The ratings for the Glee season 3 premiere were down from last year, which is a tragedy. Yes, I was one of the critics who piled on about how awful Glee‘s second season was, but I was pleased to find out that the writers and producers had listened to the complaints and come back better than ever. Even more impressively, the second episode, “I Am Unicorn,” is even better than the premiere.

See Photos from “I Am Unicorn” >>

In “I Am Unicorn,” Kurt’s campaign for student council president begins with Brittany running the show. She has some wild ideas about unicorns that help inform her campaign strategy. In addition, the auditions for West Side Story begin and Idina Menzel returns as Shelby Corcoran, Rachel’s biological mother and the adoptive mother of Puck and Quinn’s baby.

Kurt + Brittany = Magic

These two characters haven’t interacted much since they made out back in season 1 when Kurt tried to act straight to get his father’s attention. But the two reunite to run his campaign, and their interactions are absolutely priceless. The dialogue and acting are fantastic and these two characters bring something unique and special out of one another. Long live Kurtittany!

Blaine’s Bad Style Continues

I’m starting to think the writers have a running joke about how, without his Warbler uniform, Blaine isn’t exactly the world’s snappiest dresser. For the second episode in a row he wears a bowtie to school, and this one is even worse than the one he wore during his Tom Jones number.

Will Gets “Really Sexy”

The season premiere introduced a new, stronger Will, a guy who isn’t afraid to turn someone down from the glee club. That new, tough Will is back in a big way for this episode, and he gets one awesome monologue that is so impressive that an unexpected character suddenly finds him “really sexy.”

Burt is the Man

Every Gleek loves Burt Hummel and wishes he was their dad. He returns for one brief scene, but in that scene he is completely great and once again gives Kurt the tough love he so desperately needs.

Fewer Songs

Every year Glee promises to cut back on the musical numbers and focus more on characters and stories, but that never seems to happen. This year, however, it is. This episode features just three songs, and all of them come during auditions for West Side Story.

The Softer Side of Puck

Maybe it was his long-term romance with Lauren Zizes, but Puck seems much more mellow and calm this season, and with the return of Shelby (and his biological daughter Beth), this episode introduces a sweet side of Puck that will have everyone rooting for him.

Mike Chang Dances

Any episode that prominently features Mike Chang’s dance skills is a good one, and he gets to be front and center for a bit to show off his moves.

A Better Sugar

I wasn’t that wild about Sugar Mott’a first appearance, but she returns in the second episode and the would-be star with absolutely no singing ability is slowly winning me over.

Artie Gets a Story

The show really is delivering on its promise to give some of the more ignored kids storylines, and Artie gets a nice one that should give him more screentime and the opportunity to work with actors he really hasn’t done much with in the past.

Character-Based Drama

One of my biggest problems with Glee season 2 was the overly dramatic episodes and stories that dealt with serious issues like gay bullying. My complaint was that the show tried so hard to make a point about some big social issue that it lost focus of the individual characters. In season 2, Kurt wasn’t a real character as much as he was a representative for all gay teens. This episode has some dramatic moments, but they work because they aren’t about those big social issues, they’re about the specific characters and their unique, personal struggles. That helps to make the dramatic moments work a lot better.

Glee airs Tuesday at 8pm on FOX.

(Image courtesy of FOX)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.