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S05.E17: Opening Night

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OVERVIEW: GLEE - 05 - 5ARC17 - OPENING NIGHT

EPISODE: 5ARC17

AIR DATE: 22-Apr-2014 (T)

RUNNING TIME: 60 Minutes

CONCEPT: The gang must rally an uncharacteristically insecure Rachel in time to make her Broadway debut in Funny Girl… but not everyone in the audience is wishing Rachel the best.

 

SPECIAL GUESTS:

    AMBER RILEY Mercedes Jones
    LAUREN POTTER Becky Jackson
    BILL A. JONES Rod Remington
    EARLENE DAVIS Andrea Carmichael
    MAX ADLER Dave Karofsky
    JOSH SUSSMAN Jacob Ben Israel

PRODUCTION CREDITS:

    Written by: MICHAEL HITCHCOCK
    Directed by: ERIC STOLTZ

EXTENDED SUMMARY:

With her Broadway debut looming large, Rachel - feeling the mounting pressure of opening night - wakes from her “actor’s nightmare.” Despite almost unanimous critical praise following the show’s previews, she finds herself falling victim to the seemingly endless stream of random bloggers and anonymous internet trolls determined to tear her down. While Kurt does his best to insulate her from the haters – turning the loft into a “hermetically sealed love bubble filled with nothing but positive affirmations” - he finds it a near impossible task, and the rest of the gang must pitch in to try and rouse Rachel from her uncharacteristic bout of insecurity in time for the curtain to rise. Meanwhile, Sue tags along with Will and the pair travel to New York for Rachel’s big night. While Will hopes to support his former student as she tries to fulfill her lifelong dream, Sue attends the show operating under the assumption it will flop and Rachel will choke. However, both Will and Sue get more than they bargained for when their evenings take unexpected turns.

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Looking at the preview I am guessing the order is this

  • Rachel's pre-show meltdown and her pulling it together
  • Her opening night
  • The amazing reviews come in
  • Then a club outing to celebrate her success

Given all of that happening I am guessing what we see of "Funny Girl" is a montage of scenes while Rachel sings "I am the Greatest Star" which fits with her steeling herself to give a spectacular performance.  

I wonder what reason they will give Rachel for having a pre-show meltdown.  On one hand I think it would make sense for her to be feeling out of sorts because she always thought Finn would be there to cheer her big Broadway debut on.  On the other hand I would think that is the first thing Kurt would have thought of so the fact that he seems stymied makes me believe that isn't it.  Maybe she is freaked she will choke like she did for her NYADA audition

Edited by camussie

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I wonder what reason they will give Rachel for having a pre-show meltdown.  On one hand I think it would make sense for her to be feeling out of sorts because she always thought Finn would be there to cheer her big Broadway debut on.  On the other hand I would think that is the first thing Kurt would have thought of so the fact that he seems stymied makes me believe that isn't it.  Maybe she is freaked she will choke like she did for her NYADA audition

 

From the summary above.

Despite almost unanimous critical praise following the show’s previews, she finds herself falling victim to the seemingly endless stream of random bloggers and anonymous internet trolls determined to tear her down.

 

Edited by tom87

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I know what is in the description (in fact I read it the day it came out a while ago) but my question is why is she allowing herself to fall victim to them now?  To me it would only make sense if there was a deeper meaning behind it given that she has been the victim of internet snipes before and she didn't let those stop her from performing. 

Edited by camussie

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The attacks would have begun the instant the announcement of her casting was made, and they would never have let up. In addition to hate tweets and blog denunciations for having the gall to do Fanny, the videos of her previous performances that would have been uploaded to YouTube would have contained comments NSFW. In other words, by opening night the negatives would have been very old news, and the 80 or so public performances on tour and in front of NYC audiences in previews, accompanied by critical and public acclaim, would have overwhelmed the negatives. But how then could they contrive some implausible drama? (But is it drama? In the promo, it's all comedy, especially Rachel.)

All will be forgiven if I catch a glimpse of the "Finn" necklace.

Edited by Higgs

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I know what is in the description (in fact I read it the day it came out a while ago) but my question is why is she allowing herself to fall victim to them now?  To me it would only make sense if there was a deeper meaning behind it given that she has been the victim of internet snipes before and she didn't let those stop her from performing. 

Excuse me was I just trying to help. You asked why I provided the reason they gave.      You are assuming glee cares what Rachel has said in the past.   If what she said doesn't fit this  plot point then forget it.   I doubt they remember she wouldn't give in  Sebastian's terrorism.   One of the last times Rachel had a big perfomance she said give me a stage and I know I can win, but now that doesn't fit and she is insecure.    Another day another Rachel. 

Edited by tom87
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Color me pleasantly surprised that they had Rachel’s debut be a success.

Rachel’s Broadway debut has always been one of the few things on Glee that has interested me (I loved bitchy ambitious season 1 Rachel and enjoy seeing flashes of her and her pursuit of her dreams). That being said, the entire storyline has bothered me so much with its lack of…gravitas. Rachel being cast as Fanny Brice is a huge freaking deal. The revival would be one of the biggest things on Broadway in years, would be getting national press, would look and feel more momentous than what it looked and felt like to me: yet another Nationals finale. Her dads weren’t even there. Also, why are previews for a major Broadway musical happening in Syracuse?

