Glee: 119 “Dream On”

Season 1 Episode 19
Airdate: May 18, 2010

Porpoise of Life name: “Doogie Howser”
Issue of the Week: Following Your Dreams (for the fortieth time so far)

Glee episode 119 Glee episode 119

Will is summoned to Principal Figgins’ office to meet Bryan Ryan (played by Neil Patrick Harris), a representative from the school board who is looking to cut the budget for various programs. And he is gunning for glee club! This shocks and appalls Will because Bryan was in glee with him in the early 90s. In fact, Bryan was the star back in the day. He wowed the flannel clad young ladies with his awesome voice, magic tricks, and slightly feminine, non-threatening mannerisms (which he tries to concealed under a mask of machismo, but you still sort of notice).

However, his hopes for stardom dried up after high school, when he was forced to become a prostitute. Now he is back on his feet as a respectable member of the school board and wants to cut glee club out of the budget because Sue is busy this week.

How about how out of place Will and Bryan look in this high school flashback? I’ve mentioned before how, as a 20-something, it is odd to see people my own age portray teenagers. It’s just disgusting to see people in their mid-30s try it. Whenever I see something like this on TV, I assume that since people don’t always notice how much they age, they will picture themselves, as well as anyone they currently know, in their present day form because that is what they are used to.

At least they look better than the George and Jerry trying to stand in for their teenage selves in that “The Library” episode of Seinfeld. Dear God.

Seinfeld

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Bryan runs a local recovery group for former show choir members. Sandy and Molly Shannon’s character are there. There sure are a lot of bitter ex-glee club members in this town.

Bryan meets with the glee kids and asks them to write their secret dreams. He throws away their dreams and gives them the cold hard truth: none of them are going to be famous. Bryan uses Will as an example, his dreams of stardom didn’t work out and now has to live vicariously through the glee kids. That’s true! That was even the premise of the first episode. This makes Tina cry because I guess Tina just cries very easily. She must have been the only member of glee club who didn’t already know this.

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Artie and Tina are in the school library, the coolest place in town. Tina dug Artie’s paper out of the trash and learned Artie dreams of one day becoming a dancer. Yeah, Bryan’s dose of reality was for the best then.

Tina wants to dance with Artie. I don’t know how either of them expect it to happen. Artie “borrowed” a pair of crutches from a kid with cerebral palsy and Tina tries to help him walk but he falls down. Now he’s in the same position as the boy with palsy who has been stuck on the toilet seat for three hours because some stranger wheeled away with his crutches.

Glee episode 119

Third plot: Rachel is happy that Jesse is back from spring break. I don’t know why Jesse gets his own spring break. I guess he just felt like taking a few days off from school for personal reasons.

Rachel wants to know who her mom is. Rachel is being raised by two gay dads who impregnated a surrogate. She does some research in the library because the library is where you find out FACTS. Rachel believes her mother is a Broadway legend who was in Ohio nine months before she was born. Jesse tells her this is all malarkey.

Glee episode 119

Will invites Bryan to the bar to try and win him over. The reminisce about the 90s: high school, grunge music and the Surgeon General who told them to masturbate. Bryan says he had a crush on Terri. Will says he married Terri, and glee club was what gave him the courage to leave that awful marriage. That and the two women he got to hook up with as a result of heading glee club. Bryan cries and admits glee club made him happy and he really misses performing. Will energizes him by putting “Piano Man” by Billy Joel on the jukebox and the two men sing. It’s pretty convenient that the songs on that jukebox don’t include the singer.

While we’re on Billy Joel, I had a friend in college who really liked him. He played Billy Joel music way too often (note: once is too often), had seen him in concert, and could even play his songs on keyboard. He also liked other light music like the Bee Gees and Rod Stewert. One day, I asked him if he liked the Beatles and he said “no, they’re lame” and I starting punching him in my mind.

My point is, Glee producers, I think you could have done a lot better than Billy Joel here. Will and Bryan are talking about old times. They are in a bar. They should sing “Glory Days” by Bruce Springsteen. Johnny played that one time we went to a bar. He proclaimed, “Now that’s a bar song!” I was just glad it drowned out all the people who were gossiping about the fact that we were sharing a Creamsicle Martini with an umbrella in it.

Glee episode 119

Rachel goes through boxes of her childhood stuff to see if they contain any clues about her mother. Jesse plants a tape in the box. It is a message from Rachel’s mom. What is going on here? Is Jesse an angel?

Glee episode 119

Will and Bryan both try out for the same role in the community theater production of Les Misérables. They duel out to Aerosmith’s “Dream On.” Luckily, the orchestra that had volunteered for a play set in the 1800s have electric guitars on hand.

