Glee’s “Safety Dance” a.k.a. Why Dancing in Malls is COOL!

I have to say, after a few lackluster episodes, it was really nice to see one of my favorite new shows of this year, Glee, back on its game this week.  As far as I’m concerned, the high quality of  the recently aired “Dream On” episode, can mainly be attributed to three things.  Or, perhaps, I should say, three people.

First, Joss Whedon, who directed the episode.

Who would have thought the guy who taught Buffy Summers how to pound stakes into vampires’ hearts, was also so adept at choreographing musical numbers?  Then again, didn’t Buffy the Vampire Slayer have a musical episode, once?  I actually think the episode was called “Once More with Feeling.”  (I tried to find a video of it to show you.  But when I looked on YouTube, all I found were a bunch of bad fan videos and high school musical productions.  So, you’ll just have to take my word for it . . .)

Second, Neil Patrick Harris, who acted, danced, and SANG in it.

Third, and, most importantly, for purposes of this post at least, Harry Connick Jr.- lookalike, Kevin McHale, who plays the loveable, wheelchair-bound, Artie Abrams on the show.  This kid is just plain AWESOME, and can do no wrong, as far as I’m concerned!

In the first half of the season, Kevin’s character, Artie, updated the Billy Idol song, Dancing with Myself, giving it a unique jazzy, blues-esque, feel.  This week, he updated yet another 80′s classic, namely Men Without Hats’  Safety Dance

In doing so, he proved to the world that just because you are confined to a wheelchair for the rest of your life, doesn’t mean you can’t dance.  (OK . . . actually . . . maybe it does . . . but the episode was all about “dreams.”  So, cut the kid some slack, all right?) 

Words can’t express how much I LOVE the video you are about to see, particularly because it takes place in a MALL.  You see, I’m a Jersey Girl.  So, malls?  They are kind of my thing . . .

(Special thanks to Msikklegunn2, for posting this.)

Speaking of dancing in malls . . . while I was watching the Glee video, I couldn’t help but be reminded of another music video that featured, “Random Mall Dancing.”  Do any of you guys out there rememeber that bizarre, but oddly compelling, music video for Fatboy Slim’s Praise You?  Please allow me to refresh your memory . . .

(Thanks for allowing embedding, toxicblast!)

(I actually think that “dance group” performed in my mall, once . . .)

While on my “mall kick,” I took it upon myself to research what the ORIGINAL music video for Safety Dance actually looked like.  I thought to myself, “I bet this video took place in a mall, too!  After all, the song was written in the ’80s.  And ’80s teens LOVED their malls.  I saw Fast Times at Ridgemont High!  I know how it is!”

 Unfortunately, I was wrong . . .  There were most certainly NO malls in the original Safety Dance video.  Instead, the whole thing kind of made me feel like I was watching a deleted scene from Lord of the Rings.  And I REALLY didn’t like Lord of the Rings . . .

They look mad at me.  Do you think they are mad?  Hopefully, this video will make them feel better . . .

(Video posted by falecomoeditor.  Thank you!)

Give me mall-dancing and Artie, over a medieval-looking village and skipping hobbits, any day!  Well played, Glee!

9 Comments

Filed under Glee, music

9 responses to “Glee’s “Safety Dance” a.k.a. Why Dancing in Malls is COOL!

  1. imaginarymen

    1. NPH doing anything = AWESOME

    2. You’re a Jersey Girl too?!? So is Trish and my girl Jill! Damn I gotta go to Jersey – where all the cool chicks are from (my mom is also a Jersey Born Girl!)

    3. I thought that Artie’s Mall Dream was supposed to look like the “Praise You” video. It definitely reminded me of that as well.

    4. You’ve. Never. Seen. The. Safety. Dance. Video??!?!!!???!?! Ok now I feel really, REALLY old so THANKS FOR THAT!! ;-ppp

    Seriously though – my only complaint about the Glee sequence is that they didn’t actually DO THE SAFETY DANCE!!! But other than that glaring omission, it was a fun bit. That and “Dream On” of course.

    Sadly, I’m still not loving the post-hiatus season :-(

    • Hey Amy!

      (1) NPH IS indeed awesome. And I thought he did a really great job here. Of course, I was kind of hoping they would play a “Doogie Howser” clip, when they did the high school flashback scene. But that’s just me . . .

      (2) You DO have to come to Jersey! Because that IS where the cool chicks are! :) (We aren’t ALL like Snookie from the Jersey Shore, after all!)

      (3) Do you think the similarities between the “Praise You” video were intentional? Maybe they were. And here, I thought I was being so clever . . . Oh well. Can’t win them all?

      (4) You are NOT old! :) I’m actually a big 80′s music fan! I’ve seen plenty an 80′s music video . . . just not this particular one. You know when I felt OLD? During this episode, when Rachel said she was born in 1994! That hurt . . . a lot!

