I have a love/hate relationship with Glee. I have a feeling most theater people do. Sometimes, the show is a great exploration of the conceit of musical theaters. Other times, it’s some of the most mind-numbing television on a major network. It’s hit or miss in the absolute worst way.
The promo is promising a return to form after Season 2′s money-grabbing run of tribute episodes. I’m not holding my breath. Season 1 wasn’t exactly good enough to convince me we need to return to that form. The show has been consistently just good enough every few episodes to keep me watching. I’d much rather it be just be good always.
There are a few things I’m looking forward to on the new season. First, Sue Sylvester is given a new way to torture the performing arts students at McKinley High. She will be running for political office on the platform that all funding for performing arts programs needs to be funneled into other areas of education. Considering the widespread vilification of public school teachers and programs right now, it’s a surprisingly current and less-explored issue than last year’s ode to bullying.
Second, some of these kids are graduating. Nevermind that the pilot which apparently isn’t canon except for how it clearly is made it quite clear that some of the students should have graduated already. It’s finally going to happen. We get to say goodbye to…most of the principle cast. Pretty much anyone that was in the pilot is confirmed to be graduating. While we lose characters that the show finally got around to using well–Santana and Brittany in particular–we also lose characters that are more polarizing and have overstayed their welcome. Except for Lea Michele, whose manager and agent must have thrown such a violent fit that Ryan Murphy et.al. swore up and down she could come back on Season 4 somehow.
Regardless of that drama, graduating students mean new characters. New characters mean new voices and stories to explore. While we can’t get rid of the faculty that easily (unless you count the original football coach who just disappeared when he as no longer needed or Molly Shannon’s drunk teacher character), having new students should do a lot to change the dynamics of the school.
Third, The Glee Project kids are going to start appearing. I already speculated as to what their storylines could be in my Who Will Win? post a few weeks ago. I think I have to be close to what they’re expecting here. We know that dual-winners Damian and Samuel each get seven episode arcs.
Runners-up Alex and Lindsay will also receive two episode arcs. I’m especially interested in seeing whether or not Glee pursues Alex’s story as a kid in a drag for fun or a teenage boy transitioning into a teenage girl against all odds in that school. The latter would be much more interesting. There’s also the looming promise (or threat, depending on how you see it) of the other contestants that impressed Ryan starting to filter in as background performers and guests on the series.
My biggest expectation is that maybe–somehow, someway–Glee will put a little more focus on Santana. Every time they give Naya Rivera a challenge, she exceeds all expectations. She’s developed a deep and nuanced character despite the show trying to pigeon-hole her as a mean girl for so long. Plus, she’s my favorite singer on the show.
I also think it’s pretty safe to say that Coach Beiste will receive more attention this season. Dot-Marie Jones did get nominated for the Emmy, which previously did wonders for the amount of screen time Jane Lynch, Chris Colfer, and Kristin Chenoweth received on Glee. She’s such a great actress who can go as broad or subtle as they need her to. That’s another actress who managed to force the writers to give her more to do. She made that horrid moment where she admits she was never kissed tolerable; a lesser actress would have had me throwing my TV out the window. It was so horribly scripted and staged, yet she managed to find a real moment in it.
Are you looking forward to another season? Sound off either way below.