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Sam and Quinn are adorable. But . . . what the Puck? – A Recap of Glee’s “Duets”

“Quinn, what the f*ck?  He’s not even a natural blonde!  At least with me, you already know what our babies will look like  . . . With him, it’s a total crap shoot.”

Let me start by saying that I ADORED this week’s episode of Glee.  Sure, before last night, I had never heard about 75% of the songs the cast performed.  (Who knew my lack of knowledge about Barbara Streisand, and 70’s musicals, would be such a handicap, when recapping a show about singing high schoolers!)  Yet, the episode was FUN, the performances – stellar, the dialogue — witty and realistic . . . well . . . at least about as realistic as dialogue on this show could get.

HOWEVER . . .  I had two BIG problems with “Duets.”  Here’s one . . .

“The horror!”

 . . . and here’s the other . . .

“This is SO uncool, man.”

For Puck’s part, his absence was explained away, early in the episode.  According to Mr. Schue, he’s in JUVIE.

Just don’t drop that soap, pal.  I hear those communal showers can be a little .  . . HARD.

Puck’s infraction?  Something having to do with a convenience store and ATM.  Unfortunately, I was too busy screaming, crying, and throwing my shoes at the television to really hear the explanation.

I REALLY should have forked over the extra cash for that warranty . . .

Now, as my mother calmly explained to me, as I proceeded to have a nervous breakdown to her over the phone, during one of the commercial  breaks, Puck’s temporary absence was necessary, plotwise, to enable the inevitable, Quinn / Samm (Quisamm?) relationship to blossom.

It starts with holding hands, it ends with holding *&$%s.

Besides, Mark Salling (who plays Puck) is busy finishing up and promoting his new album, Pipe DreamsSo, in all fairness, the guy is probably entitled to a day off or two.  But SUE?  Well, her absence was just inexcusable . . .

Glee staff writers, HOW,  I repeat, HOW could you create an episode that was both SUE-less AND PUCK-less?  Need I remind you, that this is the last episode before Glee enters a NOT ONE, but TWO-week hiatus?  Given that fact, this week’s TOTAL and COMPLETE lack of “Bad Boy” and “Bad Woman” was just majorly CRUEL!

See, you’ve gone and made Mr. Schue, CRY!  You should be ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES!

*takes a deep breath*

OK . . . I’m better now.  Let’s get on with the recap, shall we?

Meet Sam I Am (Gay?)

When the episode opens, Will begins glee club practice by making three anouncements.  The first concerns the absence of Puck .  . .

GRRRRRRRR!

The second involves the introduction of New Kid, Sam, to Glee Club.  Sam hails from an All Boys Boarding School . . . and all that implies.

Coincidentally, do you think all that “communal showering” Sam did back at board school can account for his OBVIOUS penchant for walking around HALF NAKED throughout most of this episode?

Not that I’m complaining . . .

So, anyway, Sam introduces himself to the Gleeks by making a VERY lame Green Eggs and Ham reference.

Said reference proved precisely TWO THINGS about this character.  (1) He can read up to at least first-grade level, putting him leaps and bounds above SOME other Glee club members . . .

“Sam I Am?  Brittany I am!”

 . . . and (2) just in case any of you out there thought this guy was “too cool” to be a Gleek, he’s DEFINITELY NOT!

While he is in front of the class, Chatty Cathies Kurt and Mercedes take this time to size up the “Fresh Meat.”

“He’s on Team Gay.  No straight boy dies his hair to look like Linda Evangelista circa 1993,” whispers Kurt knowingly.

Coincidentally, 1993 was probably also the year the Kurt character was BORN.  (Watch those pop culture references, Glee writers!)

And, yet . . . the kid DOES have a point . . .

For his third announcement, Mr. Schue announces that New Directions will be having a “Duet Competition.”  The winning pair is to receive a dinner for two at The Olive Garden Breadsticks . . .

 . . . a restaurant, whose big claim to fame is . . . you guessed it . . . All You Can Eat Breadsticks . . .

