The Washington Post

Sep 22, 2010

Are you excited to return to McKinley High or are you over the "Glee" phenomenon? Blogger Emily Yahr takes your questions about the Season 2 premiere, the show's cast and characters and more.

Read Emily's recap: 'Glee' is back, with some new friends

Is the return of "Glee" something to sing about? (Carin Baer - FOX)

"Glee's" back! Though you wouldn't know it had ever left, considering that news about the show seems seems to ever, ever stop.

What did you think of the premiere last night? Looking online and talking to people for reaction this morning, it seems very mixed. Riding high on so much attention from last season, were you expecting more? Or did you think it was just over-the-top enough?

Has Glee gotten too big for its britches? Because that is the feeling I walked away with. The plots that were introduced were lame (and where was Emma??); the opening sequence didn't feel very in character with the show; and the characters began to feel like caricatures.

Also, how on earth would Rachel know where to find a crack house? Even one that wasn't active...that was just out of character and silly.

Sue was too over the top making her character also seem silly. UGG if it continues this way, I'm done!

Good question to start out with, because this is always the most interesting element when a show is fantastically successful in season 1...can season 2 live up to the  hype? And sometimes even more importantly, has the success gone to the actors' heads?

That was the fasincating thing about the opener -- it either came off as really brave, or completely obnoxious, as they addressed all the things people  have been saying about the show (Lea Michele is a diva, Matthew Morrison shouldn't rap, etc.), following it all up with Chris Colfer's character saying something along the lines of, "It's really easy to sit in a chair and type awful things on the Internet, but it's another to actually be the ones who do all the work." It felt like a brush-off to people with any criticism of the show.

And to your other commenst, Emma will be back next week...and going out of her way to find a crack house to send a fellow competitor, sadly, doesn't seem that out of character for Rachel Berry...

was Jacob Ben-Israel's video blog? That was the perfect way to start the season. Plus, totally ragging on Mr. Schue's rapping ability. Not enough Puck though. There can never be enough Puck.

But then, there are some people who loved it! I'm still not sure how I feel about them getting all meta and addressing the issues with the show head on, but something definitely needed to be said about Mr. Schue's rapping. So maybe something good will come of this.

And Puck's role was definitely reduced, as were many of the other popular characters from last season, to make room for the new guys. Where did Mercedes and Kurt go? No matter how absurd the storylines got last season, those two were always good for an actual laugh-out-loud line.

So I honestly thought she was Ken Tanaka in that horrible? Did anyone else think that?

Now I can't NOT stop thinking that! Thank you for that image. And poor Ken Tanaka. That character was never meant to last...too bad they wrote him off with a nervous breakdown or something.

Who is blondie? He's totally great! Sure hope he becomes a permanent member of the Glee club!

That would be Chord Overstreet, whose biggest role to date seems to be as a dreamy guy on Nickelodeon's "iCarly," so he must be thrilled to jump aboard the "Glee" train. I thought his voice was fantastic...and enjoyed it much more than the heavily-hyped Charice (also known as Rachel's new nemesis Sunshine).

Ok is it me or is the new football coach THE SAME actor from last year only made up as a woman? I kid you not I think it is the same actor.

Apparently this was a popular thought! But I have it on good authority (a.k.a. from Fox) that the new football coach is played by Dot Marie Jones, who according to IMDB has had roles on tons of primetime shows, though I'm racking my brain and can't remember her on any that they list. She seems like she would be hard to forget, though?

Def. agree. I didn't enjoy her singing at all--she's much, much too over the top. Really liked the Glee Club guy's number, which was probably the show highlight for me.

Yeah...I get she's a a YouTube sensation and all, and annointed by Ellen, and Oprah, etc...but  I wasn't so wowed. However her existence did lead to that hilarious cameo by "30 Rock's" Cheyenne Jackson as the new Vocal Adrenaline coach, who reportedly will have a major recurring role, so for that I am grateful.

Who sang telephone by GaGa/Beyonce?

That duet was done by Rachel Berry and the one and the aforementioned Charice, whose character Sunshine is now Rachel's mortal enemy, since she can actually sing. I liked the song but Lea Michele needed to tone down the fierce-ness a little. She literally looked like she was going to rip the poor girl's head off, and it was scary/distracting.

And is Chord Overstreet a real name?

It does seem like they're catering to the Bieber crowd, doesn't it? That name seems totally fake, but he swears in an interview that it's real, and it's a family name of sorts: "I was the third one in my family born, and there are three notes in a chord, so that's how they came up with my name." I'll take his word for it...

