Glee is back! Do your best not to freak out. Okay, you can freak out a little. We’ll wait. (Wow, we had no idea how long you were going to freak out for! Because we know we said we’d wait for you to freak out, but we’re not gonna wait forever. That was more just common courtesy than anything.)
Yes, Glee is in fact back. But what was with all the time spent on new characters tonight? Why so little time with our favorites? (And no Emma?) That’s like waiting all year for Girl Scout cookies to return, and then not ordering a box of Tagalongs. Everyone loves Tagalongs. Why would you not get Tagalongs? What are you — some kind of monster?
Actually, the best thing about tonight’s Glee might have been the first five minutes, in which creepy blogger Jacob caught us up on what our characters have been up to in the three-month interim with “Glee’s Big Gay Summer.” He interviewed all the New Directions members in a bit that was chockablock with meta commentary. Jacob got all the best lines as the voice of America when he asked the characters to pleeeease stop rapping; told Kurt that he keeps the auto-tune companies in business; and told Schue that — while the song selection might be 25% hip-hop, 25% showtunes, 25% classic rock — it was actually 100% gay. We suppose you can’t argue with numbers.
Meanwhile, the show quickly caught us up with now-lovey-dovey Rachel and Finn, who appear to be destined to be together forever, much like Elizabeth and Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, or Chloe and Papi in Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Of course, Rachel isn’t besties with everyone on the show, as her competitive side gets the best of her and she sends the newbie named Sunshine (played by Charice) to a crackhouse on audition day, for which Rachel eventually has to apologize. (Then again, who among us hasn’t had to apologize for sending one person or another to a crackhouse?)
Tonight’s events are set into motion when the unthinkable happens. What is the unthinkable, you ask? Is it that the show managed to go an entire episode without Figgins threatening to cut the glee club budget for some reason or another? Don’t be silly — of course Figgins threatened the club’s budget tonight!
No, the “unthinkable” is that Matt Rutherford has left the show. We know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: “How can Matt leave the show?! I would say that it’s similar to George Clooney leaving ER, but that wouldn’t be severe enough. Matt leaving Glee is even worse than Sting leaving The Police. In fact, the only comparable analogy would be to when FDR died in office while World War II was still going on. Yes, the death of an active president is the only possible comparison to put into perspective how I feel about Matt leaving Glee." To which we would say, “Dude, calm down. It’s just Matt.” (To which you would say, “Did you just say ‘dude’? Who are you — Hurley from Lost?”)
Anyway, who knows why Matt left the show. Maybe the actor got a gig standing in the background of an even higher-rated show. But his absence meant an opening in New Directions, leading to the emergence of two new members: the aforementioned Sunshine, a foreign-exchange student who can really belt it (hence, she’s now at the top of Rachel’s enemies list, and one assumes this is not a short list); and Sam, who Finn meets while Sam’s in the shower. (We really have no idea why people call this show gay.)
We also get introduced to the new football coach named Shannon Beiste, who seems to be pretty weird. Then again, saying there’s a weird teacher at this school is sorta like saying you saw an episode of Two and a Half Men that wasn’t that great. (In other words, it's not going to make the morning papers.)
Beiste is instantly antagonized by both glee glub and the Cheerios for wanting to bring more funding to the football program. Surprisingly, their mutual hatred for Beiste gets Sue and Will to work together against this common enemy, sort of the way that cats and dogs work together against a common enemy in Cats and Dogs 3D: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. (Everyone saw that movie, right? It wasn’t just us, right? Okay, good.) Beiste feels the pressure of being the new coach at school, now that she has replaced former coach Ken Tanaka.
Meanwhile, poor, cuckolded Artie has been left by Tina for Mike and his abs, seeing as they bonded at “Asian Camp” (but who doesn’t?). So Artie decides to win back Tina by joining the football team as a human battering ram, enlisting help from Finn (who now appears to be his late 50s, by the way; stage makeup can only hide so much).
But this request to put Artie on the team is the straw that broke the Beiste’s back, and Larry King — sorry, we meant to say “Finn” — is cut from the team in favor of new guy Sam, giant mouth and all. In the end, Finn remains off the team, but Beiste and Schue at least patch things up. In fact, Beiste respects that Will doesn’t make her eat dog poop. So, if you're a reader out there who's trying to be a better co-worker at your own place of employment, you should keep in mind that colleagues like it when you don’t force them to eat dog poop. (We know there are a lot of workplace rules to abide by, but this is an important one.)
And true, we didn’t get much story devoted to some of our faves, like Puck, Kurt, or Mercedes. (In fact, Quinn’s only involvement was a spat with Santana after Santana’s newly fake boobs allow Quinn to reemerge as head Cheerio.) But all these new character additions at least meant that we did get some memorable performances, including Sunshine singing “Listen” (just before she gets snatched up by Vocal Adrenaline! Those sneaky bastards!) and Sam doing “Billionaire” (so many acoustic guitars, so little time!). So this means we have even more soloists to choose from on this show? We’ll take it! That’s like ordering a cupcake, and then realizing that it's topped with lots of even smaller cupcakes. (Okay, so we’re actually not 100% that this analogy makes any sense, but it’s hard to get us to focus on analogies once we start thinking about cupcakes.)
And that wrapped up our first week. So now, before we go, let’s remember Matt by reciting his most memorable catchphrase, which of course was: “How rude.” Sorry — what was that? You’re telling us that Matt never actually said anything on Glee, and “How rude!” was actually the catchphrase of Stephanie Tanner on Full House? Okay, so maybe we won’t miss Matt quite as much as we thought. Or it's at least an emotional pain that's easily cured by a few Tagalongs.