Glee Season Premiere Review: A Beiste of a Return!

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There's a new football coach. A new relationship. A new rivalry within New Directions and new songs for fans to download.

But the originality, humor and emotion of Glee remains, as proven in "Audition," the second season premiere that set up a slew of fresh storylines for viewers to ponder and grow excited over.

In the unusual, meta opening to the episode, Glee winked at its audience and actually addressed negative opinions of the show (such as many critics' belief that Will should never rap ever again), concluding with Kurt telling bloggers to basically get a life. But the one issue left untouched was the fact that the series often focuses more on songs, jokes and life lessons than logical, interesting storytelling.

That wasn't the case on this installment, however, as we have plenty going on at William McKinley to consider. For example...

Audition Picture

Welcome new singers... sort of. Which character made a better first impression on you, Sam or Sunshine? Both were considered potential new members of the group, only for concerns about image and Rachel (along with a few recruiting gifts from Vocal Adrenaline) to take over.

It's safe to assume Sam will end up with New Directions, but will Sunshine (played by Charice, a controversial choice for many viewers) remain a rival? And, if so, will Kurt, Mercedes and company ever really forgive Rachel? Finn better really talk to his girlfriend and explain how being part of a team works. Even the most talented superstars need help sometimes (right, LeBron James?).

Girl fight! Welcome back, bitchy Quinn! This may have been my favorite development of the premiere. First, Sue's speech to Santana about her breast implants was downright hilarious (sorry, Boobs McGee, it's true). Second, Quinn had grown a bit soft in her pregnant state. Every high school show needs a Queen Bee.

Third, Ryan Murphy has talked about giving more time to supporting characters and we certainly got that this week, with a couple lines from Mike (who got cozy with Tina at Asian camp, much to Artie's chagrin), more great one-liners from Brittany ("Stop the violence.") and this scene between Santana and Quinn.

She's a Beiste! Bravo to Glee for introducing a new character, giving her a realistic storyline and making us feel something for her... all within one hour. While I don't wish mental breakdowns on anyone (feel better, Ken!), Coach Beiste looks to be an ideal foil for Sue. The latter is at her funniest when in full-on combat mode.

It also makes sense that the school would boost the funding for the football team, as that squad typically brings in the most money. This should serve as an interesting storyline throughout the season.

Other notes from a fantastic premiere:

  • It's cute that Finn is dim-witted and all - but he legitimately thought it was a good idea (heck, a legal idea) to push a wheelchair into opponents on the football field?!? Come on. Let's not make the guy a total moron here.
  • The Rachel/Sunshine duet might already be in my all-time top-five, mostly due to the talent of the actress' singing, partially due to the smoke you could practically see coming out of Rachel's ears, and a tiny bit due to the way it ended, courtesy of Sue: "SHUT UP!"
  • Speaking of duets and songs, remember: we update our Glee music section as soon as an episode concludes. Check out the latest selections NOW.
  • No Emma or Terri to open the season. You can guess which of these past/current love interests for Will we missed more, right?

What did you think of the premiere, Gleeks?


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (150 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


Get rid of Sunshine!! Too ugly for the show!!


sam is cute and hot!!
he and artie nailed billionaire! sunshine great singer but needs to develop her acting.


i love sunshine!!! her acting wasnt bad at all for a newbie.. people say she was lipsynching.. duh!!!! you idiots... havent you read that she did that live and the reactions of the glee casts were real and not fake. I liked "LISTEN" the most. It seems as if angels are flying off this little girls mouth... I want her back in the next episodes.


uh... we all know since the beginning that she never acts and if it makes you feel that much more intelligent by criticizing Charice then go ahead. But think it hard before you say so, nobody can walk right away after birth and this is her first time acting. "OOOOhhh so surprising that she's not good at acting as Lea, soooo smart", say sarcastically.


