My Top 10 Glee Performances

March 18, 2015

rs_1024x709-150306073137-1024.11.Glee-Series-Finale.jl.030615

After six seasons, the television show about high school choirs, Glee, is ending after showcasing over 600 performances. The show was a trailblazer of LGBT representation, especially in queer youth. I continued to watch the show during its peak (the first half of season 1) and some of its lows (the erratic seasons of 4 and 5). I laughed (Sue Sylvester’s first appearance), I cried (the death of Cory Moneith), I felt the love (Kurt and Blaine’s courtship), and I sang (every episode). It’s hard to choose my favorite songs so I decided to list my 10 ten favorites spanning 6 years. Enjoy the ride of nostalgia and cry this Friday for the epic 2-hour finale as it goes back to its roots (2009) to its rumored future (2020). In no particular order, because that would be cruel…

And bonus! my first article for dot429 was an op-ed piece of Glee. Read here:

1. Don’t Rain On My Parade (Sectionals: Season 1, Episode 13)

No one can be Barbra Streisand but if anyone is a close second it’s Miss Rachel Berry. Her performance was magnificent and there was no contest that the New Directions wouldn’t win Sectionals.

2. Push It (Showmance: Season 1, Episode 2)

“That was the most offensive thing I’ve seen in 20 years of teaching, and that includes an elementary school production of Hair.” That the was reaction of Cheerleader Coach Sue Slyvester and probably the thoughts of all America (and possibly worldwide). This performance blends what makes Glee so great: comedy with awkward teens doing awkward sexual acts. It’s so raw.

3. Bohemian Rhapsody (Journey To Regionals: Season 1, Episode 22)

Having Jonathan Groff guest star on Glee is one thing, but having him sing a Queen classic is a dream come true. And when you juxtaposition the performance with Quinn’s pregnancy, it concludes the first season’s most absurd yet amusing storylines (How can Finn think he was the father through a hot tub?). We’re all rooting for the New Directions, but Vocal Adrenaline rightfully wins Regionals (plus it gave the underdogs a reason for vengeance in Season 2). Without Groff, Vocal Adrenaline are sheep without a shepherd.

4. Teenage Dream (Never Been Kissed: Season 2, Episode 6)

When did you fall in love with Darren Criss’ Blaine Anderson? For me it was the moment he bumped into Kurt and then proceeded to dance into America’s hearts with the best rendition of Teenage Dream (sorry Katy Perry). And how can you say no to a man in uniform let alone an orgy of men in uniforms?!

5. I Will Survive/Survivor (Hold On To Sixteen: Season 3, Episode 8)

This show made a point that Teacher Will Shuester has his pet favorites (Rachel) and, let’s be honest, too vanilla in his song selections (I won’t even discuss his rapping choices). Showcasing urban flavor through some of my favorite female leads, Mercedes and Santana (along with Brittany) performed a disco (and gay) classic mashed up with Destiny’s Child’s modern day anthem of survival. This all-female vocal group, The Troubletones, was a highlight of season 3 and I was giddy with delight with their return in Season 6.

6. The Way You Look Tonight/You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile (Makeover: Season 4, Episode 3)

Sometimes, you just need a song to make you smile while you dress up. And with the dynamic duo of Kurt and Rachel, they teamed up with a style icon, Miss Sarah Jessica Parker. They picked a classic song and celebrated it with style.

7. Let’s Have A Kiki/Turkey Lurkey Time (Thanksgiving: Season 4, Episode 8)

The fact that Glee was able to take a gay cult song and make it a holiday favorite complete with vocals from Sarah Jessica Parker and an appearance from drag queen Shangela (I could do without Brody), is enough reason for me to include this song on this list. Like Comic Book Legend Stan Lee would say: ‘Nuff Said.

8. Make You Feel My Love (The Quarterback: Season 5, Episode 3)

For every Gleek, there is a general consensus that we were devastated by the death of Cory Moneith. To pay respects, the show ended his arc the only way they can with the death of his character. There were a lot of amazing performances in dedication of Finn, but real-life girlfriend Lea Michele gave the best performance as it was raw and heartbreaking. It’s hard to tell the difference between Lea Michele and Rachel Berry as this was the moment where the lines were blurred. The show has never been the same without him.

9. Old Time Rock n’ Roll/Danger Zone (Boys (and Girls) on Film: Season 4, Episode 15)

I can’t say no to men wearing uniforms and underwear. But to pair it with classic 80s film soundtrack songs is a fantasy in itself. Will Shuester said they tied with the girls in their mashups, but I object!