OK . . . Is anyone else REALLY hungry right now?

To Couple, or NOT To Couple

Within moments, we are treated to our first of many obligatory Shirtless Sam shots, when Kurt accosts the Newbie in the men’s locker room and practically demands to be his “duets” partner.

“*sings*Gimme a head with hair.  Long, beautiful dyed hair.  Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen . . . Oh . . . I’m sorry Kurt.  Were you trying to ask me something?”

He’s going to have to think about it . . .

Meanwhile, in Sort of/ Kind of Lesbi-land, Brittany and Santana are laying on Brittany’s bed and TOTALLY MACKING ON EACHOTHER! 

HOLY MACK-ERONI!

And, I mean, they are really going at it.  In fact, I haven’t seen this much girl-on-girl action in a show about high schoolers since . . .um . . . ever.

Observe the telltale Post-Sex Head.

Things seem to be going great for “Brittana,” what with Brittany cooing over “Sweet Lady Kisses,” and Santana making surprisingly naughty (especially for 8 p.m. on Fox) references to “scissoring.” 

But then, Brittany mentions the duet competition.  Suddenly, Santana halts the Massive Makeout Session, and gets all huffy.  (That’s NOT WHAT I MEANT!  Get your mind out of the gutter!) 

“I’m not making out with you because I want to  . . . sing about making lady babies.  It’s just that with Puck gone, I need to get my mack on,” scoffs Santana.

Poor Brittany looks totally crushed by her lover / bestie’s massive KISS OFF.  In fact, it’s probably a good thing she ISN’T a guy, otherwise she would TOTALLY have a pair of THESE right now . . .

Rather than lead Brittany on more than she already has, Santana opts instead for an unlikely duet partnership with Mercedes, since the two share such complementary voices and styles.  If you recall, these two ALREADY sang one duet to the song “The Boy is Mine” last season, back when both divas were battling for PUCK’S affections.  (See, it always comes BACK TO PUCK!  WE WANT PUCK!  WE WANT PUCK!)

Meanwhile, Finn badgers Kurt about ruining Sam’s reputation, by performing a duet with him.  Later, in one of their trademark touching scenes, Kurt’s dad (who seems to be recovering quite nicely from his heart attack, by the way) surprises Kurt, by calling him out for aggressively trying to “out” people who may not be ready to do so.

Kurt, in a surprising show of self-sacrifice, ultimately gives up the opportunity to partner with Sam, leaving the new kid and his INSANE abs free to pair up with Quinn.

Meanwhile, in the Oddest Pairing of the Century, Brittany starts dating Artie . . .

  . . . she does this despite the fact that, for while, she thought he was a robot . . .

“Before we duet, we are going to do it,” says Brittany, in her trademark emotionless deadpan.  

And with that, the Dumb Blonde lifts Artie up, and carries him to the same bed where she was macking on Santana, a few scenes ago.  And then they . . . ACTUALLY DO IT!

So, just in case you were keeping score, that makes our final couples for the Duet Competition:

(1) Rachel and Finn (duh!)

(2) Mike and Tina (double duh!)

(3) Mercedes and Santana

(4) Quinn and Puck Sam

(5) Brittany and Artie

(6) Kurt and . . . um .  . . Kurt

Let’s see how they did . . .

Rachel and Finn – Like Grease 2, only with Nuns . . .

It seems that the Glee writers have been reading our recaps, in which we all bitched and moaned about how utterly detestable Rachel has been since the beginning of this season.  Because this week, they had to go and make her a SAINT . . . well .  . . at least a nun.  (I wonder how long THAT’S going to last!)

It all started while Rachel and Finn were practicing their first choice of song for the duet’s competition, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” (originally performed by Elton John and Kiki Dee).

When it was all over, Rachel surprised Finn (and the ENTIRE VIEWING PUBLIC) by wondering if the performance was simply “too good.”

Self-absorbed, personal recognition-grubbing diva, say WHAT?

Apparently, some time between this episode and last, Rachel randomly decided that she is . . . SELFISH.