I wish they would kill off Sue. I think she is just vile, cartoonish, unfunny, and serves no purpose. Liked Rachel’s smackdown of her, though.

Daniel Finn Schuester? I thought they’d just name him Finn.

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My biggest takeaway from this episode?  Matt Morrison showed that yet again he is the only true triple threat in the cast.  He was amazing in NYC.  Given his talent and RM's repeated statement that the choir room was the heart of the show it still confounds me how underutilized he was from seasons 2 through 4.

 

The Finn acknowledgement was well done - bittersweet without being maudlin.  I said all along of course he is going to be on her mind as she makes her big debut so I appreciate the show actually went there.

 

Next the Sue focus seemed so very out of place here.  I get Jane/Sue is still face of Glee to many but having her play such a big role in this episode was just all wrong.  

 

Santana's "tough love" thing is so so tiring.  Sure Naya delivers the lines well but then again she should with how repetitive it all is.

 

That leads to my other takeaway from the episode.  This should have been the penultimate Glee episode because I feel like it is something they have been building to since season 1, episode 1 and it came across as so very flat and rote to me.  It just tells me how uninvested the writing team is at this point. I mean if they can't put their best foot forward here when will they?  Did they use up any creative energy they had with that last few minutes of the 101?

 

Maybe it is because, for the first 3 seasons of the show, I saw Rachel's "Funny Girl" debut with her loved ones at her side as the conclusion to her story.  Not something that happens in the middle of the next to the last season.  Really her choosing to celebrate her triumphant opening night with her friends instead of going to the cast party that surely would have been filled effusive praise from a host of sycophants, while unrealistic, seems like the conclusion to the story they set up for her very early on - realizing that while her talent makes her extraordinary what will really make her "completely happy" is achieving her dreams with the people she loves and who love her celebrating with her.  Not because they are simply awed by her talent but rather because she has developed relationships along the way that mean something.

 

Tonight we saw those two completely converge - professional success and personal fulfillment and indeed she has it all, having learned that all of the Broadway success in the world wouldn't have meant anything unless she had loved ones there with her.  Thus concludes Rachel's original story.  Now I dread how they are going to muck it up  going forward.

Color me pleasantly surprised that they had Rachel’s debut be a success.

 

 

I wasn't surprised at all.  Rachel has been on a trajectory to the top with nothing stopping her ever since she got that second chance at NYADA.  It seems like RM and team are so invested in Rachel being a "supernova" that once she escaped the confines of high school it was nothing but success after success for her.

Edited by camussie
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I would never have thought as the first season was coming to a close that Rachel's Broadway debut would take place in such a mediocre nothing special of an episode.

If Ryan Murphy thinks the tepid 40 minutes just broadcast serve as some kind of extended ad for a future Funny Girl revival, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell him. Also some swamp land in Florida and my friend the King of Nigeria could use some help transferring a few dollars through some US banks.

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This should have been the penultimate Glee episode because I feel like it is something they have been building to since season 1, episode 1 and it came across as so very flat and rote to me. 

Maybe it is because I always saw Rachel's "Funny Girl" debut with her loved ones at her side as the conclusion to her story.  Not something that happens in the middle of the next to the last season. 

Thus concludes Rachel's original story.  Now I dread how they are going to muck up her story going forward.

A huge YES, EXACTLY!!! to your entire post, camussie, but especially the above-quoted bits. I can’t believe (well, of course I can, this is Glee after all) how flat and anticlimactic Rachel’s big debut was. It felt so ordinary and badly paced. It didn’t help that so much of the episode was wasted on Sue’s nonsense. (Sue and Schue are like herpes. They never really go away.) I always thought the series finale of Glee would end on Rachel's debut, ushering in a bright future for her that we would never see. But instead it happened in a ho-hum way in a totally mediocre episode. 

The heart of the show, the character that essentially willed the glee club into existence with her pushiness, the star has reached the dream she had been working towards since literally the pilot. And realizes the importance of friendship and love. Where does Rachel go from here? Only down, I’m afraid.

Rachel has been on a trajectory to the top with nothing stopping her ever since she got that second chance at NYADA.  It seems like RM and team are so invested in Rachel being a "supernova" that once she escaped the confines of high school it was nothing but success after success for her.

I assumed that RIB was going to Teach Rachel a Lesson About Humility by having Funny Girl flop. She has been acting diva-ish (her understudy freakout, for example) and it seemed like a good Afterschool Special lesson to teach and we all know how much RIB loves those.

Edited by CleoCaesar

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Before season 4 I assumed it would end on Rachel's Broadway debut with a host of Glee clubbers in the audience warmly cheering her on.  I think both of those elements were necessary to fulfill the arc they set up for her in the very beginning of the series.  Rachel achieving Broadway success was always a given in my opinion.  The character arc that was set up was her learning along the way that unless she has a fully realized life outside of her talent all of the Broadway success in the world would ring hollow.  Tonight we saw that, not only did she achieve her given Broadway success, we saw a woman who values the love and support of friends over the mindless praise of sycophants.  

