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?