10. All You Need Is Love (Love, Love, Love: Season 5, Episode 1)

Hearing the Beatles play as Blaine proposes to Kurt in the spot where they first met is a wish fulfillment for every Glee fan. But it was so extravagant to have the four major choirs (New Directions, The Warblers, Vocal Adrenaline, Haverbrook School For The Deaf) help in Blaine’s proposal. Kurt just couldn’t say no. The audience would have had a BF (bitchfit if you’re unaware of the 2005 slang term).

Notable Mentions:

Seasons 1-5: Single Ladies, Maybe This Time, Dance With Myself, I Dreamed A Dream, Dream a Little Dream Of Me, Teenage Dream (Acoustic),Toxic, Disco Inferno, Boogie Shoes, Imagine

Season 6 (They’re all very fresh but these songs brought Glee back to its Season 1 glory): Tightrope, Lose My Breath, At Last, I’m So Excited, Somebody Loves You, It’s Too Late, I Know Where I’ve Been, Mustang Sally, Home

Advertisements

Jimmy Fallon reunites the cast of the Saved By The Bell

February 8, 2015

I know it’s been all over the internet, but I can’t stop watching the Saved By The Bell reunion. Aside from X-Men: The Animated Series, Saved By The Bell was my favorite show when I was 7. I pronounced by crush on Tiffani Amber Thiessen and followed her when she made trouble on Beverly Hills, 90210. I secretly had a crush on Zack Morris so Kack (or Zelly) were my ultimate couple. I’m just SO EXCITED! Thank you, Fallon.


Viral Videos Going Gay.

March 16, 2013

Viral Videos Going Gay

By Chris Huqueriza

The rise of videos going viral has become a successful marketing tool for the LGBT community. During the month of March, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden endorsed marriage equality through a “viral” video while LGBT organizations and regular people have showed their LGBT support.

“It can’t be determined which videos will be success as there’s too much quantity,” Marriage Equality USA’s Social Media Director Tom Watson told 429Magazine.

“But the videos of celebrities are very important. These videos help us understand that we have straight allies and that they are relatable.”

In 2012, Zach Wahls’ video speaking on behalf of his mothers had a successful response while Shane Bitney Crone’s “It Could Happen To You” shed light on the lack of rights for gay couples and inspired a documentary.

Watson noted the video of two gay dads upstaged by their loving son, and the “GetUP! Action for Australia” marriage equality video was the most successful with over one million views.

“There’s no formula for a good viral, but the successful ones are when it’s raw and presents real people – people that you can relate to,” said Watson.

They are not only working for specific causes or campaigns. Lesbian student Kirsten Bledsoe asked actress Mila Kunis to be her prom date, holding a 6-pack of Blue Moon in her video, while a fraternity in Boston supported their transgender brother and his gender reassignment surgery in a fundraising video.

There have also been many organizations that have promoted their ideologies on marriage equality, such as AllOut and the Coalition for Equal Marriage (CEM). Allout and CEM received over 300,000 views for their videos.

The opposite can happen, however, like when a teenager’s anti-marriage equality rap received national attention.

Watson notes two ways to combat such ads.

“We can either give them additional attention as they become their worst enemy and show the extremes of their embarrassing bigotry,” said Watson. “The other approach is spoofing by combating with our own humor.”

The “Gay Men Will Marry Your Girlfriends” video became a notable “spoof” as they took a humorous stance on marriage equality. The video has received over four million views and multiple responses from straight men, lesbians and straight girls.

Another example is “The ultimate anti-gay marriage ad” which overly dramatizes some of the more ridiculous arguments about how gay marriage will lead to the destruction of heterosexual unions.

Undoubtedly, the video medium has become the paramount means of communicating in today’s modern, fast-paced world where information is disseminated quickly and with ease through the Internet. Getting a video to go viral might not be easy, but it helps bring attention to a cause and a goal.

429Magazine


Nebraska Takes No Decisive Action On Three LGBT-Related Bills

March 16, 2013

Image

Nebraska Takes No Decisive Action On Three LGBT-Related Bills

The Nebraska Unicameral Legislature held hearings for three bills regarding LGBT issues on Thursday, but made no decisive action for any of them.

Opposition for the LGBT bills bickered during the extensive questions by Senator Ernie Chambers. One opponent claimed the Senator was stalling the time for the opposition testimony and filibustered the bills. 

