Glee 4×01 ‘The New Rachel’ review: Kiss from a Rose

The only things I loved about the season premiere were the return of Jacob Ben-Israel and Stoner Brett, Chord Overstreet’s beautiful mug (though he doesn’t do Taylor Lautner well), and Marley Rose. While Kitty and Jake are pretty much knock-offs of Quinn and Matt Rutherford (Season 1 for those who can’t remember), Marley is the only characters whose story borders on original. Yes, she’s kind of a female Sam, but nobody ever made fun of his mother for being a lunch lady. His parents were blonde and perfect, albeit dirt poor. I’d love to see them get together, but next week’s promos hint that Jake will be Marley’s love interest. The only thing more predictable than pairing the two newbies would be a love triangle that includes Baby Puckerman and Richie Poor. One thing that doesn’t fit with her story is why her mother (who desperately needs a name, talk about bullying) couldn’t work at another school, especially if Carmel is within spying distance.

Though I understand the show has a lot of ground to cover by following ALL of the graduates (a total mistake, if you ask me), I really crave more new members in New Directions. Until Jake gives in and Blake Jenner’s character arrives, we’re stuck with only Marley and Wade, who could default back to Vocal Adrenaline if history repeats itself, though he seems to have found a home at McKinley. However, he’s grown a little to big for his lady britches, having the audacity to welcome Marley to the group before his inaugural slushie. I think they totally should have let in De’Wanda, she could have been the new Mike Chang! Though its in their best interest to keep the cast medium-sized, it just seems so un-Schuester to have such selective auditions, a problem that could have been solved by simply nixing the sign-up sheet’s wide popularity.

Source: FOX

Let’s discuss how much I hate everything in New York. Not literally, but in this episode. I can’t stand Kate Hudson now that she’s on television, and not in the Villain I Love To Hate sort of way. She’s even more full of it than Dianna Agron. The only thing that semi-excuses her from making Jew jokes in the city that never sleeps is that Kurt revealed that she’s a lunatic and that wasn’t even in this episode. It was in next week’s teaser. She’s not thatggreat of a dancer, and though not many on this show are, her performance was very heavy on the hairography. That’s not what I didn’t like about it though. I can’t stand when Caucasians butcher the Spanish language (Yes, that means you, Matthew Morrison), and the only thing that saved her womanhood from her drag queen eye shadow was the crotch shot of her ripping off her skirt.

Brody is very attractive, but too metro-sexual for me to be attracted to him. I understand that he’s the anti-Finn, with his shower solo, though I heard enough “Sister Christian” for an entire lifetime on Bachelor Pad 3. I do think that someone with his personality and style should be represented on the show, but not as the new love interest for a leading lady. I sense a lot of douche in him, but maybe that’s just because he reminds me of Jesse St. James. Rachel seemed to take on a split personality, rocking the round room in Carmen’s class, yet reverting into a shy little bunny who narcs on teachers the second she puts on a leotard. Though she’s undoubtedly intimidated in her new surroundings, this plot line made all the progress she achieved during ‘The First Time’ totally pointless. Don’t even get me started on ‘Britney 2.0.’ If there’s anyone besides Ryan Murphy whose ego needs to be stroked less right now, it’s the latest addition to The X Factor.

Source: FOX

Speaking of promos and pointless plot, the teasers for the premiere also ruined Kurt’s move to New York for me. Since we already knew his fate, his appearance in Lima served only as episode filler. The scene in which Burt takes him to the airport fell short in comparison to Haddie Braverman’s exit to college in Parenthood, and that scene didn’t even have any dialogue! Kurt’s departure had so much more potential to make me cry, especially as a hormonal pregnant woman who spent 90% of her high school days in a dad-only household. I was sorely disappointed. Though this might have been shown in the promo as well, I may or may not have predicted that Kurt would find Rachel in the park as soon as I realized they were talking on the phone.

I have mixed feelings about the musical numbers in this episode also. I like ‘Call Me Maybe,’ but what’s with all the annunciation? For me, it ruins a lot of songs on the show, unless they’re from Broadway. You already know what I thought of ‘Americano/Dance Again’ so I won’t beat a dead horse. I thought ‘New York State of Mind’ was borderline pandering on Rachel’s part, but it was done well. When Blaine started ‘It’s Time,’ I thought, not another song with the Cheerios in the quad! I liked it less than ‘It’s Not Unusual’ but it still got my foot tappin’. And finally, what would Season 4 of Glee be without the overplayed Adele? At least they’ve run out of hit singles to perform from her underwhelming 19 album, and chose ‘Chasing Pavements,’ one of her older songs that I can actually stomach.

