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Mistaking Nipples for Pepperoni (and Tattoos for Irony) – A Recap of Glee’s Season 3 Premiere “The Purple Piano Project”

Blaine is THRILLED that Season 3 of Glee has begun.  Mr. Schue is just excited that he and Blaine own the same sweater vest . . . 

Welcome back, Gleeks!  Well, the summer is over.  And that means school is back in session.

But hey!  School’s not ALL bad!  After all, it’s senior year for most of our McKinley High students.  And senior year is AWESOME!

I mean, think about it . . . that’s when you decide where you’re going to college  . . . and what you want to be when you grow up . . . and if you should bang your boyfriend on prom night, and whether you should dye your hair pink, and get an ironic tattoo of Ryan Seacrest on your ASS . . . wait . . . WHAT?

Between Ripper Stefan on TVD last week, and Bad Quinn on Glee this week, this is quickly shaping up to be Evil Alter Ego Month on prime time television.  What’s next, a Homicidal Blair on Gossip Girl?


But Quinn isn’t the only Glee kid making MAJOR changes this year.  In fact, the entire hour was chock full of breakups, makeouts, oustings, school transfers, political manuevers, fire-starters, glitter bombings, food fights, and, of course, a whole LOTTA show tunes, courtesy of our favorite McKinley High School students . . .

So, tighten up your bow tie, tune up your purple piano, and get ready to dance on the lunch tables, because it’s time for another Glee-cap . . .

He’s BAAAAAAAACK!

If Carrot Top and Woody Allen ever procreated, this is probably what their kid would look like . . . 

In what has become a highly efficient, if slightly lazy, plot device, this season begins, just as last season did, with Jacob Ben Israel “video blogging” about how the entire cast spent its hiatus.  For example, Mercedes dumped Sam because the actor who played him left the show and started dating THIS GUY . . .

“Knock . . . knock.  Hey Sam, are you in there?  It’s me, Mercedes!”

By the way, does anyone else find it funny that all these so-called “outcast” Glee kids, all seem to either be on the football team, or cheerleading squad, or dating someone who’s a cheerleader or football player?  Just wondering . . .

But wait . . . I have even better news.  LAUREN AND PUCK, FINALLY BROKE UP!

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Apparently, it had something to do with Lauren wanting to be more “popular,” and thinking that Puck and the Glee club were somehow, bringing her down  .  . .

In other news, Puck’s balls have returned to the show, as returning cast members . . .  And we all know what THAT means . . .

Now, if we could just get someone to help them change back to their original color.  Any volunteers?

We also learned that Tina and Artie are the only juniors left in Glee club, which actually doesn’t really tell us anything about how they spent the summer, or what they are doing with their lives.  However, apparently, it was something the writers wanted us to know . . . you know . . . to prepare us for next year . . . WHEN THE ENTIRE CAST IS GONE!

Dear Glee Writers,

YOU’RE MEAN!

Hugs and Kisses,

Rachel Berry 

Santana aspires to be the next pre-psychotic breakdown Paula Abdul, until Jacob informs her that Paula isn’t technically a “Latina,” like Santana once thought   . . .

In other news, the cat from that old “Opposites Attract” video?   TOTALLY Latino!

As for besties, Mercedes Rachel and Kurt, the uber dramatic pair aspire to become the next Will and Grace (1) move to Manhattan together, (2) attend a performing arts college in the city, (3) achieve moderate success as broadway stars, and (4) get married by 30, but, obviously, not to one another.  (I smell a Glee reunion special!)

“Shhh . . . this segment of the show is really a campaign for Kurt and I to get our own spinoff show.  Don’t tell anyone.”

Speaking of Rachel, her milquetoasty boyfriend Finn has NO plans for the future, beyond not getting slusheed on his first day back from school . .  .

Way to shoot for the stars, Finn! 

Ohhh . . . nevermind!

Watch Out, Ladies!  This is what becoming impregnated by Puck can do to YOU  . . .

Meanwhile, somewhere underneath the bleachers, where, coincidentally, is where the cast of Freaks and Geeks used to hang out, a newly pink haired, nose-ringed, Seacrest tatttooed, Quinn Febray is hanging out with a clique of girls known as The Skanks.


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But Quinn’s appearance isn’t the only thing about her that’s changed this past summer.  She’s also started dating middle-aged skateboarders, has quit BOTH the Cheerios and Glee club, and suddenly, talks like she’s swallowed a phone sex operator . . . weird.