 

Gone is the girl who lives on applause alone and here is the woman who appreciates the applause and accolades but who also knows that life is more than that which was the point of her choosing to hang in a club with her friends versus attending the cast party. It was a hamhanded way to make the point that Rachel has indeed reached her "full potential" in all areas of her life, not just her talent.  Now that they have done that where they go from here will surely be awful

 

As for teaching Rachel a lesson, given that RM says that Rachel is a supernova and always ends up on top I don't think any outside forces are going to bring her career down.  I think we are heading towards Rachel having even more success and finding it all so unfulfilling resulting in her returning home to Lima, all so RM can have his dang choir room ending.  As a bonus he will probably have Rachel and Will spout some ridiculous nonsense about how this is where Finn would have wanted her to be (as he seems to be in the business of scapegoating Finn for every stupid decision the writing team makes these days)  even though everything in cannon tells the exact opposite of that.  

Edited by camussie

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Now that they have done that where they go from here will surely be awful.

Just off the top of my head:

- Rachel grows tired of success and endless performances and leaves the theatre world

- Rachel becomes a star and alienates all her friends

- Rachel gets everything she ever wanted and is sidelined on the show to make room for more Klaine and Samcedes

- Funny Girl starts to lose money and closes early, leaving Rachel devastated, with no jobs and no NYADA

So, like you said, something surely awful.

 

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Now that they have done that where they go from here will surely be awful.

I doubt it will be any more awful than tonight's drivel. Yes Rachel has evolved to appreciate her friends and found some balance between ambition and a personal life but it was just suddenly and arbitrarily realized in tonight's episode. She's been pretty crappy to Kurt most of this season and the weirdness with Santana and the understudy stuff was, well, weird. We never saw her rethink her behavior but now after a day of her friends pussy footing around her freak out, she's had some epiphany and is going to blow off an opening night cast party (with press in full attendance no doubt) to dance around with her high school friends?

It was all so stupid. This was less major broadway revival and more putting on a plucky show in someone's barn.

I'm amazed at how empty and anticlimactic the ep was.

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True her "journey" to these realizations about how relationships are important was crappily told as was her non--existent journey to Broadway success but i still say tonight was a decent wrap-up to her story, even as unrealistic as it was for Rachel to skip the cast party ti hang with her friends.  It is just that the build up to it sucked and surely the follow up will as well.  

Edited by camussie

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The first clue was the audition for "Funny Girl" as early as S4. The second was Rachel's "home" speech to Will. The third was revealing "Opening Night" as the title of the 17th episode of a 20-episode season. The fourth and fifth were the synopses of the succeeding episodes that described Rachel as being tired of the Broadway grind and succumbing to the siren call of Hollywood and the promise of greater fame, fortune, and freedom, and all for less work. How many times, and in how many ways, does it have to be made crystal clear that Rachel's FG success was never, EVER, meant to be more than a milestone in her career and not its apex? The writers are not responsible for anyone's unfounded assumptions and/or dreams of vicarious pleasure, be they of glory or schadenfreude.

Some wanted the comedy to return. Tonight there was comedy, so where's the props?

The Ryan/Lea FG doesn't need an orgasmic triumph by Rachel on "Glee" to make it viable. DROMP, "You Are Woman", "People", and "I Am the Greatest Star" should be more than enough.

Edited by Higgs

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How many times, and in how many ways, does it have to be made crystal clear that Rachel's FG success was never, EVER, meant to be more than a milestone in her career and not its apex? The writers are not responsible for anyone's unfounded assumptions and/or dreams of vicarious pleasure.

 

And how many times does it have to be repeated that them changing course in season 4 doesn't erase what seemed to be the story they were building up to in the first three seasons of the show?  The writing team is responsible for spending 3 seasons creating a narrative that seemed to be building on ending the show, or at least Rachel's story on the show, on her making her Broadway debut with her loved ones in the audience.  Just because they badly changed course with their split narrative experiment in season 4 doesn't mean that the first 3 seasons of the show were erased.  The writing team is also entirely responsible for not crafting an alternative narrative path for Rachel that the audience became invested in.  

 

Also given those first 3 seasons I simply do not believe it was NEVER EVER the plan to end Rachel's story on her FG debut.  I think that was the ending they imagined at some point  but the plan changed and unfortunately it changed for worse.

 

You don't like that some of us found this flat and anti-climatic?  Blame the piss poor build-up/journey to this moment not the audience having "unfounded assumptions or dreams of vicarious pleasure."

 

Finally I think most of us have known for a while they were pulling the trigger way too early on Rachel's rise to the top ( I would say at least from her stunning success at Winter Showcase, if not from her improbable second audition with Carmen) so tonight certainly wasn't a surprise at all.  That doesn't mean it wasn't a disappointment, even as I fully admit they wrapped up Rachel's original arc adequately.  It just feels like they didn't earn either her professional success or her interpersonal triumphs.  Instead they put a period on the original arc and said all done.  

Edited by camussie
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The Ryan/Lea FG doesn't need an orgasmic triumph by Rachel on "Glee" to make it viable. DROMP, "You Are Woman", "People", and "I Am the Greatest Star" should be more than enough.

Tonight's limpid mediocrity sure won't put any extra asses in those theatre seats. Good luck, Murphy. At least Lea can fall back on a career in animation voice overs.

