This is a post about my opinion of the premiere episode of Glee season 4. If you want a recap, there’s an amazing one on Hypable. The podcast Glee Chat also had an in depth discussion about it on their latest episode.
[Yes, there are spoilers for the first episode below!]
I discovered Glee when I was in college, about half way through the first season. My roommate was watching clips of some of the performances from season 1 on YouTube (yeah, she was supposed to be studying…). They were so great that I knew I was going to be hooked. And once I actually started watching, I was.
I caught up on season 1 and loved every minute of it. It was the type of TV show that had me thinking about it all day, every day. One episode would end and I’d feel like the week between that one and the next one was the longest, most horrible time of my life.
I guess you could say I was obsessed. You wouldn’t be wrong.
Season 2 came and went and I enjoyed it for different reasons, and maybe a little less than the first season. But I still felt the same way about the show. Season 3 started out great and there were definitely some stand out episodes. However, by the end of the season I was just about done with Glee.
I actually know the exact episode that turned me off completely. It was the one where they decided that Will Scheuster – the Spanish teacher – all of a sudden couldn’t speak Spanish. I mean, really? It was clearly a ploy to get Ricky Martin on the show and that was it.
So, anyway. Glee season 4.
It opens up with Rachel in New York City. All of a sudden it feels like a whole new show. It definitely had a Smash vibe, and felt a bit more grown up. Rachel was insecure, and I think that’s the best look for her. She’s come a long way from the first season and although she’s by far not my favorite character, I really enjoy watching her now.
The show also has some new characters. Brody Weston is the first one we meet and he comes to us (and Rachel) straight out of the shower. No complaints from me. Aside from the fact that he’s gorgeous (and that I loved his character on Terra Nova), he seems like a genuinely nice guy. It’s the first time I’ve ever wanted Rachel to be with someone other than Finn. It’s still early, and I have a feeling that the romance will blossom between them eventually, but I want them to take it slow. Friends first. If he’s meant to be Rachel’s new Finn, I want her to do it right this time. No stealing kisses, no cheating, no immaturity. Just an honest, healthy relationship.
Wade, who isn’t actually a new character, comes into the choir room to the shock of many of the Glee Club kids. I like Wade a little better than Unique, but I find that I truly enjoy Unique’s humor and over the top diva personality. I think both are great characters and serve their own purposes to the show. As long as he doesn’t take over, I’m quite content with him being in New Directions. (And if you’re reading this for the heck of it and have no idea what’s going on, Wade is a male student who happens to cross-dress. His alter ego is named Unique.)
We also meet Marley, who is pretty much the reason why I am watching this show. She’s honest and beautiful and good and true, and that’s everything that I want to see in a character on Glee. So many of the characters are flawed to the point of absurdity that a “normal” character is like a breath of fresh air. And the relationship that she has with her mom just about brings me to tears. I love it, I love her, and I love this show again.
Just Jake is up next and he sings beautifully. I think he sounds so much like the original, and his voice is like butter. I could listen to it every day. He’s an interesting character in that he is very similar to Puck, but I also feel like he’s a little wilder, a little more dangerous. I like that, and I hope now that we’re at a 9PM time slot, Glee will be just a tad darker than it was previously. We also hear Marley perform, while being cut against Rachel. As an actor/singer, that must be pretty intense. But she definitely held her own against Lea Michele. Where Rachel is Broadway, Marley is more like Jazz. I love both of their voices, and for different reasons.
The episode ends with Kurt in NYC and Rachel and him running toward each other and hugging. I think they’re both at their best when they’re together, honest, and trying to help the other person. They’re very similar in a lot of ways, but they also have a beautiful friendship that they use to build each other up instead of tearing each other down.
Obviously there were still problems with the episode. Every show has its issues, but unlike most I can’t just leave them be. I don’t like Kitty – the new head Cheerio. She’s a Santana wannabe, but with much more venom and a lot less humor. I could do without her. I also didn’t enjoy the glee club kids when they were trying to be popular. It didn’t fit with their characters and at this point in the show (and their lives) they should know better. But, it made a plot for the episode and I guess that’s what really matters. The courtyard number was also kind of big and ridiculous and I miss season 1 of Glee when they were trying to make the performances either solely envisioned in their minds or actually realistic.
But those are the nit-picks of a fangirl, not to mention just my personal opinions. Overall, this series harkens back to season 1. Not in the way that it has been shot or written – because it honestly feels like a different show to me now – but in the way that it makes me feel. I think about it every day, and I can’t wait until the next episode. This is how TV should be, and I hope Glee stays that way.
Did you watch the first episode of Glee season 4? Did you like it or hate it? Do you feel like it’s a whole new show now?