 So, she decides she wants to be a better person.  Being a better person apparently starts with improving the Glee Club’s moral.  And, in order to do this, she and Finn must THROW THE DUET COMPETITION!

“Clearly, the apocalypse has come to McKinley High.  I never should have eaten that Grilled Cheesus.”

Of course, I commend Rachel for her new found generosity.  And, yes, Iagree with her that, lately Glee New Directions has become “The Rachel Show,” so change was definitely needed.  However, I have to say, I was surprised by who Rachel selected to “win” the competition. 

Why the New Kid?  Wouldn’t it make sense for one of the more seasoned, and more frequently shafted Gleeks to get a chance to shine?  Like . . . say . . . MIKE CHANG . . .

Nevertheless, Finn and Rachel begin concocting their “evil” plot to foil the competition.  Suddenly, Rachel has an idea.

She randomly recalls how inferior Grease 2 was to the original Grease, and attributes that negative comparison to Grease 2’s poorly written songs.

Now, while I’ll admit that most of the songs in Grease 2 did, in fact, suck, I will ALWAYS love me some C-O-O-L-R-I-D-E-R!  Come on, tell me that was NOT classic!

And so, in a move that would make those guys from The Producers proud, Rachel and Finn decide on a performance that is so “offensive” they can’t possibly win.  The song they choose is called “With You I’m Born Again,” and it was originally sung by Billy Preston. 

Yes, it was bad.  But, honestly, at first, I didn’t really get what exactly everybody thought was so “offensive” about it.  And based on the message boards I perused after viewing the episode, many of you didn’t, either.  So, I did some research. 

As it turns out, “With You I’m Born Again,” is all about spiritual awakening through . . . sex.   So, yeah . . . a song about sex, sung by a nun and a priest, who can’t have ANY SEX . . . ever . . . well . . . I guess that could be construed as kind of offensive. 

Then again, wasn’t that what the ENTIRE Sister Act movie was about?

Tina and Mike – MIKE CHANG FINALLY SANG! . . . sort of.

Now, if you’ve read my Gleecaps before, you know I was particularly excited about this plotline.  After all, I’ve been giving Good Ole Mike Chang quite the hard time for failing to sing (or talk much) throughout the show’s entire first season.  But hey, I guess can complain no more!  After all, in his duet with Tina this week, Mike Chang had more “speaking” (and “singing”) lines than he had ALL FIRST SEASON combined . .

When we first visit Tina and Mike, we see that things haven’t been quite so rosy, since the couple left Asian Math Camp.

Mike’s awesome abs, notwithstanding.

You see, Mike’s really big into his culture.  And he shows this, by repeatedly taking Tina on dates for Dim Sum.  Did I mention that HIS MOM always comes along?

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Tina wants to do is just once eat a salad that doesn’t have Chicken Feet in it, and Mike wants to go to ASIAN COUPLES THERAPY?

“I bet I’m starting to look REALLY good now, aren’t I Tina.”

To further complicate matters, Mike, who can dance like a dream, REALLY CAN’T SING, which is ironic since GLEE CLUB is for SINGING PEOPLE.  And yet, Tina and Mike make this work to their advantage by performing their duet to song “Sing” from “Chorus Line.” 

During the song, Mike basically talks to music about how he can’t . . . sing . . . and Tina finishes his sentences.  Through it all Mike does an awesomely comic little dance.  In short, I loved it.

This almost makes up for an ENTIRE season of laziness, Mike . . . almost.  Just stop taking your mom on your dates, will ya?

Santana and Mercedes – Rockin the Tina Turner Tune

In terms of a recap, I really don’t have much more to say about this duet.  Santana and Mercedes rocked out to Tina Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High,” another song I had never heard before this episode.  The song highlighted both girls’ vocal range extremely well.  But, of course, it was the duo’s sexy sassy dance that really made it their own.

By the way, does it bother anyone else that the Cheerios ALWAYS wear their uniforms? 

