'Glee': You had me at 'hell-o'
"GLEE" COUNTDOWN: “TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK”
We’ve caught “Glee” fever over here on Show Tracker -- like we ever lost it. To celebrate the hit show coming back to finish its already successful freshman season, we wanted to offer a few gleeful nuggets to get fans ready for Tuesday. Now that the time is up on the clock, we offer our take on the long awaited spring premiere, "Hell-O."
The wait is finally over!
After a four-month absence from our television screens – but certainly not our minds, iPods and news streams – “Glee” is back, and yes, better than ever.
We here at Show Tracker had a tough time resisting talking about the episodes that were sent over to us, but alas we can let the cat out of the bag about what we thought of the premiere episode. We’re warning you in advance though, if you don’t want any spoilers wait until after the episode airs Tuesday night after "American Idol" – our West Coast readers should also avoid Twitter, Facebook and generally the entire Internet as every critic will be offering their reviews early (if they haven’t already). FYI: Speaking of spoilers, Fox is premiering Sue Sylvester's (Jane Lynch) "Vogue" video for those fans who can't suffer another week of waiting for the Madonna episode.
But if you can't wait anymore, you've been warned.
The second half of the season kicks off with New Directions members reveling in their triumph at sectionals. The kids feel completely and utterly on cloud nine, or as Kurt says, “We’re Glitterati, I feel like Lady Gaga,” and they should be excited. The final moments of the episode knocked my socks off, and I'm sure yours - or else it wouldn't have been on the tips of people's tongues for four solid months. But of course it only takes literally a few seconds for their proclamation of plans to “rule the school” to be washed away by a flurry of ice cold slushies.
“Welcome to Losertown, population you!” Oh, how I’ve missed such snarky, crude remarks from their unimpressed peers.
Will is blindsided with news that the team has to place at regionals or they are finito, and per usual Principal Figgins is putting the needs of the Cheerios above anything else. And just as quick as Will is to point out the absence of the coach, due to a well-deserved suspension, Sue is back in the picture armed with a few howl-inducing hair insults.
Did you really think everyone’s favorite track-suited diva would be gone for too long? Of course not, and Sue is as biting and ruthless as ever. She has no shame in her dirty antics and decided the best way to get reinstated as coach was the good ole fashioned way of a little blackmail – am I the only one nervous about her “sexual seduction” techniques, “I happened to know there is nothing you won’t eat whip cream off of.” Figgins and Sue? Together? So nasty. So twisted. So strangely erotic.
Though Sue blackmailing Figgins with what I hope was a night of nonexistent intercourse was priceless, I was a bit perplexed at her enlisting Santana and Brittany for help in bringing down the glee club. I mean sure it was the route she took in the first half of the season, I assumed after the girls admitted their secret love for glee in that "aww-inducing" moment, they would never agree to help. Oh, who am I kidding! Any excuse for the two girls to have some major screen time is a-OK by me. There is even a hilarious, err, triple, date with the two girls - who I never forgot outed themselves - and Finn.
Monday I told you our favorite couples: Emma and Will and Rachel and Finn would be explored more.
The status of both couples are addressed rather quickly here. A bored and distracted Finn is bombarded with a date calendar from Rachel…yes, she actually gives the poor boy a calendar filled with dates. His inside thoughts even express to viewers how hard it is to put up with Rachel now that they are a couple. Sigh, this one won't last long will it? It doesn’t help that Finn is still hung up on Quinn, who as you recall is putting in effort to make things work with her baby daddy, Puck. This show makes me miss how deliciously intriguing, complex and oftentimes petty high school drama is – (though being a mash-up of Puck’s good looks, Finn’s naivety and Artie’s shyness put me in a lot of drama, a lot).
Things between Emma and Will are as awkward as ever as her germophobeness puts her dangerously close to “missing her man.” Though I applaud Emma for coming out of her shell a bit when it comes to Will (my cheeks are still red from the red-hot scene next week).
Sadly, it takes the music a bit too long to kick in. Schue assigns the students to come up with a song that has the word “hello” in the title. Finn goes to work with a groovy rendition of “Hello, I Love You,” from the Doors, though Rachel brings down the house, after getting dumped by Finn, when she ignores the “o” and takes on All-American Rejects college anthem, “Gives You Hell.”
Rachel, who I have to admit I love more in the second half of the season than in the first, gave me everything I needed: high drama and those beautiful pipes. Her giving Finn well-deserved hell when she reads him like a book after dumping her? Perfection. Her duet of Lionel Ritche’s “Hello” with “Spring Awakening” co-star Jonathan Groff (who plays new love interest, and Vocal Adrenaline rival, Jesse St. James) was nothing short of brilliance.
Though I’m the first to don my Team Finn shirt, Jesse will prove to be a major threat as he is every bit as self-absorbed and talented as Rachel. His vocals are incredible, and his charm and sex appeal will clearly sweep her (and viewers) off their feet. I admit my Team Finn shirt is still in my drawer, and I have a few letters left on my Team Jesse shirt...let's see how this pans out.
My only disappointments in the episode are how quickly Will fell into the arms of Vocal Adrenaline coach Shelby (Idena Menzel). I get it, Menzel is an absolute bombshell. But we’ve waited so very long to see him with Emma, and within 30 minutes he is on the couch making out with Shelby. Glad he admits he’s “a mess.” Yes, yes, you are, Will. I also wanted to hear Menzel flex her unbelievable pipes, and that didn't happen. Don't worry, I’ll be patiently waiting.
The highlights of the episode: the return of a more feisty Terri who puts Emma in her place and an incredible ending group number as the Glee kids take on the Beatles’ “Hello, Goodbye.”
It’s been a long four months, but “Glee” made a welcomed return to my living room, and I'm sure yours as well. Why, hello there.
-- Gerrick D. Kennedy (Follow me on Twitter @GerrickKennedy)
Photo: (Top) Rachel gets ready for her solo. (Bottom) New Directions takes on The Beatles. Credit: Fox