Originally Posted by pappy97
Why? Because that was the first time we've seen a straight "musical" number, i.e. a song is used to tell something in the story, as opposed to just about every other song we've seen in Glee, which has been a performance of some kind by Glee Club, Acafellas, or other glee groups.
Does anyone get my point? It's one thing to see glee club sing songs like "Gold Digger" or a rival glee club does "Rehab", but it's another for the black young lady to get mad in the show and sing a song about it, making the show feel like a musical rather than a show about glee club that includes performances. I just don't want the show to make ANY kind of comparison to "High School Musical," and yes that song/performance/etc as part of the story was HSM territory.
I thought that Mercedes' (played by Amber Riley) anguished song, which she sang after Kurt told her that he was romantically interested in another girl, was a better choice than some of the free standing numbers that seem to have nothing to do with the show other than to provide a musical interlude. Recall that Take a Bow, which Rachel (played by Lea Michelle) performed at the end of last week's episode, was also, like Mercedes' song, an anguished lament about the end of a would be relationship. That sort thing is the mother's milk of music drama, any music drama, it seems to me. Anyway, both Mercedes and Lea Michelle's torch songs worked for me and, I thought, fit well in the fabric of the show.
Although the quintessentially American version of music drama, the musical, started out as a pastiche of freestanding musical numbers placed within the framework of a lightweight story, it started to change with Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein's immortal Show Boat, which was first produced on Broadway in 1927. Since then, the most memorable musicals have been those that mostly used their music to tell a story. The names that come to my mind first are Rogers and Hammerstein, and Stephen Sondheim. Thus, I guess it's no surprise that I like to see musical numbers in Glee that drive the story, particularly when they are as well done as the two solos we have been discussing here.