Sometimes when I see them, I feel like I’m watching some cartoon where the characters always wear the same thing — like Charlie Brown or The Simpsons. 

 That CAN’T be hygenic.  I mean seriously, how many versions of that leotard to those girls have.  Is it like Ronald McDonald, and those wacky suits he always wears?

Do you think that when you open up Brittany or Santana’s closet, and it’s just filled with Cheerios uniforms?   Finn and Puck are athletes, and you don’t see THEM wearing their smelly uniforms everyday. 

I just don’t get it . . .

Britt and Artie are SO NOT Lady and The Tramp

Remember that iconic scene from The Lady and the Tramp where the titular couple goes on their first date to the Italian restaurant, and they share that one strand of spaghetti?  And then Tramp pushes the last meatball with his nose over to Lady so she can eat it?

Come on!  Who of you out there DIDN’T hope to reenact that scene with your significant other one day?  Well, apparently Brittany was no different.  In fact, her dream was to win the duets competition, and take Artie to Breadsticks so they could “do it” together. 

But then Santana came along, and had to f&*k everything up.

She told Artie that Brittany was using him for his voice, and that the only thing he could get her that she didn’t already have was “super choice parking.”

(I’d put an “Oh Snap” here, if that line wasn’t so gosh darn offensive . . .)

Artie is understandably crushed.  After all, Brittany took his virginity for crying out loud.  He dumps her, and quickly drops out of the competition.  In a sad and pathetic, but still kinda funny final scene, we see Brittany eating at Breadsticks alone, pushing her meatball to NOBODY.  I guess that’s what you get for being such a TRAMP.  (pun intended).

Kurt and Kurt (and, later Kurt and Rachel)

If you recall, Kurt gave up Sam as a partner, leaving him with none.  So, Kurt decides to sing with the Glee club member he likes best . . . himself.  Kurt performs “Le Hot Jazz” from the play “Victor Victoria,” dressed in half drag. (Though admittedly the “girl” side looked more “Guy who REALLY  likes Makeup” than “Female.”  Maybe this is because, on Broadway, the song is typically performed a by a woman.)

Anyway, once Kurt starts singing, magically, all these professional dancers appear on stage to perform with him.  You know what I call that?  Cheating. 

Though, I have to admit, they did put on quite the show . . .

Toward the end of the episode, Lobotomized Nice Rachel approaches Kurt and lets him know that the rest of the Glee Club loves him.  She sweetly tells him that even though he is lonely, he isn’t alone. 

OK . . . that’s it . . . tell me what you’ve done with the REAL Rachel!

Together the pair sing a mashup of “Come on Get Happy” and “Happy Days” are here again.  Sources tell me, this same mashup was sung by Judy Garland and Barbara Streisand on network television some time back.  Whereever the song came from, it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

And the winners are . . . Sam and Quinn

From the moment Quinn started washing that Slushee out of Sam’s hair, the chemistry between those two was pretty intense.  Things only got hotter when he tried to teach her how to play guitar by groping her and grazing her breasts with his hands delicately placing her fingers on the strings.  But when Sam tried to kiss Quinn, she FREAKED OUT.

Why?  Well clearly not because she’s a virgin . . .

Actually, Quinn had good reason to be tentative about jumping into a new relationship.  She has been through a lot this past season.   So, she was eager to return to just being a normal teenager / cheerleader / Mean Girl.  Quinn abruptly tells Sam she doesn’t want to sing with him, and takes off.

Later, with the matchmaking help of Rachel and Finn, the pair reconcile.  Together, they sing Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat’s “Lucky.”  And, in the words of Santana, the performance is “so friggin charming,” it just had to win. 

Don’t believe me?  See for yourself.

So, off Sam and Quinn go to Olive Garden Breadsticks.

At dinner, Sam tries to “charm” Quinn by talking Navi . . .

“Dude, are you serious?  I speak fluent Navi, and even I know THAT doesn’t work.”

 . . . and doing a REALLY BAD Matthew McConaughey impersonation.

