Grab on to your unicorns and celebrate your difference, because Glee is back! Last night, in the 4th season premiere of the hit musical, we had the opportunity to be introduced to brand new characters, Kate Hudson and a New York/Ohio multi-verse straight from the annals of physics. The brand new season premiere was filled with the same aura that made Glee one of the biggest television shows in the world, but unfortunately, it was still as heavy-handed as its miserable second season and above average third season.
The finale of the third season left us with emotional turbulence when Rachel left for New York in a tear-drenched farewell. In true Glee fashion, the fourth season opened up with Rachel at NYADA and her limits were put to the test by her new dance instructor Cassandra (Kate Hudson). The old faces were few and far between, with mere references to their existence. We have a sneaky suspicion the old faces will creep back periodically in the new season, but one can clearly see that the focus was shifted to Blaine, Artie and Britney.
Unique (Glee Project’s season one Alex Newell) returned to the universe of Glee by transferring schools. His acting was, as per usual, dull and rehearsed, but we’re excited to see Unique’s inter-personal relationships in the new New Directions. The newcomers have the vocal chops to pull off the familiar music in Glee, with newcomer Jake (Jacob Artist) having been the biggest stand-out of the premiere with his exemplary vocal and acting ability. “The New Rachel” Marley Rose (Melissa Benoist) was a carbon copy of the wide-eyed Rachel ingénue of season one, but it was too soon to tell whether her sincerity will have the same variance as Rachel’s.
There were still the same elements which made Glee famous back in its first season, but they were unfortunately filtered and watery. Marley’s mom (the cafeteria lady) was an ingenious addition to the show and could prove to be quite the McGuffin (Alfred Hitchcock’s term for an object which moves a plot forward) during this season. We doubt the new bitch in town named Kitty (Becca Tobin) would be able to carry the Santana/Quinn hybrid burden throughout the rest of the season and we suspect the old faces will come back to set her straight in an epic face-off.
There was also a brand new love interest for Rachel in the form of Brady, the South African (my home country) born and Australian raised Dean Geyer. We had the opportunity to be introduced to Brady while he was stepping out of the shower with a sparkly abdomen, which cheapened the format of Glee. This is not a soap opera.
All-in-all, the songs remained the same pop/ballad/mash-up mixture which the show is famous for, with “Call Me Maybe” as the first song of the new season. There were some glaringly obvious errors with the premiere episode, especially the heavy-handed inclusion of Kurt, but they’re much, much less prominent than in previous season premieres. We hope to the god of unicorns that Ryan Murphy (writer/executive producer) will be able to keep the momentum of the first episode and not lose it halfway through the season in soppy sentimentality and mindless characterization.
The new Thursday timeslot of Glee dipped severely in opening ratings, with a total of 8.1 million viewers – down 12 percent from its third season premiere. It was, however, up by 8 percent versus the third season’s finale. Could this be the beginning of the end for Glee?
Let us know in the comments below what you thought of the new season.