Previously on Glee: The Spanish Teacher
After everyone’s favorite Mob Princess (didn’t hear that from me), Sugar Motta, gives the New Directions a hefty donation to cover the cost for Regionals the fun begins! Artie and Rory compete over who gets to take Sugar to her Valentine’s Day party. Rachel and Finn tell everyone about their marriage plans, including Rachel’s dads! The “God Squad” welcomes a new member and student.
Foreign Exchange Policy: Initially – for like three seconds – I thought Rory was genuine about being sent back toIreland after the school year was over then I remembered I’m not the one with a four-leaf clover in my pocket. Worse things have been done in the attempt to get “the girl”. Of course we don’t know how Sugar will react when she finds out the truth but that may just get lost in the summer like Sam and Mercedes’ relationship.
Poor Artie: Artie has always been my favorite member of the New Directions and it pains me to see him so lonely. Each of his former girlfriends are in happy relationships…and he has to sit four feet away from their respective PDA everyday. Now that Sugar is smitten with Rory who knows if he’ll get another chance at teenage love. Also, how did he rig that mechanisms OVER Sugar’s locker?! But lastly, Team Artie misses you Brittany S. Pierce…
“Straight to the Teenage Lovemaking” Never have I seen a couple so excited to crash into a brick wall like Rachel and Finn. Yes, they are the beautiful high school love story. Yes, they are complete opposites – which makes it all that much more endearing. Yes, Jeff Goldblum and Mike O’Malley are your fathers. But I just feel they are destined for destruction when they leave Lima. Daddy Goldblum’s words to live by: “Honesty. Respect. Dance.”
“Jesus” Joe: Now that three of the four winners of The Glee Project have made their debuts I have to say I am impressed with the overall performances. Of course the sample size for Joe (Samuel Larsen) is still small but I can see him being a main character in seasons to come. McKinley has the most intermittent religious/celibacy groups in high school history but I’m sure his talents will be less sideshow by the time Nationals rolls around.
Morals Matter: After all the back and forth with Sam, Mercedes, and Shane it seems that we have a conclusion. I was hoping that we got a glimpse of “Samcedes” but, I figure, if it hasn’t happened by now then it never will. On another note, I didn’t watch the Grammy’s or see any tribute to Whitney Houston for that matter but I’m sure Mercedes’ rendition of “I Will Always Love You” was among the best.
In the loving spirit of Valentine’s Day, all the performances automatically started off with an ‘A’. Before we jump into the musical offerings of Heart, I have to mention how great it was to see Aaron Hill (Beaver, Greek) as the guy Nick at the end of the episode and finally meeting Rachel’s dads, which was like My Two Dads except way better.
L-O-V-E – Mike and Tina (A)
The first thing that came to mind watching Mike and Tina was that these two don’t get nearly enough screen time singing and dancing together. And they may not be the strongest singers in the club, but they’ve both come a long way from last season. This was a very adorable performance, especially as a soundtrack for the love war Artie and Rory waged against each other in the hopes of wooing Sugar. Perfect opening song.
Let Me Love You – Artie (A)
When it comes to the guys, Artie has the best voice for any R&B songs. They made the beat a little more up-tempo than the original and lyrically Artie’s love song pick was a bit slanderous to the sweet Rory, but it still got him the girl. Toss in Sam, Puck, Kurt and Mike for added effect and you have a good idea of what this song would’ve sounded like if Mario was in a boy band.
Stereo Hearts – The God Squad (Joe, Sam and Mercedes) (A+)
First things first,
Teen Jesus Joe is hot and as much as I love a New Directions alternative, I really can’t wait to see him perform with the glee club. When Glee covered Billionaire, Artie handled the Travie Mccoy part of the song, this time around Sam took on the duty…and I LOVED IT. The God Squad, specifically Mercedes, sounded great, but it was the choir that really made this performance particularly amazing. It was so good in fact that I won’t ask why so many students were eating outside in the middle of the winter.
