What was good? Oh, pretty much everything. It was one of the most enjoyable hours with the television I've had in a long LONG time. It was leaps and bounds better than last week's soapy-melodrama-turned-up-to-11 episode. "The Power of Madonna" was clearly written by someone who appreciates Madonna in a way that only the die-hards can, but also made it accessible to the large portion of the audience that wasn't going to recognize every single Madonna incarnation in that literally 20 second scene in the high school hallway (I especially enjoyed the "Human Nature" video Madonna, complete with black spandex and chihuahua) and thinks that her last song came out 10 years ago. I was so glad that Kurt and Mercedes, as well as other secondary characters, are finally starting to get a chance to shine. One can only take so much Rachel and Finn before you just want to tell them to go away.
What I really liked about the episode is that the writers actually bothered to write a story to go with the songs. They resisted the temptation to let the songs be the main attraction. Instead, the songs blended in with the story - plot points about virginity and misogyny were highlighted by well chosen songs from Madonna's massive catalog. I also thought "4 Minutes" was used to great effect - how could they not use this song with a high school marching band at their disposal? It made what, for me, is one of Madonna's lesser songs seem much bigger than it actually is.
Not surprisingly, I think my favorite of all the songs in the episode was the "Borderline/Open Your Heart" medley. The two songs worked surprisingly well together and while my love for "Borderline" is well documented, I also have a soft spot for "Open Your Heart." I really feel like it's one of Madonna's lost songs - it hit #1 but no one ever thinks about it anymore. We were listening to "Open Your Heart" as I was taking Anna to school this morning and she said to me "Dad, what does she mean when she says 'open your heart to me?" It was harder to answer than I thought it would be, proving yet again that pop songs are not as simple as they appear. I mean, how could they be when they deal with the frequently messy emotions that go along with human relationships?
Anyway, Heidi wrote a really good post that summed up feelings on Madonna that I didn't even know I had. She was, of course, right on target. We'll probably be buying this from Amazon Video on Demand because I know I'll want to watch it again before the DVD comes out.
(The award for the most awkward moment of the night goes to when Puck describes Madonna as a "rock & roll hall of fame MILF" Anna: "Dad, did he say MILF? Why didn't he just say "milk?" Me: He didn't mean to say "milk"