Monday, September 19, 2011

TV: Catching Up for Glee Season 3 (Commentary)

With the season 3 premiere of Glee airing this week, how about a recap of the characters of the hit musical Fox dramedy that gets you ready to jump on for the new season in case you've missed out on this fun series and do not want to go through 44 episodes to catch up like I did this summer.

Will Schuester is a spanish teacher at William McKinley High School and in season 1 he takes over the school's glee club, renaming it New Directions. He finds himself attracted to the school's guidance counselor but news of his wife's pregnancy changes his focus back to his home. When his wife's lying comes out, Will erupts and files for divorce. Single, Will tries to start up a relationship with Emma but is rebuffed.

A brief make out session with Rachel's mom, the coach of Vocal Adrenaline helped illustrate that he was not ready for another relationship. In season 2 he hopes to try again with Emma but finds out she is dating her dentist. Undeterred he continues to be a presence around Emma but does start a relationship with super substitute Holly. When Holly breaks it off, he begins to reach out to Emma especially after her relationship with her dentist ends.

Sue Sylvester is a champion cheer coach at William McKinley High School with her team, the Cheerios. Used to being the dominating presence at the school, Sue feels threatened by Principal Figgins' support for the glee club and decides to undertake the mission to destroy Will Schuester and the glee club. Several times Sue comes close to accomplishing this goal but sometimes it is Sue's hidden softer side that lets the glee club stick around.

During season 2 Sue goes through a bit of an identity crisis when her Cheerios abandon her and stop her run at consecutive championships. Sue decides to marry herself, and her sister dies, shaking her core beliefs. By the end of the season Sue has decided to move past her feud with the glee club and looking towards running for political office.

Finn Hudson is the star quarterback and male lead of New Directions. During season 1 he was in a relationship with Quinn and when she became pregnant he believed he was the father because of a hot tub incident that did not include sex. The more time spent with the glee club, Finn begins to be drawn towards Rachel and when Quinn's cheating is revealed it paves the way for Finn and Rachel to come together just before their Regionals performance.

In season 2 it comes out that Finn lost his virginity to Santana, leading to his and Rachel's breakup and his reuniting with Quinn after they kiss and realize the chemistry they have. Finn also gains a brother in Kurt when Finn's mom marries Kurt's dad. The season finale saw Finn kiss Rachel during their performance at Nationals in New York, bringing them back together.

Rachel Berry is the female lead of New Directions with aspirations of Broadway for her future. During season 1 she discovers that the coach of rival glee club Vocal Adrenaline is her biological mother thanks to a brief relationship Rachel has with Vocal Adrenaline's Jesse St. James. When season 2 starts Rachel and Finn are in a relationship but he breaks it off with her when Rachel makes out with Puck to try to make Finn jealous. She also tricks new girl Sunshine into going to a crack house instead of the choir room to audition for glee club. Eventually she reunites with Finn during Nationals in New York, where she also solidifies her dream for Broadway with Kurt.

Quinn Fabray is a part of New Directions and was the head cheerleader of the Cheerios for most of two seasons. During season 1 she discovers she is pregnant with Puck's child and for a time tries to make it seem like Finn is the father. Quinn spends some time going between the boys before deciding neither were good father material and that she was not ready for a child, deciding to give up the baby. There is much drama involved with the baby and Will's then wife, Terri, wanting to take the baby as her own to cover her fake pregnancy. In the end however, it is Rachel's biological mother who adopts the baby after realizing how much she missed in not having Rachel in her life.

For season 2 Quinn comes with a renewed attitude to stay out of the boy drama but soon finds herself wooed by the clumsy new student Sam, who also happened to be the new star quarterback of McKinley High. Unfortunately her regrets came back to bite her as a newly single Finn set his eyes back on her and coaxes a kiss from Quinn. She still had feelings for Finn and the sparks from the kiss overruled her best intentions and she makes out with Finn behind Sam's back. This eventually breaks off her relationship with Sam and she picks back up with Finn and starts looking towards being prom queen. Finn however leaves her for Rachel and Quinn is sad that she does not seem to be enough.

Kurt Hummel is an openly gay member of New Directions and he frequently has to fight through perceptions to get to sing the roles he wants even if they are intended for females. In season 1 he joins the football team and dates Brittany for a brief time to try to impress his father. A continual thread through the two seasons is Kurt's insecurity with his relationship with his father and his inability to be the son he thinks his father wants him to be.

In season 2 starts a very dramatic, borderline abusive bullying by the football player Karofsky who takes offense to Kurt's gayness despite actually finding himself to be gay as well. It leads to Kurt transferring schools and meeting Blaine, another gay student that he immediately crushes on. By the end of the season Kurt is together with Blaine and has returned to McKinley High once the Karofsky business was straightened out.

