder-ful.”
Spoilers/opinions ahead… ye be warned.
The episode started with what I’m assuming to be a last minute rewrite. Rachel called Mr. Schue and told him about her callback and how the part of Fanny Brice is down to her and two others. She says that it was because of him that she sang “Don’t Stop Believin’” at her audition and that he was the one who was responsible for putting the glee club together and that she wanted him to be the first to know of her news.
Immediately I thought how 1. It was because of Finn that the glee kids sang DSB in the pilot and 2. It was likely because Cory Monteith had to be written out of 4.21 and 4.22 that Rachel called Mr. Schue instead of Finn. This was an unfortunate happenstance for all involved. Luckily, this scene was short and forgettable when compared to the rest of the episode.
As always, the glee assignment was written across the white erase board – “Wonder-ful.” The glee kids would be using the brilliant music of Stevie Wonder to celebrate all the good things going on (Brittany was off touring MIT, Tina was waitlisted for veterinary school, and Mr. Schue re-proposed to Emma and they’re going to get married after Regionals).
Speaking of good things, Kitty gets Artie to spill that he got into film school in Brooklyn. But, he says he’s not going. (Of all the characters they want to bump to NYC, I couldn’t believe they went with Artie…)
In NYC, Kurt uses his Men of McKinley calendar to countdown the days until his father’s test results. He’s going to Ohio for the appointment and is so scared of losing his dad that he’s taken to doing some superstitious things like tapping his nose 3 times and whatnot. Poor kid. During his VO, he’s back in Ohio and walking the halls of McKinley – glad to see everyone, including Blaine. Though he narrates, “Don’t worry, we’re not hooking up this time,” we hope they do reconnect on some level. Mercedes and Mike Chang are also there and for a fraction of a second, I wonder why they try to pull a fast one on us and make it seem like those three were besties in previous seasons. But, since I love Mike Chang so much, I’ll suspend disbelief and be grateful to see him and his amazing dancing skills grace my small screen again.
In the choir room, Kitty takes lead on “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” while Blaine plays piano and Ryder and Jake act as her backup dancers. She shimmies and sings toward Artie the whole time, finishing off her performance with an announcement that he got into film school. Mercedes then knocks her down a few pegs and says Kitty’s performance was not great. Mercedes is announced as the new vocal coach and I wonder why they’re opting to keep her in Lima as opposed to bumping her to NYC so she can be besties with Kurt again. (But, since I’m not a huge Mercedes fan anymore, I honestly don’t care one way or another at this point.) Mike Chang is the dance coach and then Tina Bitter-Chang snaps at Kurt, asking if he’s there to criticize their outfits. Wide-eyed, Kurt responds, “My dad has cancer,” to which Harry Freakin’ Potter adds, “Thanks, Hermione,” making Tina feel bad (and rightly so). That girl has been quick to jump down people’s throats this season because the writers haven’t given her (m)any solos or great plot lines and she’s probably as sick of it as we are.
Artie continues to freak out about film school because his mom is apparently freaking out about it. Kitty tells him he’d be amazing at film school and I find that Kitty/Artie is the new Jake/Marley pairing that will be shoved down our throats for the time being. I guess I’m okay with this, as both are still secondary characters.
At the Lima Bean, Blaine tells Kurt how excited he is for marriage equality in New York and how he’ll be there soon to witness it. As they walk back to their shared table with Mercedes and Mike, Blaine tells Kurt that he looks cute – “dirty cute” – and the whole of the fandom exploded with squeals because that’s what Klainers do. I chuckled audibly at Blainers’s compliment; giving him props for trying to be forward, but really just coming off as adorable. I appreciate that the writers are allowing him to try to progress their relationship back to something that is “more than just friends” because seeing them happy together is way better than seeing them uncomfortable in a shared space post-breakup.
