Season 2 of Glee has finally introduced pretty much the best story lines the show has ever had. I talked and talked about the mythical time in Glee‘s second season when the quality finally jumped into greatness, and it has finally happened. After starting season 2 off a little bit slower, the show finally found its stride again (the Rocky Horror debacle aside but I’ll get there later). However, this is the time that the show firmly plants itself on the dramatic side of the fence with comedy still present but as a less important afterthought which makes me yearn for its more satirical days.

With the exception of the first episode where the kids perform numbers from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and with one exception, they’re universally terrible, this is the moment that Glee begins it’s anti-gay bullying story arc and introduces Kurt’s future love interest, Blaine. The harassment that Kurt receives from school bully Dave Karofsky comes to a heated head when it turns out that Dave is a closeted homosexual that bullies because he is afraid of who he is. He threatens to kill Kurt, and when the school board does nothing about it, Kurt transfers to an all-boys school, the Dalton Academy whose glee club, the Warblers, are New Directions’ rivals at this year’s sectionals. Kurt is joined at the Dalton Academy by Warbler star Blaine who Kurt is immediately infatuated with.

The message of these story arcs is an incredibly important and courageous moment in network TV storytelling. The anti-bullying story came in the wake of the myriad gay suicides that had surfaced in the news and how the media was finally giving the issue the attention it deserved. It inspired me to write the essay that I had re-posted on to this blog that I had written on Facebook back in November. No kid should have to live in constant fear and terror because of who he is, and Glee had the balls to be one of the biggest hits on TV and yet still tell a story with a meaningful political message. I don’t care if you’re Christian, Muslim, atheist, or Buddhist. If you don’t think all of our country’s children have a right to a safe and welcoming learning environment free of constant harassment, then you’re a cruel and heartless bigot.

Musically, this stretch had some great numbers. I hated the Rocky Horror episode, but Emma’s version of “Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me” got me hot under the collar. The Warbler’s provide a stirring acapella rendition of Kay Perry’s “Teenage Dream” that I have jammed in my car radio far more times than I’m proud to admit. Gwyneth Paltrow briefly joins the cast as substitute teacher Holly Holiday (and is awesome), and she belts out a stellar cover of Cee-Lo’s “Forget You”. Will and Mike do a memorable version of “Make ‘Em Laugh” from Singing in the Rain. My dad liked their mas-up of “Singing in the Rain” and Rihanna’s “Umbrella” but I wasn’t a fan. I think I’m too attached to that song to be an unbiased critic though. Finn sings Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are” to Kurt and every time I hear it, it makes me cry.

I cried in two out of these four episodes. I actually spent most of “Furt” in tears when Kurt’s dad and Finn’s mom get married. And the scenes between Coach Beiste and Will in “Never Been Kissed” remind you of how great a guy Will can be when his relationship with Emma doesn’t turn him into Mr. Creepy which he can be sometimes this season. Gwyneth Paltrow was a delight as Holly Holiday and I can’t wait to re-watch her episodes from later in the season. The next review will only be two episodes long; it will be this year’s sectionals and the Christmas episode. I can’t believe how much Glee I’ve been watching lately. As much as I love this show, I’m probably going to be happy to be done with it and move on to a different show for this blog. Although before I know it, season 3 will be airing in the fall. I’m still super-excited for Nationals though.

 Score in Progress: A-