The first episode wasn't bad - it was pretty solid as Glee goes, and I thought the introduction of new characters was handled pretty well. I was intensely disappointed with Will Schuester's behavior and incredibly shocked that they actually seemed intending for us to properly hate Rachel this year. I didn't hate the sudden introduction of a brand-new football coach, and I do dig that the position is now filled by a woman - but I thought they were too heavy-handed with the several after-school special moments of the episode. (Mainly when it came to Beiste and look-at-me-I'm-fat-and-masculine-what-do-y
I also mostly liked the musical routines in "Audition." Even though I wasn't familiar with all of the songs, they were performed well and enjoyable. My favorite was the impromptu bathroom "Telephone"-off between Rachel and Sunshine Corazon, although I think it would've been stronger without voice modification. The Sunshine character had amazing pipes.
My least favorite routine was the "Empire State of Mind" in the courtyard during whatever break enabled kids to sit around outside for at least 10 or 15 minutes in the middle of the day. It didn't feel like the Glee club we'd gotten to know, if that makes any sense.
Unfortunately, the second and third episodes of Glee this season have been awful.
"Britney/Brittany" was literally the worst episode of Glee ever: it was the worst realization of a theme episode, and pretty much what I feared when they started planning episodes specifically themed around one musical talent. It also didn't help that I don't know Britney Spears' music - the only song I recognized was "...Baby One More Time."
Several of the women were incredibly gorgeous in this episode - Santana, specifically, and also Rachel. Britney even managed to push a few of my buttons - I don't normally find her that attractive, but she really comes alive when she's given the space to dance and more creative outfits than the Cheerios get-up.
I was also super-amused by the appearance of John Fucking Stamos! I haven't seen that man in forever, and he was a great guest appearance.
Unfortunately, there was no real plot. The entire episode was ludicrous, and Will continued his track record of the Worst Person Ever this Season, with Rachel so close behind him that it might as well have been a photo finish. (Also, what? We're supposed to believe that Terri hangs out in the parking lot at the school now, just so she can jump out and be the bitchy ex?) I was disturbed by his behavior in relation to Emma, and so was she - he was pathetic and creepy in this episode, and every interaction they had ended up horribly awkward.
Where the second episode was ludicrous, the third settled into a firm parody of itself. I respect that they tried to show the various aspects of spirituality and the issues of spirituality in school, but they did it in ham-fisted and bludgeoning terms.
They also did it by threatening Burt Hummel, when he's the best damned character on the entire show.
However, Finn's prayers to "Cheesus" were just - horribly shallow. Also, when did Rachel become a prude? She sure wasn't that uptight last season. I dislike that Mercedes was so inconsiderate in the face of her friends' suffering - I am incredibly against proselytizing by anyone, the spiritually active and atheistic alike. I liked Sue's attempt to keep religion out of the classroom, but disliked her methods.
And, finally, Finn? Is not Michael Stipe, but I'm definitely pleased they did a cover of R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion." Apart from Joan Osborne's "One Of Us" at the end of the episode, it was the only musical routine I really liked.
Also, I'd just like to go on record as saying that this Artie-playing-football subplot is horrifyingly ridiculous.
What happened to you, Glee? Did you find yourself renewed for two more seasons and just decide you didn't have to try at all anymore?
I just can't get my hopes up for "Duets."
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