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I think we are about a month behind real time at this point.  Assuming Emma got pregnant in early June 2013 and knowing that pregnancies last 36-40 weeks (depending on when you start the counting) that would put us in mid to late March.  I assume the next episode gets us to "real" time.

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I quite enjoyed the gay bar scene, which stood out like a sore thumb for being about the only one to have any energy or life to it. The whole episode was pretty flat and dull. Just - not at all what I hoped for from Rachel's debut. The show has been building towards this since we met Rachel, but knowing from the spoilers that

Rachel is so over it all just a few weeks into the realisation of her dream

pretty much killed all the joy in it.

Plus, I don't buy Rachel as a supernova, I'm afraid. I cannot relate to someone who just rolls from easy win to easy win, let alone root for her. There's little to no struggle, no consequences to all the wrong-headed moves Rachel makes, only reward after reward. It's like bad Mary Sue fanfiction.

Rachel's final song as Fanny was really lovely, even though I felt Sue's insertion into the song was intrusive. But I thought Kurt's version of I'm The Greatest Star just had so much more life and wit and individuality. Rachel's fell flat, like so much else in this episode.

Also...Rachel Berry might get away with a protracted impersonation of Barbra Streisand but I imagine that in real life, when Funny Girl does hit Broadway, the critics will be looking for more than that from Lea Michele. 

Edited by heyerchick
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I stopped caring about the plot, such as it is, of this show ages ago, so I was mostly neither here nor there with this ep. I didn't like the clunky Sue story line and was slightly miffed that Rachel's dads couldn't be arsed to be there, but whatevs.

Yay for shirtless Mark Kanemura!

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But I thought Kurt's version of I'm The Greatest Star just had so much more life and wit and individuality. Rachel's fell flat, like so much else in this episode

 

Hell they could have least given her some scaffolding to interact with.  Except for a few  seconds the staging was nonexistent.

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Single best moment of the episode goes to Santana, getting her Dove commercial on, only to be dive-bombed from nowhere by that pigeon :)

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I think we are about a month behind real time at this point.  Assuming Emma got pregnant in early June 2013 and knowing that pregnancies last 36-40 weeks (depending on when you start the counting) that would put us in mid to late March.  I assume the next episode gets us to "real" time.

 

That quick zoom from the clock to the calendar at the beginning made the month hard to see, but the month was April 2014.  So we are back in real time--that is, assuming that the April 2014 was intentional and not just the second unit shooting whatever calendar they had hanging on the wall at the production offices.

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My biggest takeaway from this episode?  Matt Morrison showed that yet again he is the only true triple threat in the cast.  He was amazing in NYC.  Given his talent and RM's repeated statement that the choir room was the heart of the show it still confounds me how underutilized he was from seasons 2 through 4.

ITA - he really is the only triple threat in the cast and he has been sadly underutilized. I'm glad he had an opportunity to show his singing and dancing skills in NYC.

 

Jane Lynch really surprised me. I have learned to dread her musical numbers. She is enthusiastic, which I definitely appreciate, but she has demonstrated over the seasons that she is not a good singer or dancer. Her singing is usually overly autotuned and her dancing tends to be very stiff and tentative.

 

Apparently being in Annie has helped her a lot because her singing has really improved. She still scoops too much for my taste, but I could definitely hear the difference in her voice. Her dancing is still not great, but she looks much more confident and she moves more easily than she used to. They still had to camouflage her dancing with the usual long shots and cut aways.

 

On a related note, I love that the show is no longer even trying to hide Rachel's substandard dancing. It cracks me up that now they don't edit out her spazzy dancing.

 

I could have done without Sue's entire storyline. I didn't find it interesting or funny at all. I love Dr. Leo Spaceman and he seemed like a nice guy but when your new lover is accused of being a horrible person who enjoys the suffering of teenagers and the entire room applauds, how can you honestly then tell your new lady friend that you don't think any of it is true? You've known this woman for how many hours? And you have a better idea of her character than kids who have been tormented by her for three years? Ooookay.

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It's sad that what should have been one of the biggest, if not the biggest moment of Glee turned out to be such a snoozefest. For Glee fans who are not mainly Rachel fans there was very little to get out of this episode (really: just one nice group number at the gay bar would have gone a long way), so it got nothing more than a "meh" from me.

The scenes I liked the most were Santana being startled by the dove and the WTF faces of everyone when Sue commanded Kurt's bedroom for her own and was relieved to not find any sex toys there. Oh, and I enjoyed the NYC performance: why they wasted the multiple talents of Matt Morrison so much is a mystery to me, and Jane Lynch's voice really improved due to her stint on Broadway.

 

The biggest problem with this episode was imo that there was no real tension, no struggle that leads to the satisfaction of a happy ending. The fear for the bad NY Times review, complete with the producer predicting doom and everyone biting their fingernails out of fretting: it was fake, cheap last-minute drama when they neglected to built up any real expected struggles and challenges in previous episodes.

There was also too much of Rachel needing to be propped up by her friends again (and her being mean to them as a thank you) without her showing strength and willpower of her own, so there was basically nothing really for me to root for as Rachel has been horrible to her friends lately and never had to really fight to get to her big Broadway opening night in the first place.