Chairman Brad Ashford threatened to clear the room after the ruckus.

The three bills seek to create legislation barring discrimination regarding adoption  and workforce policies on the basis of sexual orientation, and would provide for two unmarried adults to jointly adopt.

Senator Danielle Howard introduced LB485, which will prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workforce. Senator Sara Conrad introduced LB380, which would allow gay couples and any other unmarried adults to adopt a child. Senator Jeremy Nordquist introduced LB385, which would allow anyone to become a foster parent regardless of sexual orientation or marriage qualifications.

“We need to remove all forms of discrimination,” Nebraska Judiciary Committee Chair Brad Ashford, who signed and supported the bills, told 429Magazine. “The Government shouldn’t be discriminating the LGBT community and we need all forms of adopted parents.”

“Employment decisions should not be based on classifications of who someone is or who somebody loves,” Conrad said to Nebraska’s Fremont Tribune. “It should be based on merit and how qualified someone is to do a job.”

“Forward Equality supports LB380, which provides adoption for all unmarried couples including gay couples,” Forward Equality’s Founder Mika Covington told 429Magazine. “Nebraska prohibits any unmarried couples and gay couples from adopting and we need to work on that.”

Covington personally created a petition for the adoption bill that gained 1,000 signatures, which will be delivered electronically at the hearings.

Opposition to the legislation came from Family First as well as the Nebraska Family Council stating that sexual orientation is not a protective right as they see it as a lifestyle and that LGBT people have enough employment opportunities. 

“This bill comes in direct conflict with freedom of speech and religious freedom,” said Nebraska Family Council’s Executive Director Al Riskowski in a press release. 

“I firmly believe it is poor public policy, but it is hard to be heard from a policy prospective because the hearings get so socially charged. It’s hard to make your case without people saying you’re hateful and bigoted.”

Nebraska laws prohibit discrimination based on disability, age, pregnancy, race and gender but have yet to include sexual orientation. 

 “It’s a basic freedom for everyone to work,” Ashford said regarding the anti-discrimination bill. “And to be denied employment, we need to protect those people.”

“Against the opposition, we just continue to focus on the bill and what’s best for the children,” said Covington.

429Magazine


1 Girl 5 Gays: Groundbreakingly Human

March 7, 2011

“1 Girl 5 Gays in 20 Questions about Love and Sex.”

That sentence, which begins every episode, sums up the premise of the entire series and has become one of my absolute favorite shows. I stumbled on the show by accident after watching and obsessing over the deliciously guilty A-List on the Logo Channel. Initially a Canadian MTV show, some critics say it perpetuates the gay stereotypes of shallow promiscuity in the LGBT community. But to be frank, I see the show as brutally honest risqué, funny, sad, and touching all rolled into one. Sure, the show may shock outsiders but it successfully illustrates all different perspectives of gay men of every race and religion, and class. I’m very conversational and have found these questions to be great icebreakers for old and new friends. The guys are candid, relatable, and intimate. The second season started in early February and I anticipate every new groundbreaking episode. Thank you, Aliya Jasmine.

Here are two examples of the two types of questions: funny and risqué versus the touching and human.


Top 5 Glee Showstoppers

August 2, 2010

This week, Glee starts filming its second season. I’m super-stoked as the show is a ratings smash and hit all the right notes (pun intended). I posted my favorite songs from the first half of season one just a few months ago. Now, it is befitting that I post the remaining five from the second half of season two. There were a lot of goodies such as Artie’s “Dream a Little Dream,” Rachel’s duet with her mother in “I Dreamed A Dream,” Will and Ryan’s short “Piano Man” snip, and the entirety of the Madonna-themed episode. But again, I must the stress the limitations of choosing only 5 because it was a excruciatingly long list. So enjoy until the season two starts this Fall.

1. Can’t Touch This

It’s unfathomable that the show used Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer in one episode with the appropriate title of Bad Reputation. Not only did they make it work, but also the cast performed the song with hilarious results. The dregs of high school (Brittany, Tina, Artie, Kurt, Mercedes) perform MC Hammer’s song in a library complete with the balloon pants. Surely, it was a pure “Laughing Out Loud” moment with an unexpected “epic fail” ending.

2. Rose’s Turn

Seeing Kurt perform John Mellencamp was horrendous and an uncomfortable sight to see. But listening to Kurt bring out his true inner diva on stage solo with “Rose’s Turn” was spectacular. Actor Chris Colfer has an amazing voice range and definitely belts it out with this performance as trying to be the exact opposite can leave him miserable. It’s definitely a good character moment and brings Glee back to the stage theatrics.