I just wanted to chime in to say I loved the episode! While I liked the '80s songs that were often featured last season, I just loved the new, popular songs done in last night's episode. I'm looking forward to this season!

I was wondering about this -- is it a smart strategy to sing newer songs that the target fanbase will know after hearing them all over iTunes and the radio, or are people too sick of hearing "Empire State of Mind" to want to download it, especially featuring Artie and Finn trying to rap?

I did kinda like the video blog opener, but I also think that TV executives just need to be a little less touchy about what people on the Internet say.

On the one hand the people who blog about and participate in forums about the show are its hardcore fans--you know, the people who _watch_ the show. So if lots of them don't like something, it matters.

On the other hand, it _is_ really easy to say nasty anonymous things on the Internet, so there's no need to take every single one of them so seriously.

I think I tend to agree with this seemed kind of overkill to address every tiny bit of criticism and then blast the viewers by saying "Well you don't actually DO the work, so you can't POSSIBLY understand. Now leave us alone, mere mortals." You're right, the ones that obsessively critique the show online are the people that care about it the most, so even if the TV execs take it to heart, there was probably a better (and funnier) way to address it.

So minus a few snide remarks I noticed on last night's show nobody really mentioned Quinn’s pregnancy. In an era of "Juno," "Teen Mom" and Bristol Palin, don't you think Glee is further glamorizing teen pregnancy by pretending it never happened?

Ah, the disappearing baby syndrome! Most TV shows that introduce a baby usually have it quickly disappear or handed off to a permanent nanny within moments of its birth, and "Glee" proved to be no exception. Add in a few jokes about Quinn being an advocate for abstinence, and that seems to have effectively gotten rid of that storyline for good.

So, is the Asian dude really going to have a part this year rather than just being background eye candy?

Seeing as he's not part of an integral Tina-Artie-Mike Chang love's possible. Think he negotiated that by offering to show his six-pack abs at least once every episode?

I, for one, like the popular songs best when they're glee-d up. Last night's Empire State of Mind just seemed like a re-do of the original. Not very interesting at all. (I'm a hater of that song, though.) I like it more when they switch things up, doing less conventional versions of songs like Papa Don't Preach, and Poker Face (which was crap-tastic).

Yes! That most definite craptastic, slowed-down version of "Poker Face" is what "Glee" should be about. I would have enjoyed "Empire State of Mind" more if they had mixed it up a little, too...I was mostly just embarrassed for their New York City t-shirts.

In the Telephone number, I couldn't tell if she wanted to rip her head off or was going to kiss her!

She got so close to her so many times I thought, what the heck is she going to do?

That was a strangely choreographed number. And Sunshien looked so clueless through the whole thing that I wasn't sure if she was acting...but maybe that means she's just a really great actor?

who really has the best voice on the show? And does it really matter? Sue steals the show.

Hmm, good question. For some reason I really got to like Tina's voice last year when she did solos, and her version of "True Colors" was gorgeous. Mr. Schuester's voice great when he's not rapping. And I'm officially a fan of the New Blond Guy. Lea Michele's voice is arguably unbelievable, no matter what you think of her.

She has a very good voice, but I just can't watch her sing. She makes so many faces she looks like she is in pain or something. What's with that?

And, like I was saying, lots of people have other issues with her...including her often odd face contortions. But usually her voice makes up for it.

They were very, very nice abs.

Almost suspiciously so...I hope they're real.

Maybe the missing baby will be introduced as a freshman at the end of the season in true soap opera fashion.

We can only hope. But at that point the now-grown baby will naturally have to fall in love with someone to create an impossible love triangle, so it's a tall order.

Hi - I didn't do my summer reading of blogs (diva issues, too much rap) and totally didn't get the video blog but probably because I don't hang out on TMZ or other blogs too much.

Still - just read the WaPo review and I agree that many elements were disjointed but expected and looked over.

I'm wondering why the opening number (JayZ cover) was considered an embarrassment? I thought that everyone got a voice and the chorus came together. Brittany is a proven dancer more than a singer. I did think the costumes were a bit corny.

As someone pointed out earlier (and I agree) it's mostly that they didn't do anything NEW with the song. It just seemed like lipsynching and jumping around wearing lame t-shirts.

LOVE Brittany -- she's hilarious and an incredible dancer. Will we see more of her this season?

She's the main attraction next week -- it's Brittany vs. Britney. Does anyone remember Spears from her "How I Met Your Mother" gig? Awkward! Maybe she will be more comfortable in her natural habitat singing and dancing.

