5 Things Glee Has Done Right This Season

Fox may have neglected your craving for fresh Glee last night by cruelly slipping you season one's ditchweed episode "Hairography," but Movieline cannot rob you faithful Gleebasing followers of your weekly fix of Schue & the Gang. So just four episodes into Glee's sophomore season, let's review the best decisions Ryan Murphy had made of late, which have already produced some of the best highs of this show's short career.

1.) Upgrading Heather Morris and Naya Rivera

By giving weight to the show's most consistently hilarious students, Ryan Murphy has been able to shy away from heavy-handed lessons about self-esteem, body image and belonging that choked the back end of season one and produce lighter, more entertaining story arcs. Whether Santana is pulling Quinn's hair in the hallway after being (rightly) accused of having a summer boob job or Brittany is single-handedly supporting the best song and dance episode of the season ("Brittany/Britney"), both actresses freshen up a landscape that was becoming cluttered with Emma Pillsbury's wide-eyed stares, Kurt's bold fashion choices and Rachel Berry's haughty narcissism. Oh, and that jolt of girl-on-girl sexual tension is a welcome, uh, new direction.

2. Acknowledging the Haters

Every so often a quality television series comes around that is funny, smart, well-acted and encouraging of its audience. And sometimes, that show is also the easiest program to be made fun of. Instead of taking offense to the ridicule, Ryan Murphy scripted it into the season two premiere, referencing everything from the rumors that Lea Michele is a complete diva to the fact that Cory Monteith dances like a robot to the idea that even fans cringe when Schue raps.

3. Making Quinn a Smart Character

As much as Glee writers tried to make Quinn the McKinley High queen bee bitch during season one, something never quite clicked, probably because Dianna Agron is capable of making her character sympathetic even when she's bullying peers and involved in a sham pregnancy subplot. When Quinn returned, post-baby, for season two, Ryan Murphy did everyone a favor by giving Quinn some complexity. She had survived a traumatic year and pregnancy and was ready to reclaim herself and her Cheerio captain standing before diving headfirst into a relationship. As of last week, Quinn was setting careful boundaries for herself and treading slowly into a relationship with Sam, the big-lipped football kid, one Breadstix date at a time.

4. Featuring the Show's Strongest Family Relationships

When your ensemble cast is so big that fans refer to two characters by their ethnicity alone, you best be trimming the fatty limbs off your eight-page family tree. Thankfully, Ryan Murphy has spared viewers of any comically over-acted exchanges between Finn and Finn's mother about memory-soaked recliner chairs this time around. Instead, the emotional family scenes are saved for the actors capable of subtlety (not to mention Emmy nominations): Chris Colfer, Mike O'Malley (Burt Hummel), Jane Lynch and Robin Trocki (Jean Sylvester).

5. Featuring More Broadway, Less Pop

Save for "Britney/Brittany," Glee has found finally found a comfortable balance between the Great White Way and the Top 40. Take last week's episode which incorporated A Chorus Line, Victor/Victoria, a Judy Garland/Barbra Streisand duet, an Ike & Tina Turner single and Jason Mraz. Plus, no white-rapping. These are good things.

The spotlight is now yours, dear Gleebasing readers: What else have you liked seeing this season?



Comments

  • Sally says:

    Rachel and Finn make the show for me. The strength of their relationship...seeing the two worlds work together...that is what is great about the show... they are the metaphor

  • stretch65 says:

    I LOVE BRITTANY. When she came onto Artie saying she wanted to push him around like a baby in a stroller!!!!
    UNBELIEVABLE - (and the Brittany/Santana actionFTW!)

  • shep says:

    I love Finn's scenes with his mom. I really like the actress who plays her. I hope Burt and Carole get married and Kurt and Finn can finally become like real brothers and fight like real brothers.

  • anto32 says:

    I would agree,except for the last point.I prefer pop songs to broadway songs,although I admit that making versions of recent songs is a bit easy(but the "Telephone" version is good).I was really looking forward to the Britney episode and it was great,specially Lea's version of "...Baby one more time"!

  • anon says:

    Last season was 100% sharper, smarter and more moving than this one. Last season, every single scene was a beautiful, finely polished jewel that had a point to it, and the Sue Sylvester diatribes were shockingly dark, sharp and satisfying.
    This season: No high impact-cheerleader routines followed by Sue's witty yelling, Mr. Shue looking lost and useless in most scenes, a bunch of random Lea Michele solos where fulfilling her contract shows (and didn't last season),
    no dramatic or romantic tension between the characters that makes you long to see the next week's episode like last year. It's really sad. I never thought I'd wish Glee had been a mini series or movie (as originally written), but the huge decline in quality in just four episodes has dragged me there.
    And Arty's faux black hip hop/Backstreet Boy autotune singing/gestures is ten times worse than Shue's Vanilla Ice. Only one black glee club member this year? Not cool.

  • Jane says:

    Very good points, particularly 2 and 4.
    About point 3, Quinn, I mostly agree, but I wish they would also give her some funny scenes, can't remember the last time she was even remotely funny. Like say, Kurt has a whole lot of emotional scenes, but they still keep giving him funny lines and crazy/funny stuff, which is a nice balance; Quinn is totally missing that.
    Loving season 2!

  • tj086 says:

    Chris Colfer? Subtle? Are you kidding? The entire cast has to go into histrionics just to show emotion. I think the show should STICK to "real" issues and enough fluff. It's getting to be just a vehicle for musical numbers with no plot that carries over from episode to episode. If it wants to be cheese/fluff, fine. But then no more Emmy's, no more critical attention.

  • stolidog says:

    I really do love Rachael's character, but the random solos this season seem really, really, really forced and are obviously inserted into the show because Lea Michelle has found a way to get that into her contract.

  • Julian says:

    haha that was funny

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