Raina Deerwater ‘16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
It’s back, everyone. After over five years of singing, dancing, continuity errors, uncomfortable situations, offensive situations and even a death, Glee returns to our televisions for a sixth and final season. Just as the show comes back, its characters are returning to McKinley high school to crank out some tunes, break some hearts, and make us roll our eyes all the way back to 2009 when this show was decent.
An all-new Glee opened on with the fictional TV show of Rachel Berry (Lea Michele): “That’s So Rachel,” being canceled and Rachel’s dream slowly dying. As her producer, and angry bald, Ryan Murphy-esqe, man excellently portrayed by Jim Rash put it, “you managed to offend every single special interest group.” You have to give Glee some credit there, at least, for possibly bringing some of the self-awareness back that it had in the early years.
However, the episode goes downhill from there. Rachel goes back to McKinley, sings a duet of “Suddenly Seymour” with Blaine (Darren Criss) with no context whatsoever. We find out that Blaine is coaching the Warblers, Mr. Schue (Matthew Morrison) and his cute baby are coaching Vocal Adrenaline, and there are no more New Directions anymore. This is, of course, due to Sue (Jane Lynch) taking over the school.
Sadly, it takes the whole first hour and several more songs to get to the conclusion that of all people, Rachel Berry herself is going to be the new coach of New Directions. Who would have thunk that this show would run out of ideas and then circle back on where it started to try and gain back some of the success before it turned into blatant fan service?
The first episode ends with a rendition of Frozen’s “Let it Go” where Rachel sings about snow as a metaphor for embracing her failures. Maybe. We’re not sure, but Rachel has always had a lot in common with her biological mother (Idina Menzel) so now we have more proof of that. The use of “Let it Go” reminds the audience of Glee that we have to let go of the subtly and sweetness of the early seasons, and just sit back and enjoy the train wreck the show has become.
“Homecoming” at least feels more like an episode of Glee then the premiere, thankfully. That has a lot to do with the homecoming of most of the original characters. None of them really do anything, but it’s nice to have familiar faces in the glee club other than Rachel. Her and Kurt (Chris Colfer) have to call in the good ol’ ghosts of New Directions past to help get their new glee club on the road.
Meanwhile, over at Blaine’s boy’s private school paradise, things are getting weird. They have let a girl (GASP) into the school, but should they let her into the Warblers? All the boys say a lot of really sexist things about letting Jane (Samantha Marie Ware) into the Warblers, and then she wows them with a rendition of “Tightrope.” This girl can sing, there is no doubt, however the boys continue to be ridiculously sexist for 2015 and don’t let her in.
The other new character is a poor boy named Roderick (Noah Guthrie) of all things who is bullied at McKinley but just wants to listen to his music. If only he could find a group of ragtag underdogs who also liked music and felt the weight of the world on their shoulders. Good thing there is a new Glee club in town.
Most of the episode is spent trying to get new people into the New New Directions to no avail. Of course, at the end, things magically turn around when they drag Roderick the auditorium to audition, and Jane turns her back on sexist all male schools. And a brother and sister aptly called “insect twins” come from the Cheerios. Hopefully, we get all Game of Thrones up in here. They have four people now, so it could be a real club? There’s also a gay football player who we all know is going to join the club. Just give him time.
It would be a sweet plot to see these two talented kids finding somewhere they belong, if it wasn’t the same thing that Glee did five years ago. However, it’s almost nice to see it just redoing old plots as opposed to trying new ones, because that never ends up well.
The episode closes with two things. One is a confrontation between Rachel and Blaine saying that she stole Jane from him and now “it’s on.” Well when they get to sectionals/regionals/whatever it is, we are going to see some competition. We knew playing nice wouldn’t last that long, let’s be honest.
The other thing that ends the episode is an ensemble rendition of Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros’ “Home.” It’s a song that brings out the sentimentality in everyone. Having it sung by the majority of the cast brought out some genuine emotion for a second, almost enough to forget that the musical numbers used to always have some semblance of context. Or maybe the bar has been set so low, that the harmonies and smiling faces of the Glee club are enough to make us watch the 11 more episodes the show has to offer. Only time will tell.
Overall Episode Grades:
“Loser Like Me” – D-
“Homecoming” – C