Hey LOOK!  It’s Linda Evangelista’s hair, circa 1993!  Now we know who Sam got the idea from!

Granted, this is the same guy who introduced himself to a group of high schoolers, by using a Dr. Seuss reference.  Can we really be surprised?  

Then Sam tells Quinn he has to confess something to her.  Of course, she immediately assumes, as Kurt did earlier in the episode, that Sam is on Team Gay.  He’s not.  Sam just wants her to know that he dyes his hair like Linda Evangelista.

Quinn is so overjoyed by this news, that she . . . MAKES SAM PAY FOR THE FREE MEAL THEY WON!

Ummmm .  . . how romantic?  Brattiness of that request aside, these two are cute together, and I truly wish them the best at least until Puck comes back.  But I couldn’t help but wonder, are those Breadsticks coupons still up for grabs, because I’m REALLY hungry!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Fresh Faces, Altered Alliances, Same Sue! – A Recap of Glee’s Season 2 Premiere “Audition”

Your pals at New Directions would like to wish you a Big Ole’ “WELCOME BACK!”

Tonight’s season premiere of Glee offered us a number of things we thought would NEVER happen at McKinley High!  Artie, a Football Jock?  Finn, a Cheerleader?  Will and Sue, best buddies / Partners in Crime?  Rachel, dethroned as Queen Diva of New Directions?  WHAT THE GLEEK?

“What is the world coming to?  Oh, the HUMANITY!”

Perhaps, now would be a good time to backtrack and explain  . . .

Glee’s Big Gay Summer

According to Jacob Ben Israel’s video blog, a lot has happened to our favorite Glee kids during those warm hot summer months.  Finn and Rachel became a couple . . .

 . . . despite the fact that Finn still thinks Rachel is “control-ist.”

Tina dumped Artie . . .

. . .  because he and her just don’t share the same interests, anymore.  For example, lately, Tina has become very interested in Mike Chang’s abs .  . .

 . . . which are AWESOME, by the way!  Who knew?

I don’t know about you, but I smell another Love Triangle in our future . . .

(Speaking of abs, check out these new pics of Matthew Morrison, who plays Will Schuester on Glee.)

Holy, PECTORALS, Batman!

Also, Puck . . .

 . . . got a VASECTOMY??????

Presumably, this means that, never again, will another unsuspecting teen be forced to carry a Little Puckerman in their belly for nine months . . .

 He can still give them crabs, though . . .

Perhaps, most importantly, whatever “esteemed status” our Glee kids may have gained last year (read: no status at all), was lost the moment New Directions failed to place at Sectionals, last year.

Without a trophy on the mantel to justify their existence as a school club, New Directions’ ever tenuous funding is now on shakier footing than ever.  It certainly doesn’t help that Principal Figgins has hired a new football coach, Ms. Beist (played by Dot Jones).

The result of this “new hire” is that the Glee Club’s already anorexic budget has been cut by an additional ten percent.  But, here’s the kicker . . . so has the budget for SUE SYLVESTER’S CHEERIOS!

Understandably, this does not make Sue a Happy Camper . . .

Sue and Will: BFF?

With the Beist breathing down their necks, and snagging a big chunk of each of their club’s cash, Will Schuester and Sue Sylvester find themselves in a rather unusual situation.  They are both  .  . . ON THE SAME SIDE!

Clearly, the Apocalypse has arrived.  In order to recover the lost budgets for their respective clubs, Sue and Will decide to team up to topple the Beist.  Their Evil Genius Plan?  Operation Mean Girls . . .

An Expert Bully, Sue knows a High School Geek when she sees one: “She’s oversized, humorless, and refers to herself in the third person, as an animal (a Panther, to be exact),” Sue says of the Beist.  Sue figures that the best way to eliminate this beastly nemesis would be to capitalize on her insecurities and permanent outsider status.  For their first order of business, Sue and Schue order 25 pizzas, to be delivered to the Boy’s Locker room, precisely, when the first football practice of the Season is about to begin . . .

All right . . . now who gets the Sausage?

