glee recapping: the new rachel

Here’s what you missed on Glee (last season): Goodbye

Story

  • Rachel has to start all over to establish herself at NYADA.
  • The McKinley High Glee Club has open auditions to find new members.
  • The glee club is no longer at the bottom of the high school hierarchy.
  • Kurt is struggling to find his way after graduation. But Burt and Blaine help push him in the right direction.

 

Separation Anxiety: My largest concern about this season was how the show was going to deal with the original characters’ departure from McKinley. I’m not sure if we are going to get a glimpse of what the rest of the former New Directions are up to but I knew Rachel was to be a focal point–I mean, she’s Rachel Berry.

Marley Berry? I wasn’t sure if the episode’s title was intended to be aimed at Marley’s arrival to the glee club or for the changes Real Rachel is going through in New York–and, honestly, I’m still not sure. Did I like Marley as soon as I heard/saw her? Yes. Does the glee club need a new strong female lead? Of course. IS she REALLY “The New Rachel”? I doubt it. But hopefully she is a strong enough character to carry the glee club going forward. Rachel started as a sophomore as well and we see what lengths she went through to solidify her place with the New Directions and at McKinley as a whole. Good luck Marley. No pressure…

M.I.A. Ummm…where was Santana? And Mercedes? And Puck? And Finn? And Roz? And Rory? And Emma? And Mike Chang?! And that one black guy from season one?!?! I need answers. Or explanations. Or apologies. In copious amounts.

Leap of Faith? Do parents really just send their children halfway across the country with nothing to support themselves with? I love the fact that Rachel has someone from Lima with her during her road to Broadway but it just seemed like the move was forced. I was hoping we actually got to see both her and Kurt struggle with their new environments for awhile before they became each other’s security blanket.

Wishful Singing: I know the singing angle usually belongs to Nicole, but I have a request–maybe more like a plea. Mr. Ryan Murphy, if you have a heart of any kind can you please have Sam and Artie duet it up with a Justin Bieber “Boyfriend” swoon session? Preferably directed at Marley. Just thinking of it brings back fond memories…

MUSIC

Call Me Maybe (Blaine, Tina, Unique, Brittany) This late spring/early summer hit hasn’t gotten old for me yet, but I’m still glad they knocked the obligatory performance out early on in the season. I hated the concept of this song being used to pick the “new Rachel” because it only showed how good these four sound as a unit without at all showing the strong stand-out voice/performer they seem to think the glee club needs. Watching Brittany dance with Blaine only made me miss Mike, but overall, a very adorable start to the episode. (B)

Dance Again/Americano (Cassandra) Someone over at Glee sure knows how to pick their blonde guest stars! I knew Kate Hudson could dance, but I was mostly indifferent about her role until this performance. Solid dancing and singing, but it also illustrated that it’s only appropriate to bump and grind with your students when they’re 18 and older (Mr. Schue, yes, I’m talking to you). I can’t wait to see if Cassandra’s sober Jekyll and drunken Hyde dynamic plays a part in the performances/musical selections she has this season. (B)

NY State of Mind (Rachel and Marley) A downtrodden Rachel in New York reminds me of the Rachel in season one, before she got borderline annoying, bursting at the seems, full of unappreciated potential. Maybe that’s why hearing her sing this classic gave me those familiar “Rachel Berry chills”. Marley was also great, although not quite Rachel great, but there’s no doubt she’ll bring something new and greatly welcomed to the glee club in terms of performance and sound. One minor note: I fear that Marley’s newsboy hat is her ‘thing’. Either I don’t like it because it’s distracting, or it’s distracting because I don’t like it. Regardless, I don’t like it! (A)

It’s Time (Blaine) If we’re going to have the requisite courtyard performance each season, it should always be done by Blaine. The double-dutch, jump ropes and red cups are things that can only be pulled off by those as adorably stylish as Kurt’s amor. Long distance + high school isn’t the best combination, so although I don’t have much hope for the longevity of Klaine’s romance, at least this performance will serve as a reminder of happier times. (A)

Chasing Pavements (Marley and the New Directions) Did I find this song particularly relevant to Marley solidifying her status as a New Directions member or Kurt joining Rachel in New York? Not at all. But whatever, this moment wasn’t about relevance, it was about reminding us that the New Directions are moving on with a very solid group and at least half of the show will now be Rachel Does New York (or some variation). For Marley’s first solo with the group, this was pretty great. (A)