Again, I think this season premiere was overly promoted and pre-praised, as is most of what Ryan Murphy creates. The best part of my job is getting to watch everyone squirm in anticipation, then laughing when it totally flops.

Tags: | Categories: Recaps
About the author: Rae Bradshaw
Rae Bradshaw
My husband got sick of seeing all my tweets about TV end up on Facebook, so I decided to start a blog. Then I decided I didn't have enough on my plate and I went looking for sites to publish my reviews. No White Noise seemed like the perfect home for me, especially because I literally hate silence. That means the TV is almost always on at my house, whether I’m sitting around watching it or actually doing something productive. This season I'll be covering Glee here at NWN. My favorite shows of all time(or my lifetime) are Arrested Development, Lost, and Friday Night Lights, to name a few. I also dabble in writing screenplays and the occasional teleplay. Check out my other reviews at Watch It, Rae!

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  • #fan

    just because 19 is not as popular doesnt mean its underwhelming. i think its actually better than 21.

    • http://watchitrae.com/ Rae Bradshaw

      I’m just sick of her fans who obsess over 19 when they haven’t even heard 21 because none of those songs were on the radio or on Glee, so good for you for listening to both. Agree to disagree.

  • Nicole

    I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this episode. I agree with a lot of what you said, and I’m not particularly sold on any of the new cast yet but I still liked it. Probably because it didn’t have Finn, and all the interaction between the remaining New Direction members was adorable. Of course, maybe I’m just happy to see Brittany and Sugar Motta again.

    Also, I loved Burt and Kurt’s goodbye scene. Glee sucks at a lot of things but they always get them right.

    • http://watchitrae.com/ Rae Bradshaw

      As someone who’s chemically programmed to cry over everything right now, the Burt and Kurt goodbye didn’t faze me at all! Agree to disagree.

  • http://nowhitenoise.com/ Michael Collado

    I decided to check into Glee again after quitting it close to a year ago and what I found was an episode that wasn’t bad. Though I don’t agree with most of what you thought about the episode, I will say that the number one thing that did bug me was Kate Hudson’s character talking big when she can’t really dance all that well. If you perform “Just Dance,” at least dance as good as Jennifer Lopez can.

    Otherwise, I’m completely opposite. I sort of kind of wish that Glee had more emphasis on Rachel in New York. I don’t really care for the story back in the high school; I don’t think the new girl can hold a candle to Rachel; and Jake is a cliché wrapped in another cliché.

    • http://watchitrae.com/ Rae Bradshaw

      Though Marley’s clearly the new star, I love her for how different she is from Rachel. I love Rachel too, but Marley isn’t a spoiled little princess, she doesn’t whine, and she won’t need to scheme to get the spotlight. She’ll either get it based on her talent or she’ll be grateful to just be in New Directions. Then there’s Sam. I’m not a Bieber fan, but I’ve watched ‘Comeback’ more times than any other episode combined. He’s one of the reasons that Season 2 was my favorite season, and I really want him to have a love interest that doesn’t totally suck for once.

  • QMargo

    This episode unfortunately made me understand how much I miss the (Glee) Originals. No, don’t get mew wrong, I liked this episode more than I expected, but while being happy that the show is sort of going in a new direction, it just makes me sad that none of the old ones are there to see it. You know, like when you say “I wish they were here to see this”. I missed Santana’s sarcastic remarks, Mike Chang’s awesome dance moves, Finn being Finn, Rachel singing in front of the Glee club….I guess it just hit me that with only Blaine, Artie, Tina and Brittany left ( I still don’t know who that annoying rich girl is), boy did a lot of talented people and interesting characters leave the choir room. From the new characters, I guess I like Marly, she is the new tolerable Rachel in a way, plus her sl with her mom being the lunch lady is what I always admired Glee for – for bringing real life situation stories to the screen, yes, there are kids at school whose parents either work in the cafeteria or as janitors, they also exist and it is hard for them to fir in. I loved how she stood up for her mom. Jake on the other hand did not excite me at all….he is just Mr Shue’s new project and I have seen that sl on Glee before. I want to strangle Kitty, she is in no way the new Quinn, Quinn owned it when she was being mean, this chick just says mean things..she is not even a funny bitch, she is just an annoying one. The shower dude (lol, Glee, really?) also did not excite me at all, so personally, I think Finchel fans have nothing to worry about, he and Rachel have like zero chemistry.

    Things I loved about the episode
    - Brittany enjoying Brett’s rapping
    - Brett rapping
    - Rachel and Kurt reuniting!

