Review: Glee (Season 5, Episode 1)

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While the return of Glee has been overshadowed by Cory Monteith’s recent death, viewers were pleasantly surprised by the optimistic and buoyant first episode of the new season titled Love Love Love. A tribute to the Beatles brought the series back with a bang featuring hits such as ‘Help’, Yesterday’ and concluding with Blaine’s emotional proposal to Kurt through All You Need is Love.

One of the highlights of the premiere episode is the return of Sue Sylvester. Needless to say Jane Lynch is key to the humour of the programme so her return, in the role of principal, is a relief to viewers, particularly in maintaining the optimistic attitude of Glee. Her relationship with the ex-Principal Figgins looks set to be humorous throughout the series as well as her role providing opportunities for conflicts with both the Cheerios and Glee Club.

However this episode also sees a lot of repetition. While a romance between one of the ‘cool’ students and one of the stereotypical Glee members is nice to see, it is a storyline frequently overdone. This episode is no exception with Kitty and Artie suddenly becoming a couple out of nowhere. Another classic repeated storyline features Tina Cohen-Chang. The quiet girl with the stutter from Season One has developed into an irritating teenager without much of a storyline except another irrelevant tantrum every now and then. This one sees her interfering in Kitty and Artie’s relationship and having to be cheered up by the boys of the Glee Club singing to her and offering to accompany her to the Prom.

RachelNew York is also disappointingly repetitive with the episode beginning with Rachel auditioning for Funny Girl. After overhearing the director expressing concern over her age she breaks into a performance of Yesterday. While the performance and Lea Michele’s voice are both wonderful, the situation of Rachel having an emotional breakdown every time she thinks she isn’t going to triumph again is becoming a regular occurrence. It is refreshing in the latter part of the episode to see her expressing her fantastic talent performing in the diner where she works along with Santana, therefore bringing back the Glee spirit of performing for fun.

Nevertheless the highlight of the episode has to be the Kurt and Blaine storyline. It incorporates the values of love, emotion, family and friends, all classic Glee messages. Rather than an unrealistic episode where the two are so in love they rush blindly into the situation, Kurt expresses his fears to his father, already aware of Blaine’s plan to propose. After a heart-warming conversation about his love for Kurt’s late mother and the value of love we then return to typical Glee fashion. Blaine’s flamboyant proposal includes the Warblers, Vocal Adrenaline, Haverbrook School for the Deaf as well as old and current Glee members combining to sing All you need is Love before a successful proposal to Kurt.

Overall the proposal at the end leaves viewers feeling satisfied in true Glee style. The episode has some wonderful performances demonstrating the pure talent of many of their cast members whether in singing or comedy but hopefully the series will introduce some new storylines to keep things fresh and stop recycling the old ones. However I can only imagine the series will change dramatically due to the upcoming tribute episode to Cory Monteith, giving the cast members and viewers a chance to grieve together.

6/10

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