"Glee": Episode One Television Review

9/22/2010 Posted by Admin

"Glee": Episode One

Television Review

By our guest blogger, Catherine Fuentes

I must come clean: I am not a Gleek. I’m actually very late to the game of "Glee" – it wasn’t until the release of Season 1 on DVD (and countless urges from friends) this summer that I came to appreciate the show for the zinger lines that leave you laughing minutes after their delivery, everything Sue Sylvester, and oh yeah, the music’s pretty great, too. I’m not ruling out the potential of becoming a Gleek – maybe after chronicling this season I’ll be hooked – but being a new fan makes me comfortable with being critical of the show when I feel they miss the mark.

Tuesday night’s premiere was great television, end of story. Sue Sylvester came out with one of the best lines of the night within the first five minutes, and that set the momentum for the remainder of the episode. With the addition of her new nemesis, Coach Beiste (pronounced “Beast,” of course), an even taller, bigger and exponentially more manly alpha-female, Sue Sylvester has finally met her match, which is good for those of us, like myself, who love her witty attacks. How can you hate the, “a female football coach is like a male nurse – a crime against nature” line? Sure, her conversation about implants later on in the episode was slightly uncomfortable, but I’ll give her a pass.

The music from the show featured inescapable Top 40 hits from this past summer with a "Glee" twist on them. Quite honestly, I was impressed – and I thought I’d be hating hearing songs that have become so ubiquitous and annoying. The “Empire State of Mind” had a cheesy performance (dancing in a high school courtyard in New York tourist teeshirts with enormous '80s rapper gold chains), but sounded amazing. The awkwardness was worth it when no one on campus seemed to notice the production. Expect New York to be central to this season of "Glee," as the glee club’s goal is to make it to Nationals in New York City.

The Lady Gaga number between Rachel Barry and Sunshine in the girls restroom was flawless. I can only anticipate that song selling many times over on iTunes. Is it just me, or was their “Telephone” better than anything in the Lady Gaga tribute episode last season?

The new additions to the cast had their solo songs this episode and both new stars deserve huge introductions. I was excited to see Charice, playing Sunshine Corazon, after seeing her perform on Oprah (yes, Oprah discovered Charice on YouTube, gave her instant fame, Charice landed a dream role on "Glee" and got botox in anticipation – the American dream come to life). Her voice outshines everyone else on the cast and I am excited to see what she does, even if she is now a member of rival glee club Vocal Adrenaline. (She chose to join because they gave her mother a green card and a condo, naturally).

"Glee" embraced its awkwardness with the discovery of Sam Evans, singing the Poison hit “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.” I like when "Glee" gives a nod to all its critics who call it cheesy and awkward (two words I foresee using with great frequency moving forward with this season) by doing something so overtly uncomfortable that it seems cool. Sam’s real audition set to Travie McCoy’s hit “Billionaire” was a high point of the episode for me.

All in all, a great episode. Great one liners, great renditions of current pop hits and lots of potential for the rest of the season. You want a favorite show to come back strong, so as to cement its footing as solidly good television and not beginner’s luck.  Last night, "Glee" proved it's good television.

Expect this season to only get better. The race to Nationals will make performances heat up and become more contemporary, the new cast members are super talented, and there will be loads of celebrity cameos. Next week is the Britney Spears episode, which I have personally been anticipating all summer. I wasn’t expecting it to come so soon in the season, but upon further reflection, I feel this only means that everything to come later will only get bigger and better.

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  1. Nina said...

    It was actually Ellen who first discovered Charice and featured her on her show.