I loved the show, and loved Charice. I think her's was the best number in the show. New Directions will continue to be the underdog in competitions with Charice joining Vocal Adrenaline. So we'll continue to root for them. Glee is the most exciting, funny and creative show to come along in years. And what a talented cast!

Thanks for writing in Mr. Murphy.

Glad to see Ryan Murphy has joined us! And while we're at it, can you hire Neil Patrick Harris back too?

I've heard actually that not only are Santana and Brittany now regular cast members but those random kids who dance and provide backup vocals are going to actually get back stories and some more face time.

That's the word on the street, anyway. Watch out, people: This could be the Year of Mike Chang, or the Guy At the Piano.

I'll be honest I laugh hysterically everytime someone gets slusheed on the show. My husband thinks it's terrible and doesn't understand why it keeps happening. What do you think?

Usually I wince when that happens, but even I appreciated the Slushee humor last night after Kurt's diatribe essentially telling "Glee" fans to be quiet and keep their negative opinions to themselves. Keep on laughing!

I just wanted to say I am so excited that Glee is getting this attention from the Post. I miss me my Lost chats, but at least I have Glee now!

Happy to help ease the sadness of the demise of "Lost"...I'll be blogging the show all season, so here's hoping for some truly ridiculous guest stars! "Glee" may not have "Lost's" intricate plot twists, but they could require Gwyneth Paltrow to sing and dance.

Re.your comment, "Well you don't actually DO the work, so you can't POSSIBLY understand. Now leave us alone, mere mortals." But don't you think the slurpee in the face that followed sort of said "Oh, get over yourself already!"

Well yes, true, that slushee moment was satisfying. I wish it had been thrown in more of their faces, though. Would have helped with the Second Season Smugness.

Well, Harry has been a professional dancer for several years. I am guessing those abs are very real.

What's with the boob job? Just to give Sue a reason to trash her and set up competition with Quinn? I didn't really get it.

I'm with you -- that plotline seemed out-of-nowhere, as was the Santana-Quinn beatdown. Um, what? I'm hoping it's going somewhere interesting.

I seem to recall that Heather Morris originally applied for a job as a choreographer on "Glee," but the producers et al. recognized her deadpan comedy and other talent, so offered her the Brittany role instead. Does Heather do any of the choreography on the show? In many of the dance routines, she seems to be like the Dance Captain, leading the others (or is that just my imaginings?).

Meet Heather Morris

If memory serves, she had been a backup dancer for Beyonce, and they brought her in for the "Single Ladies" episode.

I had not heard that about her applying to be a choreographer..that is a fun fact. She does lead the dancers in most routines, and will have her chance to shine in next week's Brittany/Britney dance-off...I believe I saw her in a promo with a snake draped around her neck, a la old school Britney.

Isn't his name Brad? As a pianist and accompanist, I wish he'd get more recognition -- our work is so good, yet so *cough* *cough* un-sung!

You're right. It's Brad. I recall Ryan Murphy saying something funny about how he wants Brad to have one line at the end of the series about how much he hates all the kids, because you can totally see the look of despair on his face every episode.

I thought Idina Menzel's character adopted Quinn's baby, then resigned from coaching rival "Vocal Adrenalin" to be a SAHM for a while. Will Idina return to "Glee" at all this season? If so, the missing baby could be integrated into the plotline with Quinn seeing how baby Beth is doing. (In fact, could we start thinking now about what song Quinn could sing in that scenario?)

That's true, I'm guessing Idina will pop back in eventually with the baby, probably around sweeps time. And the song choices are endless for that mother-daughter reunion...

Hi, Emily. This Gleek thoroughly enjoyed the energy of the second season premiere, though I did find the resemblance of the new football coach to the old one uncanny (and kinda unnerving).

I thought Jacob's interviews were a great device to kick things off and may even have helped new viewers get their bearings. Much as I missed Emma, and wished Kurt and Mercedes had been given more to do, no single episode can feature all our favorites.

Anyway, my question: If Matt's the only singer who left the club, then they don't need both Sam and Sunshine, right? And does that mean someone else is going to get the axe (one of the cheerleaders, maybe?)

Well now that Sunshine has defected and gone to Vocal Adrenaline, looks like they're going to need Sam's Bieber-esque talents to join the club. But maybe the bizarre Quinn-Santana fight is setting up for one of them to get kicked out? Seriously, what was with that fight...

Fans, please check out my friend's awesome blog What Would Emma Pillsbury Wear?

...I will be investigating this as soon as the chat's over. I so adore her remarkably color-coordinated outfits.

