Glee: “Audition”

When the second season premiere of Glee opened with Jacob Ben Israel, who is absolutely on my list of Top Ten Least Favorite Television Characters Ever (coming soon!), I was veeeeery worried. Like, terrified worried. The excellence of him saying to Will Schuester “There’s a forum on my blog that is begging you to stop rapping” aside, HE IS GROSS AND SHOULD NOT EVER HAPPEN.

The good news is, that was by far the worst thing that happened all episode. The rest was either excellent or just the standard sort of awful that lends Glee its (occasionally questionable) charm.

My first and foremost favorite thing about this new season is, according to the credits, Naya Rivera, Heather Morris, and Mike O’Malley are now part of the regular cast. This can only be a good thing.

In other casting news, there are some fantastic additions. Sam (Chord Overstreet…no, really) is my new absolute favorite. He is just so CUTE. And his storyline is destined for good, if somewhat predictable, things. (You can find out what those are by a) being clever or b) looking up spoilers. You cannot find out what those are by reading Melted Brain because I don’t do That Whole Spoiler Thing.)

Now she’s been shuffled off to Vocal Adrenaline, I don’t expect we’ll be seeing an enormous amount of Charice. But damn if she didn’t make an impression. I was rather skeptical, given her whole YouTube origin thing. But she is fantastic, adorable, and performed my very favorite song from Dreamgirls. The only downside to having “Listen” be the only number to give me genuine chills since Amber Riley’s “And I’m Telling You”? It’ll start being everyone’s favorite now. (Just remember, I LOVED IT FIRST.)

And of course there is the addition of “The Panther” Coach Beiste. Only Glee can get away with something that ridiculous and use it to make you cry. Of course in this case, the crying was not of the cannot-hold-back-my-emotional-pain variety but rather of the oh-god-my-soul-hurts kind. Because the simple truth is, storylines involving the adults of Glee must always make us feel slightly embarrassed for humankind. But to be entirely fair, Dot Jones is pretty damned hilarious – she may well prove to be a much better fit for Glee than Patrick Gallagher ever was (my enjoyment of Ken Tanaka aside). Plus, she’s even more physically intimidating than Jane Lynch which is hilarious. Speaking of which.

Sue Sylvester Is Back, Bitches. It’s like the disastrous decrease in awesome from the end of S1 never even happened. Her one-liners are as outrageous as ever, her behavior is reaching new heights of diabolical-but-immature horrendousness, and she has yet to make any cracks about Will Schuester’s hair which can only be a good sign. As for Mr. Schu himself, it looks like we can expect more of the same. When he forays over to the Dark Side, it is hilarious and awesome. But then he’ll remember he’s a good guy and go all touchy-feely-good-guy. And probably very soon he’ll start moping and go into sad puppy mode. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Actually, that’s a theme that can be pretty well applied to everything that happened in this episode. Quinn is back on top of the world thanks to her own diabolical mastery, which Sue has no choice but to respect. Santana is back to second banana, although it looks like she’ll actually get some real storyline and respect out of it (I’m definitely questioning the whole boob job thing though. I mean really?). The cat fight that ensued from this clashing of the miniskirted titans* is one of the more epic fights of the series – Dianna Agron and Naya Rivera may have gone and outdone the Puck-and-Finn dukeouts. Way to go, ladies.

I’d say the most genuine surprise out of the whole episode was having Finn demoted from quarterback to nobody. That was an interesting choice and I look forward to seeing where it goes. Even more interestingly, Rachel is Even More Awful than before. Like genuinely she-sent-a-little-girl-to-a-crackhouse awful. I’m totally behind this, because the more reasons I have to hate Rachel the happier I am. But that doesn’t make it any less uncomfortable.

Not at all uncomfortable, though, was Lea Michele‘s rendition of “What I Did For Love” from A Chorus Line. That was absolutely beautiful, and my favorite solo song from her.**

All the music from this episode was good, actually. And there was a lot of it. We got a brief moment of Jenna Ushkowitz singing “Getting to Know You” (although that was mostly good not because of the singing but because of “Asian Camp” and Harry Shum, Jr.‘s abs). I’ve already shared my feelings on “Listen.” “Billionaire” was fantastic and had me pretty much in love with Sam by the end.

But the best number for me was the first one. It was well staged, simplistic, and fun. (Side note: I’m not sure the answer to backlash from Matthew Morrison rapping is to now have Cory Monteith and Mark Salling do it. That sort of makes my eyes burn. Anyway.) “New York City” showed off not only that Glee hasn’t totally lost its touch, but also that it can always keep growing. They’re doing some really great things with filming the musical numbers this year – taking some leaves on techniques out of the music video book and making the presentation appear more modern (read: less like a semi-dorky staged musical number). It is truly beautiful stuff.

…I gotta be honest, though. My favorite part of the whole episode was when the Rachel and Sunshine bathroom duet was interrupted by Sue storming in and screaming SHUT UP. That was classic.

In conclusion, way to go, Glee. You’ve done it again. Now keep it up! (And get even MORE Emmys next year!)

*Oh god I sound like every other blogger/reviewer in the world trying to be clever. I apologize so much.

** “I Dreamed A Dream” is better, but that has Idina Menzel so it doesn’t count in this instance.

Best Lines:

“Why so glum William? Cat crap in your coffee?”

“That’s a steer with six teets and no ‘oink.'” (“THAT MAKES NO SENSE.”)

“I woulda joined in with a kickass harmony…but the dude was naked.”

“Dude you’d be like a human cannonball. That’d be AWESOME.”

“Now take your juicy, vine-ripened chest-fruit and get the hell out of my office.”


“I don’t know. I’ve never had any balls in my mouth. Have you?”, only because it opens the door for so many tasteless and inappropriate ‘eating your words’ jokes. (I’M SORRY I’M SORRY I JUST COULDN’T HELP IT.)

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  • Lena  On September 22, 2010 at 6:03 PM

    Song is called Empire State of Mind, not New York City. Quick change, then delete this comment

    • meltedbrain  On September 22, 2010 at 10:10 PM

      Nahh. We’ll just leave that as a “Duly noted. I don’t know stuff” and move on.

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