Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Recap & Review: GLEE Premiere Season 2 Episode 1

The Word of the Shay today is GLEE! Elation, happy happy, joy joy! Or more importantly, the hit tv show “Glee”.

Glee Season Two premiered Tuesday September 21st 2010. Sadly I was in the middle of a power outage and had to wait till today to watch, but nevertheless, here’s a play by play of the episode.

Want to skip to the review portion? Scroll to the bottom for my thoughts on the episode, songs, and favorite moments.

Recap: Glee Season 2 Episode 1 “Audition”

***Warning: SPOILERS AHEAD!!!***

The show opens with a hilarious exposé, "Glee's Big Gay Summer" Jacob interviewing the Glee Club members and Mr. Schuester, a great way to catch us up at the start of a new school year. Finn and Rachel are still together, Puck isn't over Quinn, Quinn is trying to get back her old life, Santana's boobs have mysteriously grown, Brittany spent the summer lost in sewers, Tina is with Mike and Artie is hurt. Summer is over and the first slushy has been thrown! On the receiving end of that frozen treat, Kurt Hummel's face.

The now friendly Sue Sylvester and Will Schuester were summoned to Figgins' office. News of budget cuts for both Cheerios and Glee Club come with another surprise...NEW CHARACTER! Coach Shannon "Beast" Beiste the new football coach, to which the funding has been funneled. Ken Tanaka is out (nervous breakdown) our new female football coach is in. After Beast's intro and getting off on the wrong foot with both Sue and Will, we jump to our first Glee Club Meeting!

We learn that Matt has transferred (goodbye to Dijon Talton) and to beat Vocal Adrenaline and make it to Nationals in New York, they need to recruit new members. This brings us to our first song, in hope of gaining new voices the gang head out to the courtyard and perform “Empire State of Mind” (Jay-Z/Alicia Keys) to show that they're current and cool, but with little success.

Finn and Rachel stumble upon talent, the only two people we saw even acknowledge their performance. A transfer student and an exchange student. We get a glimpse at what's to come with Sam Evans (welcome Chord Overstreet) singing "Every Rose has it's Thorn" (Poison) in the shower and Sunshine Corazon (say hello to Charice) joined by Rachel breaking into "Telephone" (Lady Gaga/Beyonce) in the girls washroom. Sunshine (who has a fantastic voice) had fun singing with Rachel and wants to join, Rachel however puts on the brakes.

Finn gets Sam to sing, (by wooing him with his quarterback status) backed up by the other Glee guys they perform  "Billionaire" (Travie McCoy) and  Sam agrees to try out for Glee Club.

Mr. Schuester had agreed to help Sue bring down Beast to insure their budgets don't get cut, but their first petty trick winds up being a dud. Against his better judgment Will continues to be mean to Coach Beiste. Sympathy for her plight at a new school is definitely felt by the viewer, as she calls Will out for bullying someone who's different.

Artie decides he wants to join the football team and goes to Finn for help, he hopes that this will win back Tina who left him after falling in love with Mike Chang over the summer. An already upset Coach Beiste goes on a rampage when she assumes Finn’s plea to let Artie try out is an attempt to screw with her,  she retaliates by kicking Finn off the team.

Rachel, highly threatened by Sunshine's voice makes an attempt to keep her from joining Glee, causing her to miss the audition. Sam neglects to show up as well, because (as he later tells Finn) being a new kid and already an outsider, he didn't want to risk it, especially not after seeing Coach Beiste cut Finn from the team. Sam, not only made the football team, but is has replaced Finn as quarterback.

In Cheerios news, Santana had breast augmentation surgery over the summer, aka boobjob, (a fact that Quinn apparently let slip) and Coach Sylvester does not approve, that combined with Quinn’s compelling argument at tryouts, has Sue taking away Santana’s head cheerleader status and handing it back to Quinn. Back in her Cheerios uniform complete with the obligatory high ponytail, the crowd once more parts as Quinn makes her way through the halls of McKinley High until...BAM Santana jumps out and suddenly we have a Quinn/Santana cat fight, MEOW.

We move on to a meeting in Figgins’ office where Brittany (under Sue's persuasion) is accusing Coach Beiste of inappropriate touching. Will doesn't play along and urges Brittany to tell the truth, she admits to making it up. Sue is NOT pleased with Will.

