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September 21, 2011

'Glee': The Purple Piano Project (Review)

I didn't pay a lot of attention to "Glee" last season. In fact, I might have missed an episode or two. Some of the episodes didn't have direction and often read like an Elvis Presley movie where there was nothing but filler in between the great songs. I also wasn't a big fan of the theme shows or the stunt casting (although I love Gwyneth Paltrow as Holly and Kristen Chenoweth as April).

This season might be different as reportedly everything I didn't like will be gone this year. The story was strong again and I could actually feel for the characters, all of them, even Rachel [Lea Michele].

First off, the theme and goals of the year for each of the gleeks was clearly defined.

My favorite guy member, Blaine [Darren Criss], officially transferred to West McKinley High and joined the glee club; much to Finn's [Cory Monteith] and Puck's [Mark Salling] chagrin. They let him know in no uncertain terms that they were different from The Wobblers and were a group. Blaine didn't seem to have a problem with it. He and Kurt [Chris Colfer] are my favorite Glee couple and the two seemed more in love then ever.

Rachel and Kurt provided some laughs when they went to a recruiting mixer for a college in New York. Their dreams of attending Julliard were crushed when Emma [Jayma Mays] informed them that the prestigious school didn't have a music program. I found the fact that these kids who live and breathe their future careers didn't know that, especially after visiting New York last year.

The mixer proved to be an eye opener for them, because for the first time, they got to see how tough their competition after school really will be. A chorus of super gleeks that were practically Kurt and Rachel clones performed a show stopping number that left the ambitious pair shaken and humbled. I loved that Rachel realized that not everyone's dreams come true and loved the pep talk that Kurt gave her, which they both needed.

Sue [Jane Lynch] pitted Santana [Naya Rivera] vs. Becky [Lauren Potter] as they became co-captains of The Cheerios, forcing the two enemies to work together. Both Sue and Will [Matthew Morrison] called Santana out about where her loyalties really lyed when she was asked to sabotaged the purple pianos that Will placed all around the school in an effort to recruit new members. The groups spontaineous "hot lunch jam" in the cafeteria as Mercedes [Amber Riley] called it, led to worse than the slushy baths, an outrageous food fight.

Later Santana "allegedly" destroyed a piano per Sue's instruction and was kicked out of group as a result by Will. He was clear that the group needed to present a united front in order to get to Nationals. Santana declared herself "Team Sue" and accepted her banning. Where Santana ends up this season will be interesting.

The adult's goals were clear too, as Will and Emma continued to take further steps in their relationship. The couple is now living together. Will seemed to be having a harder time adjusting to Emma's idiosyncrasies while she seemed to not miss a beat, moving right into another relationship. Will even broke down to Sue about it, making me wonder how long until the honeymoon phase is over. Will seemed lost last year after the divorce and thinking of leaving the school for New York, as did the show. It was good to see him back. A chorus of super gleeks that were practically Kurt and Rachel cloned performed a show stopping number that left them shaken and humbled. Loved that Rachel realized that not everyone's dreams come true and loved the pep talk that Kurt gave her, which they both needed.

Sue vs. Will is always entertaining and this time Ms. Sylvester took it up 10 notches with a bid for public office. Her campaign platform; cutting out funding for the arts in education.

Quinn's [Diana Aragon] defection from both the Cheerios and New Directions was good. The hair, clothing and the "skanks" her hung out with seemd like a cry for attention. It was good to see her friends to reach out to her. First Santana and Brittney [Heather Morris] tried to no success and then Rachel who seemed to be making a dent in Quinn's armor. You could see that she was thinking about it and I loved that she was secretly watching the rehearsal number at theclose of the show.

Love that Mercedes, my favorite girl, had a new man after Chad Overstreet's Sam was let go from the show. Her football playing guy named Marcus [LaMarcus Tinker.] Now if only she could get more story. Maybe she'll get to play Maria in West Side Story in the school's production this year.

Like she said, she feels pretty this year. I agree.

What were the songs? I did like that 15 minutes went by before I even heard the first song. Telling the story was the focus, which I loved.

All songs available on iTunes:

"It's Not Unusual" -- Blaine

"We Got The Beat" -- Rachel, Santana, Gang

"You Can't Stop The Beat" -- Rachel, Mercedes, Gang

"Anything Goes/Anything You Can Do" -- NYADA Mixer Group

"Hey Big Spender" -- audition song by potential member, Sugar

"Ding Dong The Witch is Dead" -- Rachel, Kurt

"Glee" airs Tuesdays on FOX.
(photo: Amber Riley as Mercedes in "Glee." credit: FOX)
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