There are many things I love about GLEE, Mike O Malley and Chris Colfer at the top of that list. I have some issues with other parts of it and I won’t whine about those here and now. That being said, GLEE deserves props for doing something new on television and doing it fairly well 22 weeks a year. If I had to nitpick something that kind of annoys me is that they seem to gravitate to using many ubiquitous current songs and then as Simon Cowell would say, they just do a karaoke version of it. My favorite moments from the first season where when they changed up the arrangements, like Artie’s unique take on “Dancing With Myself” and the version of “Poker Face” that Broadway royalty Idina Menzel and Lea Michelle did, that sounded nothing like the original (but actually made the lyrics come to life).
I thought the introduction of Charice was done well and her standout performance of “Listen” stood out for a number of reasons. That song was Beyonce’s “And I’m Telling You…” from “Dreamgirls” and was written solely for the movie. I think that song worked last night lyrically really well (as it did in the film), and it took a song that’s not plastered everywhere on the radio and highlighted it wonderfully.
There were other parts of the episode I liked, especially one hilariously written slew of insults from Sue Sylvester. I also liked how they made Will not the victim of Sue’s pranks this week but co conspirator against the New Football coach Bieste, played wonderfully by Dot-Marie Jones. I felt more for her than I ever do for Rachel or Will (hence one of my problems with the show – I am uninvested in the “leads”). But like I said no whining.
Overall a pretty good opener.
Is it me, or does it feel like NBC told Jason Katims to lighten this show up. Last year, I could always tell that this was from the same creator as FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS. This year a little less. Also it seems Lauren Graham’s kids, especially the wonderful Mae Whitman, have been given about 3 seconds of airtime in the first 2 episodes. The scenes with her kids gave her character more weight, and Lauren Graham’s scenes with them were wonderful. Her character seems a little sillier this year as a result. But on a positive note a lot of the familial arguments and conflicts this week felt real and I think this show does more good than not.
This show also seems to have gotten marching orders from the CW to lighten up. There seem to be even more heightened situations this year. I’m not a huge fan of the Lux and her teacher storyline, which feel like it came from one of the old WB shows. But then again this show feels more like an old WB show, and I mean that as a compliment. Let’ s face it, heightened or not I like these people and there’s a sweeteness to it. I relate to it much more than the folks of GOSSIP GIRL which I divorced 2 seasons ago. I hope this show gets the opportunity to continue.