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Mini-Gleeview: The New Rachel
mjacton
Spoiler Alert!



I've gone into season 4 with no expectations for what it will hold.  It's going to be a new show regardless because roughly half the original cast "graduated" from high school.  So, to the extent that they appear, they will be in a wholly different environment, and there will be new characters and old characters in more prominent roles.  I agree with all of the major decisions that the producers have made (to graduate most of the seniors instead of holding them back, retaining the original cast in their new environments, etc.).

Obviously, there are notable exceptions to these decisions, and I'll address at least one of those.

In my new format, I'll hit my highlights for each episode.  This will necessarily be less objective than in previous seasons, but I hope it'll still be interesting.

Interesting developments:
  • Tina breaks up with Mike.  I speculated about this at the very beginning of last season when we found out Tina was a junior, and now it remains to be seen if the other part of my prediction, that she gets back with Artie, comes true.
  • Rachel (still) seems much more focused on succeeding and Kurt than Finn.  The fleeting references to Finn seemed to be Rachel forcing herself (again, still) to convince herself that Finn is really the "love of her life."
  • Cassandra July and Rachel's relationship is very interesting.  I always expected Rachel to be overwhelmed in New York at least for awhile, and Kate Hudson who plays Cassandra does a good job of giving her a wake up call.  Of course, the fact that it's dancing that is giving Rachel her biggest academic trouble is the most believable part of this story line.
  • Dianna Agron was not in the credits.  Rumors have flown forever that she would be leaving, and it seems like the reports are more widespread in the mainstream media.  Of course, no one has confirmed this on the record (and Glee producers have unequivocally denied it), and plenty of rumors about Glee have turned out to be false.  In any case, she will undoubtedly appear in at least one episode this season, and as long as Quinn Fabray (the best-written character on the show, in my opinion) gets a good send-off, I'll be okay with it.

Favorite song:

"New York State of Mind" by Billy Joel--Of course Lea Michele was flawless.  This wasn't a duet, so much.  It reminded me a lot of "Defying Gravity" and even "Maybe This Time" from season 1 when there were two singers that didn't sing together.  Both singers--the other one was Mellisa Benoist as Marley the New Rachel--were great, but of course Lea shone.  Actually, I hope to see more of her like this, putting her musical theater singing training to good use.


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