After their crippling (sorry, Artie) loss at regionals last year, New Directions is back after a refreshing summer. To catch up on all the latest buzz, gossip-mongering blogger Jacob is running around the school getting all the latest scoops on Rachel and Finn’s romance, Puck’s vasectomy and his public’s desire to stop Mr. Schuester from rapping. This hilarious and creative way of catching up those who fell behind last season also serves as a great way to make light of the criticisms that have filled the web from the naysayers who just don’t get why Glee is just a fun-loving musical romp. It also shows that creators Ryan Murphy, Ian Brennan and Brad Falchuk (who also directs the premiere) are very self-aware and don’t wish to take themselves too seriously. Enter the sophomore year of New Directions and Fox’s hit show Glee. Hit the jump for more.
New Directions, new school year, new talents to fill the void left by Matt’s transfer to another school. Two new stand-out talents emerge as Sunshine Corazon (pop star Charice) proves to be a formidable voice to challenge Rachel while Finn finds talent in the boys locker room again with the Steven Tyler-lipped, rock voiced new kid on the block, Sam Evans (Chord Overstreet), belting out some Guns N Roses [correction: the original artist was actually Poison]. In addition a new football coach in the form of Shannon Beiste (Dot Jones), one hulking man of a woman, gives Sue Sylvester a run for her money as resident hard-ass.
Ironically enough, she’s one of the driving forces behind the budget cuts plaguing both New Directions and Cheerios and so in a strange Twilight Zone turn, Mr. Schuester and Sue find themselves working together to haze the Beiste. Though she might be a wall on the outside, when Sue and Schue’s childish antics remind her of a rough childhood, her vulnerabilities become clear. She’s an after-school special waiting to happen, that is, if after-school specials looked like they required horse tranquilizers to sleep. The writers better dish out a musical number for Beiste pretty damn quick or I’m going to get pissed.
The glee club kids are experience troubles of their own as Artie tries desperately to win back Tina from Mike (who found love while counseling at Asian camp) by convincing Finn to help him try out for the football team. Well one problem leads to the next as the sensitive Beiste thinks she’s being played again and kicks Finn off the team. With nothing left to lose, Finn tries out for the Cheerios to no avail. Meanwhile Rachel finds herself too intimidated by Sunshine to let her audition (she sends her to “auditions” at an old crack house) and Sam has decided he can’t overcome the status of “the new guy” in school if he lumps himself in with the hated glee club. On the bright side, Quinn gets her status as head cheerleader back while Santana gets demoted to the bottom of the pyramid thanks to her new silicon chest buddies (she got a boob job). There are so many ups and downs in this season premiere it’s like a musical game of Chutes and Ladders. And I love it!
So after a whole new episode of Glee, we’re still stuck without any new members for New Directions. But what’s this? Rachel may have finally hit a new level of maturity after her awful selfish stunt causes the loss of Sunshine to Vocal Adrenaline. Through the magic of song (as if there were any other way), Rachel’s woes become clear in her rendition of “What I Did For Love” from A Chorus Line. Interestingly enough, the song is only one of a lesser amount of musical numbers (which also included Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind”), especially for the season premiere. Fortunately, they’ve traded in the number of songs for a stellar kick-off to this season’s story which has less catty drama, more hilarity (Heather Morris’ flaky cheerleader Brittany has become one of my favorite parts of the entire series) and (no pun intended) new directions for all of our characters. Let’s hope they can keep it up for what promises to be one hell of a season.
Stay tuned for recaps every week after Glee airs on Tuesdays at 8/7c on Fox.