At the table, Kurt lines up sugar packets in a very un-Kurt fashion and Blaine is immediately aware that something is up with his former paramour. Mercedes asks what is up with them and refers back to their relations at the wedding. (Blaine says they are not together.) Mike brings up Tina and the vapor rub, but luckily stops before that conversation goes anywhere else. Kurt is freaking out about his dad and Blaine grabs his hand. Everyone in the fandom freaked out again, but I swear it looked like Kurt was (at first) trying to pull his hand away from Blaine/out of Blaine’s grasp, but he gave up before he could completely commit to the action. Instead, their hands remain together and Kurt says that he’s glad Mercedes and Mike are back in town too. There were shared looks between Klaine, and as a Klainer, I was content.
Back at NYADA, Rachel is approached by some conniving gays (the same ones from the diva off a few weeks ago?) who say that they heard she’s up against Mamie Gummer and Sutton Foster for Fanny Brice (Really, Glee writers?) and that she needs a teacher’s signature to sign off of this kind of extracurricular activity. Panic sets in, because it would appear the only teacher Rachel has is Cassandra July – her mortal enemy. The gays tell CJ about Rachel being a finalist for Funny Girl and I pray to Grilled Cheesus that CJ knocks Rachel down as many pegs as it takes for Rachel’s storyline to just go away already.
After a commercial break, Sam introduces Mercedes to the glee club people who are all on the stage in the auditorium. I briefly wish Samcedes was still a thing as Mercedes prattles on that the reason they lost Sectionals was because of fear. (Fear, and Marley fainting on stage and DQing them.) Ms. Jones then said something about the Bass Player and I tuned out from her dialogue for a second because my beloved band kid was back! (I don’t know your name, Bass Player, but you’re totally my favorite background band guy!)
Mercedes leads the group in singing “Superstitious” with Blaine and Marley as supporting vocals and I spent my time following Blaine around the stage with his odd little dance moves as he sang and danced all up on Kurt when he could.
Later, Mercedes and Mike Chang approached Jake to tell him they wanted him in her music video as a featured dancer. Because, let’s face it… little Puckerman can dance.
Kurt, Burt and Carole wait in the doctor’s office for Burt’s test results. Kurt gets mad that his dad wore a dark blue shirt and Burt nervously yells for his kid to calm/sit down. I just need Papa Hummel on my television all the time. I love Kurt and Burt together in any way, shape or form.
The doctor came in and after some brief medical jargon, we learn that Burt’s prostate cancer is in remission and I might have cheered quietly in my room. Everyone is elated and Burt lists off the things that he’ll get to see – Kurt getting married, having grandbabies, and old people sex with Carole. (Obviously, Burt’s priorities are as flawless as he is.) The family hugs and Burt announces once again that he doesn’t have cancer. I prayed once again to Grilled Cheesus that Burt’s cancer doesn’t come back ever but that he somehow gets more screen time next season.
At Glee club, Kurt announces he’ll be singing for his dad (who hugs Schue and shakes Blaine’s hand upon entering). Kurt says his dad used to sing him this song when he was little (awwwww) and then launches into a ridiculously choreographed rendition of “You Are the Sunshine of My Life.”
Unpopular opinion – I didn’t dig the silly dancing. I get that they were trying to use humor to diffuse the situation and make everything all light and happy because the cancer was gone, but I kind of wanted Kurt to break down or something – in relief that he had another chance with his dad. In relief that his worrying was over. In mortification that he would now have to face his own issues with Blaine. (Adam who? Exactly.) Burt may be the sunshine of Kurt’s life, but so was the boy in the sweater who was sitting behind his dad. I thought the silly choreography took away from what could have been a defining moment of the episode. Instead, I just tried hard to concentrate on the background acting of the kids watching the performance instead of the weird dancing and awkward smile that was planted on Mike O’Malley’s face.
Back in NYC, Cassandra July walked in on Rachel Berry running lines with herself. (Probably because no one could stand to practice with her because she’s super annoying.) Rachel was supposed to have her dance midterm during her callback. But, since CJ wants to watch Rachel blow her audition, she moves Rachel’s midterm to the following morning and sets her up to fail. (I wrote “LOVE IT” in my notes and also wanted to watch Rachel choke.)
