Every time I think I’m done with Glee, something happens and pulls me back in. This week, it was the release of the songs for the tribute to Cory Monteith and his character, Finn Hudson, that will air tonight.
The song “If I Die Young” performed by Naya Rivera as Santana was the first one I heard. It begins acapella, absent of the overproduction that has marked Glee music in recent years. It is raw and a little rough and absolutely heartbreaking when taken in the greater context.
This is what Glee has always done well; the show has always had the ability to tap into our deepest emotions, our compassion and empathy.
But Glee has also been inconsistent. Moments of brilliance have often been overshadowed by poorly executed storylines.
Yes, I am still bitter that the person who outed Santana somehow became the hero of her story.
Glee was fresh in the beginning and made use of its incredibly talented young cast but somewhere along the line it became trite. They added characters that appeared to be reincarnations of original characters. They recycled storylines. They took on serious issues like eating disorders, coming out, sexual abuse and bullying only to turn them into punchlines later. And, at some point, the music no longer seemed to serve the story as much as it served to drive sales on iTunes.
I will admit that I quit watching during Season 4 when the original cast appeared in so few episodes.
I just stopped caring.
But this week's music has made me feel something. I have not been drawn back in by Cory's death because I am not someone who wants to dissect the tragedy and then watch it play out onscreen with his Glee alter ego.
But the music, “If I Die Young” and “Make You Feel My Love” in particular, makes me care again. These songs prove that Glee still has the power to make us feel things even absent of specific context. Good music always does.
I will be watching tonight’s episode because Glee still has an amazing set of talented performers and, every once in awhile, they manage to give the right songs to the right people and that Glee magic happens once again.
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