Of all the hit U.S. TV comedies, perhaps Glee is the one that has established the strongest Pinoy connection. From singing and dancing in front of Jollibee (Chowking was slightly shown too), to casting half-Pinoy, Irish Darren Criss in a prime role, and granting a recurring role to the very Pinoy Charice—Glee has done more than enough to create an army of Filipino Gleeks.
This week, Pinoy Glee fans were able to catch the Season 2 finale of the TV series titled "New York" through ETC and Jack TV’s Match Airing.
Based on the local trending topics in social networking and search sites, it’s Sunshine Corazon—the character of Filipina international recording artist Charice—that became the highlight of the final episode, at least for Pinoy followers.
From the very start, it was clear that reaching nationals in New York City was the goal of New Directions, the small choral group in Ohio with big dreams.
Everything that happened the entire season led to the New Directions kids flying to NYC, and the final episode shows the actual competition and reveals whether or not New Directions claimed the much-coveted championship.
The episode is filled with the New Directions’ signature numbers, expressing what else but delight and excitement in setting foot on the world-famous city—the American capital of Broadway musicals, the very thing that the show pays homage to.
Intertwined with themes of giving love a second chance, never giving up on your dreams, and sometimes having to let go of your dreams, the beautiful city has become a backdrop for one of the Season’s most awaited finale moments.
Did it meet expectations? Final episodes are usually the most grand and the most jawdroppping, with scenes and lines that are to become subjects of conversations the next day.
But Glee’s New York fell a little short of the necessary shockers, show stoppers and cliffhangers.
Yes, the locations are exceptional and onscreen, everything looked astonishingly beautiful, but the story telling suffered from the poor build up between the Season premiere and the finale.
Season 2 had its promise when it premiered with new choir recruits and an impending head-to-head clash between the David and Goliath of show choirs, New Directions and Vocal Adrenaline, respectively—but that didn’t happen.
Also, Vocal Adrenaline used to be portrayed as an elaborate song and dance team, but this time, it entered the nationals with a power ballad. Maybe they’re saving the epic battle for next season.
The music for this episode is underwhelming. In Season 1, there were Queen and Journey classics meshed with Broadway tunes. Glee, the show, has set Billboard records in single sales but mostly for their pop and show tune covers, but it didn’t stick to that.
While it’s commendable that they try to create their own material, there seems to be a disconnect in using original songs as the glee club’s pieces.
(Another point: The national competition is tomorrow and you’re writing your contest piece just today? That point of the story is hard to believe).
And then there’s Charice. In the Season’s premiere, Sunshine Corazon seemed to have a huge part in the Season’s story development; but it turned out she’s just there for 3 episodes (2 ½, technically, ’cause there’s an episode where you can take her away completely and the narrative won’t be affected).
Charice’s return for next Season is unclear as she’s written to be on the verge of quitting singing because of the torments she receives from New Directions’ diva Rachel Berry and the ruthless Vocal Adrenaline coach.
Nevertheless, with Charice’s three brief appearances, she has left a mark with powerful and remarkable renditions of songs, including her take on the original "As Long as You’re There" in the finale. Given her small role, her acting improved from the first time we saw her face off with Rachel in the restroom till they reconciled, again in a restroom, in New York. It’s when she sings that she truly shines. The finale episode shows Charice in her best singing form: stunning and goosebumps-inducing.
Looking at the show’s entire second Season, we still say that the first was miles better, even with less gimmicks, guest stars and glitz. This Season lacks the cold and sharp villainy of Sue Sylvester—one of the best characters to come out of TV. This season also lacks the fun, lighthearted yet inspiring moments that champion the outcast in all of us.
(CLICK HERE to watch Charice’s performance in the finale episode of Glee Season 2)