In Lima, Mike Chang asked the glee club to help Jake celebrate his dance talent. So, the two guys danced to “I Wish” and my ovaries exploded from all the handsomeness and talent. Normally I’m not a fan of Jake’s voice, but I was okay with it on this song since he was not singing in a higher register. (Also, did you notice how Tina was throwing shade from the back row? Bitter girl is bitter.)
Mercedes was in the auditorium on her phone with her producer. Turned out he liked her in studio, but was not a fan of her lack of willingness to flash some boob during a photo shoot. Her CD is on hold unless she does another photo shoot to his liking. He’s threatening to use someone else’s image for her CD. Kurt comments how her producer is crazy, but Mercedes wants to talk to her mom before she makes any sort of decision.
Speaking of moms… Artie comes home to find Kitty on the couch with his mom. Kitty told Mrs. Abrams about film school and then left the two of them to talk. Artie’s mom asks him why he’s been telling people she’s afraid for him to go to NYC. He finally admits that he is the one who is scared and that he doesn’t want to leave his mom. Joining the rank of awesome Glee parents, Artie’s mom says she wants him to leave because this is his dream. Then she tells him if he keeps telling people things about her, she’ll tip him over. More Mrs. Abrams!
In NYC, Rachel walks into her midterm and the room is full of classmates. I get giddy because I’m thinking everyone is there to watch her choke, but instead Cassandra July says they are all family and they celebrate big news together. Everyone sings and dances to “Uptight” and I am gobsmacked – waiting for the other shoe to drop. We were being Punk’d, right? There was no way CJ was going to suddenly be all nice to Rachel… right? (I wrote in my notes, “I liked when CJ was mean” and “My, this is a lot of hairography.”)
The next day in glee club, Mercedes, Kurt and Mike Chang tell the kids that their lesson is about being ready for their future. She told her producer she didn’t want to do her album his way and instead is going to self-release to people at her church and whatnot. CDs get handed out to the New Directions and I chuckled when Kurt threw one at Blaine because throwing things usually makes me laugh. Mercedes then launched into “Higher Ground” and you would have thought Unique won the lottery. At one point, Mercedes took off her jacket and threw it at Kurt, who promptly untangled it and put it on.
And then, ladies and gentlemen, was the highlight scene of the evening… the long awaited Blaine and Burt discussion about marriage.
Burt met up with “Anderson” on the stage and Blaine handed him a ring box that held a rainbow pin, in hopes that Burt would wear it to show his support of gay marriage. Gay marriage is one of Burt’s biggest platforms, which Blaine is really grateful for. Blaine asks Burt’s permission to ask Kurt to marry him when gay marriage became legal. I was so glad that Burt’s immediate reaction was, “Are you kidding or you nuts?”
Without belittling Blaine, Burt tells Blaine that he’s like family, but he’s not okay with Blaine and Kurt getting engaged/married and brings up the Finchel fiasco from last season. Blaine counters how he and Kurt are different from Finn and Rachel. Blaine is obviously very passionate about the possibility of legally being allowed to get married and seems to want to take full advantage of that with his soulmate. Papa Hummel gets a visibly upset Blaine to sit down and then launches into another FLAWLESS speech.
Burt tells Blaine that something happens when you exchange vows and that it’s a big deal (which is why it’s harder to get a divorce than just break up with someone). Burt says that you need to be marrying a person instead of marrying an idea and Blaine physically deflates.
Papa Hummel asks Blaine if he and Kurt are meant to be (yes) and if they have a true love (YES!), then tells Blaine not to worry – even though Blaine is worried Kurt will find someone else or that they won’t end up together. Blaine asks Burt how he knows it’ll be okay and Burt replies, “When two people love each other like you two do, everything works out.”
This line was important because it revealed what we already knew – that Burt knows Kurt still loves Blaine and that Blaine still loves Kurt. Though the two boys aren’t back together, they will eventually. Burt ships Klaine and believes them to be endgame. As an audience member, that is all the assurance I need.
I wish we had more Blaine and Burt scenes that didn’t deal with such weighty things. I could have used a montage of them spending time with each other over the past few months. In the Christmas episode, Blaine promised to look out for Burt for Kurt, but then we got nothing between the two of them until this episode. They obviously have some sort of father/son relationship (especially if Burt still considers Blaine “family” even though he cheated on Kurt), but we never really got to see that. I also wish we got some sort of father/son scene with Blaine and his own father, as well as some sort of interaction between Papas Hummel and Anderson. (I just want dad stories, okay?)
