By Leah Rocketto

After a summer without their favorite show-choir, Gleeks anxiously awaited the September 21 return of their favorite comedy. For this Gleek, however, the season two premiere was painful to get through – much like a Rachel Berry solo.

The episode began by answering audiences’ questions, via a Jacob Israel documentary.  Can Will stop choosing “crappy” songs for the club to sing? Sure. Did Tina dump Artie for Other Asian (aka Mike Chang) and his abs while teaching Asian children about the arts? Sadly, yes. Is Quinn going back to the Cheerios? Obviously. All these answers end with a classic cherry slushy to Kurt’s face. It’s good to be back in McKinley High School.

The plot took a turn for the expected when Sue and Will began battling over the budget. How would the Cheerios afford confetti sprayers? How would Glee club afford anything?! I was tempted to turn the channel when I was introduced to the new butch…I mean bitch on campus, Coach Beiste (cleverly pronounced Beast). This football-loving female managed to put Sue and Will on the same team in an attempt to take down the new enemy. This alliance made for the most boring minutes of Glee ever. Luckily, it was over by the end of the episode, and Sue was back to her backstabbing ways.

In other recycled story lines, New Directions is still fighting for respect and recognition this season. And nothing says respect like a rendition of Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” on the quad. Between Artie’s rhythm on raps, Mercedes’ range on the chorus, and the complex choreography, this number was one of Glee’s best. In addition to grabbing audiences’ attention, this cover caught the ears of two new characters: Sam Evans and Sunshine Corazon. Unfortunately, the sub-plots involving these newbies were nothing special.

Sam is a football player with a musical gift. Sound familiar? Finn notices him in a déjà-vu-like shower scene and asks him to try out for glee club. Nervous to sing around others, Sam tests the waters with a version of Travie McCoy’s “Billionare,” which wasn’t as ear-splitting as the original.

With a legitimate singing voice, unlike Finn, Sam has the potential to bring some talent to New Directions. Unfortunately when it’s time for auditions, Sam ditches, worried about what the other students will think. Thanks for reinstituting that stereotype, Glee!

Sunshine brings musical skills to New Directions and also brings some competition for Rachel, leading to a battle of the brunettes in the girls’ bathroom via Lady GaGa and Beyonce’s “Telephone.” Rachel, aware of Sunshine’s talent, sends her on a fake audition at a crack house.

At the end of the episode, Rachel does a cover of “What I Did for Love” from A Chorus Line – because God-forbid there be an episode of Glee without a Rachel Berry solo. Luckily, her Broadway covers always have me applauding, and “What I Did for Love” was no exception.  It was a show-stopping end to a shitty episode.

If Glee wants to survive a second season, the producers need to create new story lines keep what works. If they use the Beiste properly and introduce new ballads, Glee will be in for another successful season.

Hopefully next week’s battle of the Brits will bring me back to the 90s and back on Glee’s good side.

Best Quote: “I’ve never had balls in my mouth. Have you?”

Best Quote, Part 2: “The two of you are making a mistake, the likes of which have not been seen since the Mexicans sold Manhattan to George Washington for an upskirt photo of Betsy Ross.”


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