Welcome back to another new season of Glee! The only show on TV where you can enjoy mediocre versions of songs you're already bored of while trying to make sense of tightly prepared dance moves that are completely obscured by spastic editing and waiting patiently in the hope that some gay characters will maybe hug or something. Unless of course you've started watching Smash. (For the record, I couldn't remember what Smash was called so I googled "like glee but for adults" and it was the first hit).
This year's season premiere was full of questions! Will Glee successfully bridge the high school/college gap? Will the whole show jump the shark?! Can a show even jump the shark if it's already had a teen pregnancy, three marriage proposals, a suicide attempt, three different coming out stories, one kid join the army and a girl get hit by a truck?!? Will we ever get to see more lesbosexy scissoring?!?!
I suspect the answers are: probably not, it already did, it will do it again and not unless Santana gets a spin-off where she transfers to Vassar. Who knows though! Maybe Ryan Murphy will surprise us all and dig this show out of the PSA preachfest pit it's living in.
I'd also like to be honest with you about the fact that Santana doesn't appear in this episode. That being said, Brittany has at least two more quips than usual. I know, however, that you guys need your weekly dose of hot Naya action, so I've taken the liberty to include Santana in scenes as appropriate.
Let's do this.
We open not in the majestic halls of McKinley high, but instead in the anxiety ridden dance studio of NYAYADADAAADA where one miss Rachel Berry is having her first day of class.
The number one rule of NYADADADA dance class? Everyone wears head-to-toe black. Number two? Don't roll your eyes at the instructor when she makes a sizest comment at a girl who probably wears an XXS leotard.
Whoops, Rachel blows both of them, particularly that second one even though Rachel's full time hobbies include saying direct and rude things about other people's lives to their face. Dance Teacher Cassandra July, aka Kate Hudson, does not fuck around and goes all Abby Lee Miller on Rachel. So what's a girl to do when your brand new dance teacher already hates you? What any self respecting girl would do: fall to the ground dramatically and face the reality of New York City.
Rachel has a lot of feelings and misses Glee Club and her dads and her friends and her hometown coffee shop and her favorite Indian restaurant and Dyke Night on Saturdays and Queeraoke on Thursday and the really great deli down the block from her old place that has the best matzo ball soup. I would imagine. Not that I'm projecting.
She also misses Finn who she hasn't talked to in two months what with him joining the army and all. This better be the end of Finn. Like I hope he's just gone from the show for two to four years. He better not dramatically die because then I'll have to be sad and cry because I'm a goddamn sucker about death. Plus we'll have to sit through a whole episode where everyone mourns the gigantic Gummy Bear and talks about how he was all dashing and daring courageous and caring, faithful and friendly with stories to share.
Rachel's dorm has coed bathrooms, a bunch of people who make fun of her nighttime moisturizing regiment and bedrooms large enough to accommodate her roommate's revolving door of hook-ups. For the record I think the roommate sounds like she's having a heck of a lot more fun. Either way Rachel is off to the bathroom wash her face in the dead of night.
It's there she discovers, as all talented men are discovered on Glee, a guy singing in the shower. Brody is a junior majoring in musical theater and he ALSO has an extensive nighttime moisturizing regiment.
Clearly he and Rachel are going to grind their crotches together ASAP.
The guy portraying Brody, Dean Geyer, is a South African guy who came in third in the fourth season of Australian Idol which I imagine is a really big deal on the other side of the world. Or maybe not. I like to pretend Australians are much more laid back about this stuff than Americans are. Also if the Glee writers would have really wanted to cultivate some Broberry shippers they should have really let the kid keep his South African accent. Also I want full credit for coming up with Broberry (which sounds delicious).
Now then, back at the aforementioned sumptuous halls, Jacob "This is maybe offensive to Jews" Ben Israel is back at his vlog discussing how the New Directions kids are now just totally popular. Ignoring the ridiculous idea that winning show choir championships would somehow make anyone more popular, the Glee Club kids are all enjoying their new found small town local fame. Artie's sitting with cheerleaders and high fiving people and stuff.