Home – Rory (A)
Similar to Michael Buble, Damian McGinty has a magical voice. So when Rory sang this song under the pretense that he was being sent back to Ireland and added a few tears, it was a given that Sugar was going to change her mind. Artie’s intense side-eye meant that he figured this out almost immediately, but it didn’t change anything. When Rory let out the last note of his performance, he had the girl and her sympathy. Bonus points for being so cunning.
I Will Always Love You – Mercedes (A+)
Between Dolly Parton’s beautiful lyrics and Whitney Houston’s extraordinary voice, the bar for anyone who even touches this song was set decades ago, but we all knew that Amber Riley would do it justice. I won’t even pretend that I didn’t cry the entire time. It was a reminder of Houston’s death, but also how incredibly talented she was. When I watched it again, I focused on it as just another Glee performance and Sam’s heartbroken look was bad enough, but when he cried and left the room…I lost it again. Although this wasn’t a great moment for them as a couple, it made me want to see more of them as actors, Chord Overstreet in particular. I’m glad Mercedes got over that “everyone only pays attention to Rachel, so I’m going to huff around like a brat” phase, she’s much more enjoyable this way.
Cherish/Cherish – Quinn (and the God Squad) (A)
Madonna and The Association were both well represented in this mini mash-up. I know it’s nearing the end of her run, but I’m finally starting to appreciate Dianna Agron’s voice. This was another really sweet performance and we finally got the Brittana kiss. Kudos to the writers for not making this scene unnecessarily religious or political. “Love is love” and romantic moments are romantic.
Love Shack – Blaine (and the New Directions/God Squad) (A+)
In fairness, I have to note that I’m one of those people that will gladly spend my “jukebox money” to hear this played, which accounts for part of the high grade. The other part? Blaine is back (with a heart-shaped eye patch)!! Sure, he wasn’t gone that long, but it felt like forever. Who cares that this song isn’t even remotely romantic, it was an awesome performance! I’m sure the writers that decided to make a connection with Sugar Shack and Love Shack were quite pleased with themselves. Kurt doing Cindy Wilson’s “Tin roof, rusted” at the end was the best. Great episode closer.
Glee returned last night, and after all the news about contractual disputes, departing cast members, new haircuts and everything else under the sun it was refreshing to see the familiar hallways of William H. McKinley High School again. If nothing else the introductions let us know exactly what year some of the New Directions were in (Senior: Rachel, Finn, Kurt, Mike. Junior: Tina, Artie).
Once the catching up was over it was obvious that a few notables were not in attendance. Lauren ditched the club after her “rep” suffered after nationals. Sam’s father got a job “out of state” so I suppose that means Sam followed…for now. Quinn Fabray had gone “punk” and found a new crew to hang with, their handle the “Skanks” of course.
We got our first taste of the talent from The Glee Project with Lindsay portraying Harmony. The biggest news was of the bittersweet variety, with Blaine becoming a full-fledged member of the New Directions and Santana has been banned until she can completely commit herself to the group. Season three is here “Gleeks”!!!
Was I a tad exasperated that it took so long into the episode for Glee to give me the kick-off performance I have been craving all summer? Certainly. Not only did it further heighten my expectations, but also it made me realized this episode might be a little more story-focused. Obviously necessary when there’s been a full summer between then and now, but I’m impatient. I’ll work on that.
We Got the Beat – New Directions (emphasis on the ladies)
I loved the showcasing of the non-Rachel talent. The overall performance had all theatrical size of last year’s Empire State of Mind opener. The food fight at the end brought a hint of reality to everything, which sometimes escapes Glee.
Solid B rating….good, but not great.
Hey Big Spender – Sugar
This was horrible. But it was musical (kinda?), so it fits the basic criteria. I would have loved to hear Santana belt this out for real. Sugar may have vocally destroyed this song in the worse way, but she had tons of bravado.
Solid D rating…it was a good intro to a new character, so points for that.
Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead! – Kurt and Rachel
A shining example of the many benefits of Kurt and Rachel’s newfound bestie-hood. They do such a great job of playing off each other, both in showmanship and sound. I couldn’t help but be reminded of their season one “diva-off” when they sang another Wicked standard, Defying Gravity.