 

Noone even mentioning her dads felt weird. I know why they weren't there (Glee really worked itself into a corner there with their love for big guest stars) but it undermined the big moment for Rachel, who talked about her dads and how much their precious daughter wanting to become a star means to them several times, starting as far back as in the Pilot. Mr. Shue therefore not only had to fill in for Finn but for her dads as well.

 

Mentioning Finn was well done imo, with the panic in her nightmare of not wearing the necklace (although Rachel didn't wear it while singing 'Who Are You Now'), but I must admit that seeing him pop up right in the middle of a Rachel/Sue duet came as a little shock to me and it took me out of the performance. I guess with Sue being in the song too, making it partly about her storyline, I didn't think of Finn at that particular moment (as I probably was supposed to), even when Rachel said she always thought of him while singing that song.

 

Something else that bothered me was that what we saw of 'Funny Girl' was only the Rachel Berry one woman show and not a musical production at all. I know Fanny Brice is the main character, but there are other characters and chorus members involved in a musical production (where was Ioan Gruffudd?), so showing only the last remaining Fanny solos on stage felt to me like a cop-out, like Glee lacked showing me why Rachel Berry is the center and star of the show.

I wanted Rachel to stand out as Fanny when the stage was crowded with people. I wanted to experience everyone's attention being automatically drawn to the charismatic lead actress, so it would be justified that the review of an entire musical production was basically all about miss Rachel Berry.

On top of that: Rachel standing up the entire cast and crew at the production's party while the producer even was so kind to invite all her friends to a free dinner was of such poor manners. Carmen was right to question if Rachel wanted to be a part of the theatre community or only wanted the spotlight.

 

What I found really annoying too and slightly creepy tbh was that Rachel was wearing a Barbra Streisand wig while being Fanny. Not even a Barbra-as-Fanny wig, but the real Barbra hairdo from way back when she did Fanny.

If this is Ryan's idea of his upcoming revival of 'Funny Girl': a badly disguised tribute to Barbra Streisand, with Lea being willing to perform as Barbra's clone instead of giving a fresh interpretation of Fanny..... I wonder what the real NY Times critic would think about that.

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I am pretty sure Rachel was wearing the Finn necklace during "Who are You Now."  She was definitely wearing a gold necklace.  They didn't zoom in on it but it seemed like the necklace.  

On top of that: Rachel standing up the entire cast and crew at the production's party while the producer even was so kind to invite all her friends to a free dinner was of such poor manners. Carmen was right to question if Rachel wanted to be a part of the theatre community or only wanted the spotlight.

 

Yeah I agree they should have shown that  Rachel was treasuring both her success and her friendships in a better way,  Like having the producer mention it was time to get to the cast party and having Rachel say to him she wants her friends to come as well as this night wouldn't mean near as much without them there.  Still I got the hamhanded point they were trying to make.  That as much as Rachel was reveling in her debut, what really mattered to her was that she was surrounded by loved ones when it happened. 

It is just too bad the writing is always so extreme and stupid when they are trying to make these points.

Edited by camussie

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Besides having Max make a quick guest appearance (and damn, did he look good), this was a boring hour considering that Rachel finally making her debut should have felt more like an event. But it was basically an hour long tongue-bath with everyone (except Sue) propping up Rachel who apparently has the emotional fortitude of an overcooked noodle at the least hint of adversity.

 

So much of this had my eyes rolling in disbelief. I hate to break it to the show, but in NY Rachel would barely be considered a celebrity enough to get a gay bartender shitting in his pants that she entered his establishment (and on that note, we had to wait until now for the gay characters to make it to a gay bar?). Celebrities like NY because they can be normal here and people (for the most part) leave them the fuck alone.

 

And seriously... with the way Rachel was behaving with her "oh woe is me" bullshit and acting like an ass with her friends, they should have let her stew in her own misery and rise or fall under her own power. I will never understand why every other character on this show feels the need to make it their personal mission that Rachel succeed in all endeavors when she treats them all so badly on a regular basis.

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I think what was missing here was the feeling that "finally" Rachel was achieving her dreams.  They shortchanged both the professional and personal journey so much that, while this served as a decent conclusion to her original arc, it didn't feel like the culmination of a long hard fought journey.  In the professional realm Rachel hasn't had to really fight for success since at least early season 4.  I would say her showcase win was the  turning point.  In the personal realm it feels like they spent almost two seasons backsliding her from where she was in early season 3 (stuffing the ballot boxes for Kurt) and then suddenly tonight said but see Rachel understands the value of friendships.  Sure we have had mini-lessons this season where she seemed to forget that and then re-learn it by the end of the episode but nothing seemed to "stick."  I think the word I am looking for here is this conclusion, while certainly putting a period on the end of Rachel's original arc, feels unearned.  

Edited by camussie

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IMHO The whole episode was weird. It's a shame but at this point I was honestly rooting for Rachel to mess up, to fall on her face or for some unforeseen thing to happen (the roof of the theater collapses the night before the show harming no one but making the show delayed). The whole Sue thing was bizarre - she looked like a large stork slow dancing with her picked up man. I did like her singing NYC but I could have done without the hook up storyline. 