To Beist’s credit, she doesn’t appear to be at all fazed by the prank.  And when the new football coach learns that, if the pizzas are not paid for, the delivery boy won’t be able to afford to buy his kid Pampers . . .

 . . . Beist gallantly pays for the entire order.  She then offers all of her football players pizza, forcing them each to eat four slices prior to football tryouts.  “The first person who pukes, is cut!”  She barks.

Well, played Beist (or should I say, Panther)!

Then, in the faculty lounge (where Guidance Counselor Emma is no where to be found, by the way) . . .

Missing in Action

 .  . . Will and Sue sit at different lunch tables, both of which are otherwise empty.  However, when Beist tries to sit at both of them, the “mature educators” instruct her that she can’t, because the seats are already taken by their “imaginary friends.”

“Everyone said that Sue was the school bully, and you were really cool,” Beist says to Will, as she exits the faculty lounge.  “I guess they got that last part wrong.”

She sure showed him, didn’t she?

Then, Sue takes things one step further, by commandeering Brittany to claim that the Beist touched her boobies.  Using a doll that looks suspiciously similar to McKinley High’s Most Scholarly Cheerio (down to the vacant expression in its eyes), Brittany demonstrates to Principal Figgins the inappropriate conduct that she purportedly suffered at the hands of the Beist.  “She touched me here,” says Brittany emotionlessly, her thin fingers poking Little Brittany’s cotton-stuffed knockers . . .

Realizing that Operation Mean Girls has gone too far, Will begs Brittany to tell the truth about her “traumatic experience.”  Almost instantly, the Blonde Cheerleader cracks under interrogation.

“OK.  I lied.  Ms. Beist didn’t touch my boobs.  In fact, I really wanted to touch her boobs,” mumbles the not-so-closeted bisexual.

Later, when Sue tries to get Beist to eat cookies made of dog poop (“They’re organic!”), Will FINALLY intervenes on Beist’s behalf.  Later, he apologizes to the female football coach.  “Losing Sectionals forced me to realize that New Directions is still an Outsider at this school, and that’s how I made you feel.  I’m sorry,” offers McKinley High’s Most Recently Redeemed Bad Boy.

Awwww, it seems our Little Schuester has FINALLY grown up!  The question is, for how long?

A Little Sunshine can go a LONG way . . .

Still smarting from their Sectionals loss, and down one Glee Club member  .  . .

(Oh, Matt, we barely knew thee . . . and never even really learned what your voice sounded like)

 .  . . New Directions is going to need some new blood, if it wants to have a shot at attending Nationals in New York City this year.  To drum up interest in the club, and to show the school they aren’t just about “80’s music and show tunes” (which, lets face it, up until this episode . . . they kind of were), our favorite Glee kids decide to put on a show for their high school classmates at lunch.  Clad in the kind of vastly overpriced NYC t-shirts you might find at an illegally operated bodega in Times Square, the crew performs a fairly stripped-down, but still quite funky, rendition of Jay Z and Alicia Key’s Empire State of Mind.

And . . . basically, everybody ignores them . . .

 . . . well . . . everybody, except for THIS girl . . .

Rachel finds new foreign exchange student, Sunshine Corazone (played by Filipino pop sensation, Charise), in the ladies’ restroom.  In typical Rachel-fashion, New Directions Queen Diva immediately suggests that Sunshine join the Glee club, in a manner that is both patronizing and more than a little bit racist.  “Ah, I can see you don’t speak English,” Rachel begins sweetly.  “I . . . en-cour-age . . . you . . . to join Glee.  We need people who can stand in back of me, waving a fan, and looking on ado-ring-ly, while I sing.  Waving . . . a . .  .  flag . . . fun . . . Glee . . .  is fun.”

(Now, I am not a violent person, by nature.  But I wanted to slap Rachel so hard during this scene, that my fist very nearly detached itself from my body, and flew into the television screen . . .)

