"The Impossible Dream"

A review by Jenni:

This has been a really emotional week.  And yes... I'm beginning to suspect they're just all going to be emotional.  Thus, I am very happy to now be sitting peacefully with my TBAA episode, my chai, and my kolache.

What I love about this episode:
I like what Reggie says about how there's science people and music people.  He seems to think both are totally okay.  And I agree.  We all have our strengths and I wish schools could be more geared towards what a student is actually suited for and not just everyone taking the same stuff.

"I believe that a person's character is more important than the color of their skin whether you're giving them a loan or interviewing them for a job."  Go Monica! 

I love th
e lil discussion Tess and Charlotte have about kids and dreams.  As long as a child isn't dreaming of something harmful, I'm all about encouraging their dreams even if they seem subpar to you.  So... if your child dreams of... I dunno... running a web site devoted to swooning over an incredibly lovely actor from Mississippi... go with it.  Cause she's gonna do it, anyway.

I love that the MLK Jr. quote resurfaces here.  It's an awesome quote.  The original: "If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lives a great street sweeper who did his job well."  The paraphrase in this episode: "There's no shame in being a custodian.  I believe the way Martin Luther King did.  That no matter what a man is called on to do, even if it means cleaning toilets, he should do it so well that all the angels in Heaven should rejoice."  Well done, Martin.  Both of them.

While he may have had other motives, I'm really touched by how Reggie is so willing to part with his piano in order to help his brother.

Wow.  I totally forgot about the Barry Gordy call that Martin didn't relay to Reggie.  Interesting twist.

I like the exchange Charlotte and Reggie have about how no one ever told him he was no good at singing but also never told him that he *was* good.  It's a nice reminder that we should tell people when what they do impresses and moves us and not just assume they know.

I like how Andrew begins his revelation to Reggie.  "You know those stories about angels who show up just exactly when you need em?  And they lead ya right to what you're looking for?  That's what I am."  I dunno.  I just really like that.  Makes it seem more real somehow.  I guess cause it ties Andrew into a long, real tradition of angelic experiences.

I also really like how Tess shows up and tells Reggie she was with his mother when the piano was purchased.  I loved the examples TBAA gave us of when the angels sometimes reappeared to the same family.  I guess it kinda makes our ancestors seem closer. 

"Everybody's dream gets stepped on sometime or another.  Why didn't you fight for your dream?"  Seems like that quote from Tess ought to be remembered.

"All the success in the world will not make you happy if you don't have your family to share it with."  Another great Tess one.

"God gave you many gifts because He loves you.  And He wants to share beauty and joy and music with you."  She's on a roll!

"Thank God for your blessed gifts and give your family the best that you have: your love, your music, and your forgiveness."  That's four.

Even though it sounds kinda goofy, I like how Monica asks Martin if he prayed about the crooked loan.  I pray about a lot of things but it's because of TBAA that I pause sometimes and pray because of things at work, financial things, etc.  Things that don't automatically make a person think of prayer in the way that a sick family member or a sudden loss does.  Our work matters to God, too.

I just really liked the reaction shots, especially from the angels, as Reggie sang "Dream."  I just love that song, anyhow.

What I didn't love about this episode:
I wish Andrew had gotten invited to Reggie's family's dinner like Monica and Tess did...

Lingering questions:

I wonder if the person who wrote this had heard the Harry Chapin song "Mr. Tanner."  It reminds me of it in part. 

Parts that made me feel swoony:
Best looking janitor ever!  And sweet.  I love that he offers to cover for Reggie so he can see his brother speak.  Not surprising.  But still nice to see.

He's quite good at cleaning that mirror there.  And I admire that.  Window and mirror washing always makes my wrist cramp up.  So yay Andrew for not being a wimp like yours truly. 

Pocket watch!  Also, I'm sure this show is gonna mess me up somehow.  I've gotten to the point where I get excited simply by props.  Like here "A mop!!!  Andrew is gonna be in this scene
!" or "An IV!  Andrew is gonna be in this scene."  Pavlov would be pleased.

Aww...  Ya know, I'd been thinking about how I couldn't think of many instances in which Andrew referred to God in a possessive manner.  Usually it's "God" or "the Father."  But here, about his watch, he says "My Father gave it to me."  I love that.  I sometimes wished the writers had given us some more intense, emotional Andrew and God scenes.  Monica and Tess seemed to have really strong ones.  But Andrew's intense scenes were more often played against other angels or humans.  So while he may never have gotten his own "Groundrush" or "In the Name of God," it's nice to have this little glimpse of Andrew and his Father.  ("The Journalist" is probly the closest Andrew got... at least that I recall.  But it's much different in tone than the Monica and Tess examples.  But maybe that's just cause Andrew was a much different angel... one who didn't bail.)  The way he looks at the watch and says "It means a lot to me."  Very sweet.  Of course, it makes me think of what winds up happening with the watch...  But I'm sure God gave His son another one.

