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"Glee" The New Rachel (2012)

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The New Rachel

8/10
Author: tbmforclasstsar from United States
15 September 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

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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1 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Glee The New Rachel

8/10
Author: dalydj-918-255175 from Ireland
14 September 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Rachel has graduated and now she must deal with even more devils and of course it's Kate Hudson who is the evil of New York. But after a quick look at Rachel we go back to McKinley High School, with everyone thinking they are the best because they can't be like Rachel. Then back to Rachel who seems to have made a friend. Back to McKinley and Unique comes back and That gets me excited. First song of the season and it is the song of the summer "Call Me Maybe" with a four way battle between Blaine, Brittany, Tina and Unique. Another new character and it seems that they are going to have to many characters. Second musical number and it is the first sound of Kate we hear because up till this point she has just been a mean person in Rachel's way. She sings a mix of "Americano/Dance Again" and dances much better then I thought she world. Like in Season 1 auditions begin and there just as bad as they were but this time there were bad singers so it was like a repeat of American Idol which then leads to some singing people in McKinley and NYADA which gives a mix of Rachel and new character Marley singing "New York State of Mind" which I believe was sung much better by newbie Marley Rose as she felt the song much better then Rachel did who seemed to just sing it rather then feel it. Of course Marley is set to be the new Rachel but unlike Rachel she is a new person with a mother who is some pose to be the sympathetic part that makes the character more sweeter. Next song is "It's Time" sung by Blaine as a tribute to his boyfriend Kurt who is still at school after graduating. At least Marley was brave enough to admit that she has a mother everyone was making fun of which was a good moment of the episode. More Kate Hudson in this episode is what I called for because I believe that she could make a serious threat to Rachel's life and the Emmy's next year because she may be mean but unlike Sue she seems to be more talented and fun to watch like Sue has become so horrible to watch on the TV. It seems that the scene between Kurt and Burt may be the last one compared to all the great moments they have had all the time. Well just when we think we lose cast members they have to show us new cast members who are the exact same as the ones that left. This episode ends with a version of Adele's "Chasing Pavements". The end to the episode to me seemed just as average as the whole episode seemed and that's what makes me think that this new Glee may be worse to me then the show I once loved with all the old gang but I will still watch.

EPISODE GRADE: B- (MVP: Kate Hudson)

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