“Glee” Changes Everything In Its Season Premiere
By Fred Topel
HollywoodNews.com: Glee is back and as much as you want to hear about the new season, you probably don’t want spoilers. Luckily, a lot of this has been reported straight from Ryan Murphy and the stars’ mouths. I’ll discuss the parts that have already been out in the press and I’ll be vague about the surprises.
The promise of highlighting supporting characters is fulfilled. The season premiere begins with Jacob Ben Israel (Josh Sussman), so already a supporting character from the first year gets his own scene. Mike Chang (Harry Shum Jr.) rocks some dance moves and has a significant speaking part.
I don’t really like what they did with the opening. It’s a segment that catches the audience up with the characters and actually expresses all the fan feedback. I think it goes overboard and I think it makes some offensive jokes. I mean, make fun of the song choices and performances but you don’t need to call your characters names. These are fictional characters and I think it’s out of line. It gets downright racist 10 minutes later.
The new gym coach (Dot Jones) is the perfect foil to Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch). Not perfect because of the threat she represents, but perfect because she’s the anti-Sue. Sue’s got all the perfect sayings and slogans. Coach Beiste (get it? Beast!) says things that don’t deliver any message at all. I hope that continues all season.
Sue and Scheuster (Matthew Morrison) working together is great. It’s better to see enemies forced to be allies, using their differences in concert against a bigger foe.
The story forwards the plot and the themes of Glee. The glee club needs a new recruit so they need to attract other students. Not easy when they’re still the outcasts of the school, so they actually have to overcome social typecasts to build a team of more outcasts.
The Artie (Kevin McHale) subplot is actually daring and outrageous. I like that. Rachel (Lea Michele) comes across really badly. I know what point they’re trying to make with that storyline but I think it just makes her reprehensible. Some characters get their power back and others lose theirs. Either way it’s good drama.
The first song of the new season is hip hop. They put on chains and do fly moves. I don’t know rap so I assume this is cool. It looks and sound good when they do it. Heather Morris still outshines everyone else from the background. There’s a female pop duet that’s fierce. Between an angry Lea Michele and a happy Charice, I’m rooting for the new happy girl. The guys do another current hit and give the new guy an awesome solo. Then there’s a showtune, but it’s a showtune from a rock musical that became a hit movie so it’s really still all current, but all awesome. And another Lea Michele solo, because it’s still Glee.
The Glee season premiere is strong and bodes really well for the season. Even the parts I found misguided pay off really well. Well, not the racism and the mean stuff, they could have done it without that. But the darker parts bring the characters to a powerful place and it shows the season won’t be afraid to shake things up. Glee is back!
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