The Road From Sectionals

The long-awaited time has come, folks: Glee is back in T-minus two days!

FOX is making a big deal about it, as they rightly should, and commencing a Musical Week. So, several other popular FOX shows will be singing along (not 24 though, because it is Just Too Serious).

The return of Glee also means that the time has come for me to look back at Season One Part One as a whole and do some thinking about the road ahead.

I am absolutely of the opinion that Glee is the best new show on television this year. That said, it is still a freshman show and, therefore, it does still have its weaknesses. The first thirteen episodes are a mixed bag. Some, like the pilot, “Preggers,” and “Throwdown” are absolutely brilliant. Others, like “Acafellas” and “Ballad” leave plenty to be desired. My hope is, the writers and producers of Glee will be taking their cues from the brilliant ones and learning from mistakes in the notsomuches.

As a whole, the first part of the season was great in terms of building a story, introducing characters, garnering an emotionally committed audience and all that jazz. The overall result is damn good television, so I can forgive pretty much all the faults.

Except, perhaps, for the midseason finale. “Sectionals” was a qualified disaster. It had its moments and god knows the music was good, but there were some painful inconsistencies and the ending was so horrible I wanted to die. In a matter of five minutes, Glee managed to completely destroy not only its best character, Sue Sylvester (as well as some others), but also annihilate its credibility as a show that tells stories that are more emotionally true than corny. I’ve come to terms with the disappointment. I’ve even managed to forgive it, keeping in mind that the creators of Glee had absolutely no way of knowing that their musical television show would really manage to become a phenomenon and that they would be granted a back nine. If “Sectionals” had really been the last episode of Glee ever, I guess I wouldn’t have been so critical.

BUT, there is much much more to come. So, here’s what I’m hoping for in Part Two of Season One:

Absolutely the most important item on this list. At the beginning, Sue Sylvester was an amazing villain. She was terrifying, and the outrageously insulting kind of hilarious that makes you feel the slightest bit guilty for laughing. She was on the up and up throughout the first twelve episodes. The character wasn’t even weakened when her soft sides (her sister and her failed romance with Rod) were shown. But the writers turned her downright petty at the very end. All Sue Sylvester can do is insult Schue’s hair? All Sue Sylvester can do is broken-record “You can’t prove that”? Sue Sylvester appears to have lost sight of her real mission, a vendetta against Glee Club? I don’t fucking think so. Jane Lynch is way better than this crap. So GET ON THAT.

2) Spread the Wealth
This was just starting to happen toward the end of Road to Sectionals. Lea Michele and Cory Monteith have lovely voices, but there are twelve members of the Glee Club and I’d kind of like to hear the rest of them every once in awhile. We’re now well-acquainted with the talents of Amber Riley and Kevin McHale as well. But keep it going. We’ve only heard one real solo each out of Dianna Agron, Mark Salling, Chris Colfer, and Jenna Ushkowitz. They’re all obviously very talented. So I’d really like to see them get a chance to show it off.

3) Less Rachel
I don’t have any real hope of this one happening, especially since the very first episode of the back nine revolves around her. But, vocal talent aside, Rachel is about the most irritating thing in the universe – I even like Teri Schuester better than I like her. None of the best parts of the show so far have centered around Rachel. Yeah she’s supposedly the “star,” but so is Will Schuester and I could stand for way more of him than of Rachel. Plus, it’s technically an ensemble cast so there’s no harm in giving someone else the spotlight once in awhile.

4) Speaking of Will Schuester…
I for one would love to hear Matthew Morrison do some real singing – like, showtunes singing. Other than “Leaving on a Jet Plane” (which was actually only in the director’s cut of the pilot and not the broadcast version), he’s pretty much been confined to the hiphop/rap/R&B genre. Which is fine. It’s not exactly been a tragedy. But he does actually sing so I’d really like to hear it.

5) Fix the Adult Love Square Thing
The one part of Glee that I’ve never liked is the ridiculously fucked up love-square between Will, Teri, Emma, and Ken. Perversely, the only character I had any sympathy for by the end of Road to Sectionals was Teri Schuester. Will stopped acting like any sort of adult. Emma was almost amazing and then lost it. Ken just got pathetic. I would really love to have some sort of respect for these charactrers and their emotional trials. Hopefully something will be done to resolve that.

6) Just Keep it Up
I know I’ve basically just done a highly critical rundown of all the things I’m displeased with. But really, I do love Glee and I think it’s incredibly well done. The show recently got some recognition from the very respectable Peabodys, and deservedly so. So I guess my biggest hope for the back nine is that Glee will just continue to grow, continue to get better, and continue to be amazing.

I am quite confident that it will.

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