The Gleeks are taking over the world — or at least the nation’s Nielsen boxes. 12.5 million people tuned in for last night’s ‘Glee‘ season premiere. Even better from Fox’s point of view, it pulled a huge 5.5/16 rating among the all important Adults 18-49 demographic, making this the show’s second highest rated episode ever.
Summary: The premiere was heavy on the humor and light on the sentimentality that dragged down some of last season’s episodes. School is back in session. Rachel and Finn are still dating. Quinn and Puck are not. Tina has dumped Artie for Mike, who she bonded with working at Asian camp.
New Dimension’s strong showing at regionals has not made the Glee club any cooler. Nobody wants to risk their social standing by joining, despite the possibility of a trip to New York for nationals. There are two potential new recruits: Filipino exchange student Sunshine played by Youtube and Oprah singing sensation Charice and hot football player Sam (the outstandingly named Chord Overstreet). Rachel is threatened by her talent and sends her to a crack house to keep her away from the auditions. Sam, despite having a great set of pipes, refuses to try out because he thinks his life as the new kid is difficult enough already. Sunshine ultimately shows up and blows everyone away with her rendition of Listen from ‘Dreamgirls.’
Meanwhile, Sue and Will temporarily work together to ostracize Amazonian new female football coach Bieste (Dot Marie Jones), who has appropriated some of their budgets. They are every bit as cruel as teenagers, refusing to let her sit with them at lunch and having pizzas delivered to her locker room. She misinterprets Finn’s attempts to help Artie join the football team as insubordination and cuts Finn, giving the quarterback spot to Sam. Quinn has better luck, regaining her spot as captain of the Cheerios due to a combination of her savvy offer to get more money for the squad by marketing herself to abstinence groups a la Bristol Palin and Santana violating the rules of the squad by getting breast implants. When Sue stoops to having Brittany accuse the coach of sexual abuse, Will finally does the right thing and stands up for the Coach. Sue retaliates by tipping off Vocal Adrenaline about Sunshine. Their new director, played by Cheyenne Jackson, poaches her by buying her parents a condo.
Coolest Scene: Rachel and Sunshine’s improvised Telephone duet in the bathroom. Their joy of performing was infectious, even if the Autotune was out of control.
Most Cringe Inducing Scene: Finn’s audition for the Cheerios to Snap’s I’ve Got The Power. He made Elaine Benes look graceful.
Best Song: Listen. Charice deserves all of the hype.
Buzz: Chord Overstreet is hot and a great singer. Fan Jr Nureedeen wrote on the show’s Facebook page, “I did like the new quarterback. I shall call him ‘hot lips’ because that was all I could see when he was in a scene.” He may be the breakout star of the new television season. Coach Bieste gives Sue a worthy adversary. Says Entertainment Weekly’s Tim Stack, “I am obsessed with this character. I mean, her name is pronounced “beast.” It’s too good. But I loved that they actually didn’t just turn her into a copycat of Sue—Beiste is actually quite sensitive.”
Best Lines: “A female football coach is like a male nurse: a sin against nature.” – Sue on Coach Bieste
“Boobs McGee, you’re demoted to the bottom of the pyramid so when it collapses your exploding sandbags will protect the squad from injury.” – Sue on Santana’s implants
“I made it up. Coach Bieste didn’t touch my boobs. Actually, I really wanted to touch her boobs.” – Brittany, recanting her sexual abuse accusations
Analysis: This is one hot series that looks like it’s going to avoid the sophomore slump.