Well, my fourth year of college is finally over, and I’ve left my adopted home of Morgantown for my actual home town of Philippi for the rest of the summer until school starts back up again in the fall. I love being home, and I love the fact that I’m going to get to spend one last real summer with my dad and my sister who are legitimately and without any hyperbole my two best friends on the planet; however, Philippi is in the middle of nowhere and I have no cell phone service here and we have dial-up internet. Updating this blog is going to take me much, much longer than it really ever should and I’m slightly frustrated by that fact. However, I’m a trooper and shall continue marching on for as long as I can handle it. If I can’t deal with the dial-up internet, I’ll write all of my reviews immediately after I watch the movies, and then I’ll post the reviews once I go to my mother’s house every other weekend because she has real internet. I just want to avoid having to do that. Anyways, back to Glee.

Well, after much waiting and and teasing, the first half of season 1 of Glee has finally come to a pretty magnificent close. Three major storylines are resolved by the time episode 13 comes to a close. Sectionals has come and gone with New Directions coming in first despite the fact that Sue Sylvester leaked their set list to the other teams and they had to pull out three new numbers completely out of their asses. Will finally finds out that Terri has been faking her pregnancy and shows the sort of rage and seething intensity you wouldn’t think Matthew Morrison would be capable of. Also, Finn discovers that Puck is the actual father of Quinn’s unborn baby and has a reaction fairly similar to Will’s. I guess there’s one other big moment. Emma and Will finally get the kiss you’ve been waiting for all season, and along with Kurt and Blaine’s first kiss in Season 2, it’s really one of the emotional highpoints of the entire series.

Episode 12, “Mattresses” isn’t one of my favorite episodes of the series, although it is the one where you get the pay off of Will’s discovery of what’s really happening with Terri. However, the next one, “Sectionals”, is much better and one of the better episodes of the whole series. It’s really a credit to the writing of the series that I can believe it when Rachel says she’s been practicing a song since she was 4 and then perform the hell out of “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from Funny Girl, despite her character having no time to practice. Watching New Directions succeed on Glee goes against every bit of my nature as a cynical intellectual who thinks stimulating art should always be angsty or full of failure and tragedy in order for it to really succeed, but watching these kids grow and really come into themselves over the course of this series consistently remains one of the most emotionally rewarding parts of my general TV viewing experience.

Appropriately, “Sectionals” is filled with some of the season’s finest performances. Mercedes literally gave me chills with her rendition of Dreamgirl‘s “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going.” Every time I hear that she was turned down by American Idol, I start shaking my head and wondering what the producers of that show were smoking. As I mentioned Rachel belts out “Don’t Rain on My Parade” like the Broadway star Lea Michele was prior to Glee. Plus, they even do one of my all time favorite Rolling Stones songs, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and it’s great.

It’s really weird, having seen the (in my opinion) superior second season of the show and to look at how narrow the focus of the first season is. Anything that is not Rachel, Will, Finn, or Quinn is still so ridiculously paper thin. The other characters really haven’t gotten a chance to grow or develop yet and I’m really thankful they get those opportunities later on. Every second Chris Colfer (Kurt) is on screen and not being given a chance to demonstrate how talented he is, is a waste of a scene. Don’t get me wrong. I love Rachel and Will but the show has become so much bigger than them that it’s really jarring going back to these old but still beloved episodes.

Score in Progress: B+