Wednesday, September 22, 2010
(Spoiler alert--if you haven't seen the season 2 premiere of Glee and don't want to know what happens, then look no further).
Season 2 of Glee kicked off in grand style last night with "Audition." With Matt Rutherford having departed the club (did Dijon Talton ever get a line?), the group searches for a replacement, finding two rather worthy possibilities: Rachel (Lea Michele) discovers Philippino foreign exchange student Sunshine Corazon (Charice Pempengco) singing in the bathroom and instantly can sense she has talent, as well as competition, and Finn discovers new football player Sam Evans's (Chord Overstreet) singing talent when he catches Sam singing in the locker room shower (what a wonderful way to discover new talent!).
Meanwhile, Will (Matthew Morrison) and Sue (Emmy-winner Jane Lynch) form a reluctant alliance against a common foe, the new football coach Shannon Bieste (Dot Jones), pronounced "beast," who draws the ire of both Will and Sue for hogging the school's extra-curricular budget.
I really liked all the new characters. Both of the new kids can really sing, particularly Pempengo, whose better known as international pop star "Charice." She's even already had two Hot 100 hit singles. The guy is really cute too--will he be the rumored love interest for Kurt? Perhaps. The coach seems like a really great new character too. She's got a gruff exterior, but she's really quite sensitive. With Talton gone, Mike Chang (Harry Shum Jr.) appears to be moving closer to second-tier character status. He had a lot more screen time this week than he's ever had before, showing his now much-buzzed about abs in one scene. And he's dating Tina...to Artie's severe disappointment.
All five musical numbers from last week are in the iTunes top 10, including the top 3 spots, having dislodged Rihanna's "Only Girl." Here's my take:
1. Empire State of Mind (full cast). This was supposed to be the big season kick-off number. I guess my expectations were too high, as I was actually a bit disappointed by the performance. The song sounds great, although are the guys really that cut out for rap? It was nice to stage the song outdoors, but I found the choreography lacking and though the song deserved more creative filming. I thought their New York t-shirts were cool though.
2. Telephone, Lady GaGa & Beyonce (Rachel and Sunshine). This was my favorite number of the night. Although the choreography was a little odd at times, they both sounded awesome.
3. Billionaire, Travie McCoy feat. Bruno Mars (Sam and the guys). Sam was really, really great in his first Glee performance. It made me like this song actually.
4. Listen, from "Dreamgirls," film version (Sunshine). This was Sunshine's big moment, and it really showed off her singing ability. I don't care for this song that much, but she was fantastic.
5. What I Did for Love, from "A Chorus Line" (Rachel). Lea Michele sounded great as usual, although, not being familiar with this song, I thought it didn't have as much emotional resonance as was maybe intended.
Best: Telephone, followed closely by Billionaire and Empire State of Mind.