Busters Get Popped (Stoner Brett)/ Never Say Never (Jake) Please, oh please, don’t let this not be the last time we see Stoner Brett. I know the focus was supposed to be on everyone else sounding so crappy that Jake and Marley stood out, which they did, but Mr. Brett certainly shined by providing one of my favorite moments of the night. Jake aka the bad boy that is going to take Puck’s place (just in case that wasn’t clear, and to avoid even a hint of symbolism, the writer’s went the literal route and made him Puck’s little brother) sounds and looks like a beautiful, albeit slightly rough, little angel. I’d like more of him and more of his voice, so let’s not drag this whole “I’m damaged and singing won’t fix that” thing out too much longer.

QUOTES

“Oh, in case you’re wondering, which you were, I’m straight.” – Brody

“Kitty is my new head bitch. She’s like a young Quinn Fabray, except she’s not pregnant, manic depressive or in and out of a wheelchair.” – Sue

“That’s a great haircut Mercedes. I thought you graduated.” – Brittany…after seeing Wade

“It’s hard making out over Skype, you can’t really scissor a webcam.” – Brittany

“I had a song in my heart Blaine Warbler, and you killed it. Now, I have a dead song in my heart and pretty soon, the corpse of my head heart’s song is going to start to smell.” – Brittany

“…a pre-op Precious, based on the novel Barf by Sapphire.” – Kitty…on Wade

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glee recapping: goodbye

Here’s what you missed on Glee: Nationals

  • It’s graduation time!!!
  • Puck gets a second chance to pass his test for graduation.
  • Rachel, Finn, and Kurt get their acceptance/rejection letters.
  • Santana struggles with what she is going to do after graduation.
  • Blaine and Kurt are anxious about their (potential) long-distance relationship.

Maybe Next Time, NYC: For Kurt and Finn at least. Finn was rejected from Inside the Actor’s Studio and Kurt didn’t get into NYADA. After reading about characters returning I thought Rachel and Kurt weren’t going to get accepted into NYADA immediately. But it seems as though most o the graduating seniors will come back to the show in some facet. It would be strange seeing Rachel in New York interacting with completely different characters all on her on…the same goes for any other character that leaves McKinley. It seems like a bit much to try to maintain a main storyline when it has to be broken up  in such a manner.

Santana Seeking Stardom? I have long thought that Santana has the most vocal range of any other member of The New Directions and it only makes sense that she is constantly questioning why she is usually second fiddle to Rachel or Mercedes. With the help of her selfless mother, Mirabel (Gloria Estefan), Santana is going to get her shot a New York too. Of all the pairings that can take place outside of Lima I think that Rachel and Santana in New York is an almost perfect fit. They are, and always have been, the best of frenemies–not counting everyone being nice to each because they’ve been through so much together, and they’re graduating yadda yadda yadda–and I think they would make an interesting storyline together.

O.O GPA?!?! Did Brittany dance her way to her senior year? I will admit I’m more athlete than mathlete, but how do you even make it out of home room with that?! Who needs prerequisites for Senior Class President anyway…

The New (Look) Directions: Artie, Rory, Sugar, Joe, Sam, some Asian girl, and Blaine are all that is left to carry on for next year. They have: strong male vocals, no strong dancers, and no female vocals at all. Are they still running with that whole Sugar can’t sing thing? Because I can’t un-hear this. Then that just leaves Tina…time to recruit!

Music

Forever Young – Mr. Schue (A) Although this wasn’t a rap, as Quinn requested, it definitely turned me into a “hot-mess teary train wreck”. Damn you Schuester and your penchant for having performances that tug at the heartstrings!

Single Ladies – Burt, Tina and Brittany (A++) In terms of sentimental value, this was an amazing graduation present. As a performance, coupled with the flashback to Kurt, it was an amazing reminder of the earlier Glee days. I wonder how long it took Mike O’Malley to learn those sweet, yet slightly stiff dance moves.

I’ll Remember – Kurt (B) This performance didn’t really stand and it wasn’t because Kurt’s voice wasn’t it’s usual amazing falsetto. I think it lacked the emotion I was expecting from every moment of this episode, which might have been an unfair standard.