WHOA! Where did Rachel Berry go? She was in the show but only half her size! Did Glee loose the Kraft Services cart?

That is one great explanation...hey, it costs a lot to hire John Stamos!

So what were they supposed to do about it? It's not a documentary, people. Besides, since Rachel's mama adopted the kid I'm sure she'll pop up eventually.

At the most inopportune time, I'm sure. Hopefully she will have a fabulous voice and become a child prodigy singer and send Rachel into another  sort of nervous breakdown.

I missed last night's episode. What is the one thing I need to know that happened last night?

Cheyenne Jackson threw a Hello Kitty backpack over his shoulder in a huff and marched away with the glee club's most promising new cast member.  Maybe not the most important element, but my favorite scene from the premiere.

Is it crazy to believe that a fairytale is brewing called Sue & the Beist?

I'm wavering on how I want this Sue-Beiste rivalry to play out. She and Will are pretty good enemies, but I suppose she needs a new foil.

LIKES: New characters with good voices who spice up the show, Finn's audition for the Cheerios. DISLIKES: Quinn immediately reverting to "Mean Girl Cheerleader" after everythying she went through last year. Also, Rachel sending the new girl to a crack house and then singing an emotional rendition of "What I Did For Love" seemed forced and dishonest for her character.

"What I Did For Love" seemed to drag on just about forever...

I loved that Rachel saw the new girl as a threat, when the new girl didn't intend to be a rival at all juxtaposed with Finn really liking the new guy, who turned out to be a rival who stole his place as QB on the team.

That's some good "Glee" analysis right there. Can we coin a phrase? "Glee"-nalysis? That just doesn't sound right, but i want it to happen.

Something I really liked about last night's episode is that they sang two Broadway show tunes from "Dreamgirls" and "A Chorus Line."

Don't get me wrong, I love the modern stuff and the classic old school pieces but I think some of the best Glee moments are when they are going back to the show-tune roots.

I hope we see some more of that this season (although based on the number of guest artists and hyped Britney and Coldplay episodes, my guess is probably not).

All of the "Glee" performances I've enjoyed the most have been from Broadway ("Defying Gravity" will never leave my iPod), so hopefully it won't get lost in the Britney/Coldplay shuffle.

Do you think they'll get around to addressing the double-standard in Glee. To date, it's been okay to mock the very masculine female football coach. Her mere presence is supposed to be a joke. But so much of the show is about countering heterosexism and gay-bashing. When someone says something to Kurt, we get these treacly, over-the-top, afterschool special quality speeches about being nice to people who are different.

Good point...although we did get a somewhat treacly moment between Coach Beiste and Will yesterday. I'm guessing those will never stop.

Will Burt be back this season? He's one of my favorite characters.

Given that he got an Emmy nomination for his admittedly excellent work (and isn't he still dating Finn's mom?) I'm sure Burt will be back soon.

I remember that last season they had online casting calls. Are the 2 new cast members (Sunshine and Sam) pulled from this contest?

That contest sort of quietly died earlier this year when Fox realized that everyone on "Glee" was too busy going on Oprah and visiting the White House to devote time to another project. Both Sunshine and Sam are both aspiring singers/actors..

She sings like she is still on a Broadway stage and needs the audience in the last row of the balcony to hear her. I think she needs to tone down her voice and "antics" for TV.

Yes...facial expressions, while probably lovely on Broadway, come across as just scary on close-up TV.

Will she reappear this season?

Even though I don't know where they could go after her fake pregnancy storyline, she will indeed be back to wreak havoc for everyone.

I am totally (by choice!) out of touch with today's "popular" music. I didn't know any of the songs they did in this episode and still do not want to know any of them. I'm not saying I need to know all the songs to enjoy this show - their versions of those songs did not make me want to jump on iTunes and download them. Not impressed, but I will keep watching in hopes it will get better as the season goes on.

Hmm, you may want to avoid the Britney-centric episode next week then...

I love Glee and was really looking forward to the premire last night. Maybe my expectations were too high, but I was a little underwhelmed. It seemed to fizzle out at the end. I'll keep watching, though, because I love it so much.

It did seem a little lackluster, but you can never judge too quickly too early in the  second season. Intrigued to see what the rest of the season will bring.

I'm out of time (and have an "American Idol" announcement to watch), but thanks for all your questions! I'll be blogging "Glee" all season, so check The TV Column blog every Wednesday morning to join in the fun.

In This Chat
Emily Yahr
Emily Yahr is a member in good standing of WaPo Team TV, knows more about Disney Channel programming than she should, and will be blogging about "Glee" all season.
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