Prior to that, we revved up to the new year with a selection of games (Farkle, Lost Cities, Scattergories -- my favorite line in the last being when my mom put "matches" for "things kids play with," or possibly when my dad went, "Hobbies?! I didn't even see that category -- killing!"
Eventually I retired upstairs, whereupon I kicked off a new year in fandom with...a whirlwind shipping tour of Kurt/Blaine.
I was paging back through my Glee reviews**, trying to figure out just when I fell for them, because I realized while filling out the 2011 fandom meme that I couldn't identify any overt "squee" moments from them. I'm pretty sure you can't call Blaine's Face a moment, even though I suspect that may be up to 75% of what I love about their relationship. It seems to have been both a gradual evolution and a state of constant acceptance, but I think I found the defining moment: Prom. I stand by my giant smiley face and hysterical laughter at the secret hate ballots, but Kurt's meltdown was the moment everything lit up in my heart. That seems to fit with my "the best TV romance involves tears" theme.
**This may have been the most awesomely spot-on first impression I've ever had of a character: I don't hate Blaine! Instead, I am stupidly charmed by his immutable calm and self-assurance. What a class act. In fact, I was so charmed by him that of the two possible charity kiss scenarios in this episode, I would have rather seen him kiss Kurt. He dazzled me that much.
Continuing my casual perusal of the episode, which to my delight is still on the computer: oh my god, there are so many things I have not seen. Such as the entire Dancing Queen performance, meaning...v. important "May I have this dance?" All the joy! While I'm at it, "I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You" just shifted out of the "worst thing in the world" category of music on Glee, if I don't look too closely at the lyrical logistics. If this Blaine-appreciation keeps up, one day I might not even hate "Teenage Dream." (that's the last one, though. I'll have to greenlight every other Warblers song before I stomach that one)
Bonus moments 3 & 4: Kurt asking him to the dance at Breadstix (the brief reference in my review doesn't do it justice), and the tail end of the hallway bit -- "They can't touch us. Or what we have." askldfjaskldf. Both of these things got so glossed over in my memory I might as well have never seen them.
While I am on a tour of lost & forgotten scenes, guess which part of "The First Time" I skipped? Well, obviously, and I'm not changing that part today, but prior to now I had also skipped the stage apology. OH MY GOD. I think I need to stop at "Give me your hand, hold it to your heart," because if I take in one more perfect thing tonight I will actually explode. My scene-skipping habit is the BEST!
Nope, wait, I'm inching forward one squeal-worthy line at a time. This time I made it all the way up to "That's not silly" (DREAMY SIGH) and about one perfect second of the kiss. And then I nipped away, because I have pushed my luck as far as I dare for now and I just don't want to risk stumbling on anything I can't unhear. To my very great joy, we have been allowed to float along throughout the rest of the season with no canon acknowledgement of any shenanigans that maybe went down at the end of that episode, and I aim to keep it that way.***
(I remain irritated with Kurt's "sure beats the last time you were drunk and made out with Rachel" line, because no. That was one of the highlights of the year. Actually, given that up to now my most-replayed scene between them was drunk!handsy!Blaine, the lesson I'm taking away from here tonight is that when Blaine is drunk, awesome stuff happens. Finally, a good reason to have teens drink.)
[Edit: ooh! Look at all the compare/contrast pretty in this Tumblr post, juxtaposing "Original Song" with this moment. Am I using that word correctly?]
***[Double edit: damn it! Like a fool, I hit up the internet for even more, and I wind up on afterelton.com's detailed recap, which has some fantastic phrasing ("Blaine still has that look on his face—like Kurt is the most beautiful thing he's ever seen")...and then I accidentally read the rest of the scene transcript. Son of a #*(%&#! THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT I DID NOT WANT IN MY HEAD.]
Following that, a
a) yes, the "I love you" in the season 2 finale is as gorgeous as I remember, although the Sam/Mercedes interruption now makes me want to light her on fire
b) first kiss: ...well, we'll work up to loving it. It remains merely tolerable, as does some of the cheesier dialogue. "Why did you pick me to sing that song with?", though...perfect opportunity is perfect.
c) I keep getting distracted by sidebar links to Darren Criss interviews, as he seems to be a perfect human being, or at least the most polished actor I've ever seen when it comes to answering on-the-fly questions, since things like this normally make me cringe. FOCUS, SELF. I just found an extra-handy "compilation of all their scenes" series, so though the quality is terrible, it's mostly to jog my memory.
d) OK, there is a rung below Teenage Dream -- "I Want Some More." I...do not see this ever become listenable or watchable. To be honest, when I saw the phrase "a ridiculous focus on Blaine and Kurt" in the entry for "Sexy," I temporarily wondered if it might have a redeeming feature after all. NOPE. NOT REALLY. We will never be wrong about how bad that episode was.
e) I cannot stop being enchanted by "When I Get You Alone." Not even in all its inappropriateness.
f) gosh, I love how the end of "Silly Love Songs" went down with them. And let me just cackle at the blatant untruth of "I'm not very good at romance."
g) I also love it takes no effort at all to distract me from this tour and launch the 3-scene Blaine/Rachel Tour instead. Be right back.
h) ...oh, wow. Speaking of things I totally forgot about (possibly in my blinding Blame It On The Alcohol rage), how much mileage do you think my brain can get out of Kurt letting Blaine crash in his room overnight? The answer is "a lot." Other acceptable answers include "infinity mileage." This is just more proof that all the best things happen when Blaine is drunk.
i) "I'd say 'bye,' but I wouldn't want to make you angry." *cackles* Oh, 2x14. I'm honestly about ready to upgrade you to the merely "poor" category on the ranking list.
j) oh goodness gracious, the hug at the end of "Somewhere Only We Know." I realize I stumbled on this one not too long ago, but I apparently only gave it a couple of plays before I switched over to the audio-only full version, because that part is not included in my memory bank.
Okay. It's been at least two hours of this; I think I've investigated all the important things for now and am ready to wrap this up.
Unrelated realization: a small part of me can't wait until Glee goes off the air. I suspect that, once we are no longer universally reviewing episodes and critiquing the music (so I don't feel like I have to violently disparage any performance that supports an unsavory storyline and/or that does not fit my extremely narrow view of vocal perfection, in order to make sure a dissenting opinion is documented), I am going to really enjoy listening to the official soundtracks in their entirety. I imagine it will be quite a relief to have favorites, but not feel I have to constantly make sure no one takes my silence as an implicit agreement that Santana or Mercedes' voice is as nice to listen to as Rachel's or Quinn's.