Glee: Season 4, Episode 1

The New Rachel (13 Sep. 2012)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Drama | Music
8.6
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 864 users  
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A still-heartbroken Rachel begins her brand new life in New York City, while back in Lima, the New Directions are struggling to figure out what to do with a group of only seven - and no star performer. Who will be their new Rachel Berry?

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Finn Hudson (credit only)
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Mercedes Jones (credit only)
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Santana Lopez (credit only)
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Noah 'Puck' Puckerman (credit only)
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Mike Chang (credit only)
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A still-heartbroken Rachel begins her brand new life in New York City, while back in Lima, the New Directions are struggling to figure out what to do with a group of only seven - and no star performer. Who will be their new Rachel Berry?

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Comedy | Drama | Music | Musical

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TV-14
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13 September 2012 (USA)  »

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16:9 HD
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[first lines]
Cassandra July: All right, kids, show me what you got. Ready? Five, six, seven, eight! Welcome to NYADA. This is Dance 101, my name's Cassandra July, and if you are not suffering from severe body dysmorphia, then you don't want it enough.
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References Game of Thrones (2011) See more »

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Time For Some Girl Talk
(uncredited)
Composed by James S. Levine
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User Reviews

 
The New Rachel
15 September 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I first fell for Glee because it possessed this strange, yet sincere, charm that made it not only fun and easy to watch, but also made it oddly relatable. Unfortunately, the show failed to maintain that charm not long after its impressive first season (for me, at least), and after a pretty terrible second and only just-okay third, I was prepared to be relatively unimpressed with last night's introduction to its fourth season. After all, this new chapter didn't just mean a new night, but new faces, new locales, and, quite literally, new directions, and knowing this show's reputation for handling too many things at once, I was a bit skeptical (can you blame me?).

To my pleasant surprise, however, it turns out I didn't need to be. As shocking to some as it may seem, "The New Rachel," directed by Brad Falchuk and written by Ryan Murphy, managed to handle its new material quite well, particularly its division of time and space between both Lima and New York. (Now, whether I'll still be saying the same thing in a few weeks when we venture off to check in on Santana, Mercedes, Finn, Puck, etc. is iffy, but in terms of last night, the show did a pretty nice job.) Season three's finale certainly suggested that the show would suddenly need to find a way to feature both the newest chapter of Rachel's life and the ever-present goings-on at McKinley High, and the change in scenery certainly offers a fresh, if predictable, perspective.

Trying her best to strive in New York, Rachel suddenly finds herself lost and struggling to positively stand out at NYADA, especially since Kurt wasn't accepted with her; it's also been two months since she's heard from Finn (and her new upperclassman hottie—sorry, I had to say it!—acquaintance, played by Terra Nova's Dean Geyer, threatens to confuse her), and her monstrous dance teacher (played by a lukewarm Kate Hudson) has it out for her. While I've never been Rachel's biggest fan, so far I appreciate seeing her away from McKinley and away from her element. Going from stand-out glee star to one who now has to fight to be remembered is a new and interesting aspect to Rachel's character, and while, sure, it may be somewhat unoriginal and cliché, it may just make for an interesting character arc.

Meanwhile back at McKinley, the remaining New Directions deal with their post-championship popularity (something that seriously made me laugh because, really, at what high school EVER has glee club/choir been popular?) as well as vie for Rachel's ex-role. Ultimately, Blaine's the winner, but the show doesn't waste too much time making it a big deal— despite the episode's title—so that was kind of nice. What it does spend some time on are the club's new members, namely Wade "Unique" Adams, who you'll remember from last season (suddenly, he's easily transferred schools and has wasted no time joining glee), Marley Rose (Melissa Benoist), the poor-ish daughter of the bullied, overweight lunch lady (a surprisingly deep back-story for a Glee newcomer) and Jake Puckerman (Jacob Artist), the half-brother of our very own Puck (who, of course, doesn't know he exists). And while, alright, Jake isn't technically a new New Direction (yet), I think we can pretty much guess he's bound to be. Oh, I suppose it's also worth noting that Schu is still, well, Schu ("Gleeeeeeeee!" = cringeworthiest moment of the night), Sue's had her daughter Robin (anyone else think that was a little soon?), and the Cheerios have their new Quinn Fabray in Kitty (Becca Tobin), who's already tossed her first slushie and is only bound to stir up more trouble.

To read the rest of the review (IMDb form too short) visit: http://custodianfilmcritic.com/glee-4-1-the-new-rachel/


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