A few things - Rachel's dads missing the show?? really? And not wanting to go to an actual Broadway show cast party? I imagine she had been picturing that in her head for years before. IMHO it was like RM and his cronies just wanted to showcase a gay club (and yea, all those underaged kids in there?) I guess they suspend disbelief so much that it gets annoying and boring after a while. I was waiting for a unicorn to show up at the curb to take Rachel to the newstand to get her newspapers. 

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I had high hopes. This is the culmination of a very long arc for the show. Really it's the culmination of Rachel's entire arc as a character. 

 

I don't care if they had to crowbar it in there. I like Lovefool so I didn't mind. They could have gotten a bit crazier with the dream aspect and the heckling but whatever.

 

NYC on the other hand was fabulous. It's a very pretty song and while Jane Lynch didn't really make those high notes piercing, I still enjoyed the performance. I liked the cardboard sets and all the extras. There's something very appealing about what they were going for with the box step and the Gypsy-style running in place. I just found it so adorable. Oh! And now we know how the Lima/NYC teleporter works. It's clearly a magical subway entrance. 

 

They found a nice easy explanation for why Sue had to go to NY instead of Emma, though her pregnancy progressed way too quickly. From the time we know she got pregnant to the few months they've been in NY to however long Rachel was away doing previews in Syracuse is not 9 months.

 

Santana's pep talk was perfect.

 

I was so terrified the girl on the stairs behind Rachel was going to pull a Showgirls.

 

I really was not sure how the show was going to play it since they've done so many songs from Funny Girl already. I honestly wouldn't have been surprised if they cut into the middle to do Sadie or something random like that. I think I'm the Greatest Star started off a little weak. It doesn't seem to be in the sweet spot of her range and she didn't bring a lot of genuine emotion to it. I liked the move with Sue as it echoes what they've been writing lately with Sue being a necessary driving force for the Glee club. It also gave her a moment of genuine emotion in the middle when she reacted to Sue getting up to leave. I think she's definitely had better performances on the show but I was willing to suspend my disbelief a little as it did end better than it started. I think in addition to the vocals and the acting the way it was shot also had something to do with my lack of enjoyment.

 

I wish they'd been able to get her dads. I have no idea what Jeff Goldblum and Brian Stokes Mitchell could be doing. Is Jeff busy doing a piano act at a cabaret bar? Is Brian on the Broadway cruise? Handle the budget and scheduling better so you can get them on the show. It was annoying me with all the crowd shots. 

 

Sydney gives the worst intermission pep talks ever. I just finished reading Not Since Carrie a little while ago. I know shows used to only play a few performances when they were major flops but it's been years since I've heard of a show with an open run closing after a few performances, let alone one. Glee, stop being ridiculous.

 

Who Are You Now started off promising but I think they undercut it by making it a duet with Sue about this relationship we have no investment in. Let Rachel have her solos. When she sang My Man there was almost no context for it in the episode but she still had me crying. I still tear up almost every time I watch that performance. 

 

And why did we have to forego an opening night party for a bland dance number at a gay bar? We can do that any week! It was a decent little number but such a throwaway. She could have sung at the opening night party as well (though really she should be conserving her voice) except it probably would have been a gorgeous, triumphant Broadway song that would have made me feel better about the second half of the episode. I don't think we could have handled another Don't Rain on My Parade performance on this show but surely they could have come up with something.

 

Rachel's great review was a nice moment but then they just had to cap the episode off with Sue's corner again. They're really having trouble writing poignant episodes this season. I wish Ian, Ryan, or Brad had come back to write a killer episode for Rachel's opening night. This should have been the highlight of the season. They treated it far too casually, like it was any other episode. There aren't a lot of times you can say this but they should have taken a page from Smash. 

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The fourth and fifth were the synopses of the succeeding episodes that described Rachel as being tired of the Broadway grind and succumbing to the siren call of Hollywood and the promise of greater fame, fortune, and freedom, and all for less work.

Oh for the love of God, so it's Smash season 3? If you get this, I love you.

 

If this is Ryan's idea of his upcoming revival of 'Funny Girl': a badly disguised tribute to Barbra Streisand, with Lea being willing to perform as Barbra's clone instead of giving a fresh interpretation of Fanny..... I wonder what the real NY Times critic would think about that.

I think that's what made Don't Rain on My Parade and My Man work so well. Lea has occasionally slipped into a Barbra imitation but with both of those performances, she was unquestionably Rachel. Maybe that's what made the two performances feel so artificial. She was buried under too many layers as Lea pretending to be Rachel pretending to be Barbra pretending to be Fanny. There was no truth to it except during the moment when she got mad at Sue. Even the tears didn't work for me. 

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Even in a freaking dream sequence, Becky bugs the living hell out of me.

But it was nice to see Max Adler again.

 

I fouind this to be a lackluster episode; live almost any pf the post-100th episodes, this could have realistically served as a SERIES finale, but instead it's not even a SEASON finale. UGH, this show.

 

Somewhere along the line, this show lost the (little bit of) narrative focus is possessed; now, I'm not really invested in any of the characters, since none of them really seems to have had any true trials/trbulations as young adults. (How the hell did Mercedes get not one, but two record gigs? LEt alone the fact that she can apaparently dictate terms!!

 

Santana (as usual) stole the show.  The only problem is that a little Santana goes a LONG way, and they utilized her to perfection in this episode.

