The New Directions are back at McKinley High School after losing big at Nationals. The season opener ‘The Purple Piano Project’ featured a Hairspray number, glitter-bombs and a lot of talk about college. A lot of our main characters are seniors now so everyone is talking about the future, including a not-so-single Mr. Schuester. Luckily we have Jacob, he interviews all the Glee kids about their future plans for the year, and finds out more along the way. Mr. Schue gives out his first assignment, which is to recruit, recruit, recruit. But, as always, getting students to join the Glee club is no easy feat.

The Players:

  • Director: Eric Stoltz
  • Writer: Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan
  • Cast: Dianna Agron, Chris Colfer, Kevin McHale, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Heather Morris, Amber Riley, Naya Rivera, Jenna Ushkowitz, Mark Salling, Matthew Morrison, Ashley Fink, Chord Overstreet, Harry Shum, Jr., Cheyenne, Darren Criss, Jayma Mays, Jane Lynch, and Mike O’Malley

Episode Title: “The Purple Piano Project”

Its fall and that means back to school for the students and faculty at McKinley High. The New Directions clan returns after a devastating loss at Nationals, so Mr. Schuester assigns a project to get them back on track. Meanwhile, Sue Sylvester starts her congressional campaign.

The Good:

  • Desperately Seeking Quinn: The last time we saw Quinn she was in a weird place, apathetic about New Directions being at Nationals. It seems that that ‘I don’t care’ attitude stuck with her throughout the summer because she’s taken on a new identity as a burnout, and could easily pass as one of the freaks from ‘Freaks and Geeks.’ She’s even hanging around bleachers and chain-smoking. She’s owning this whole 80′s retro-Madonna look, and living by a new motto, “people grow apart, deal with it.”
  • Rachel and Kurt: It took a while, but these two are finally best friends. And they are so much better off being friends than enemies. It’s no secret that Rachel and Kurt want to be famous. At the end of last season, we learned that their sights are set on New York. Now that they are seniors, they have to focus on getting into a good school in the big apple. What they don’t realize is that competition is stiff and that all around the country there are people just as talented as them, if not more.
  • Blaine (Spoiler Alert!): Even though New Directions lost a few members, it gained Blaine, and what’s better than that? He’s all kinds of amazing, and dresses like a preppy hipster. Loving it! He makes a grand entrance with a colorful performance of Tom Jones’ 1965 hit ‘It’s Not Unusual.’ You might be a bit skeptical about his sudden move from Dalton to McKinley, but think about it. He’s a teenager and he’s in-love. It makes perfect sense that he’d want to be with Kurt 24/7, and yes, Kurt wants that too.
  • New Directions vs. Coach Sue: Sue Sylvester is after the Glee club, again. Only this time the stakes are higher. Man, these writers are good. They’ve reinvented this storyline. This time Sue’s not just going after Mr. Schuester and New Directions, but all of the arts. She’s running for office and first thing on her agenda is to defund art education.

The Bad:

  • Finn: Finn’s a main character and should’ve gotten more screen time during the season premiere. We don’t see much of him, except a few times when he’s with Rachel. Would’ve liked to hear how he spent his summer with Rachel, you know, after that shameful kiss-heard-round-the-world that cost them Nationals. Maybe next week we’ll hear more about it.

The Music:

  • “We Got the Beat,” The Go-Gos – The New Directions perform this number during lunch at the cafeteria. Their goal is to recruit new members, but that goes awfully wrong. Still, their performance is spot on!
  • “Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead, ” Wicked – Rachel and Kurt try to build up their confidence with pointy witch hats and brooms. This wasn’t their greatest performance, mostly because we’ve seen them do so much more.
  • “It’s Not Unusual” Tom Jones – This was the best performance of the night. Blaine dedicates this number to Kurt, and it’s also like his big entrance into McKinley.
  • “Anything Goes / Anything You Can Do” Anything Goes / Annie Get Your Gun – This number was performed by newcomer Lindsay Pearce from “The Glee Project.” She put Kurt and Rachel’s talent to shame, and showed off her amazing vocal range. Plus, she makes a great rival character for Rachel. Hopefully we see her again.
  • “You Can’t Stop the Beat” Hairspray – Glee has never performed anything off “Hairspray,” why? This was their first closing number and it belonged to Mercedes.

Overall:

The season premiere of “Glee” was a delicious five-course meal. So much was said and done, and in the right way. A lot of last season’s storylines were cleared up and put to rest, and a lot of new storylines were set up. “Glee” has two very successful seasons behind it, and this one has the potential to be even better. This is a smart show. It’s impressive how these writers find new ways to make old storylines still compelling.

Rating: 9.5/10

“Glee” airs Tuesday nights at 8pm on FOX.

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What did you think of Glee’s premiere? What do you expect this coming season? Let us know!