Tina even has a freshman assistant to go along with her Rachel Berry haircut. Blaine is cultivating the type of five o'clock shadow normally only seen on men in the mid-twenties. Imagine that.
Speaking of Blaine, his lovely manfriend Kurt decides to swing by his old classrooms and meet Sue's new baby.
Sue's gone through two whole trimesters over the course of one summer break. Sue also has a brand new freshman head Cheerio.
Kitty is a blonde bitch who will inevitably face adversity and overcome it by joining the Glee Club. Glee hasn't done a Seriously Hooked On Drugs plot line yet so maybe that could be Kitty's moment to shine and sing Lou Reed's Perfect Day.
Sue points out that Kurt is a depressive sad sack who is merely lurking the halls to relive his show choir championship days. You know, as opposed to Mr. Schue who actually went so far as to get a full time job where he could lurk the halls reliving his show choir championship days. Kurt really needs to nut up if he wants to compete with that.
Where is Mr. Schue anyways? Well, he's spent the whole summer preparing what he's going to yell as he runs in the choir room like an orangutang on steroids. He goes with "Glee." Truly original that one.
Mr. Schue has a big surprise for everyone that basically nobody ever didn't see coming: Unique has joined the New Directions.
Apparently anyone who wants to can just leave their local school and travel across the city/district/state to whichever one they like. Riese did a great job when Unique first appeared of explaining why some of the writers' choices with regard to Unique are problematic with respect to distinguishing between drag queens and transwomen. I'm going to suggest everyone go reread that because we're going to probably definitely maybe be dealing with those problematic choices throughout this season.
The Glee Clubbers are totally unimpressed that there is now more competition for the coveted position of The New Rachel. They all want to be able to quit the club every fourth episode only to return the following one with a big Celine Dion solo number. So obviously they decide to throw down Thunderdome style.
In a flash of brilliant originality, the quad sings "Call Me Maybe."
Did I say brilliant originality? I meant lazy cop out to find a song everyone hasn't already replayed on their radio/iPod/iPhone/iPad/Zune all summer long. Fortunately, due to its inherently repetitive and single key nature, this song actually sounds way better arranged for four parts. Also we got to watch Brit-Brit shake her fine little ass.
I'd also like to take this moment to point out that this is a TV musical number featuring gay, trans and bisexual characters. This is why I have to keep watching this show. Because I am a baby child infant who still gets excited when I see shit like that. More importantly, Blaine has swapped his bright red pants from last season for a slightly darker shade of red. And is that a rainbow edged tie? Good move my friend. Good move.
Timewarp to after school where Kurt has gotten a job mixing up lattes for the rainbow-bean.
Brittany laments being away from Santana who has apparently gone to Louisville for college and a cheerleading scholarship instead of NYC like we were told last season. Which is a shame because I was just dying to see Santana in a Park Slope Co-Op smock. On the bright side, Santana is getting all educated and stuff. Well, maybe just learning all about the use of the flexor digitorum profundus. Heyoo. Hopefully Brittana can survive the distance! Or not, I mean I wouldn't hate to see Santana start an all lesbian a capella group and then cheat on Brittany with a soloist who sings "The Right to Love."
Kurt is substantially more excited than his manfriend and Brit-Brit are about upcoming glee auditions. Brittany points out how pathetic he is and then that snobby new Cheerio asks Kurt to make her a less-cold iced cockaccino. Life is so hard. We get it. Kurt needs to leave Lima and go off in to the great big ocean to follow his magical dolphin fantasy dreams. Yawn.
Back over in NYC -- I'm going to have to start coming up with more original ways to say that -- Dance Teacher McGrumpy Pants is mixing up a smoothie when a former student walks in. He's come to tell her he's made it to Broadway. Guys, BROADWAY! This is the part where we find out she really does care about her students. You know, until she starts boozin'.
When Rachy shows up for dance class, she calls her teach out on booze breath.
This prompts Ms. July to strip down, sing and dance to a mashup of Lady Gaga's Americano and J.Lo's Dance Again. For the record, talking all your clothes off and dancing to pop music is not a great way to prove you're sober.
On that note, let's go get a drink and take a page break.
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