Ooookaaaayyyy.... Step back guys please and stop hounding CHARICE. I mean, come on, give the girl a break, this is her first acting show! Compare her to Lea Michele who's been acting in Broadway in Les Miserables in the age of seven. Just step back, okay? She hasn't had any formal acting lessons and if it's in my eyes I should say that her acting was great for a newbie.So stop comparing her in a professional view PLEASE GUYS... You guys should wait. After all, for Oprah, Ellen, and all the others who support her all the way, Glee's just a small project for her. And judging from all her former shows and guest appearances, the girl's just coming outta her shell, she's a really shy and modest girl. (By the way, I'm 100% US born but I've been to Asia and the Phil. and my BFF's from there too and they're the sweetest and most respectful lot I've ever met.) But Oprah and the others will change that. They plan to polish her until she shines as the star as she is. I'm gonna continue to watch over her! Oh, and don't think that you've seen the last of her. Vocal Adrenaline and New Directions are going head to head in the finals once more and we'll see her again! Although in my opinion, it was really good that SUNSHINE left McKinley, because then, I would really like to see her comeback in the next episodes. Although if she did stay, she wouldn't be able to sing her heart out because RACHEL'S the star (no point arguing that, she IS the main character after all) so she'd just get a supporting character and it's quite boring to watch them fight over the spotlight since Rachel's gonna get it anyway (again, her show).
Although I quite like the idea of Artie and Sunshine to get together to make Tina jealous. So what I would really like is for SUNSHINE to shine in Vocal Adrenaline and have another round with Rachel in the Queen Bee department and this time, Sunshine's not gonna back off (Let's see how she deals with it). And then, for Sunshine to find someone to like in New Directions and to quit Vocal Adrenaline for good and have a happily ever after. (YAY!) I'm letting my imagination ran again. Anyway, I really dislike Rachel going all bitchy on Sunshine and acting a lot like Quinn. Her selfish side's going on stride again. It's not like Sunshine WANTS to steal her position. I mean, she just wanted to sign up! Heck, she didn't even had the slightest inkling. Rachel's the one who invited her and then tried to lead her to a crackhouse. (Anyway, how DID Rachel know about that crackhouse anyway?) And look what it landed New Directions in: another hard competitor in the finals. But I really like Rachel's sweet side, and overall, I like Lea Michele, as simple as that. I like her as an actress, she can deliver really well and it's not her fault that her characters a bit self-centered (did I say a bit?). I'm not trying to defend Charice (or Sunshine, take your pick), I'm just trying to sound logical. The girl's new to Hollywood, give her a break. She's an awesome singer who's real talents are just blossoming out of a shy girl's shell (and I'm sure that includes acting because acting's a skill you LEARN not you're BORN WITH.) and I'm sure she'll end up as good as Lea Michele. So anyway, enough of that. I'm not team Lea or team Charice, team Sunshine or team Rachel. FYI: I'm team BOTH. Anyway, more on the episode, I really like Beiste and Sue going at each other's throats and Sue's plans to kick Bieste out (LOL). Although it was typical of Will to get Bieste out of that mess (He's such a softie). And WELCOME BACK, OLD BITCHY QUINN! Yeah, way to go! Strut around McKinley in your Cheerio suit and show Santana who's boss!
And it's official, Kurt's new Sam (with the Bieber hair)... (Awww...) A new couple is born! And no offense, but I like Tina and Mark. Serves Artie right for ignoring her. Though, I do feel sorry for him. So there, I'm done. (At last.)


I was wondering if Santana's implants might have a more substantial background than "trying to get more attention." Maybe she found out that she is in a high risk category for breast cancer, and was somehow ashamed of it. Or perhaps it's just my imagination trying to drag some character development into play.


Forget about the lip synching or acting (Cmon guys its her first time acting and doing a tv show.Let's give her a break).CHARICE is overwhelming with talent and that makes the musically inclined fans want to watch Glee & probably be addicted to the show..I think David Foster,Oprah Winfrey,Ellen Degeneres would more than agree..♫ Pyramid ♪ we built this on a solid rock ♫
It feels just like it's heaven's touch ♫
Together at the top ♪Like a pyramid ♫..- WITH CHARICE, THAT'S WHERE GLEE IS GOING..


I want sunshine to go bye bye--rachel's the star. Little miss sunshine has NOTHING on rachel.


Loved the season premiere. Beiste was a GREAT new addition. I don't know how I feel about Sam yet, but I didn't like Charice. It's undeniable that she has a great voice, but she has 0 acting skill, whereas Lea Michelle has both a great booming voice and great acting chops. I thought Rachel's offensive "you don't speak English" speech was hilarious. And I kinda agree with Rachel about new blood. Do they really need it if they haven't utilized some of their great side players? I really feel that Charice and Sam are not needed at this point on the show.


okayy - new characters, Beiste - loved her :) but it was kinda of weird for her to be so cruel, yet nice at the same time :/// ahaha. Sam - I don't love his voice, but he will be a good member of the group :) (has matt really left!? :O) Sunshine - okayy, no offense or anything, and I know lots of people like her vioce and stuff, but I really don't like it. It's just not what I like. and, like others have said, the fact that sunshine didn't notice how angry rachel was was kinda stupid...I mean, seriously? I'm actually glad that she went to VA - she has nothing on Rachel. Songs - really like the songs :D except empire state of mind! I hate that song, but once again, it's my opinion, I understand that other people like it, but I don't. and why was only Sam and Artie singing in Billionaire? I think Puck and Finn should've sung a bit. over all, I liked them, but they should have had more than just ESofM with them all, or at least something to show...well, more of them!!! Overall, loved the episode :D can't wait for next week!!!

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Glee Season 2 Episode 1 Quotes

Even if your team has dropped their sequin-covered panties and urinated all over the stage like an elderly Carol Channing, they literally could not have done worse.


One girl ate a pigeon. That's how badly they wanna be Cheerios.