“Glee” episode 1 – “The Purple Piano Project”

I can think of no better way to describe “Glee” than a bad relationship. Seriously. In the beginning, the sun was shining, birds were chirping, things were wonderful. I accepted it for its cheesy plots and questionable fashion choices. It loved me, even if I didn’t shave my legs. About halfway through season 1, things became a little more volatile. Characters became highly inconsistent, song choice was sketchy, plots came and went as if they were never even there. Whether you are a believer of the 3 Glees theory (I am) or are blind to the fact that show is without a doubt the most contradictory and conflicting television show out there, the amount of lingering questions heading into season 3 is, well, a lot.

Will Sue become funny again and have a purpose outside of terrorizing Will? How will the addition of 130,586 new cast members work? How will old cast members get cast aside? Will any realistic high school stories ever be covered (dances, schoolwork, driving, college, etc.)? Will Kurt ever be portrayed as less than saintly? What versions of the characters will show up? Will any stay consistent?

I could go on, but no one wants to read that.

Instead, I entered Tuesday’s season premiere with a mixture of anticipation, excitement and a levelhead ready to take on whichever “Glee” shows up.  With all the hiatus talk that promised a return to its roots, my hopes were slightly higher than I would have liked.

Did I like it? Find out after the jump.

Sigh.

There are things I liked about “The Purple Piano Project.” As usual, there were some classic Brittany quips, which unlike mean Sue lines, will never get old. The friendship between Rachel and Kurt is an interesting dynamic between the two, and it brings out not only the best in those charcters but from Lea Michele and Chris Colfer as well. Relationship wise, I’ve always been a fan of Rachel and Finn and Mr. Schuester and Emma, as long as there is no more of the break-up, make-up crap. The Blaine transferring plotline wasn’t handle super smoothly, but if we get more Rachel and Blaine duets, I’ll be a happy girl. Plus, isn’t Darren Criss just dreamy? But the first 75 percent of it? Count me out.

“The Purple Piano Project” starts off with another video yearbook courtesy of Jacob Ben Israel, starting with some cutesy yet entertaining one liners. From there things get a little sketchy. Sam (Chord Overstreet) is dismissed in one of those one-liners, and Lauren Zizes (Ashley Fink) gets five seconds more than that. Quinn has also gone MIA, joining a group that calls themselves “skanks,” (what a win for feminism!) dying her hair pink and wearing trashy clothes. For as annoying as that rebellion is, it’s at least a step in a realistic high school direction.  This also puts the club down three members (can this ever just stay consistent?) and in need of new blood.

From there, Will introduces that week’s “lesson,” via some old purple pianos that will be placed around the school. Every time the group sees a piano around school, they have to perform in hopes of gaining some new members. Obviously, Sue hates this and destroys the piano the first time she hears it. Thanks to the support of a fellow teacher, Sue uses her hatred for glee club and the arts in general as basis for her newfound political campaign. Tonight’s episode displayed only a tiny bit of these aspirations, and that tiny bit is enough. I can see this only going down bad, politically mocking roads and I have a hard time getting behind that.

As a rationally thinking adult, Will sees the best way to get back at Sue is to do something called “glitter bombing.” Is this a real thing? Have I missed this? I’m okay with that. This plan surprisingly backfires and Sue gains more points in her political race.  Solidly strong musical numbers happened – you rock that Carelton, Darren Criss, and other things, I guess. But did anyone really care?

“The Purple Piano Project” had two different episodes in it. The first half was an obnoxious one. One that had too many little flaws for me to enjoy it. One that made me roll my eyes and curse “Glee’s” existence and vow that I will quit watching the show. But the Kurt-Rachel car scene was hands down one of the best in the series, and easily the best in the last year. It had heart, a realistically confused attitude and genuine emotion.  After that, Will kicked Santana out for being “Team Sue” (an act that probably should have happened a long time ago), and there was an amazing and inspired “Hairspray” musical number.  Will was an actual authority figure, the students had actual emotions and I loved it. Can “Glee” keep that end momentum going? Will anything that happened in tonight’s episode even be remembered next week? We’ll see. I’m skeptical, but still want to go on. For how long is another story.

My Racing Thoughts:

– During “The Glee Project,” Ryan Murphy brought up to multiple contestants about wanting to write for a Christian character. Besides Mercedes being pretty open about her Christianity, wasn’t Quinn a pretty hardcore Christian in the beginning of season 1? She has gone through some many personalities.

– Speaking of “The Glee Project,” “winner” Lindsay Pearce did a solid job in a role that didn’t seem too far from her attitude on the reality show. She sang well, had the right level of camp set a medium-bar for the others to hit.

– The fact that the school hates them more, and wiping away any trace of good blood that they gained last year, seems strained. Finishing 12th at nationals seems like a pretty decent showing, especially from a group who planned their routine THE NIGHT BEFORE. I will never get over that.

– Has there been a more annoying character on “Glee” than Sugar Motta (Vanessa Lengies, who has been playing a high schooler for way too long)? Her claiming “Asperger’s “ every time she had an outburst seemed a little too much like a cheap shot and borderline offensive. I think she’ll be sticking around for a few episodes, but hopefully, that character trait will be forgotten.

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