3. Safety Dance

Like Kurt’s “Rose’s Turn,” Artie has a chance to shine in the spotlight through song in “A Safety Dance.” With a documentary style filming taking place in a suburban mall, Artie bounces off his wheelchair and dances for the first time with a rousing crowd of teenagers. It’s a sight to see with an unusual (yet appropriate) song for his story arc. But just like Glee would, they give us a happy wish fulfillment moment and snaps it away from us. It’s a great performance with a heart-wrenching ending.

4. One Less Bell to Answer/A House Is Not A Home

I like Kristen Chenoweth. But whenever she guest stars on Glee, it feels like a filler episode. That’s not to say I don’t relish her vocals as she does an amazing duet with Matthew Morrison in “One Less Bell to Answer/A House is not a Home” within the confines of his own bedroom. The song is very soothing and portrays their sad journeys of solidarity through song.  I play this song constantly on my iPod, so it is with good reason that this duet fulfills the somber tone of Glee.

5. Bohemian Rhapsody

For Glee’s finales, they have to be fantastic, legendary, and over-the-top. Rachel, in the first half of season one, sang her heart out with Barbra Streisand’s “Don’t Rain On My Parade.” So Jonathan Groff definitely took the prize away from the New Directions out in Regionals with the big guns of music: Queen. Bohemian Rhapsody hit all the right notes when paired with the long awaited birth of Quinn’s child. Within the span of five minutes, Quinn’s pregnancy was synced well with Queen’s showstopper. It was an awesome spectacle proving that Glee does it big with its finales by hitting the emotional high notes.


My Top Five Glee Songs.

March 5, 2010

On an earlier post, I raved about how much I love Glee from the sole basis of its pilot episode. Well, after the show came out on DVD, I watched the entire show in just 2 days! I can’t wait for the second half of the first season in April sweep with a whole Madonna episode and appearances by Olivia Newton-John and Molly Shannon. So in good retrospection of the first 13 episodes, I’m posting my 5 absolute favorite songs. I had to slim it down to only 5 because every song is addictively good. These chosen 5 “gleefully” got me off my seat and immediately hooked on the show as each shows eccentricity, passion, heart, and a completely new spin on the classics. Also here are the other songs that I couldn’t post in the countdown: “Somebody To Love,” “Say A Little Prayer,” “Hate On Me,” “Proud Mary,” “Don’t Stop Believin’” “Crush,” “Maybe This Time,” and “Bust Your Windows.”

5. “Push It” (from Showmance)

How do you beat the 1970s disco hit “Le Freak?” By singing Salt n’ Pepa’s “Push It” in a school auditorium announcing that high school kids are just as horny as adults, of course. It’s the best way to get everybody’s attention, recruit new singers, and make a grand scene that Glee has the natural pizzazz. All six members were fierce, sexual creatures. Thank you for the shock value.

4. “Dancing With Myself” (from Wheels)

A solo hit that made a big impression as it highlighted the club’s disabled singer (Kevin Mchale) in all his gleeful glory. He glides by himself all over the stage singing Billy Idol’s “Dancing with Myself” in a more relaxed and mellow tone. It is an achievement considering the original message was about masturbation. Hush, Hush.

3. “Don’t Rain On My Parade” (from Sectionals)

Showtunes! Aw, I love it. Lea Michele belts her singing chops in the competition using Barbara Streisand’s golden Funny Girl hit. With as much heart and bravado like Babs, I rooted for the New Directions to take first place. Her performance makes me wish life was a musical. It would be grander.

2. “Imagine “(from Hairography)

You wouldn’t think a group of deaf singers could beat a bunch of crazy-haired showstoppers. Oh, but they did by bringing so much heart and added layers of meaning to John Lennon’s harmonious song. Sometimes you don’t need all the dancesteps. All you need is a vision and the god-given talents you were blessed with.

1. “Single Ladies” (from Preggers)

For a football team that never has won a game, it took flashy Beyonce steps to shape the manly football team to finally win. Glee’s gay baritone singer (Chris Colfer) needs to impress his dad so he recruits himself to join the sportsteam with unexpected results. It’s probably THE highlight of season one. How can you beat a team of football players dancing to Beyonce? Answer: You simply can’t.

Go Gleeks! Please Don’t Be Offended If I Omitted one of your favorites. And for the record, I love Jane Lynch. She needs to sing.