I can sum up Fox’s “Glee” season premiere 2010 in three words: Girls are mean. We return from summer break to find that Finn and Rachel are still together, Sue and Will are still fighting, and Tina and Artie have broken up (blame Asian camp and Mike’s abs). Best line of the first 10 minutes: The weird school blogger guy telling Mr. Schuester, “Did you know there’s a forum on my blog begging you to stop rapping?” Mine too, weird guy.
The club needs new recruits to beat Vocal Adrenaline and get to nationals, and so they set out an audition sheet, only no one signs up. Because though the five most popular kids in school are in glee club, it’s still totally geeky.
Because every episode of “Glee” requires at least one token attempt to get rid of and/or cut the budget of the glee club, Principal Figgins calls Sue and Will into his office to say their budgets have been cut to funnel some money to the new football coach. Am I the only one whose first thought was, “Wow, Coach Tanaka got a sex change?” (Clearly I’m not because my husband thought so the entire episode.) That said, Coach Beiste was the best new character in this episode (coincidence that she did not sing?).
Will and Sue form the most unholy union since Woody Allen first eyed his stepdaughter, agreeing to torture Coach Beiste into quitting so they get their money back. Will, of course, does not have the stomach for it and eventually realizes he’s making Coach Beiste feel like an outside, just like glee club. Aww, and this time Will didn’t even have to make out with anyone to have this epiphany!
Anyway, the rest of the episode is filled with random girl-on-girl meanness as if to illustrate Sue’s point that mean girls always win. Only they don’t. Rachel has a bathroom diva-off with sweet exchange student Sunshine and later sends the girl to a crack house rather than the glee auditions because Rachel is addicted to the spotlight like Will is addicted to hair gel, and she can’t stand the thought of losing any of that spotlight to Sunshine. (Who is eventually recruited away by the cold new coach of Vocal Adrenaline: “They give my mom a condo and a green card!”) The club is mad at Rachel for her treachery … just like always. But she and Finn have a sweet moment where they pledge their love even though they’re both totally uncool now. (Rachel always, but Finn’s just getting used to it.)
Elsewhere, Sue lets Quinn back on the Cheerios after Quinn gets Santana demoted by outing her summer boob job. Really? Did I miss something? Are high school kids getting these now? That felt like the most forced moment in an hour I’d categorize as a 6 overall. Santana says she did it to get attention, but she already got plenty of that. The whole plot seemed fabricated in order to give Santana and Quinn a reason to catfight in their cheerleader uniforms, thus launching a million clicks on YouTube.
Finn, meanwhile, isn’t being mean to anyone because that’s not his way. Instead, he’s being a lunkhead, which is very much his way. Artie convinces him to ask Coach Beiste to let him try out for the football team, which anyone can see is a dumb idea, only Finn wants to help, and so Beiste kicks him off because she thinks he’s trying to make fun of her, only he’s not. He’s just that dumb. Finn is devastated to find out that a guy who tried out for glee club, who we’ll call Blonde Bieber due to his unfortunate hair, but later backed out, is now the starting quarterback.
(Right after Finn is cut, there’s a commercial for that “Glee” volunteer project that makes me laugh the most of anything all night. I propose that “Glee’s” writers take over immediately for all commercial writers, starting with Nationwide. Their first order of business is getting rid of the World’s Greatest Spokesperson In the World.)
As for the songs, the best is “Empire State of Mind,” a big dance number that the “Glee” kids think will help win recruits to their club. Apparently they never went to high school; the rest of us knew that would never work. The episode ends where we began: The club needs new recruits to beat Vocal Adrenaline and get to nationals. Maybe next week.