September 13th, 2012 by thetvchick
My love/hate relationship with Glee reached a fairly high level of dislike last season (save a few phenomenal episodes), so I really wasn’t sure how I would like the season four premiere. It’s going to be a “show within a show” this season with some characters in NYC, others at McKinley and some who aren’t even mentioned at all. I have to say, “The New Rachel” felt like an old-school Glee episode, one that would have led me to fall in love with the show. Was it perfect? No. Was it great? Absolutely. We pick up in the fall, after graduation. Rachel is in NYC at NYADA (lots of abbreviations for you there), and she has to deal with being at the bottom of the barrel. It doesn’t help that her dance teacher (played by Kate Hudson) has it out for her and dubs her the female David Schwimmer. But there is one bright spot to her rough days, and that’s new resident heartthrob Brody (played by Dean Geyer). Back at McKinley, the New Directions are holding auditions, while most of the returning members are competing to be ‘the new Rachel.’ “Unique” is a new addition to the Glee club, but the McKinley kids aren’t as accepting of his alternate persona as they should be. The real highlight of the entire episode for me was new girl Marley (played by the lovely Melissa Benoist). If anyone is going to have the new Rachel title, it will most certainly be her.
Marley doesn’t come from a well off family, and her mother is the over weight lunch lady. Her mom sews J. Crew tags into her Walmart sweaters and I feel like she may take the place of Coach Beiste as one of the adult emotional centers of the show. Who doesn’t love a downtrodden girl who can sing story? All Marley wants is to join the Glee Club, and with her spectacular voice, she does just that. Her performance at the end of the premiere episode of Chasing Pavements was pretty fantastic. We add into the mix Jake (played by Jacob Artist), Puck’s half brother, who is obviously the new resident bad seed and Kitty (played by Becca Tobin) who is the new Quinn, even though Quinn and Puck supposedly have not left the show.
Notably absent from the premiere is Finn, Puck, Quinn, Emma, Santana and Mercedes. I know they are returning in later episodes, it just felt a little odd to hear their names mentioned but not to see them. Sue has had her baby, which seems very weird to me, but thankfully that was a very small part of the premiere. Kurt and Blaine are still together and for most of the episode, and Kurt is hanging around McKinley. We all know that he ends up in NYC (spoilers are out there) but the way he goes to NYC and his emotional moment with his dad, is great.
My hope is that season four can stay as good as the premiere. I hope it focuses on its new bright spots (Marley and Brody) while not continuing to stunt cast and do a ton of tribute episodes. I realize episode two is another Britney Spears episode, so my wishes and dreams might be dashed quickly. There are a few shows that have successfully transitioned in new cast members (Friday Night Lights being one, but let’s be honest, Glee will never, ever reach that level of goodness), so it will be interesting to see if Glee can do it. But regardless of what the rest of the season brings, the premiere is a step in the right direction.
Be sure to tune in tonight at 9 PM to FOX for the season premiere of Glee.Tweet