After watching the season premiere of "Glee," a few words came to mind: Welcome back, baby! Tonight's debut was both a happy reunion of old friends and a warm welcome to interesting new pals. The writing was fresh, funny, and a satisfying return to the original charm of the program.
The "old" RachelRachel Berry finds out the hard way how much of a tough town New York City can be for entertainers. When she gets whipped around and insulted by the nightmare dance instructor Cassandra, played with delicious venom by Kate Hudson, Rachel realizes that a star in Ohio doesn't necessarily shine in the Big Apple.
The writers' choice to take Rachel in this direction was a wise one, because little Miss Diva could sure benefit from a "leave your ego at the door" reality check. When Cassandra says to Rachel, "Welcome to New York City -- you suck," it cleverly set the tone for what lies ahead.
Rachel, however, did get the chance to do what she does best, sing, and her version of Billy Joel's iconic "New York State of Mind," performed in synchronicity with Marley, the "new Rachel," was simply flawless. The vocals from both women were excellent, and it was a loving way to show viewers a passing of the "gleek" torch.
"New" Rachel and friendsFor the most part, the latest members of the Glee Club are very impressive, with Marley being the stand-out. Unique is also a fun character with potential, as is Jake.
What makes "Glee" so special are the quirky, lovable kids. Based on the first show, fans will easily like and relate to the updated gang, and should enjoy seeing familiar faces (Artie, Tina, Brittany, Blaine, and Sam) back in Mr. Schue's classroom.
More Coach Sue and Mr. Schue!
The downside was a lack of comedic superstar Jane Lynch as Coach Sue. She got in a few snappy, amusing lines, showed off her new baby, and bossed around the newest whipping girl, Kitty, but it wasn't quite enough.
Coolest teacher-of-the-year, Will Schuester, was also seen for only a couple minutes, but here's hoping there will be more scratching and clawing with Mr. Schue and Sue, because their chemistry is just too juicy and entertaining to not include more often.
"Glee" is off to a wonderful start, and if the writing stays consistent, it could be one fabulously rockin' year!