Emma Pillsbury is McKinley High's guidance counselor and has obsessive compulsive disorder problems in regards to cleanliness. There is an attraction between she and Will but for most of the two seasons there are barriers between them with Will being married in S1 and her agreeing to marry Coach Tanaka. Her inability to commit herself to the relationship and her feelings for Will doomed things with Coach Tanaka but when Will is free and single in S2 Emma had found a suitable boyfriend in her dentist, Carl. Again Will is the reason the relationship falls apart and by the end of the season, Emma and Will seem to be heading in the right direction together.

Noah "Puck" Puckerman is a part of New Directions and the McKinley High football team. During season 1 it comes out he is the father of Quinn's baby and it ruins his friendship with Finn. While trying to seem like a good potential father for the baby, Puck continues to wander and sees Santana on the side. In season 2 Puck seems to have lost his lady mojo as well as his status in the school due to his glee club participation. For awhile Puck pursues Mercedes when she is part of the Cheerios to try to return to his prominence in the school. They do not mesh well and Puck leans towards his religion to find his way and chases Rachel. Again he is unsuccessful and spends the rest of the season wooing Lauren after she rescued him from a porter potty.

Santana Lopez was on the Cheerios before joining New Directions. Her public persona is a bitchy one, as she makes the effort to insult her fellow students on a daily basis. For most of the first two seasons she is seeing Puck and gets into confrontations with both Quinn and Lauren when they acquire Puck's attention. During season 2 her emotions bubble over when she realizes her feelings for Brittany but struggles with the ramifications of it.

Artie Abrams is wheelchair bound and a member of New Directions. During season 1 he dates Tina and for a time believes walking is right around the corner. His dreams are tempered by Miss Pillsbury's guidance, and his relationship is broken when Tina and Mike get together during the summer. In season 2 he joins the football team and dates Brittany but messes things up when he calls her stupid.

Brittany Pierce was on the Cheerios before joining New Directions. She is one of the best dancers in glee club and often shines in dance numbers with Mike. It might seem like naiveté but Brittany does not judge harshly and is open to new things. Brittany dates Artie for most of season 2, all the while finding time to make out with Santana, someone she loves.

Principal Figgins is the principal at McKinley High and the victim of several blackmail opportunities by Sue because of an embarrassing commercial he did in the past and when he woke up in bed next to Sue who claimed they had sex. For awhile in season 2 he is removed as principal but he returns when Sue gives up the position.

Coach Shannon Bieste is the new football coach for McKinley High when season 2 starts. She is the victim of hazing from both Sue and Will who feel threatened when their budgets are being reduced for the football team. Will eventually turns around and apologizes to Shannon and the two eventually become very good friends.

Tina Cohen-Chang is a member of New Directions and dated Artie during season 1. For a short time Principal Figgins interpreted Tina's fashion style as her being a vampire and she has a bit of an identity crisis when her clothing choices are banned. During the summer at Asian Camp, she gets together with Mike Chang and continues that relationship through season 2.

Mike Chang is on the football team and a member of New Directions and the best male dancer of the group. He however cannot sing and puts his all into dance to make up for it. During season 2 he is in a relationship with Tina after spending time together at Asian Camp the previous summer.

Blaine Anderson is the lead singer of Dalton Academy's glee club, The Warblers. He quickly takes Kurt under his wing when Kurt transfers to the school and they become the best of friends. For a brief time a party at Rachel's house leads to Rachel having a crush on Blaine and her infatuation helps Blaine determine his confidence in his sexuality. After a failed attempt at wooing a boy working in a department store, Blaine opens up to Kurt and the two eventually get together.

Mercedes Jones is a member of New Directions and throughout the two seasons of the show deals with the frustration of not getting as many solos as she feels she deserves when compared to Rachel. During season 1 she approaches Kurt to date and is the catalyst for him revealing to all that he is gay. In season 2 she briefly dates Puck but knows quickly that it just was not working. At the end of the season she is holding hands with Sam in a coffee ship, something they are hiding from the others.

Lauren Zizes joins New Directions in season 2 when the group is down a member. She saves Puck and unintentionally gains his attention for the rest of the season. Slowly she begins to soften her stance against dating Puck throughout the season as he woos her.

Sam Evans is the new kid in school and for a short while is the star quarterback of McKinley High before getting hurt. He eventually joins New Directions after deciding not to in the premiere and he chases after Quinn before finally convincing her to date him. He breaks it off with her when it becomes clear that Quinn is into Finn and he dates Santana briefly before she moves on just as fast. For most of the first half of the season Sam challenges Finn's alpha male status in the glee club but when tough times hit his family, Sam fades into the background. The glee club finds out and seeks to help Sam however they can and in the season 2 finale he is seen holding hands with Mercedes with whom he went to prom with.

And that is the gist of what has gone in on GLEE. Hopefully now you can start on season 3 and not feel like you are completely lost.

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