I’m still obsessed with American Boy, and I finally watched the original video, and I loves it.
I knew it would be very different from the Glee version, of course. But aside from the fact that it’s a really catchy song, I adore all the men objectifying themselves in an effort to become Estelle’s American Boy. It’s such a light, frothy song, entertaining the notion of love, but not promising it. Estelle just wants a hot guy to show her around, and maybe they’ll fall in love, but as long as they have a good time, it’s all good. But all the men want to be that guy, and they’re preening for her. And everyone keeps their clothes on, and just has fun with it!
Then Glee took it and made it into the absolute epitome of Kurt and Blaine’s relationship, better than their wedding. This is partly because it’s the last song they sing together before the writers threw everything we knew about both characters out the window and broke them up for no reason, then got them back together for no reason, emptying their marriage of all meaning. But it’s also because it underscores the great thing about their relationship, which is that it’s rarely easy, but always worth fighting for. Kurt swallows his jealousy to support Blaine’s career because he believes in Blaine and he knows it’s the right thing to do, and that Blaine will be there for him (and has been there for him) when it’s his turn to succeed. Then Blaine gambles everything on his knowledge that nothing is better than the two of them singing together, and they win.
And by making this delightful song about flirting your way across the country into a love song between two American boys and a tribute to a couple being more than a sum of its parts, the song becomes so much more. The harmony on “take me to Broadway” alone is thrilling in the way it sums up all their hopes and dreams as a couple. And as always with those two and love songs, we feel we’re part of their connection. It’s thrilling and romantic and you just know they’ve made it. They understand what commitment means and so they can weather anything. Together.
Except, evidently, a dispute about toothpaste on the towels. Because really, what relationship could survive that?
PS: How cool is it that they found a lyric specifically about a short guy for Kurt to sing to Blaine?