“You sound hot, Evil Quinn, what are you wearing?” 

I have to say, of all the storylines introduced in this episode of Glee, Bad Quinn’s is the one about which I’m most intrigued.  After all, when you think about it, Quinn’s rebellion against the status quo has been a LONG TIME coming.  I mean, here was a girl who feared that high school would be her Glory Days . . . that she would graduate McKinley High a popular pretty cheerleading prom queen, only to find herself trapped for the rest of her existence in the dull, and unfulfilling, lifestyle of a barefoot and pregnant Lima, Ohio housewife.

And then she got pregnant, and had to give the baby up for adoption . . .

 . . .  and then her boyfriend dumped her for the dork next door . . . and then she lost the title of Prom Queen to a BOY.

Here was a girl who’s only hope was that, even if she wasn’t meant to get out of her hometown, at least let her high school experience be perfect.  And then, she couldn’t even achieve THAT!  Given all that she’s lost in the past couple of years, is it any wonder that Quinn is rebelling now?

Staunchly on Team Return Quinn to Glee club and the Cheerios, are her fellow Unholy Trinity members, Brittany and Santana . .  .


This sapphic duo attempt to convince Quinn to return to the Bright and Perky Side,  by reminding her of the Good Old Days, back when the three of them were all simultaneously f*&king Puck . . .

Talk about Glory Days . . . 

However, since Quinn TOTALLY still has the option of continuing to f*&k Puck, even without returning to those pesky extracurricular activities of yesteryear (He is single again, after all!), this strategy proves ineffective.  Next up is Rachel, who offers Quinn a more heartfelt plea to return to the World of Glee .  . .

“You’ll probably get more screentime, if you come back!” 

Rachel seems immediately to recognize Quinn’s rebellion for what it truly is, a sign of SERIOUS depression.  (I mean, if getting a picture of RYAN SEACREST tattooed on your ass isn’t a cry for help, I don’t know what is!)

Hey, I resemble that remark! 

For someone who’s typically so completely self-absorbed,  Rachel Berry sure can be awfully intuitive, sometimes.  We see this here, when Rachel tells Quinn she is sorry that the latter is so sad.  And despite the fact that the pair have been rivals for most of the series, Rachel’s admission that she misses seeing Quinn at practice, and hopes that this will be the year the two of them can “do it right,” genuinely seems heartfelt.  In fact, Quinn even seems to consider Rachel’s offer for a few extra moments, before returning to her Army of Skanks . . . and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Wannabe Wardrobe . .  .

Speaking of filling those increasingly empty show choir room chairs . . .

We Got Beaten Up The Beat!

Hey Artie . . . I don’t want to be the one to have to tell you this, but you have spaghetti ALL OVER YOUR HEAD! 

Sometimes, I think Will Schuester is the most passive aggressively abusive teacher on the planet.

If the purple piano fits . . .

I mean, sure, the idea to have Glee club members break into song whenever they saw a purple piano (kind of like Pavlov’s Singing Dogs), was a clever one, in terms of advertising the club and drumming up possible new recruits.  But, REALLY, if you KNOW the entire school hates the Glee club, and tends to THROW FOOD at them, even in the most benign of circumstances, what on Earth would make you think it was a GOOD idea to have the entire club perform in the SCHOOL LUNCH ROOM?

I don’t know.  Perhaps, the fact that Will has spent the ENTIRE SUMMER sleeping next to Emma, and she STILL hasn’t given him sex, has caused him to want to provide EVERYONE ELSE just as much pain as his blue balls experience, EVERY SINGLE DAY . . .

But still . . . that DOESN’T MAKE IT RIGHT!

Then again, part of the fault HAS to lie with Rachel, who (1) convinced the group to perform in the first place; and (2) selected “We Got the Beat” by the GoGo’s as their musical number — a song high school kids might have genuinely enjoyed . . . back in 1982.

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And though the choice of song was decidedly MEH, and the student body seemed to be a combination of confused and annoyed, by the fact that the Glee kids were interrupting their meal time to sing it, you have to hand it to New Directions for their Mad Dancing Skillz . . .

*fans self* 

 . . .  infectiously bubbly energy, and their uncanny ability to magically produce a backup band, whenever the need arises.

