‘Glee’ Starts Slightly Off Key

Courtesy of FOX

“Glee’s” fourth season proves to be another good addition to the series. Previously, there were too many tired storylines and many characters were more annoying than charming. Then, as  many of the show’s beloved characters graduated from McKinley High School at the end of last season (Rachel, Finn, Mercedes, Santana, Quinn … okay, so pretty much everyone), many viewers were unsure of how the show would be able to continue as well as satisfy viewers.

Rachel Berry’s (Lea Michele) freshman year in New York City at New York Academy of Dramatic Arts, NYADA, a fictional, competitive arts college, brings a refreshing and exciting change to the show. Kate Hudson stars as her intimidating, alcoholic dance teacher, Cassandra July, and newcomer Dean Geyer plays Brody, the hot, new potential love interest.

Although Rachel and Finn (Cory Monteith) are still together from last season, he does not make an appearance in the first couple of episodes. Rachel tells her friends he hasn’t contacted her in months, but Kurt (Chris Colfer) says it’s because Finn wants to give her space — it doesn’t quite make sense. At this point in the show, this seems to be one of those tired story lines and it is easy to root for the new stud in Rachel’s life.

Back at McKinley High, familiar faces Blaine (Darren Criss), Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz), Artie (Kevin McHale) and Brittany (Heather Morris) are still active characters in the show.  Everyone wants to know who the new Rachel, also known as the new star of Glee Club, is. After club auditions it is clear that newcomer, Marley Rose (Melissa Benoist), is the new Rachel, and the new Finn is Puck’s (Mark Salling) long lost secret half-brother with anger issues, Jake (Jacob Artist).

The show could definitely survive without the two newcomers. They don’t seem to add anything new to the storyline. This could be because it is generally difficult to accept new lead characters, especially after a show like “Glee” has been on air for so long with other strong characters everyone knows and loves from the beginning. Instead of watching the new girl Marley be sad about people teasing her mom and Jake dealing with his daddy issues, a lot of people would agree that they are eager just to cut to the scenes with Rachel thriving in New York.

Glee brings back “Britney” week, perhaps due to the fact that the last time they chose to do all covers of Britney Spears songs, viewer ratings increased. This was a good decision on their part because it’s still a themed episode in which fans show interest.

The students joke about how they’ve exhausted almost every Britney song they could, and sadly, it’s close to the truth. It wouldn’t be a surprise if they did another Lady Gaga themed episode too. “Glee” also brings back McKinley High’s student elections; Brittany S. Pierce is running again, but this time against Blaine, Kurt’s boyfriend and former lead singer of the Warblers, Glee’s rivals.

This episode’s presidential theme is most likely in honor of the current election about to be held. Writers have written in some funny political jokes at former presidential candidates’ expenses, such as Sarah Palin. Overall, the presidential themed episode was a great way to remind the youth to become more aware of current politics and a reminder to vote too.

“Glee’s” first seasons started off strong and then seemed to decline in quality after, but this fourth season seems to prove that it may just be on the rise again. Relationship fans once rooted for all seem to be on the rocks, and new, unexpected ones seem to be forming. And surprisingly, it all seems to be working for the program. Rachel’s scenes alone steal the show and will have viewers begging for more.

Final Rating: 3.5/5