'Glee' Season 3 Premiere Recap: Off to a Great Start
'Glee' Season 3 Premiere Recap: Off to a Great Start
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Something miraculous happened over the summer on Glee: the show became great again. I was hard on season 2, as were many critics, because it got too serious and too preachy. But the Glee season 3 premiere was all fun while setting up some great storylines for the future.

Summer Status Update

Once again the season begins with Jacob Ben-Israel getting the inside scoop on how people spent their summers. He also provides great exposition about who's a senior (Rachel, Finn, Kurt, Santana, Mercedes, Mike Chang and possibly Puck and Brittany). We learn Sam's dad got a new job so that's why he's MIA and Mercedes has a gigantic new football-playing boyfriend. Also, Lauren Zizes quit and dumped Puck because being in New Directions was hurting her cool factor. Finally, Quinn spent the summer dating a 40-year-old skater, dying her hair pink and getting a nose ring and a tattoo of Ryan Seacrest. Now she's smoking cigarettes with "the Skanks" under the bleachers.

Rachel and Kurt's Future

The two de facto leads of the show get off to a cocky and arrogant start to their senior year, vowing to get into Julliard despite not knowing that it doesn't have a musical theater program. Instead, they set their sights on the New York Academy of Dramatic Arts (NYADA) and are so sure that they'll be superstars. It's at this point I started to think these two were becoming insufferable and needed to get knocked down a peg, and that's just what happened.

At a NYADA mixer they met a group of people just like them, only better. There's a super gay kid named Gavroche (named after character from Les Mis) that makes Kurt look like a jock and Harmony (Glee Project finalist Lindsay Pearce) who has been acting since she was a fetus (literally, there's a sonogram of her on Murder, She Wrote). Harmony out-Rachels Rachel and makes her rethink her life's plans.

After a quick pep talk, however, Kurt and Rachel get back on the train to success. Rachel will mount a production of West Side Story at McKinley (which could be great) while Kurt will run for class president (which makes sense, since the entire student body voted for him last year to be Prom Queen).

New Students: Sugar and Blaine

Without Sam, Lauren and Quinn, New Directions needs two new people to fill the 12-person minimum requirement. A new student named Sugar Motta auditions, but she's absolutely terrible, in every sense of the word. She claims to have self-diagnosed Aspergers, but the actress isn't quite quirky enough to make it as funny as it should be. Will Schuester finally gets some balls, thanks to Emma's love, and refuses to let Sugar join because she's just that bad.

Blaine also transfers to McKinley because spending time with his boyfriend is more important than a quality private school education, and he's in. So that brings them up to 11, but then Will forces Santana to leave because she's working for Sue to destroy the glee club, thus bringing them back down to 10, which is exactly where they started the season at.

Sue's Campaign

Despite referencing how sweet the funeral for her sister was, Sue wastes no time completely ignoring her vow to be nice to the glee club and once again plots to destroy it and all arts programs as part of her congressional platform. It's surprisingly effective because she actually makes sense. Yes, the arts are good, but should we really be investing so much money in them if American public school students can't even read at the appropriate grade level?

My Overall Review

There are some silly things to complain about, but as a whole, the Glee season 3 premiere was quite funny with a ton of great one-liners, and most importantly, it didn't take itself too seriously. Even Kurt and Rachel's big emotional scene in the car was filled with humor. The promise of West Side Story (last year's "I Feel Pretty" mash-up was one of my favorite musical numbers), a school presidential election and more also offers some good opportunities for future storylines. Consider me a a true Gleek again, so long as they keep this up and don't give Kurt's dad another heart attack anytime soon.

The Songs

"We Got the Beat" ( The Go-Gos) by New Directions: The first big number of season 3, it was set in the cafeteria and totally rocked, thanks largely to Santana and Brittany taking over lead vocals for the second half. I know Rachel's supposed to be the star, but Santittany are so much better as entertainers and I actually prefer their voices and dance moves.

"Ding-Dong! The Witch is Dead" (from The Wizard of Oz) by Rachel and Kurt: If these two sing one more Oz-inspired song on this show, I may scream. Luckily later in the episode they got some much needed humility.

"It's Not Unusual" (Tom Jones) by Blaine: After arriving at McKinley, he performed this song in a short-sleeved black polo shirt, bow tie, impossibly tight red pants and a white belt. He should have his gayness revoked permanently for that outfit alone.

"Anything Goes" and "Anything You Can Do" (from Anything Goes and Annie Get Your Gun) by Harmony
: Glee Project finalist Lindsay Pearce showed up as a Rachel doppelganger who kind of kicked some major butt. I never really liked her on The Glee Project, but I loved her voice and attitude here and hope she gets more than just two episodes.

"You Can't Stop the Beat" (from Hairspray) by New Directions: I love this song a lot and loved this version, especially Rachel starting it off slow and emotional. Mercedes got to do her diva thing, but I actually wish she'd gone even bigger. I expect a lot more from her.

(Image courtesy of FOX)