Sue’s plan isn’t the only one backfiring, as Rachel's plot to keep Sunshine away from Glee try outs is brought to Will's attention. After being confronted, Rachel is made to set things right and Sunshine auditions with "Listen" (From Dreamgirls), and the rest of the Glee Kid’s applause and hollering tell us they are thrilled to have her aboard.

Will apologizes to Coach Beiste, and tells Sue that he won't be a part of it any longer. Back on her bad side, Sue warns both Will and Coach Beiste that they're making a huge mistake.

Just when things were starting to look up for our misfit band of crooners, out of nowhere we get another new character. Dustin Goolsby (meet Cheyenne Jackson), new coach for Vocal Adrenaline, swoops in and lures Sunshine away. Sue gloats, it was her who tipped off Goolsby, payback for not going along with her scheming. Sunshine admits that she would have stayed if it were not for the actions of Rachel.

A tender moment is shared between Rachel and Finn (who misses being popular now that he’s not quarterback). At his insistence Rachel admits the sabotage was for her own selfish reasons, and stops spouting claims that her dirty deed was to stop an outsider messing up the dynamic. Rachel not wanting to share the spotlight has now made their competition even stronger. Before apologizing to the club, it's time for a Rachel solo "What I did for Love" (A Chorus Line) to close the show.
The End

Review: Final thoughts
I think this was a strong way to kick off the second season, a good mix of songs from different genres and it did a good job of introducing the new conflicts and characters (who seem promising). It was packed with fun moments and laughs while progressing the plot nicely. Good job Glee!

The only thing I wasn't a fan of, was the ending, the curtain closed on Rachel entering the Glee Club rehearsal space, I would have liked just another moment or two to show her actually apologizing to the rest of the gang (whether sincerely or not).

Break out or Break down? How the songs stack up:
- “Empire State of Mind” (Jay-Z/Alicia Keys) performed by New Directions. This was fun, I think it was a good number to start with. Nice to see them outside dancing and singing for a change, something fresh to kick things off. Was it the greatest performance or vocal? No, but again, it was fun.
- "Every Rose has it's Thorn" (Poison) sang by newcomer Sam Evans (Chord Overstreet). Okay, this wasn't really a performance, it was a dude rocking out in the shower, shown with Finn chattering about it in a voiceover. So I can't be too harsh on this, it worked for what it was, an introduction to Sam and his voice. But hey, who doesn't like Poison?
- "Telephone" (Lady Gaga/Beyoncé) performed by Sunshine Corazon (Charice) and Rachel Berry (Lea Michele), again not a full performance, but much closer to one than Sam's. They were really rocking it, it sounded terrific, but is it just me, or did it look like Rachel was trying to seduce Sunshine while singing? Reign it in a little girlfriend! This was such a memorable moment that it’s my “Break Out!” song for this episode.
- "Billionaire" (Travie McCoy) performed by Sam Evans (Chord Overstreet), backed up by Artie (Kevin McHale), Puck (Mark Salling), Finn (Cory Monteith), and Mike (Harry Shum Jr.). If you're not totally sick of this song yet, then you'll probably like this version. Sam has a great voice, well suited to the song.
- "Listen" (Dreamgirls) performed by Sunshine Corazon (Charice Pempengco). Who knew
such a big voice could come from such a little person? Powerful pipes and an entertaining (though maybe a little rigid) performance. It was clear to Glee Club and to us that she would have made a fan-freakin'-tastic addition to New Directions.
- "What I did for Love" (A Chorus Line) sung by Rachel Berry (Lea Michele). This was far from my favorite performance, I found it a little hard to keep paying attention here, it wasn't compelling to watch Rachel belt it out after being a selfish brat. So unfortunately it earned my “Break Down” song for the week.  A weak ending, although I'm sure it was sung fine, as we all know Rachel (or rather Lea Michele) is very talented.

Best Moments/Fav Lines:
-When Sue walks into the girls washroom to mid-Telephone performance and yells at Sunshine and Rachel to shut up.

- The whole balls in mouth conversation between the boys.
Puck: Dude, your mouth is huge. How many tennis balls can ya fit in there?
Sam: I don’t know, I’ve never had any balls in my mouth...have you?
Finn: I like this kid.
Artie: I like his confidence, but the Bieber-cut’s gotta go.

-Any Brittany moment! (Lost in the sewers, pointing to the Cheerios doll’s boobs, stop the violence, etc.) Love that girl!

All in all, I can't wait for episode two, leave your thoughts on “Audition” below, would love to hear what your favorite moments were and how you feel about the new characters!

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