You Get What You Give – New Directions Seniors (A+) Initially, I couldn’t decide if I loved Finn’s almost overly enthusiastic intro or hated him for being annoyingly enthusiastic, but all that stems from me being unsure of how I feel about Finn. Mercedes and Quinn insisted on wearing those awful awesome hats and Puck found it the best time to break out the moonwalk. But none of those things really took away from performance. By the end, the torch had been passed to all the non-seniors…another moment for a tear or two.

In My Life – New Directions Non-Seniors (B) These are the voices we can get used to hearing next year, and honestly, they sound really good. There’s not a Rachel Berry in the bunch of ‘em, but still, it’s definitely a strong group. However, I didn’t appreciate that this song was dedicated to Finn….and only Finn.

Glory Days – Puck and Finn (A) I owe the show’s producers/writers/whoever a huge thank you. I just knew watching the seniors graduate would make me cry, but instead they made this the oddest graduate ceremony and I spent much of the performance thinking about how annoyed the other students must have been at New Directions stealing their moment, especially since everyone knew Puck barely graduated. However, we don’t watch the show for the other students, so in that respect I suppose it makes complete sense.

Roots Before Branches – Rachel and Finn (A) This whole performance was just perfectly done. The lyrics (“I gotta have/roots before branches/to know who I am“), although bittersweet, were incredibly fitting and it was so Glee that everyone showed up to the train station to tell her goodbye. Finally, Finn gave me a reason to like him again and Rachel didn’t pull a Mary Tyler Moore hat toss after she got off the train.

Quotes

“A part of me wants to lock these doors and stay in here with everyone forever.” -Mercedes
“We could use the wastebasket for the toilet and then we could eat Joe for the food since she’s been here the shortest so we know her the least.” -Brittany, who apparently thinks Teen Jesus is a girl

“You know how hard long distance relationships can be, we both saw The Notebook.” -Blaine

“What did you think was going to happen to me? I have a 0.0 grade point average.” -Brittany

“…or I could have started one of those letter writing campaigns like they had for Friday Night Lights or something.” -Finn

“Well you think that over Sue Sylvester while you nurse your 1,000 year old vampire baby. You just be sure to bottle feed because that baby is going to use those sharp ass teeth to bite holes in those saggy ol’ boobs.” -Coach Roz Washington


glee recapping: big brother

Previously on Glee: On My Way

Story

  • Quinn is back at McKinley after her car accident. She is “temporarily” disabled from the waist down so she is using a wheelchair to get around.
  • Blaine’s older brother, Cooper (Matt Bomer), returns to Ohio and gives The New Directions some horrible/awesome tips for getting notice in Hollywood.
  • Principal Figgins makes Roz the co-coach of the Cheerios. Prompting Sue to make a deal with Figgins to get complete control back. She just has to make sure The New Directions win at nationals.
  • Puck tells Finn that he has a better chance of being successful if they move to Los Angeles together and strike it big  in the lucrative pool cleaning business.
  • Blaine confronts Cooper about being a more accepting big brother.
  • Sue learns that the child she is carrying is a girl but her amnio had some “irregularities”.

Driven or Denial? Initially I thought we were going to be witnessing a funeral when Glee returned then I realized this show isn’t going to – literally – kill off an original character this close to graduation. So when I saw Quinn in her wheelchair I thought she and Artie would become new besties -obviously. But I can’t tell if Quinn’s paralysis is permanent or not. I like the fact that Artie is trying to help Quinn adjust but she has proven to be fragile mentally. Artie should tread lightly.

(More) Trouble In Paradise: Finn and Rachel  just can’t catch a break. If it isn’t Finn worried about his role in New York or Rachel even getting into NYADA there is flack about their wedding or Puck trying to take Finn to the left coast to clean pools. A good ol’ RPS (Rock, Paper, Scissors) solves most (all) of my toughest decisions. Apply liberally.

Just Some Advice…DO NOT step on Jesus Joe’s feet!

I Missed Blaine: I know The New Directions have added characters and split into separate factions and all that jazz but I just enjoy seeing Blaine perform. It will never be the same as his days at Dalton Academy but when Blaine goes solo he is almost untouchable.

