Saturday, November 6, 2010

Glee: Duets

Contains Spoilers!

"Duets" felt like a return to the Glee of old. Puck gets thrown into juvie and the club needs a new member. Enter Sam Evans played by newcomer, Chord Overstreet, and yes, that is his real name. Sam had been introduced in the season premiere. He'd expressed interest in joining but chickened out at the last moment. I guess he finally found some courage. This week's lesson is duets and Mr. Shue decides to make things interesting by having a competition. Best duet gets dinner for two at....wait for it....Breadstix!!! Of course, everyone is excited and ready to get started. 

Here's where things get interesting. Rachel decides for the good of the team that Sam needs to win the competition and decides to throw it. Kurt's trying to determine if Sam is gay or not, makes Sam a little uncomfortable with his inquiries, yet manages to convince Sam to be his partner, while Finn tries to convince Sam and Kurt that it's a terrible idea. 

At this point, everything is still pretty light but Finn raises a very interesting point. He feels that if Sam sings with Kurt it will destroy his reputation. Finn appears to come off as homophobic but as he tries to explain to Sam, it's not about being homophobic; it's about surviving high school. I think that is what this season is going to be about: surviving high school while being your authentic self. 

Anyway, Sam is still willing to sing with Kurt because he gave his word (tres honorable) but Kurt, after having a chat with his dad, the amazing Mike O'Malley, about coming on too strong and having to walk alone for a while, lets Sam off the hook. Sam goes on to sing with Quinn and Kurt is left to sing alone.

The duets themselves are pretty entertaining. Rachel and Finn originally planned a really cute version of "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" but in an effort to throw the competition, sang Billy Preston's "With You, I'm Born Again." You have to watch it to know why it was so perfectly awful. Quinn and Sam sing Jason Mraz and Colby Caillat's "Lucky." Those two have great chemistry and it's going to be fun to see how their relationship develops. Mercedes and Santana destroy Tina Turner's "River Deep, Mountain High." Amazing doesn't come close to describing how well their voices go together and Kurt shows everyone how to do a duet with only one person with "Le Jazz Hot." But the most entertaining performance of the evening was Tina and Mike Chang singing "Sing!" It was the perfect song to introduce Mike's singing to the world... well, sort of.

The song that was the most appropriate for the show's theme was the final duet between Kurt and Rachel. They did a mash up of "Happy Days Are Here Again/Get Happy." Rachel, dressed in an outfit reminiscent of Barbara Streisand and Kurt, in a gorgeous silver suit complete with bowtie, not only sound amazing but together encapsulate the episode's message: two voices, both unique and wonderful on their own, are made stronger and more beautiful together.

Memorable Moments -

Brittany saying Puck "might be the dumbest person on this planet and that's coming from me."

Santana and Mercedes, after their song, declaring "We's be going to Breadstix."

"Sweet lady kisses" between Santana and Brittany in Brittnay’s room.

Brittany finally getting to show emotion when Artie calls her out for so callously taking his V-card.

Rachel telling Kurt, “Look, I know you’re lonely, but you’re not alone.”

This is when Glee is at its best. It's light-hearted, fun, advances the storylines, has a deeper underlying message, and is filled with fantastically sung songs. If all episodes were like this, Glee would run on the air for years. Unfortunately, as we'll see with the next episode, that is not necessarily the case. Until next time...

BIG TIME Events in NYC

After years of job-hunting, disastrous relationships, and aimless meandering, it's finally all coming around!  No, I'm not talking about your loser cousin who lives in your aunt's basement. I'm talking about the Amazing Spider-Man!

The release of The Amazing Spider-Man #648 on November 10th, marks the beginning of Dan Slott's solo run as head writer, and features art by Humberto Ramos. The new ASM team is kicking things off Big Time with a huge story featuring some big name Marvel characters. Among them are the Mighty Avengers and the Fantastic Four. One of the most intriguing things that I'm looking forward to is not only Big Time Spider-Man, but Big Time Peter Parker. At the Spider-Man panel from San Diego Comic Con, Mr. Slott eluded to the fact that it's high time Peter Parker got a proper career. And from his new-found personal security will come a host of new spider-features, from costumes to new weapons!

The Big Time title not only refers to the plot, but to the physical book as well. Starting with ASM #648 the series will go from a thrice monthly release to bi-monthly. The book will also go from 22 pages to 30, with some boasting 30 pages of story and some with the norm of 22 and an 8 page backup.

Dan Slott & crew at the Amazing Spider-man Panel from SDCC
The promotional train is full speed ahead to support the web-heads launch into Big-ness. Lead writer Dan Slott will be making appearances all over Spidey's home city of New York doing interviews and signings.  If you want to hear about the new direction for Spidey from the man himself, you can check out Comic Book Club at the People's Improv Theater on November 9th. The show starts at 8pm and also features Joe Carmagna. At $5 a ticket you cannot go wrong!

You can also get your autograph on at Jim Hanley's Universe on the 10th. Dan will be signing in the store at 6pm to commemorate the first issue of his run as head writer. I know I'll be there, so come by and say hello (bring me coffee).  It's bound to be a packed crowd of Spider-fans.

Personally, I've been a Spider-Man fan since issue 368, when the Spider Slayers were running amok and our hero still couldn't keep his cool around the Black Cat (not that I blame him, the cover of ASM 607 gave me a nosebleed!). I only came back to the series last year and the more mature story line really spoke to me. In the last year, it's been as much about Peter Parker battling his inner-demons as it has been Spidey facing off with his actual ones. I felt more tension watching Peter try to speak with his ex and keep his cool than I had with any super-battle before. We've all had to deal with those pains, so it's really exciting to know that the whipping character of the Marvel-U has a light at the end of the tunnel.

As I mentioned, we'll be at the signing on Wednesday (milk, no sugar in the coffee), and we'll be sure to give constant updates and pictures through twitter, so if you can't make it, be sure to glue yourself to @IGHInsider. If you've got any burning questions you'd like us to ask, hit us up with a comment and we'll see what we can do! Happy swinging and be sure to check back later this week when we recap the events and review the first issue of Big Time!

One last teaser, Marvel's official trailer!