“Woah!  How did we get here?  Do we even go to this school?” 

Don’t believe me?  Check it out for yourself . . .

Of course, WAY MORE ENJOYABLE than the actual music number, was the food fight that erupted afterward . . .

Particularly, THIS part . . . (Man, did I get an insane amount of joy out of watching THIS . . .)

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Does that make me a bad person?  Maybe not.  But THIS definitely does . . .

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Oh Sugar!

I mentioned that the Glee club was hoping that their lunchtime performance would drum up some new potential members.  And it did.  The problem of course, was that the ONE prospective Gleek it did entice sounded like THIS . . .

 “W . . . T . . . F?”

Now, a bad new recruit like Sugar would have been a FINE addition to Glee club, back when they were just starting out . . . And back when they weren’t under a TREMENDOUS amount of pressure to return to and win Nationals, following what Kurt lovingly refers to as “The Kiss that Missed.”

But now Schue is torn between being a GOOD teacher, and a GOOD competitor.  Since he was never much of the former, he ultimately chooses the latter, thanks to a rousing speech from Coach Beiste about Crushing Kid’s Dreams in Order to Win . .  . and Stuff . . .

“For  what it’s worth, I’d still very much like to have sex with you.” 

Sugar, who thinks she worked the song “like a Stripper Pole,” not surprisingly, is shocked and crushed by the clubs rejection of her.  Something tells me she won’t be staying away for long . . .

Since we are on the subject of people who WON’T GO AWAY  can’t stay away from the Glee club . . .

Congressman Sylvester, I presume?

Notice how Sue’s tracksuit matches the purple piano.  Coincidence, I think not! 

*sigh*  So, last season, when all this “Sue as Congressman” stuff first came up, I was THRILLED with the idea, because I THOUGHT it would mean that the writers had FINALLY given the prickly cheerleading coach something else to do other than harrass the Glee club.  And it worked . .  . for about two minutes of the season.

Doh!

Then Sue finds herself trailing in the Congressional opinion polls behind, “Undecided,” “that rapist running from prison,” “please don’t call me during dinner,” and “anyone white.”  Then comes that annoying and frustrating fateful day, when that equally curmudgeony geometry teacher actually APPLAUDS her for taking apart one of the Glee kids pianos, because she HATES artsy fartsies.  Suddenly, Sue’s new political platform is born.  And (SURPRISE!) it involves cutting ALL funding to arts and music programs until all the students in Ohio schools read at or above reading level.

And that’s when WILL gets his UBER CREEPY Glitter Bomb Idea, a.k.a. the idea to pour glitter on Sue’s head, while extolling the virtues of Arts in Schools, and putting the result on YouTube.

Perhaps the magical glitter can make this terrible storyline disappear. 

Oddly enough, Will’s flaming vigilantism, has the unintented consequence of making Sue a MORE popular candidate, due to her perceived image as a VICTIM of the Evil White Man and his Glitter.  And wow, I can’t believe I actually just typed that sentence.  Make it stop.  Please make it stop .   . .

In other news . . .

“We Totally Just Did the Gay High Five.”

Wow, I didn’t know they were planning to make Strawberry Shortcake into a live action movie . . . How come nobody tells me these things?

After unsuccessfully trying to give them dating dating advice, (you know because she’s TOTALLY an expert on the subject) . . .

Emma actually helps aspiring stars Kurt and Rachel out by (1) crushing their dreams, by informing them that their dream school Juliard, actually lacks a musical theater program; and (2) reawakening their dreams by informing them about ANOTHER school in New York City that DOES have such a program, AND, (SURPRISE!) just so happens to be holding a mixer for prospective students in Lima that week . . .

And so, our intrepid future theater majors prepare for this live-changing event, by actually researching the school singing a duet to Ding Dong the Witch is Dead.  You know, because Kurt and Rachel haven’t done NEARLY enough Wizard of Oz themed numbers together, during the past two seasons . . .

Ding, Dong, this theme is dead . . . 

All sarcasm aside,  the performance was actually kind of cute, in a goofy, should-be-sung-by-actual-munchkins, kind of way . .  .

