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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?

Review

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+.

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The songs, jokes, and life lessons are what make the show special. Let shows like Mad Men and Sons of Anarchy have their logical, interesting storytelling. I watch Glee for the fluffy goodness.

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"her lip-synching was probably the worst the show has ever seen ..." do people brag about lip-synching skills nowadays? May be that’s because Charice is even better when singing live? I for one think she did a bang on job on Listen. I guess you must think “industry amateurs� like Ellen Degeneres, Oprah, Celine Dion and David Foster are all wrong about Charice.

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I like the three new characters. My only real problem with sunshine is her not noticing rachel looking at her like she wanted to knock her to the ground and cut her throat with a plastic spoon while they were dueting telephone. I have a bigger problem with Rachel. I want to tell her to STOP LOSING YOUR ****ING CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT! ****! HAVEN`T YOU REALIZED THAT YOUR GLEE "FRIENDS" ARE MORE THAN JUST PROPS? Am I the only one who thought puck and sams faces got kinda close during billionair? I think I ship them, pam? suck?

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Lea Michele is such a good actress nad she has proved it one more time in this ep. Concerning the new cast members: Chord Overstreet (Sam) is interesting, and actually I like his 'billionnaire' (but I really don't know that song, not on radio on this side of the Ocean, so I cannot compare). As for Charice (Sunshine), okay the girl can sing, she has the technical skills but she is lacking the most important for me: emotion and for god's sake, acting skills (maybe an overdose of botox may be one of the causes but she surely beats Shenae Grimes as the worst young female actor this year...). Coach Beiste freaks me out, good addition to the cast.
So, happy Glee's back and waiting to see Brittany and Rachel on the Britney Spears ep'

C-f-ohara

Careful what you say about Coach Beiste. In the real life actress Dot Jones was 15-time World and 6-time National arm-wrestling champion. Sue best pump her brakes before she gets taken 'Over the Top' like Lincoln Hawk did Bull Hurley!

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SPOILER ALERT I read on some website that Kurt is getting a boyfriend and the two will become the school'd new power couple. I will bet money Sam, the hot blong guy, becomes Kurt's boyfriend.

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i got a boner when they talked about balls in chord overstreet's (sam) mouth

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There were things to like about this episode (the opening was very clever and I appreciated the multi-faceted approach to what could have been a one-joke character in the new football coach), but overall I was disappointed.
Will's not supposed to rap anymore, but now ARTIE is the new go-to guy for it?! No thanks. Artie is a wonderful crooner and up-tempo pop singer. Let him do that.
I've got to say I'm glad Charice left McKinley. I did not like her as an actress and her lip-synching was probably the worst the show has ever seen. Besides, she was not believable as a threat to Rachel, despite her vocal prowess. Rachel is a "face of the group" type performer. Charice would never be that at McKinley while Rachel's around. Sorry, but that sort of casting goes on at EVERY level.
Speaking of Rachel, PLEASE fix her look. If this was a make-over, it was a DUD. Get the bangs out of her face and feed that girl a pork chop. Part of Rachel's appeal was her natural figure and her tendency to lead with her face. Why would you try to downplay those things?
Seeing Tina split from Artie was sad, but hopefully it'll lead to the sort of heartbreak and anger for her that will cause her to actually sing a couple of goth-style songs. So far, she's just a fashion accessory for the show, but her look suggests SOooo many great songs.
Overall, the song selection was uninspiring. "What I did for Love" is a natural for Rachel, but it was wasted in this context. The Rachel/Sunshine duet was well-placed and appropriate, but Charice's lack of acting skill had already ruined the Sunshine character for me. "Billionaire" was ok, but AGAIN with Artie rapping?!...and I've already covered the abomination that was Charice's lip-synching on the "Showgirls" song.
I'm NOT enthusiastic about the Britney Spears episode coming next. I hope the show improves enough to keep me coming back for more than just "Losing My Religion" and the "Rocky Horror" tribute.

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For some reason I'm not a big fan of Beiste. Puck is awesome though: "Dude your mouth is huge!" because I was thinking the same thing, hah!
LOVED the first minutes, I was honestly LMAO. Quinn is back, hurray! Interesting to see Santana knocked down a bit, wonder how that will play out.
Didn't expect Sunshine to join VA but that answered my ongoing question about why she was only in one episode if she'd joined the club. I miss Jesse! (Just sayin'.)
Was hoping for a more gleeful ending but I still loved the episode!

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.

Sue

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

Sue
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