You Keep Me Hangin on---- Supremes
Where Is Love---- Oliver Twist
On My Own ---- Les Misrables
Can’t fight this feeling anymore---- REO SpeedWagon
Wheel in the Sky---- Journey
You’re the One that I Want---- Grease Soundtrack
Rehab----- Amy Winehouse
Leaving on a Jet Plane---- John Denver
Don’t Stop Believing---- Journey
Carmel High School: Vocal Adrenaline
William Mckinley High School: New Direction
The only life worth living is one that you’re passionate about.---Emma
This episode, as the first one, introduced us a few main characters: Mr Shue, Rachel Berry, Finn, Arty, Tina, Mercedes, Curt, Sue, Emma, Terri, Quinn. Mr Schue took over glee club, which was considered foolish for in Mcken High, glee club was no longer as prestige and popular as it used to be, instead, it now lies in “subbasement”, while cheerios and football players “up in the penthouse”. Rachel Berry was a vocal talented sophomore who has a driving ambition to make for great fame that she joined glee club hoping to take advantage of it. Finn Hudson, quarterback of the school football team, tall and handsome and goofy, was cheated into glee club unlike the rest of the members because Schue once accidently eavesdropped him singing in shower thus discovered his vocal talent.
Schue was trying to make a baby with his wife, Terri, who over the years, has grown to become uptight and practical, unsupportive of Shue’s passion--- teaching. After a big quarrel, Shue came home embraced by a big surprise that Terri got pregnant and thus he decided to leave school to be an accountant to provide for the family. However, his secret admirer, Emma, the guidance counselor at school, who’s also a neat freak, reminded him how important it is to live a passionate life. In the mean time, realizing how special glee club is to him despite its reputation, Finn decided to stay and organized the club to rehearse the most sang Don’t Stop Believing. Shue walked by and caught a glimpse of it. Deeply moved, he decided to stay as well.
The first episode didn’t shine much on plot or the acting skills of actors. But considering it’s a musical-based tv drama consisting of a bunch of young hot teenagers and a good-looking choir teacher, I’ll let it slide. From the choice of songs, which seems coming most from the 80s, the most recent one was Amy Winehouse’s Rehab. It was the song of the year of 2008 Grammy but I didn’t really see what it served in this episode. Personally, I guess it was because the show needed to buy rights from still alive singers and it wasn’t easy at the beginning of the show but Winehouse was in a really bad place then, back in 2009, so it was a win-win business. In the show, the song was performed by Vocal Adrenaline from Carmel High. It was an eye-catching performance for sure, with all the lights and costumes and well-choreographed energetic steps. But it didn’t contain much emotion. To me, the whole performance was in little relevance with the core of Rehab, which represents to me an unflinchingly confrontational attitude. By the way, I was somehow amused by the sick, weak men playing music in the original music video. In the show, however, it was literally the opposite of it. What’s with the high-spirited flashing young crowd? I think it takes more than some No gestures and black females to perform this song. Or was it supposed to be some kind of an irony?
Back to New Direction. The first song they performed after Finn joined, You’re the One that I Want from Grease, a 70s music play and movie, was, from its lyric, electrifying! I loved group scene where I got to observe all the lively and lovely moments of members of glee club. It was just so much fun! And Rachel was indeed experienced in stage performance. And! I loved it how Kurt was both indifferent and speechless at the club.
Last but not least, I want to talk about Don’t Stop Believing at the end of the first episode. The song was a good choice, feels like it well matched the main theme of this episode, which, I believe, was the conflict between ruthless reality and the journey of chasing a glee dream--- recognizing one’s own nature and live it up. I didn’t really get the spirit of the song though, so I will say no more.