'Glee' season opener–4.5 out of 5 stars

A year has passed since the last season of Glee began, and this season started out with a refreshing and exciting season opener. The show opened with another ‘where are they now?’ segment: We found out that Sam moved away, Quinn was, for the moment, nowhere to be found and fan favorites Kurt and Rachel are graduating this year. The graduation factor makes way for more music, more drama and horrendous singing from Sugar Motta (Vanessa Lengies), the new resident bitch at McKinley High.

The characters are familiar, but in a good way. The previous season made some of the characters look foolish and made their developments feel forced. The debut of Quinn as a cigarette-smoking punk and the union of Will and Emma actually feel right as opposed to the awkward kissing and drinking scenes that took place in previous episodes.

Sue is now taking on a congressional career with a campaign only she could make work: an anti-arts crusade that includes the destruction of piano’s from the glee club’s Purple Piano Project. As usual, she’s bringing down others in her distinctive Grinch-like way, and it’s so bad that it’s good.

The musical numbers were a mix. The group number “We Got the Beat” by the Go-Go’s was fun and energetic. And then there was “It’s Not Unusual” by Tom Jones, which was performed by Blaine, formerly of The Warblers, who recently transferred to McKinley to follow his heart and pursue Kurt. That does not mean this performance was good, however. It was cheesy, corny and cheap, which is what many of the numbers in Glee are known for — but was done in a manner that even die-hard Blaine fans had to scream over.

The best number of the night goes to the debut of Lindsay Pearce, one of the winners of “The Glee Project,” delivered with a stirring rendition of “Anything Goes” that had Rachel in tears. The production of this scene, along with all the other numbers was very strong, which shows the awareness of what the audience wants when watching this spectacle: fantasy numbers we can dream to do but few can achieve.

Overall, the show has gone far past the sophomore slump and created an junior jubilee, full of energy, sass and kick-ass potential to be the best season so far.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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