To her credit, Sunshine DIDN’T punch Rachel.  Instead, she started rocking out to her iPod, and singing along (extremely well, I might add), to the Beyonce and Lady Gaga song “Telephone.”

Impressed, and more than a bit threatened, Rachel begins to sing the song as well.  Soon, the two diminutive girls are engaged in a full on sing-off, circling one another like wrestlers at a WWF title match.

Then, Sue comes in to the bathroom, and catches wind of the whole exchange.  “SHUT UP!” She exclaims, stopping the girls’ right in the middle of their Glass Breaking Belt-fest.

You’ve gotta love Sue . . .

“That was fun!  I would love to join your club.  When are auditions?”  Sunshine inquires, with faux innocence.  (Clearly, this girl isn’t as naive as she appears .  . .)

Worried that Sunshine will upstage her during Glee Club performances will mess up the “team dynamic,” Rachel tries to convince the other Glee Club members not to allow Sunshine to audition.  And when her initial attempts at Sunshine Sabotage are unsuccessful, Rachel REALLY turns to the Dark Side . . .

“RACHEL . . . I am one of your two Gay Fathers!”

“Here are specific directions to the Glee Club auditions,” Rachel says sweetly to Sunshine, providing her with a slip of paper, that looks as though it says a hell of a lot more than, “Turn left at the girl’s bathroom, and enter the auditiorium, on your right.”

Little did Poor Sunshine know that Evil Rachel had just provided her with directions to a Crack House . . .

And if anyone would know where all the good crack houses are in Ohio, its Rachel!  After all, she practically grew up in Crack Den!

“Crack is WACK!”

When the other Glee Club members find out what Rachel did to Sunshine they are furious, particularly Tina and Mike (The Asian community is VERY tight, after all)!  And so, with her tail between her legs, Rachel must apologize to the now Partly Cloudy, Sunshine.  “They took my sheet music and used it for toilet paper,” whines Sunshine, when Rachel offers her condolences.

Ultimately, however, Sunshine agrees to audition for the Glee club, for real, this time.  On stage, she performs a rendition of Dreamgirls’ “Listen” that literally blows everybody away. 

Immediately, upon the song’s completion, Will offers Sunshine a position in the club.  Unfortunately, for Will, and the rest of New Directions, however, Sunshine has other plans.  And when Will arrives at Sunshine’s locker to personally hand her a practice schedule, he finds her being coddled by none other than THIS GUY . . .

He can “coddle” ME, anytime!

It’s the New Vocal Adrenaline Coach, Dustin Goldsberry (played by Cheyenne Jackson)!  Dustin has just waltzed into McKinley High to pick up Vocal Adrenaline’s newest star singer.  (Seriously?  Is there NO security in this high school?  I hope they have good insurance . . .) 

“They gave my mom and me a condo and a greencard,” Sunshine tells Will, excitedly. 

 (And this is all supposedly coming from a Public School?  I don’t think so, Glee Writers . . .)

Sunshine admits to Will, that she would have stayed with New Directions, had it not been for Rachel’s intimidation tactics.  “I just don’t think I could work with her, after she sent me to a Crack House” Sunshine explains, apologetically. 

With Sunshine’s Hello Kitty backpack, hugging his shoulders . . .

Bookbag of Champions

  .  . . Diego puts his arm creepily around Sunshine, and the two walk off into the Sunset (no pun intended), taking Will Schuester’s dreams of a slam dunk Sectional win, right along with them.

Apparently, Vocal Adrenaline’s new coach was tipped off to Sunshine’s incredible talents, by none other than Sue Sylvester . . .

 . . . who, if you recall, heard Sunshine sing in the bathroom, earlier in the episode.  So, much for the short-lived alliance between Sue and Will!  Perhaps, next time Mr. Schuester will think twice before turning down Poop Cookies . . .

The Downside of Big Boobs  . . .

Speaking of Sue Sylvester, apparently, she has decided to make little change to the Cheerios roster. 

Not only has she reluctantly allowed Quinn back on the squad, post-Baby Debacle . . .

