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Feature: ‘Glee’ makes ’em laugh (or tries)

Last night’s episode of “Glee” featured a dream sequence in which glee club teacher Will Scheuster imagines he is living the “Make Them Laugh” number from Singin’ in the Rain. He takes on the Donald O’Connor character and is accompanied by one of the student dancers for an attempted step-by-step re-enactment of one of the most memorable songs from one of the most influential musicals of all time.

I am a regular “Glee” viewer but am a fan with reservations, and Tuesday’s episode only underscores this. I understand the desire to pay tribute to this famous movie routine, but I enjoy the movie version far better. Matthew Morrison has a fabulous, broadway-style voice that is much prettier than O’Connor’s, yet I’m still siding with the film. O’Connor’s voice has far more character and he was much better with the physical comedy of the scene than Morrison is. Also I was confused which character he was playing at first as I was trying to remember the movie. It seemed strange to me to have one of the least noticeable student characters occupy the Gene Kelly role, a character who dominates the film.

I do not aim to be overly critical of the show, and might be prompting hate mail from all the “gleeks”, but am instead offering that for those tweens who just loved that song last night, they better rent the source material.

Compare for yourself:


2 Responses

  1. I’ve only seen the last three episodes of Glee, but while the musical numbers can be fun, none of them hold a candle to the originals. The Singin’ In The Rain number was better than usual and I would hope it would draw attention the film. So I am agreeing with you.

    Probably the reason one of the least recognizable students would occupy Gene Kelly is because it was the teacher’s dream after all.

  2. I agree, Donald O’Connor was a lot better at doing the physical comedy than Matthew Morrison and I think that’s why that number didn’t jive real well with me. At least I liked it much better than the Umbrella/Singin’ in the Rain mash-up at the end anyway. Plus it is nice to see references to classic movies on mainstream prime-time television.

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