      They may not have done the “safety dance” in Artie’s video, but they definitely did some “Thriller Dance.” And that has to count for something, right?

      I think Glee is running into problems post-hiatus, because it’s trying too hard to live up to its own hype. I truly believe it will get back to its old self soon, however. This episode gave me faith . . .

      Thanks for your comments. They were brilliant, as always! ;)

    • JM

      Of course they did the safety dance.
      The dance itself is making arm gestures that form a box (or rectangle). Watch the clip again. They pay tribute to it briefly..but of course you can’t just make that same move for 2 1/2 minutes.`

      1:44 – 1:49 is the 5 second tribute to the actual dance.

      • Ohhh, good eye, JM! This was a very nice little tribute to what I imagine was a classic 80′s dance groove. Thanks for the insight, and for stopping by and commenting! :)

  2. NPH is amazing I loved the duet that he and Will shared. I was mildly disgusted (ok no really disgusted) that NPH and Sue would have sex. That was just ugh, funny as hell but eww. NPH is welcome to come on Glee whenever he damn well pleases.

    I’m loving Glee (nxt to Gossip Girl, of course). And Artie is so awesome. So mind you I cried a little when Emma basically told him he could never walk again ( i know the odds were against him, but i had hope). Like my heart went out to him. Then the song was another tear-ish jerker. Tina and Mike dancing :( I love the Safety Dance, I was jaming to it. Hehe i was born in the 80s (sort of the last year of it, but still 80s!).

    Sidenote: Rachel trying to find her mom was sad and depressing and then the mention of the shrine of her in the basement just sounded creepy as hell. Like her dad where obsessed over her.

    Joss you rock! I hope he does another episode.

    - Myra

    • Hey Myra! You are so right! This was just a great episode all around, in my opinion. The musical numbers were all terrific. I loved Will’s and “Bryan’s” (NPH’s) rendition of Dream On! I even liked their drunken singing of Piano Man at the bar. (Why didn’t they put THAT ONE on ITunes?)

      And I had almost forgotten about the “Anger Sex” comment. It was funny on so many levels. First, I just thought it was funny to hear Jane Lynch say “Anger Sex.” Second, personality- wise, these two characters were MADE for eachother. (Although, looks wise, they AREN’T AT ALL. So I was really happy they didn’t actually SHOW us the Anger Sex . . .Yuck!). Third, since both of these actors are gay in real life, I don’t think either of them would have any interest in sexing up the other one, angry or otherwise . . .

      The scene between Emma and Artie was extremely sad, especially when he left all those articles he had printed out regarding the treatments in her office, to show he had given up hope. And I definitely got a little teary when Artie was singing “Dream a Little Dream,” while Tina and Mike were dancing, and Quinn put her arm on his shoulder to comfort him.

      Who knew Quinn would end up being such a likeable character? In some ways, she’s kind of like Blair from Gossip Girl. She can be tough and a bit superficial at times, but as a friend, she is fiercely loyal, and almost maternal. Maybe that’s because Quinn is becoming a Mommy . . .

      What made the episode’s ending doubly sad, is that we now know, unless there’s another dream sequence, we won’t get to see Kevin McHale (who plays Artie) DANCE again. And he was REALLY GOOD!

      The duet between Shelby and Rachel was great, as was seeing the two broadway stars on the same stage in the fantasy part of the sequence. And since I had a feeling Jesse would end up being a “spy,” it was kind of nice to know he was doing it to bring mother and daughter together and NOT to screw over New Directions in favor of Vocal Adrenaline, as I initially suspected . . . He’s growing on me, that Jesse!

      I can see what you mean about the “Rachel Shrine.” (Now we know where her big ego came from!) But maybe the dads didn’t keep the stuff in a creepy obsessed way. Perhaps it had more to do with the fact that they felt so grateful for being able to have a child, despite the obvious complications involved. And, since Rachel was motherless, it was important that she know how much her dads cared about her. At least, that’s what I hope . . . :)

      Yay for us 80′s kids! I’m still convinced we were the generation with the best TOYS! Now that everything is all “mature” and high tech, no one plays with Care Bears anymore. And that is just not cool in my book!

      Thanks so much for popping by! Great comments as always! And with Gossip Girl on hiatus, it’s nice to know I have a fellow Glee fan out there to bond with on Tuesday nights . . .

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  4. Pingback: Read More About Safety Dance | Worldwide News

  5. Hey there! I noticed quite a few hits on my Dashboard from people wondering the name of the mall, where Artie performed his “Safety Dance,” and this week, Kurt and the rest of the Gleeks performed “Barbra Streisand.” Here’s the answer: Both scenes were filmed at the Eagle Rock Plaza Mall, in Glendale CA.

    I hope that helps! (I always feel bad when I see searches on my Dashboard for questions that I KNOW my blog doesn’t answer. At least this one, was a relatively easy fix! :))

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