 

IMHO it was like RM and his cronies just wanted to showcase a gay club (and yea, all those underaged kids in there?)

Annnnnd? Cue the "Hot SHirtless Guy" montage. Good ol' predictable Ryan Murphy. (I'm shocked they didn't go for a full on QaF "Babylon" vibe.)

Edited by ShadowDenizen

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This is getting me to thinking that Rachel quitting NYADA when she did is going to have some pretty significant repercussions. Going to a school like that is partly about learning technique and stage craft, but it's also about learning to handle the business side of being an actor. Learning how to conduct yourself and behavior that is expected and how to handle the pressures of being a working actor. Maybe things like dealing with poor critiques, how to handle finances (because once a show closes, those fat paychecks stop and you have to survive on your savings until a new part comes along).

 

Not attending the after party is another episode of Rachel just showing that she doesn't know how to behave. It's rude to her cast mates and the production crew (who hired her). It's a missed chance to network (which can help her in getting work in the future) and it just keeps showing that Rachel has no real interest in the show beyond how it benefits her. I cannot imagine that Rachel is particularly liked by the rest of the cast as she ran off her understudy and doesn't seem to interact with any of them beyond what they can do for her. Rachel might have some good will at the moment because of the great reviews she received, but it's really easy to burn through that with a misstep and she's losing the chance to really get the cast and crew on her side to weather the rough times that we know are coming down the pike.

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I  really don't think we were supposed to see her skipping the cast party to hang with her friends as the wrong choice that deserves repercussions.  I think we were supposed to see it as symbolic for Rachel's two journeys (such as they have been written) as converging.  In these writers minds Rachel eschewing the fawning she would have received at the cast party and instead choosing celebrate with those who have grown to matter over the years shows that their little star has indeed grown up both professionally and personally.  Gone is the girl who needs just applause to live and here is the woman who realizes that while she will always love the spotlight, what makes her life "completely happy" is sharing these experiences with her "family."

 

Was it a stupid way for the writers to make they point they were trying to make?  Sure but it wouldn't be the first time they tried to make a point with the writing and missed the mark due to them not really thinking it through.

 

Like I said above they could have just as easily made the same point by having the producer tell Rachel it was time to get to the opening night party and having her insist that her friends come along because none of this would mean anything without them.  If the gay bar thing was that important to them, they could have even had the producer plan the party at the gay bar as sort of a tribute to Barbra and her gay following.  Having Michael Lerner partying down with the "kids" in a gay bar would have even added an extra comedic touch to the whole thing.

Edited by camussie

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The thing is, I feel like season 1 Rachel Berry wouldn't have as many of these issues. She would have a better idea of how to conduct herself. Rachel has always been ambitious and prone to histrionics and kind of petulant, spoiled diva behavior (usually when someone else got a solo she wanted). But she also made Broadway her life. I think she would know how a star would conduct herself. I think she would be prepared for at least some of this. It feels less like a character arc having to do with her deciding her friends' love and opinions are more important to her and more evidence of the poor writing that seems to have remade her into a completely different character without development in between.

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Given that the producer just threw the cast party together I just don't think we were supposed to see it as unprofessional that she skipped it  or that she was choosing her friends over her professional obligations.   Many Broadway opening nights these days have red carpets and a well planned opening party.  It certainly isn't as simple as the producer saying to the star after the opening performance.  "That was awesome.  I am calling in a favor and getting us into my favorite restaurant."  More like she gave her performance her all, as evidenced by the NYT review, so now was her time to celebrate with those who she loves and who love her. It was a hamhanded way to wrap up her original arc by saying isn't it wonderful that Rachel is now a fully integrated person who has both professional success and personal fulfillment?

Edited by camussie

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I am pretty sure Rachel was wearing the Finn necklace during "Who are You Now."  She was definitely wearing a gold necklace.  They didn't zoom in on it but it seemed like the necklace.

Rachel wore the necklace with the 3 little 'diamonds' during 'Who Are You Now': tumblr.

She wore the Finn necklace during her talk with Mr. Shue before the beginning of the show, but as soon as the musical began she was wearing the diamond necklace (a necklace she also wears privately, so it's not a prop of Fanny's wardrobe).

It wouldn't have been a big deal to me (and in real life an actress wouldn't even have been allowed to wear a personal necklace like that on stage anyway) if in the episode they hadn't specificly mentioned the Finn necklace twice and even referred to 'Who Are You Now' in that same scene immediately after Rachel showed the Finn necklace to Mr.Shue.

Edited by Glorfindel

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I suppose you can say that Rachel was wearing the Finn necklace under costumes that conceal more like the I'm the Greatest Star sailor suit but that she wasn't allowed to wear it when the audience would be able to see it. And if you want to explain the diamond necklace, maybe the costume/prop people just thought of it as an innocent piece of jewelry and thought it looked good with the outfit so they didn't bother to look for something else. 

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Rachel wore the necklace with the 3 little 'diamonds' during 'Who Are You Now': tumblr.

She wore the Finn necklace during her talk with Mr. Shue before the beginning of the show, but as soon as the musical began she was wearing the diamond necklace (a necklace she also wears privately, so it's not a prop of Fanny's wardrobe).