Music

I’m Still Standing – Artie and Quinn (A)

It’s a little sad that it took a tragic car accident to get Artie and Quinn not only interacting, but singing together. Very cheery and a very Glee way to bring fun to something that would be a much more serious issue in the real world. Although their voices compliment each other, Artie’s only performance soul-mate in the group will forever and always be Mike Chang.

Hungry Like the Wolf/Rio – Blaine and Cooper (B)

There’s a good chance you either constantly find yourself nostalgic for the 80s, enjoyed these Duran Duran classics when they were actually on the charts or played the more popular hit on Rock Band. Whatever group you fall under, you probably enjoyed this performance, which is understandable since it was so good. Mash-ups are clearly no longer a special event, something I equal parts loathe and love. However, in this particular instance, both songs made the performance feel slightly rushed. Also, there’s no way Blaine was ‘a little pitchy’ or had moves that ‘lacked a theme’.

Fighter - Blaine (C)

The amused look on Cooper’s face when Blaine began singing was reflective of my thoughts throughout the entire song. The shower scene was incredibly awkward and it was so hard to take Blaine seriously with Cooper’s TV commercial playing in the background. None of this was for lack of passion and excellence on Darren Criss’ part, but this might have been one of my least favorite Blaine performances of all time.

Up, Up, Up - Artie and Quinn (A)

Visually, this was a great performance and similar to the Givers, they incorporated the joy of the lyrics. Quinn and Artie enjoyed their Senior Ditch Day at the skate park, while the rest of ND spent the day at Six Flags. It seems like Artie is constantly finding new ways to bring happiness to less than stellar circumstances.

Somebody That I Used to Know - Blaine and Cooper (B)

Somewhere, a hipster put on their Ray-bans and shed a tear that Glee covered Gotye and Kimbra. Kudos to the writers for interpreting the lyrics as something more than a love song, but did anyone else feel like they forced the relevance just a tad so they could use this song? Regardless, Blaine sounds good singing just about anything and Bomer proved that White Collar really needs to do a musical episode.

Quotes

“Hey, I was thinking, since nationals are in Chicago this year, we should have the wedding some place special, like on the pitcher’s mound of Wrigley Field.” -Finn, who just gave Glee/White Sox fans everywhere a new reason to be annoyed with him

“I understand that keeping bats out of your womb is an important part of having a baby when you’re older than God.” -Coach Roz Washington

“And you know what else is gonna stand? Your fully-grown adult baby when he pops out of your birth canal before he hurries off to the high-power law firm where he has just made partner. So take your Centrum Silver and your old ass and find a new dream.” -Coach Roz Washington

“Buckle your seats kids, cuz I’m about to pour you a tall glass of ‘this is how it’s done’.” -Cooper

“Always, without fail, turn into a pose. Again, again, and again, and one more time.” -Cooper

“They’re disgusting. They have terrible aim when peeing. They’re weak-minded and when will someone give me a straight answer as to why they have nipple.” -Sue discussing her disgust with boys

“For instance, I said nothing about the implausible sexual tension between Mercedes and the Kentucky Fried Stripper.” -Sue


thoughts on glee: i kissed a girl

Finn’s Mistake: After hearing that Santana AND “Snix” (Her sassy alter-ego) is going to be suspended for two weeks and miss sectionals he decides to renege on him admitting that she slapped him. I would like to say “Thank You” to Finn for keeping Santana around her classmates. I don’t what I would do if I didn’t get to hear her verbally rip apart her peers on a daily (weekly) basis.

Kurt’s Election: After hearing that Brittany is ahead of him, Kurt tells Rachel that he plans to stuff the ballot with fake votes to ensure his victory. I know he is worried about getting into NYADA with Rachel but I can’t make myself believe that this one extracurricular is going to solidify his admission.

Santana’s Secret: After the New Directions barrage her with songs in support of her homosexuality, Santana tells them that she “came out” to her parents and they were fine with it. But when she tells her “abuelita” she tells Santana that “Everyone has secrets. They’re called secrets for a reason”. This upsets Santana…and ME! After watching this show since it debuted, the only thing that really makes me sad is when Santana is upset. It’s pretty much the worst thing in the world…like 4serialz. But I am glad that Santana is finally admitting who she is now but I hope that doesn’t take anything away from Snix.

