Nowadays it seems that life really is just a mystery and that every one of us must stand alone. But sometimes, in the midst of all the haze, loss and craziness, you hear something calling your name and it feels like home. Some might say that this calling is a bit “Like a Prayer.”
But get up from off your knees and feel the power of the hit TV show “Glee” which recently paid homage to none other than The Material Girl with its “The Power of Madonna” episode. Now if you haven’t heard of the TV show “Glee” I fear you might want to stop reading because you probably think that Madonna is just the mother of Jesus. Come on now, people.
Much like Madonna before it, “Glee” the TV-show tweaks the visual and aural tapestry of pop culture in a unique mix that makes the overall effect far more powerful. Whereas Madonna did most of her work in the music video medium, “Glee” is the first TV show that has ever used Broadway style musical numbers as part of its story telling process.
Sure, musical instruments, back-up dancers, lavish costumes and wind machines might magically just appear when the cast of “Glee” starts to perform but who cares when the result is so delightfully delicious. As such, mixing Madonna’s iconic songs with the ground breaking joys of “Glee” was the scrumptious television equivalent of peanut butter and chocolate. They truly are two great tastes that tasted great together.
In this particular episode we learn that Cruella DeVille wannabe Sue Sylvester is a huge Madonna fan and in an utterly incredulous plot twist she convinces the principal to blast Madge songs in the High School halls and classes all day long. What ensues, story wise, is what amounts to a bunch of clever ways to introduce intricate productions of many of Madonna’s greatest hits.
Easily the most impressive number, from a visual perspective, was when Sue Sylvester did a scene by scene recreation of the music video for Vogue. The result was truly awe inspiring and it should garner Jane Lynch (the actress who plays Sue) a much deserved Emmy nomination.
Other standout numbers included the Like a Virgin montage where three couples were on the verge of losing the “Big V” (you have to watch to know who actually did), an over the top Cheerleading dance routine with Kurt and the sassy/brassy Mercedes to 4 Minutes with full marching band backing and a clever mash-up of Borderline/Open Your Heart performed by Rachel and Finn.
Although Rachel and Finn aren’t currently together on the show, that pair has enough heat and emotional resonance to carry the show for at least four or five more seasons. Perhaps they are the next generation’s Ross and Rachel. (I guess we would have to ask “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy if it is more than just coincidence that his romantic female lead shares the same name as Rachel from “Friends.”)
But without question the moment that every Madonna and “Glee” fan was waiting for was the group’s performance of Like a Prayer. As usual, the boys and girls of “Glee” hit that number out of the park by giving it a true emotional resonance that speaks to the timelessness of that song.
Truly, no other TV choice or voice can take you to the places that “Glee” takes its viewers to each week. And if tears weren’t brought to your eyes during Like a Prayer when Mercedes belted out “let the choir sing” (thereby introducing a full gospel chorus), you really aren’t in touch with your inner “Glee.”
So, are any other artist focused “Glee” episodes planned for the future? Well, apparently Ryan Murphy is rumored to be “interested” in talking to Britney Spears and Bruce Springsteen. Come on then people! Let’s make it happen! (And might I recommend an all U2 episode? Just a thought…)