    P.S. Kate Hudson was ok, but I would rather see JLo on Glee, just saying.

    • http://watchitrae.com/ Rae Bradshaw

      I kind of always hated Quinn, so that makes it easy for me to lump Kitty in with her. I agree about the shower…enough is enough, do something new! And I never thought of JLo, she would have done a much better job with Americano and actually CAN dance circles around Lea Michele.

      • QMargo

        Plus I think she would fit in better with the whole idea of making it big in New York and working your way to the top…she is Jenny from the blocks after all!

  • Neiro

    At least it was better than last year, but I’m still hoping for a season long storyline and continuity.
    Also, am I the only one who’s annoyed that there are only 9 people on the Glee club? They can finally have a full 12 team and they accept only 1 new member? They’re practically asking for it. And I bet they won’t have cute band people to fill in this year so, why?

    I just want to understand how is this thinking ahead.

  • GLLEEEEEK

    I think Marley is higly overrated.Her singing is ok,but it lacks passion,power and range.Mercedes,Rachel and Santana have all done Adele on Glee and they were far better.Marley is likeable,but in order for her to stay interesting,she should have more vocal talent.She is going to sing 3 times in the Britney episode,which will make her the one who sang the most in the first 2 episodes.She is nice,very glee-fitting,but not good enough singer to sing 1/3 of the numbers in the first episodes.
    Jake is basically another Puck.One thing that I find intriguing is that he truly seems to care about performing,and he does have the talent to back him up.He did spend time rehearsing and he was clearly pleased when Will told him he’s good.I think if they explore that side of him more,he might actually be the best new character of the 5 added in the premier.
    Brody is,needless to say,VERY attractive.He seems genuine and charming,and although I ship Finchel I’m not sure if I mind Brody and Rachel becoming a couple.At least until Finn has gotten his life in order,which is something that I hope will happen this season.
    Kitty is another yet another bitch cheerleader.Nothing new there,unless Kitty will never turn nice and join the New Directions.
    Cassandra is a total trainwreck.Kate Hudson is an overrated,glued on top actress whose terrible acting will drive me insane in all of and her scenes.Her singing was by far the worst of the evening(when she sang in spanish I didn’t understand the lyrics at all) and her so called dancing was kinda bad too.
    All in all,I will watch the whole season and hope for the best.

    • http://watchitrae.com/ Rae Bradshaw

      I’m not really a music person, so unless the words sound weird (Americano and Call Me Maybe), or I just hate the song, or your name is Sugar Motta, I’m not a very good judge of voice. I spent all summer watching the Glee Project, hoping they’d pick Shanna because I think parent-child relationships are the most touching of any on the show. I was disappointed about Blake winning, even though he’s a hottie, but I really like Marley’s story. I don’t think anything will change my mind about Brody. To me, he’s basically a buffer, tanner, Jesse clone, though his motives seem to be something other than world domination. Maybe it’s the overuse of the shower scene, but he just annoys me. I guess we’ll see what happens, thanks for reading!

  • http://twitter.com/bberg1010 Brittany Berger

    I am SO sick of Glee bringing on guest stars that don’t actually sing or dance. I loved Kate Hudson and I freaking idolize Sarah Jessica Parker, but I’m sick of guest starring on Glee becoming a ‘thing’ for A-listers that want to try to sing (I know that SJP was on Broadway but she was just a teenager). Bring on Megan Mullally or Hugh Jackman or something or please, please, please give me more Jonathan Groff! I wish they would go back to guest stars like Idina and Kristin (as a Wicked fanatic, I’m still pissed they never sang together), because the show is losing the respect of the fans that came to the show in the beginning to see their favorite Broadway performers. I can’t help but wonder what the rest of the Spring Awakening cast thinks of what the show has become…

  • Val

    I agree with your overall C- rating; the episode was pretty ‘meh’. And I completely agree with your point on guest stars… I don’t mind there being “A-listers” (a very broad term here), but bring on the real Broadway stars!

    I have to say though, I was really looking forward to them doing ‘Call Me Maybe’ but I hated Brittany’s singing… it made the experience extremely cringey. As much as I like her, she needs to stay as backing vocals. Or on Ke$ha songs. D.i.n.o.s.a.u.r was pretty awesome. But I digress.

  • http://watchitrae.com/ Rae Bradshaw

    Thank you all for your comments, sorry I didn’t get to reply to them all! I like to pick shows based on how much discussion they’ll create and it looks like I picked a good one! I hope you’ll keep reading and commenting with me this season!