Beiste & Cooter…& Sue?: Talk about your bizarre love triangles or whatever. Sue is trying to avoid losing votes due to her lack of a consistent male companion in her life so she takes Beiste’s new beau Cooter. Cooter says that he doesn’t need a buddy to lift weights with he wants a girlfriend. Beiste says that she will fight for his love but I’m sure Sue will eventually end up dumping since the election is over anyway.

Teacher’s (Heavy) Pet(ting): After Puck comes to Shelby’s aid when Beth has to go to the hospital for busting her lip they end up at her place in her bed. Puck eventually leaves after Shelby comes to her senses but is this already too much? I love how Glee goes from one controversial topic to another – even overlapping them in this case. But it’s not too far-fetched from reality so it’s not just ridiculously over-the-top. I’m not legally allowed to say that I like their relationship but I’m glad Puck has come to the realization that Quinn is psycho because of it.

Rachel Steals the Show: After Beiste and Figgins realize that the ballot was stuffed they tell Kurt that he could be suspended if they find it out it was him. Rachel tells Finn she stuffed the ballot because she wanted Kurt to win. Finn tells Rachel that she needs to make this right. After Santana is done performing Rachel comes in with tears in her eyes and tells the group that she told Figgins the truth and she has been suspended for a week and that she can’t perform during sectionals. I actually like this move for the New Directions. By now we all know that Rachel is bound to do something spectacular during the big performances, unless there is a conscious effort to give someone else a moment in the sun. I’m hoping that Blaine gets to solidify his spot in the group or maybe even Rory – but they may be a stretch at this moment. My first place vote: Trouble Tones FTW!!!

MUSIC

F*ckin Perfect – Kurt and Blaine (C)

This is the song Klaine sings to each other in the car? Really? I just can’t see that, which is probably why the first song of the evening failed to really move me. The overall sentiment was lovely, but their voices didn’t quite achieve orgasmic duet power. Kurt’s distracting ensemble aside, I found this performance incredibly ‘bleh’.

I’m the Only One – Puck (A)

I love this song. I loved Melissa Etheridge’s video for this song. Most importantly, I LOVED Puck covering this song. His voice had the perfect amount of ‘rasp’ and he did an amazing job of straddling the line between tossing Santana some solidarity and grrl power, while pouring his heart out to Shelby. Puck (and his weird little faux-hawk) is definitely one of my favorite characters this season.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Finn and the (guy) New Directions (A+)

If you haven’t heard Mr. Laswell’s version, listen to it now. Finn did an AMAZING job covering that cover. It was beautiful and marvelous and flawless and a slew of other adjectives meant to express the perfection of this performance. Cyndi Lauper made this feminist anthem fun and up beat, but the slower version really pulls out the meaning of the lyrics. I was glad Santana didn’t ruin the ending with a smart-ass quip. I love when she does that, but it would have completely ruined the mood.

Jolene – Coach Beiste (B)

Great pick lyrically and the visuals really expressed how badly she wants her Cooter. Anything comments beyond that would be gratuitous.

I Kissed a Girl – The Troubletones and (girl) New Directions (C)

I probably wouldn’t have used a song about drunken girl-on-girl action to empower Santana. She’s not kissing her BFF at the bar for a free shot or making out with her roommate at a party for kicks and giggles. She’s a young girl in high school who is being shoved out of the closet. Alas, the performance was super PG, but maybe they had to tone it down after the enjoyably raunchy Toxic performance. I loved seeing the girls back together for a moment and this was one of the few times in the episode that Rachel didn’t look miserable, so bonus points for that. Also, did anyone else want Santana and Rachel to kiss?

Constant Craving – Santana and Shelby……and Kurt (A)

This performance was well on its way to A+ status. Santana was showing her emotional vulnerability again and that has proven to be the Popeye spinach she needs to really “go there” these last few episodes. Then Shelby came in and her interpretation of the lyrics enhanced the moment. And then….they awkwardly tossed Kurt in for the ending. I appreciate the many layers of the performance, but I would have appreciated Kurt’s contribution more if the segue was a bit more natural. Yet and still, this was another tear-jerker.

Note: This episode was directed by Tate Donovan aka Jimmy Cooper aka Mr. Love Potion #9. Also, Santana was consistently gorgeous this whole episode.

Quotes

If elected I promise to have sugary treats available at all times; it helps with you with concentration, that’s what George Washington said.” -Brittany

I’d rather raw dog a beehive.” -Puck (to Quinn)


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