Well, the school year is starting to come towards a close for me. I’m finishing up my fourth year of college at West Virginia University, and had I stuck to one single major throughout my entire academic career, I would be graduating this spring. However, as it is, I have either one or two semesters left depending on if I can get into all of the classes that I need (which is an iffy proposition). This summer, I’ll be going back home to Philippi, West Virginia to stay at my dad’s and save myself a little bit of money rather than live in town since my lease ends in like two weeks and I’m going to just save money this summer and sign an August to August lease for next year. Anyways, this poses a slight problem for this blog. I have dial-up internet at my dad’s. So, I won’t have access to the internet and Netflix Watch Instantly for this blog. As a result, my movie reviewing is going to slow down considerably. However, I have an incredibly large collection of television series and movies on DVD and Blu-Ray period, so while the focus of this blog may, for the summer, shift away from purely the contents of my list, I will still be reviewing a lot of television and the movies that I already own and will receive in the mail from Netflix. With that little update out of the way, let us turn our attention to my review for the next four episodes of Glee.

Generally speaking, the first season of Glee can be divided up into two major sections: the journey to Sectionals and then the journey to Regionals. While the first four episodes of the series served their purpose of introducing you to the characters, settings, and major conflicts of the show, episodes 5-8 do a good job of preparing the audience for the first major competition of the show which serves as the climax of the season’s first half. However, the show also gives needed progress in the personal lives of its characters. The drama raised by the news that Quinn is pregnant gives much of the dramatic tension for the student cast members as Finn mistakenly believes that the child is his despite the fact that it is in fact his best friend’s, Puck. Will’s evil shrew of a wife (who is probably my least favorite character on the show because she’s never even remotely funny or redeeming in any way) is pretending to be pregnant and plots to take Quinn’s baby and pass it off as her own. Will’s love interest Emma has decided to marry the football coach Ken Tanaka as a way to get over her feeling’s for Will. Rachel still labors over her feelings for Finn but she, for once, puts her own selfish concerns behind the actual needs of the Glee club.

While that fairly well sums up the major story arcs of the show during these episodes, much of the humor for this stretch of Glee comes from the various sub-plots of the 4 episodes. For example, in the first episode, Will (in one of his less cavalier moments) decides to enlist an old high school drop out that used to be a major star in McKinley’s Glee club but is now a washed up alcoholic and implied hooker to join the Glee club. She is played by the marvelous Kristen Chenoweth and she is both quite tragic and hilarious. One episode has Will’s wife become the new school nurse and start giving the children pseudoephedrine pills to make them more full of energy despite the fact that that’s a primary ingredient in Meth. Another episode has a scene featuring Will and Sue swing dancing and it is both awesome and funny, and it is capped off with the hilarious visual joke of Sue in a zoot suit.

Will someone please tell me that I’m not crazy and that Finn does, in fact, have the worst singing voice out of all of the male leads on the show. Whenever he sings one of the show’s biggest numbers, he just sounds like the world’s biggest commercial for autotune ever. I’m not saying he isn’t talented, but one thing I hate about the first season of the show is the way it shoves down your throat how he’s the most talented guy on the cast when he is both the worst dancer and singer (except for Mike Chang at singing anyways but he makes up for that by being a marvelous dancer). This stretch actually gave you a chance to see some of the more under-appreciated cast members showing off their skills for one of the rare times until the back stretch of the first season, i.e. Artie, Mercedes, Mike, and Kurt.

During each of these reviews, I’ll try my best to pick out some of my favorite musical numbers from those particular episodes. Probably my favorite single performance from this stretch is the mash-up that the boys do with Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life” and Usher’s “Confessions”. I honestly like those two songs together more than I liked either one apart. Other highlight’s include “Maybe This Time” from Cabaret, “Last Name” by Carrie Underwood, “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady, and “Bust a Move” by Young MC. Lea Michele has, hands down, the best singing voice on the entire show, although Kurt and Blaine will give her a run for her money when they get screen time in season 2.

Well, this thing has run on long enough at this point. This stretch of episodes continued to run on the dramedy strength of the first four with a healthy mix of sharp satire mixed with fairly touching character stories. If I have any major complaints, it might be that this is the point in the series where they perhaps start jamming too many songs into the episodes as a way to keep from having to watch too much story, but when the musical numbers work as well as the ones on this show do, I’ll take that.

Score in Progress: B+


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