Solid B rating…I liked, but did not love this performance
It’s Not Unusual – Blaine
I’ve missed Blaine’s face. But his ability to combine Carlton’s corny almost perfectly with Tom Jones’ style reminded me of how much I missed his ability to infuse personality into everything. This was the perfect way to introduce Blaine to his new school and was it just me, or was there something there between him and Santana? Obviously not of the romantic variety, but maybe a musical match in the making?
Solid A rating…Blaine minus the Warblers is still (pitch) perfect
Anything Goes – Harmony and the Not Rachel(s) and Not Kurt(s)
We mentioned when this blog first started that we weren’t above blatant bias. With that being said, although the performance was great and it served as another strong intro for yet another new character, I wasn’t moved. Yes, I saw the tap-dancing and heard Harmony’s magical voice, but that’s how bias works. I can’t wait to see Harmony and Rachel interact, fight, “diva-off” and perhaps end it all with a friendly duet.
Solid C rating…I know it deserved a B
You Can’t Stop the Beat – New Directions
Rachel’s opening really set the stage for this episode’s final number. Perfect selection to remind them (and us) to have a little confidence that Nationals isn’t a pipe dream. This performance gave me chills and I couldn’t figure out why, but I think I just love seeing them do what they love. It has a different effect when they perform just for fun and aren’t burdened with trying to get new members or win any awards. Also, Brittany and Mike Chang should really get a duet this season, she has the sound and they dance together so well!
Solid A rating…Quinn watching longingly from the rafters would probably agree.
Santana – “Senior year is all about being the Cheerios top ho and modeling my fierceness after my numero uno Latina, Paula Abdul.
Jacob – “Paula Abdul is an Arab…”
Jacob – “Brittany, what are your plans or the future?”
Brittany – “You’re working on a time machine too?”
Puck – “She’s the one that got away…really really slowly.” (Referring to Lauren breaking up with him)
Mr. Shuester – “For many of you this is your last year. Let’s make it special.”
Brittany – “C’mon Quinn, you know we use to be like the Three Musketeers. Santana and I are like Almond Joy and you’re like a Jolly Rancher that fell in the ashtray.”
Rachel – “Who doesn’t love the Go-Gos?!”
The weird, not Mercedes – “I prefer the Bangles.”
Mr. Shuester – “Ladies and Gentleman, let’s hear it for Glee Club’s newest member, Blaine Anderson!”
The executives behind Glee didn’t take a summer break with the cast, they were putting twelve potential cast members through summer school. The Glee Project (aired on the Oxygen cable channel) was a competition to find the new class of the FOX show. I honestly couldn’t watch the show faithfully because of my loyalty to the original cast – call me old-fashioned – but I did follow up on the contestants and their personalities to theorize how the new members would mesh with the current crop.
The competitors were given themed performances every week to see how well they could adapt to both singing and acting. Every week the best performer was given “one-on-one” coaching from a different member of the Glee cast.
My personal favorite contestant was Cameron Mitchell. Aside from the obvious dancing prowess, Cameron had the personality and the look for a solid new character. When he left the competition because some physical interactions didn’t sit well with his moral standards it confused and upset his fans and Glee creator/judge Ryan Murphy. (But seriously, who walks away from Glee?!). In doing this, Cameron saved (eventual winner) Damian McGinty from getting cut that week and keeping him in the competition.
The finale consisted of four competitors : the Irishman Damian McGinty, the indie rocker Samuel Larsen, a Kurt/Mercedes hybrid in Alex Newell, and the snarky Lindsay Pearce. The judges decided that Larsen and McGinty were the overall winners and would get featured in seven-episode-arcs during the upcoming season. Newell and Pearce didn’t leave empty-handed though. Murphy decided that he didn’t want to completely sever ties with the other two characters and gave them two guest star appearances as well.
Going into this season of Glee I already knew that my little “Gleek”-ing heart was going to be crushed by the finale due to some departures from the originals. I doubt that the new talent will make me forget that my world is being crushed but hopefully they are mediocre enough to at least numb the pain.