At NYADA, Rachel walks in to the dance studio and gives Cassandra July Debbie Allen’s cane from Fame. I was seriously hoping CJ was going to go off on Rachel and belittle her some more, but I was let down because CJ started saying how she knew Rachel was special from Day 1 and then they laughed about Brody and his body and then CJ tells Rachel she’s going to get the part of Fanny Brice. And silly me keeps waiting for CJ’s fingers to be crossed, or some sort of dramatic eye rolling, but NOTHING! I don’t want a nice CJ… but of course that is not in the cards because Rachel gets everything and people love her and blah blah blah. I am actually shaking my head as I type this; epically frustrated that Rachel Berry gets everything all the time. And if she gets the role of Fanny Brice, I’m going to throw something at my television. I bet even odds that’ll be a cliffhanger at the end of the finale… and guess what… NO1CURRS.
Thankfully, we head back to Lima. Blainers is at his locker when Kurt walks up. The gelled one says that what he’s about to ask is going to take courage(!), but then he kinda rambles and Kurt tells him to just say it, but that he’s kind of cute when he’s nervous, and Blaine chickens out on his proposal and instead asks Kurt to stay for Regionals. It would have been not the right place for Blaine to ask Kurt in the hallway of McKinley – that boy needs to plan something better and more Kurt-appropriate.
You could tell Kurt was thinking/hoping Blaine was going to ask something else. I don’t think he saw a marriage proposal, but definitely something bigger than being asked to stay for Regionals. I would wager that the writers have Kurt’s mindset as more receptive to focusing on himself and his own wants/needs now that his dad’s health is in the clear. With the way he looks at Blaine (and vice versa) and the lack of mention of Adam since 4×15, Klaine is back on with a vengeance and Kadam is something that never actually happened. Adam wasn’t even a memorable character… he’s no Sebastian. He’s not even Chandler. It’s kind of sad, because Adam could have been a good friend for Kurt – as Kurt could probably use a 40-year old mentor at NYADA. (What? Adam’s supposed to just be a senior in college? Riiiiiiight.)
But, as Klaine walked away, Kurt linked his arm in Blaine’s and said it was a wonderful week. Blaine said with Kurt there, it was a wonderful life. Blaine is smitten, has been smitten, and will continue to be smitten until the end of time. Awwwww, Klaine.
In the auditorium, Artie leads the New Direction in “For Once in My Life” as everyone danced around in warm colors. Blaine looked at Kurt as he sang “I’m not alone anymore” and the two boys sang and danced around to “someone who needs me.” Klaine. Is. Endgame.
(Sorry for all the Klaine talk… but not really. This is the only relationship I care about on the show at this point. The writing has been less than amazing for a while now and I am just watching for Darren.)
This episode was mostly cheerful and the music was great. You really cannot go wrong with Stevie Wonder songs. And while there were so many other great songs that weren’t sung, the ones that were used were pretty solid and actually made sense with the plot.
After the credits rolled, the promo for the finale had everyone in a tizzy. It’s Regionals. Rachel’s got her callback. Ryder is still being catfished. And, there is a surprise wedding.
Though it would appear that the powers that be want us to think it’s Klaine, I highly doubt it. In the promo, we see Blaine popping champagne (presumably after Regionals), ring shopping, and telling Sam “I kinda was hoping you’d be my best man.” Also, we’ve gotten a lot of BTS stills of Blaine, Sam and Tina (really?) shopping for rings. We’ve also seen pictures of Kurt and Blaine out with the woman from the jewelry store and her partner.
If Blaine does propose, I want Kurt to say No. I really don’t want Blaine to propose this season… listen to Papa Hummel, son. He is full of wisdom.
I don’t think there would actually be a Klaine wedding when there has been so much coverage of picking out the ring. This is likely just a bunch of misdirection. I am not fooled.
So, finale next week. I’m so ready for this season to be over. What about you?
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