It's really sad watching the scenes between Andrew and Reggie knowing both John and Mr. Vandross died so young of heart problems.  I feel the same way watching "Random Acts" with John Ritter and John, too.  Still... it's comforting, too.  They live forever not only in Heaven but also in the work they left behind and the hearts of everyone they touched.

Oooh...  He looks especially lovely in his scene at Reggie's home.  The outfit kinda brings me back to "The Journalist." 

Boy...  Andrew talking about grief just has a whole new depth to it.  I really appreciate what he says to Reggie about how his aunt and brother lost someone, too.  Cause I think it's so vital that we don't get so wrapped up in our own loss that we fail to realize our loved ones are in pain, too.  And I also like that he tells Reggie no one was thinking clearly.  Because you just plain don't.  Grief can turn your brain to mush and your attention span into nothing.

Random thoughts:
Music: Reggie plays on the piano a bit at the start.  Not sure what it is.  The quartet of students in the hall sings what I'll call "I Wanna Show You."  Charlotte is teaching a choir of girls a song in a scene but you only hear a couple bars and I couldn't tell what it was but it sounded familiar.  Della Reese and Luther Vandross sing "I Believe" at the end during the concert.  Mr. Vandross then follows it up with "The Impossible Dream."  Made me cry.  Beautiful rendition but that song just makes me weepy, anyhow, cause of its context in Man of La Mancha.  I always tear up when they do the reprise as Cervantes goes to face the Inquisition.  Also, it reminds me of a lot of people.  Namely John, my Grandpa, and Jesus. 

This high school is called Northeastern High School.  And it's set in Detroit.  Just something to keep in mind...

Scenes Hallmark cut:
- They cut a lil of the family's banter at the start.  In particular I noticed that when Martin comments about getting a big check, his sister quips that he needs it the way his ex-wife goes through his money.

- They chopped the top off of the fourth act, I think it is.  The one in which Andrew and Tess do their revelation.  It actually begins with Reggie hovering over the piano with a flashlight, looking for the registration number.  His sister enters and says she's going to get pizza with the kids and invites him along.  Reggie turns her down.  She asks if he's just going to hang around the house fuming.  He responds that he's going to find the number, get his money, and start living.  She tells him that, though they shouldn't have lied, they're still family.  She adds that if they can't get through the bad times, they won't be around for the good.  Reggie tells her he won't be around for any it.  Eleanor tells him that he knows where they'll be and leaves.  That's the door you hear closing right before Andrew appears.  In the THC version, it seems as if Andrew used the door.  He didn't.

Further on down the road...
So...  I need to wait 6 hours to find out if I have jury duty tomorrow.  Thus, I'm quite nervous.  Hopefully this will help.  If not...  I'll wander away to do something else and finish this later, I guess!

If I was a teacher, I can see where it'd be preferable to teach an elective as opposed to a core class.  That's a good point about knowing the student wants to be there.  Although I spose you'd still have a handful of "mom/dad made me take it" kids.

I can't imagine a kid being rude and bold enough to make a comment about someone's brother's occupation during a full school assembly.  Geez...

While I love Andrew in his role as inspirational janitor, I wish he was the lawyer instead of Gloria.  Then I could daydream about him being at the courthouse...  Then again, we mighta missed his "My father gave it to me" line and I love that...  Sigh...  He's lovely...

Yay!  His revelation scene!  I love that ensemble, too.  White and tan always looked so good on him.

Sigh...  What Andrew said is true.  When people are grieving, they aren't always thinking straight and may do things they never woulda done otherwise.  Sometimes I'm just not sure, though, for how long one should be understanding of that before being a lil less lenient about cruddy behavior...

I do love "The Impossible Dream"...  It's such a gorgeous song. 

And... now I know that I do not need to report for jury duty.  Yay.  Not to be a downer on civic duty or anything but... it is a lil scary to not know what one's doing on any given day when one cannot drive and doesn't live in a big mass transit city.  Anyway, this episode worked well as distraction.  As did capping it which is how I spent the last hour of waiting til I could call in.

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