Glee episode 119

Artie and Tina are at the mall. Tina wanted to get some new wrist cuffs at Hot Topic and Artie needs some more catheters from the Target pharmacy. Artie fantasizes about dancing to “The Safety Dance”, the song by those guys who dressed in Medieval wear. Other kids join in while the crowd records it with their cell phones as if they are a flash mob who will appear on Youtube. Turns out the kid who plays Artie is a good dancer. Good move by the producers make him a cripple then.

Glee episode 119

Bryan has a meeting with Sue. He is going to cut the cheer teams budget in half. Sue doesn’t mind because they will go have sex. I was amused by the sexual tension between two characters who are each played by gay actors.

Glee episode 119

Jesse meets someone in a car. It is that lady who heads Vocal Adrenaline, the glee club which is the arch rival to our scrappy band of heroes. Jesse was sent to West McKinley as a spy. “I thought it would be a good acting exercise” he says, about pretending to like a girl. Turns out the Vocal Adrenaline coach is Rachel’s mother. The two gay men who paid her to be a surrogate gave her enough money to live in New York for two years. I guess she didn’t do anything in New York since she is back in Lima.

Jesse plays the tape for Rachel. She hears the message from her mom, which is a song I don’t know but which Wikipedia says is from Les Mis. I am an uncultured slob and whenever I hear the name of something French I go into a 35 minute rant about how the French were cowards for not going into Iraq with us. So I did not know this fact.

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Bryan is filled with glee for glee club. He bestows them with gifts from funds he siphoned from the cheer team. New Directions is totally going to dominate the competition with their sparkly denim jackets!

Sue spoils the party by letting them know that Will beat Bryan for the lead role in Les Misérables, while Bryan gets one line. Lima, Ohio must have a huge fucking amount of talented singers hungry for a chance to be on stage if someone like Bryan gets assigned a minor part after the audition he had.

Now Bryan wants to destroy glee club again. Will is able to get Bryan to back off again by giving his part in the play to Bryan. Bryan is happy. glee club gets to keep their funding and stay alive for one more week, and Will is no longer attached to a project he wouldn’t really have had time for.

Glee episode 119

Back to Artie. Tina presents him with information about stem cell therapies he could take in order to walk. She found this information online instead of in the library, so it was all bogus. The web isn’t always a reliable source, people, you need to be able to separate the true information from the untrue information. Anyone can post anything to that internet, it’s still untested technology. If you want FACTS, you need to go to the library and seek out the services of a dedicated and professional research librarian. Screw Wikipedia, that place is full of lies and they also delete the erotic poetry I write in various entries. Go with World Book Encyclopedia, the information source of record. If it was a good enough source for your third grade report about alligators, it is good enough for you today.

Artie realizes he will not be able to dance for Regionals. Well, yeah. Even if those treatments were for real, it was still doubtful that he would have been able to walk in time for Regional’s next month. Tina instead dances with that other Asian kid, while Artie has to sing for them. Wow, I feel bad for Artie. He’s forced to watch his lady dance with another man while he has to provide the music. He must feel like such a bitch right now.

Grade: A-

The whole Artie yearning to walk, falling down on crutches and looking into stem cell therapy reminds me of the Degrassi episode “Broken Wings” in which Jimmy did the same thing. I know there is an animated gif of Jimmy falling down on crutches out there. If someone makes one of Artie, I can put them back to back and we can laugh and laugh and laugh.

I don’t watch How I Met Your Mother so I don’t know how close Harris’ portrayal here is to his character on that sitcom. I did watch some Doogie Howser when it was rerun on WGN or TBS or where the hell ever in the mid 90s. I think it would have been awesome if Neil Patrick Harris played a bitter Doogie Howser seventeen years later. He lost his medical license at 19 after having some teenager temper tantrum while performing surgery, which resulted in a patient exploding. He’s rebuilt his life by moving to Lima and getting elected to the school board. And he wants to destroy glee club because the happiness in those kids’ hearts make him feel bitter about not having had a real high school experience, since he completed high school in nine weeks and became a doctor at age 14. The conflict is resolved when Wanda Plenn returns and gives him a blowjob so he’ll calm the fuck down.

Best Musical Number:

“The Safety Dance” – Men Without Hats. Performed by Artie. I fucking hate this song, but Artie’s performance was better than that song deserved.

Seriously, no one really likes “The Safety Dance”, right? Tell me it’s just one of those songs we all know is absolutely awful, and in a just world would never have been made, but white people will dance to it for silliness’ sake. See: “Macarena” “YMCA”.

Kurt’s Best Outfit:

Glee episode 119