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To Glee With Love: A Season One Wrap-Up (Part I)

Season One of Glee is over, and so begins a long Glee-free summer. But never fear – there’s always DVDs and iTunes to keep you going until season two starts up this fall! To help fill the time, I’ve decided to take a look at the highs and lows of season one.

The pilot episode, which aired after the American Idol finale back in May of 2009, was really strong. The epic version of “Don’t Stop Believin’” got a lot of people believing in Glee, though I was not one of them. I didn’t jump on board until the first part of season one was almost over, which I now can’t believe. Even though “Don’t Stop Believin’” was the stand-out hit from the early episodes, my favorite moments in the pilot were the New Directons kids’ auditions. Remember Kurt’s high note during “Mr. Cellophane“? Or Tina’s bizarre rendition of “I Kissed a Girl“? And, of course, Miss Rachel Berry’s gold-star version of “On My Own“. Perfection.

The next few episodes, though, were a little awkward. Glee was only just finding it’s footing and there were some hits and misses. In the second episode, Showmance, one of my favorite moments was watching the glee kids raunch it up for their first public performance with a cover of “Push It“. We also met Sue Sylvester in this episode (and Brittany!) and without Sue, Glee just wouldn’t be the same. The third episode, Acafellas, was not one of my favorites. There were parts I loved, like creepy former glee club coach Sandy, Mercedes expressing her confusing about her relationship with Kurt through “Bust Your Windows” and Kurt coming out to someone for the first time. But the Acafellas stuff fell flat for me, and in later episodes is seemed almost as though it had taken place in a parallel universe or something. These episodes also began the story arc of Terri’s fake pregnancy, which was a good storyline even though it angered me.

The show’s fourth episode, Preggers, was one of my all-time favorites. It was Kurt’s first chance to shine, and he really grabbed my heart and became one of my favorite characters. The “Single Ladies” dance he did in the beginning, wearing the leotard, was great. And it was our first glimpse at the relationship between him and his dad. The episode had the perfect mix of comedy and drama. The show lighthearted side was when Kurt tried to pretend the dance was for football practice, then actually made the team as a kicker, and taught the entire team the dance. But on the emotional side, Kurt had a great scene when he came out to his dad. And, we found out that Quinn was pregnant and Terri hatched a plan to adopt Quinn’s baby to cover up her fake pregnancy lie.

The fifth episode, The Rhodes Not Taken was the first time we saw Kristin Chenoweth as April Rhodes on the show, and she was great. This was another great episode – April corrupting the glee club kids was hilarious, and the Glee cover of “Somebody to Love” has gotten a lot of plays on my iPod. The sixth episode, Vitamin D, continued the streak of fantastic episodes. Terri working as a nurse at McKinley High was hilarious, especially because she took the job after Sue Sylvester convinced her that Will had feelings for Emma. I also loved the mash-ups – especially “Walkin’ On Sunshine/Halo“.

The seventh episode, Throwdown, was another great one. A lot of people have criticized Dianna Agron and her character Quinn for having one of the weaker voices on the show, but I think she has a soft, pretty voice that sets her apart from the others. I enjoyed her solo performance of “You Keep Me Hanging On” in this episode. I also thought Sue co-directing the glee club was hilarious – especially when she created a sub-group with all the minority students. And I’m no Avril Lavigne fan, but the way the glee kids sang “Keep Holding On” to show there support for Quinn was the kind of thing that makes me love Glee.

Episode eight, Mash-Up, brought the string of amazing episodes to an end for me, just a little. I hated the idea of trying to make “Thong Song” and “I Could Have Danced All Night” go together almost as much as I hated the idea of Emma marrying Ken Tanaka. However, I did love how much we got to see Emma. I also liked the introduction of “Puckleberry”, though Puck and Rachel’s relationship was short-lived.

Glee came back with an amazing ninth episode, Wheels. Along with Kurt, and sometimes Quinn, Artie has one of the most emotional storylines on Glee. This episode is definitely another of my all-time favorites; there are almost too many fantastic aspects of it to cover them all. There Artie’s storyline – the bus to go to Sectionals would be more expensive if it was wheelchair accessible – and his amazing performance of “Dancing with Myself“. He also made a connection with Tina, but was hurt when he found out that she’d been faking her stutter. Then there was the storyline where Sue accepted Becky, a girl with Down Syndrome, into the Cheerios. Finding out that Sue’s sister was handicapped was the first glimpse we got at Sue Sylvester’s heart. And then there was Kurt and Rachel’s diva-off for the right to sing “Defying Gravity” (another staple on my iPod). Did anyone else tear up when they found out that Kurt blew that final note because he was worried performing a woman’s song would result in his dad getting more offensive phone calls? The final performance of “Proud Mary” brought the episode to a triumphant end. In fact, Wheels might be my absolute favorite episode.

The tenth episode, Ballad, wasn’t my favorite but had two stand-out moments for me: Will Schuester’s mash-up of “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” and “Young Girl” that he sang to Rachel after realizing she had a schoolgirl crush on him, and Quinn getting kicked out of her house after telling her parents she was pregnant. The difference in reactions to the pregnancy news of Finn’s mom and Quinn’s parents left me heartbroken, and did a lot to redeem Quinn’s character.

The eleventh episode, Hairography, was less emotional. I liked seeing Eve as a rival glee club director, but the rest of the episode was pretty forgettable. Mattress was the second-last episode of Glee before the break, and a lot happened. Most importantly, Will found out that Terri had been faking her pregnancy. The storyline of the glee kids filming a mattress commercial was fun and fluffy, and the resulting drama of Will having to step down as New Directions’ director was an added twist before Sectionals.

How could you not love Sectionals? Emma postponed her wedding to Ken Tanaka (ick) to accompany the glee club to Sectionals, and Finn found out that Puck was really the father of Quinn’s baby and quit New Directions. The glee club panicked when they found out that their set list had been leaked and the competition was performing their songs, but they ended up putting on one hell of a show. Rachel Berry performing “Don’t Rain on My Parade“? Yes, please! The whole crew singing “You Can’t Always Get What You Want“? Fan-freakin’-tastic. And ending with the glee kids performing “My Life Would Suck Without You” and Will kissing Emma was just what I needed to get me through the long hiatus until…well, that’s another post.

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