It wouldn't have been a big deal to me (and in real life an actress wouldn't even have been allowed to wear a personal necklace like that on stage anyway) if in the episode they hadn't specificly mentioned the Finn necklace twice and even referred to 'Who Are You Now' in that same scene immediately after Rachel showed the Finn necklace to Mr.Shue.

Wellfor some unknown reason she also had a different  and new Fanny wig on with Shue then whne she went on stage .

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Must have run out of guest star money since Chris Parnell was a weak and uninspired choice for Sue's lust. And where were her 2 dads?

Is that the last we will see of Sue? I hope so, but if she appears again, I hope Rachel etal lay into her the same way.

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I suppose you can say that Rachel was wearing the Finn necklace under costumes that conceal more like the I'm the Greatest Star sailor suit but that she wasn't allowed to wear it when the audience would be able to see it.

Wearing it under her less revealing costumes could have been option, however she was also wearing the diamond necklace in her 'I'm The Greatest Star' (and curtain opener) sailor suit.

 

Wellfor some unknown reason she also had a different  and new Fanny wig on with Shue then whne she went on stage .

Good catch! I hadn't noticed that.

So maybe 2 different shoots on 2 different days? With props messing up continuity with both the necklace and the wig?

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Must have run out of guest star money since Chris Parnell was a weak and uninspired choice for Sue's lust.

I like Parnell. But the character they gave him was bland and he didn't bring anything to it. It would have made a little sense if Glee aired on ABC (Suburgatory) or NBC (they love their SNL alums) but yeah, I didn't get why he was the guest star. Of course, the whole plot line bothered me.

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I was underwhelmed by the episode - especially one that's supposed to be such a triumph for Rachel. 

 

I agree with much that was said above (including a very happy 'Welcome back, Santana!') but one thing that really struck me was:  I felt uncomfortable with Rachel's take down of Sue.  I *get* that this is part of Rachel's triumph - she gets to finally tell Sue off after all those years, but... it felt really mean to me.  Partly it's my belief  that the good guys (ie Rachel) are supposed to take the higher road; and partly it's because Sue's stuff was always so cartoonish that it's hard to take it seriously.  I was really put off by Rachel's language - too realistic.  They could have had her gloriously throw Sue out of the apartment, but without being so mean.  Honestly, that rant sounded like something from a badly written fan fiction, with some teenager thinking they were sounding so cool and finally telling off Sue.  

 

Frankly, I didn't like Sue storyline much in this episode at all.  Her fling was just... weird. I guess because I was expecting it to be played more broadly or for humor, like Rod or Cooter.  So I kept waiting for something funny, but it was supposed to be romantic? But it was a one night stand, so...  Yeah, not working for me.  

 

Whatever - I DID think Tina's entrance with her plucking every last Rachel nerve was funny, so there's that.  And Santana's entrance - sex on legs interrupted by a pigeon - the best visual comedy of the night, and possibly all season.  Good on Naya for not flinching in advance. 

Edited by tab19

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Very flat. 

 

Really weird that they chose to show Rachel's opening night performance by having her sing a song that Chris Colfer killed in an earlier show. They shouldn't have shot their  Funny Girl wad so early. With all the "I need my friend's to get me through all my insecurities" it would have been the perfect opportunity  for her to have sung People.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dW9zPYVPL24

Edited by MrsR

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I wouldn't say that Chris Colfer killed it with his performance of I'm the Greatest Star. I don't think it was great for his range. His voice was too pretty for it. But watching Lea I couldn't help comparing it to Chris and yeah, he was better. Though they were both being goofballs, he came across as more natural while also having more vitality. And then there was the sword spinning (I don't remember the real name of it) and the scaffolding which boosted the vocal performance and gave the overall performance more energy. I am awful with choreography. I can barely do a box step and move my arms at the same time. But surely they could have given Lea something better than just walking around the stage. 

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Yeah, I'm not that impressed with Rachel's Fanny Brice. Even though I thought Kurt's ITGS was too busy at the time, it was a far more enjoyable performance. I would not want to pay money to see Rachel's version on stage.

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I think they missed an opportunity with ITGS instead of People or His Love Makes Me Beautiful. And I know it was in the movie and not the musical and she probably wouldn't have matched Barbra or Idina but I would have like to hear Lea do Funny Girl. I got sucked in with DROMP and My Man but now that I've seen her do ITGS, You Are Woman, I Am Man, and Who Are You Now, I've lost my confidence in her ability to play Fanny. I don't think she can do the whole show. I think she just happens to do very good versions of two of the numbers. 

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And I know it was in the movie and not the musical and she probably wouldn't have matched Barbra or Idina but I would have like to hear Lea do Funny Girl.

Here's your chance:

Does it match Idina?:

No, it doesn't match. Lea is so much better it's ridiculous. (And I won't bother to provide the link to Idina'a dreadful performance of DROMP at the Kennedy Center.)

And Babs?:

(movie)

Lush and lovely, but I can't stand the phrasing, and it's studio, not live.

Lea's DROMP was as Rachel knowingly copying her idol, but after Shelby's warning, all of Rachel's FG performances were greatly different interpretations and better sung than Streisand's in the mid-60s. For example, the original ITGS: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BmGkx9IFqRM

What don't always match are legend and reality.

Edited by Higgs

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