No, no, no, no, no!!! To put it simply, that is my opinion on tonight’s episodes (in plural, i.e. they were both lacking), for a more in depth analysis, please, read on. (Oh, and just by the by I had no intention of posting a review for this, but after watching it I felt compelled, so I apologise if this is somewhat lacking in clarity.)
I don’t know what disappointed me most, really? Was it the expulsion of the former ‘new’ glee members without any rhyme or reason? Say what you like about their characterisation (clones walk amongst us!) I liked them. Unoriginal, perhaps, but they were a fun addition to the cast and a welcome break from Rachel and Kurt’s New York-centric exploits.
Or, maybe it was the between-season split of Kurt and Blaine, which seems not only to have acted as some sort of precedent to a rift between all the ex-Glee members (Kurt was the only one who bothered to show up for the meet-up on the street corner? But weren’t Artie and Santana, at least, still in New York? Why weren’t they hanging out together as they did so frequently in series 5, or at least keeping in touch enough to remind each other about their pre-made arrangement to meet up?!) but also lead to the inexplicable and almost completely implausible introduction of Krofsky as Blaine’s new boyfriend? Oh please, we all know how that will end.
Or, perhaps it’s the complete change of pace compared to the two former series: you cannot leave one series whereby every character (with the exception of Sam, actually, whilst we’re on the subject of Sam, why did he go back to LIMA? Aren’t his family in Kentucky?) has some sort of plan, and/or seems to be moving forward in their life, to open the next with all – main – characters, bar one, having been shoved back home by tragedy and circumstance.
No, I think it’s the fact that characters who were bursting with potential and ambition just six months ago (according to the shows chronology) have returned to LIMA as Sue says, ‘..with their tails between their legs..’ and with much less of a zest for life than we’re used to.
Forget Glee, they should rename this show Glum!
Certainly it can be argued that life is a series of set-backs, it’s always darkest before the dawn, yada yada… but whilst the Glee kids have never had an ‘easy ride’ of it, and some of the shows strongest episodes have, arguably, been those where the characters face hardships. I don’t recall any of them ever being presented with a future that looks quite so bleak as Rachel’s does right now. The notion then, that she should take on the job of Glee-club head, whilst feeling so, understandably, forlorn, is actually quite alarming: teachers are meant to inspire and encourage, for goodness sake!
As for the newbies: I have no complaints, they seem a talented bunch – particularly Roderick, and this batch of members, at least, seem to be genuinely and completely separate from Glee take 1. (Though I genuinely hope that Kitty’s joke about the ‘incest twins’ cheerios was just that, and not an indication of the shows future direction.) But there were several questions left unanswered with the old ‘new Glee club’, stories half told, if you will (eg. Marley’s original songs/songwriting dreams, the Ryder/Unique/catfish story, Jake Puckerman, in general) and it seems a waste to have gotten us so used to these kids over 2 series just to cast them and their stories aside.
Having said all that, I wouldn’t say that these episodes are a complete waste. There are some hilarious one-liners, plenty of the covers of both modern and classics that we’ve come to expect (I particularly enjoyed the Classic New Directions version of Aha’s, Take On Me and The Warblers rendition of Sing by Ed Sheeran) and of course Sue Sylvester is as biting and hilarious as ever!
Still, this is not the Glee I knew and loved in series 2 and 3, sadly I doubt it will ever regain that individual spark it once had.