 Cut to the night of the mixer, when Rachel and Kurt find themselves surrounded by, not surprisingly, a bevy of copycat Rachels and Kurts, led by Glee project winner, Lindsay Pearce, each laden down with a bevy of acting credits (I think one of them actually claimed to be the Gerber baby), overly ambitious Singing Faces, and an over abundance of Spirit Fingers.  This group horrifies Rachel and Kurt by performing, of all things, a mashup of “Anything Goes / Anything You Can Do” that, while definitely not better than MOST of the numbers we’ve seen Rachel and Kurt perform, is DEFINITELY better than “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead.”

Obnoxious, aren’t they?

Cut to Rachel and Kurt boo-hooing intensely in the car about the reality check they’ve just experienced.   Maybe they AREN’T good enough to make it as theater geeks in the REAL WORLD?  Maybe they won’t actually get into this school?  Maybe Dorothy really DIED at the end of Wizard of Oz, and the makers of the movie just didn’t want to tell us the truth.

“I’ll get you my Pretty, and your Little Rachel too . . .” 

But, no!  Kurt and Rachel will not be so easily discouraged.  In the car, the pair comfort one another, vowing to help eachother get out of Lima and into showbiz, no matter what it takes.  And their exchange is both incredibly schmaltzy, and uplifting at the same time.  It even ends with a Gay High Five . . .

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And that’s how Kurt decided to run for student council president (to beef up his extra curriculars . . . Because, you know, Kurt is so popular outside the Glee club)  . . .

Yay Kurt! (He’s so screwed.)

 . . . and Rachel decided to cast herself as the lead in the school’s production of West Side Story (because the opportunity to see Rachel sing more solo show tunes is exactly what Glee needs).

Speaking of Kurt . . . and Blaine

It’s Not Unusual . . . to Commit Arson at Your School . . .

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Guess who just transferred to McKinley?  That’s right, my Gleeky friends!  Apparently, being a local legend / high school hero / Mr. Popularity /Warbler Extraordinaire, is NOTHING, if you can’t spend every waking minute of the day with your high school boyfriend.  Ah, the wonders of Dumb Young Love!

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(Oh, something tells me our super attractive friend is in for a RUDE awakening, the first time he gets DENIED a solo, and when his adorably tight red pants inevitably get covered in blue slushee .  . .)

By way of introducing himself to his new school, and Glee club, Blaine decides to perform an AWESOME rendition of a song that I honestly always thought was incredibly LAME, until I heard Blaine Warbler sing it outside McKinley High, surrounded by a bevvy of cheerleaders, most notably new Cheerio co-captain (along with Sue’s pet, Becky), Santana . .  .

Seriously, this was, BY FAR, the best musical number of the evening.  I mean, he even did the CARLTON DANCE during it, for crying out loud.  It just doesn’t get much cooler than that!

As you might have noticed, Blaine’s McKinley musical debut ended with a BANG, care of the cheerleaders dousing the piano with lighter fluid, and Bad Quinn flicking a cigarette on the now-flammable keys.  While the piano bursting into flames, as a result of Blaine’s AWESOME singing made for a spectacular finale, it certainly did not make one Will Schuester particularly happy.  And he ends up kicking Santana out of the Glee club for (ahem) playing for both teams . . . (See what I did there?)

“Not funny!  Can’t you see I’m in pain here?” 

Man, they really are dropping like flies in Glee club this year, aren’t they?

Oh, did I mention that Finn called Blaine out, when he was introduced to the rest of the Glee club, for being a BALL HOG, and getting all the solos at HIS school?

“Hello, Pot?  This is Kettle calling . . . guess what, YOUR BLACK!” 

The episode concludes with the remaining Glee clubbers performing a rousing rendition of yet another showtune  Hairspray’s “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” while Bad Quinn looks on longingly from the rafters . . . undoubtedly wishing her elderly skateboarding boyfriend was there to give her a hug . .  .

*sniffle, sniffle, pout, sniffle* 

And that was the season premiere, in a nutshell.  Next week’s promo promises, among other things, auditions for McKinley High’s production of West Side Story, the return of Rachel’s bio mom / Quinn’s adopted baby mama, Shelby Corcoran, some Finchel makeout sessions, and Brittany teaching us what the the REAL capital of Ohio is . . . You can watch it in its entirety (with Portugese subtitles, of course ;)), right here:

So, now that the premiere has come and gone, what are your thoughts?  Are you psyched for this upcoming season?  Or do you feel its time the whole series got itself glitter bombed?  Sound off in the comments section below . . .

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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