I know it's lame to start with a "Good/Bad/Ugly" post, but "Auditions" is not an episode that merits a thoughtful essay. It's not terrible, but for one of the most anticipated premieres of the season, I found it disappointing.
Sue Sylvester. I realized I'm basically only still watching Glee for Sue at this point, and she saved an otherwise meh episode last night. It was fun to watch her giggling with Will during their short-lived alliance. Everything she says is so wrong and it goes too far and it's funnier the worse it gets.
New blood. Ken Tanaka is gone and his replacement was more interesting in her first scene than he was in an entire season. Coach Beiste is going to be fun. And the new kids - Sam and Sunshine - both have great voices and potential for engaging stories. Even if Sam's mouth is comically, distractingly, entirely too big for any face.
Randomness. Puck's vasectomy, Santana's boob job, Brittany's summer in the sewers, Becky, Asian Camp, Finn's Cheerios tryout. Glee is my guilty pleasure show and I appreciate the wacky WTF moments way more than the high school drama.
Lea Michele's haircut. I mean, it's not a bad haircut but it makes her even less believable as an awkward and fashion-challenged 17-year-old. I was immediately taken out of the story during all her scenes because all I could see was a Hollywood twenty-something.
The song selection. "Empire State of Mind," "Telephone," and "Billionaire"? Really? The performances were all decent, but the songs just didn't do anything for me. I get that it was the point to do recent hits for recruiting purposes, but over-saturation really worked against them here.
The ugly. (Uh, Glee?)
Artie/Tina/Mike. This whole plotline rubbed me completely the wrong way, which was a shame because I think it was supposed to be funny. I'm all for rounding out the background cast (and I'm excited by the prospect of more Mike), but there's character development and then there's out-of-character development. Tina, who was so offended by objectification last season, dumps Artie for Mike's abs. Artie, who used to be so sensitive and so infatuated with Tina, ignores her for weeks in favor of Halo and doesn't see how that makes him a bad boyfriend. Then, the only thing he takes away from the breakup is that he needs abs and should obviously join the football team as a battering ram, despite having previously learned to be realistic about his condition. Just... ugh. In a similar vein, while it was fun to watch Quinn's inner mean girl rise again, it effectively undid most of her character's growth last season. And Rachel has always been an egomaniac, but she's never been a sociopath. I'd like to think this was all done intentionally to show how fickle high school kids can be, but I'm afraid I don't give the Glee writers that much credit.
I'm hoping the junior high nostalgia will help me to enjoy "Britney/Brittany" next week, because Glee is officially on the bubble for me.