. . . she has also reappointed her as Head Cheerleader, forcing Santana to give up her golden pom-poms, and relocate to the bottom of the proverbial Cheer Pyramid.

The reason for this change?  Santana’s new boobs!

Apparently, “having Massively Large Fake Tatas” and “Cheerleading” do not mix, at least, as far as Sue is concerned.

“Take your juicy vine-ripened chest fruit, and GET THE HELL OUT OF MY OFFICE!”  Sue yells at the recently dethroned Santana.

Sayonara, Suckers!

Santana responds to her demotion, by engaging in a full on catfight with Quinn, who has once again returned to her high-ponytail wearing, tiny uniform-flaunting glory.

So, much for the Glee kids being “One Big Happy Family” . . .

The Outsiders

You know who else is NEVER going to be Head Cheerleader?  THIS GUY . . .

Unfortuntely, after this episode, he might not be Quarterback, either . . .

No stranger to being on the losing end of a love triangle, himself, Finn sympathized with Artie’s desire to be “cool,” in order to win Tina back . . . as well as Artie’s desire to “have abs” . . .

Honestly, can you blame Quinn for “Pucking” this guy, over Finn?

And so, when Artie expressed a desire to join the football team, not only did Finn see an opportunity to help out a friend, he also saw a chance to utilize Artie’s wheelchair as a very unique weapon on the football field — a “human cannonball” of sorts.  (Ummm, Finn?  I’m not really sure that kind of thing is ALLOWED in high school football.  But, hey, what do I know?)

However, when Coach Beist hears Finn’s idea about letting Artie on the team, she becomes CONVINCED the idea is just another stunt of Sue’s and Will’s to make her look insensitive to physically challenged students, like Artie.  And so, “the Panther” lashes out, and THROWS FINN OFF THE FOOTBALL TEAM!

This results in Finn trying out for the Cheerios, in a hilarious audition, that reminded me a bit of that iconic scene from Napoleon Dynamite . . .

It also resulted in New Student Sam, despite his penchant for singing Poison’s “Every Rose has its Thorn” in the shower . . .

. . . and rocking out on the guitar to Travis McCoy’s “Billionaire” . . .

. . .  to ditch Glee club auditions, out of fear of catching the virulent contagion that is Finn’s new “OUTSIDER” status.  Did I forget to mention that Sam is also McKinley High’s newest Quarterback?

The episode ends with a very sweet scene between Finn and Rachel . . .

. . . during which they accept one another’s faults and mutual outsider status, and agree never to dump one another at least, until someone better comes along.  After the pair share an admittedly sweet, and, surprisingly not too nauseating, kiss, a dejected Rachel heads off by herself to sing a rousing, if slightly maudlin, rendition of “What I Did For Love.” 

Admittedly, when I first heard the song, I was certain it was another Streisand ditty.  (We all know how much Rachel LOVES those!)  However, upon doing a little research, I quickly learned that the song is actually from the Broadway show “A Chorus Line.”

Shows how much I know . . .

 (Seriously, Glee?  What happened to Will’s promise of LESS show tunes?  It’s only the first episode back, and we already had two . . . just saying.)

Certain mundane song choices aside, I was quite impressed with “Audition.”  The episode offered some solid development of veteran characters, like Rachel and Finn, as well as introduced some promising new ones, like Sunshine, Sam, and Coach Beist. 

I am also excited by some of the new plotlines that were teased out during the hour, and the questions raised by those plotlines.  For example: How long will Finn and Rachel manage to keep it together as a couple, before someone ELSE — most likely, Quinn or Puck — gets in the way?  Is Finn really off the football team for good?  Is Sunshine destined to be the next Jesse St. James?  What grand gesture will Artie inevitably plan to win back Tina’s heart?

And that was this week’s installment of Glee, in a nutshell . . .

So, now that you know my thoughts on the subject, how did YOU like the Glee premiere?  Did it deserve a standing ovation?  Or did you find some of the new storylines and characters a bit “pitchy?”

[www.juliekushner.com]

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