GLEE “Dream On” (Episode 19) Early Review

Neil Patrick Harris on GLEE (2)

Neil Patrick Harris, Joss Whedon, and Glee come together in a perfect storm of awesomeness in the May 18th GLEE episode, “Dream On.” NPH is guest starring as Bryan Ryan, a new member of the school board and Will’s former high school nemesis. Joss Whedon (creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer), who previously worked with NPH on the Emmy award-winning Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, directs the episode. Molly Shannon, Idina Menzel, and Jonathan Groff also guest star.

If you are thinking that “Dream On” sounds EPIC, let me assure you that you are one hundred percent correct. I had a chance to take an early look at the episode and, not only is NPH just as amazing as I had hoped, there is also an emotional depth to the story that I think Gleeks are going to love. It packs a big punch and I think we will be talking about it for some time to come.

As a school board member, Bryan Ryan comes to McKinley High ostensibly to assess the budget, but he also has some darker motives. In high school, he was the star of the glee club and had dreams of working in show biz, but ended up on the cruise ship circuit. He blames show choir for his disappointments in life and sets out to crush the dreams of New Directions. If you are only familiar with NPH as Barney on How I Met Your Mother, you might be surprised at how serious he can be as a villain (Dr. Horrible fans know what I’m talking about). We are also treated to a fun flashback of Will and Bryan Ryan (rocking a mullet) during their high school days.

As implied by the title, “Dream On” is all about dreams, and Rachel’s dream is to learn more about her bio-mom. I don’t want to say too much about this, just that she confesses this dream to Jesse, who returns after his absence last week.

Some of the episode’s most emotional moments come from Artie, who is struggling with being in a wheelchair. His relationship with Tina is explored a little bit more, and it made me happy to see these two get some attention.

On Glee, the laughter is always balanced with tears, and that is reflected in this episode’s performances. NPH and Matthew Morrison singing together on Aerosmith’s “Dream On” is just as amazing as you would hope it would be. On the other hand, there are also two performances that will have you reaching for the Kleenex box. I don’t want to spoil any surprises, but I will say that additional songs include “Safety Dance,” a Billy Joel song, and a selection from Les Miz.

Well, I tried to watch this episode objectively but by the time NPH and Matthew Morrison were dueting, I had dissolved into a squeeing fangirl. I think it will have the same effect on you, too. So this Tuesday, May 18th, be sure to watch “Dream On” and then come right back here and leave a comment with your thoughts on NPH, Rachel, Artie, and where you think the show will go from here.

Also watch any Glee episodes that you may have missed here.

(Photos: Courtesy of Fox)