September 20, 2011 10:11pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Glee' Season 3 Premiere: Hits and Misses
Glee kicked off its third season Tuesday with “The Purple Piano Project,” which featured the New Directions gang heading to what for most, is their senior year. While Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Rachel (Lea Michele) learn Juilliard and New York may not be as easy as they’d hoped and commit to working harder than ever to make it, others like Quinn (Dianna Agron) are content to go the other way.
Here are The Hollywood Reporter’s hits and misses from Glee’s Season 3 premiere.
The new Quinn. Sporting choppy pink hair, a nose ring and a cigarette, the new Quinn channeled her best evil Joan Osbourne. Noting that she’s not interested in boys or polyester outfits, Quinn has quit both New Directions and the Cheerios and spent the summer dating a 40-year-old skateboarder. She’s traded the glee gang in for “The Skanks,” and dismissed Rachel with a flip “people grow apart, deal with it” statement that made us want more.
More Rachel and Kurt. Going back to basics means focusing more on the characters the fans know and love and Kurt and Rachel picking up where Season 2 left off and putting all their energy toward making it to New York works. Their confident banter in the opening minutes comes full circle by episode’s end when they meet Harmony (The Glee Project’s Lindsay Pearce) and realize that they’re not the only talented people in Lima, Ohio. Later, Rachel reveals that she’s going for the lead in the school performance of West Side Story, while Kurt runs for class president.
Mercedes is back. Mercedes’ (Amber Riley) new love life seems to have refreshed the character on screen as her newfound happiness translates well. Her scene with new boyfriend Marcus (LaMarcus Tinker) was adorable and her performance in “You Can’t Stop the Beat” was spot-on.
The inside Fox jokes. Santana’s “favorite Latina” is The X Factor’s Paula Abdul; Quinn’s summer of rebellion included a tattoo of Ryan Seacrest and her new friend “The Mack” is none other than So You Think You Can Dance’s Courtney Galiano (who also performed as a Vocal Adrenaline dancer in the past).
New character Sugar Motta (Vanessa Lengies). She has “self-diagnosed Aspergers” and she can say what ever she wants – “like a diplomat’s daughter.” She wants to be a star but can’t sing for “shhhhhugar,” as Will (Matthew Morrison) notes. Glee already has one Brittany and when Heather Morris is given scenes involving pepperoini and nipple references, the show doesn’t really need another one.
Blaine’s decision making. While it’s great to see Darren Criss share more screen time with Chris Colfer and the rest of New Directions, transferring to McKinley because he “cant stand to be apart from the person I love” screams of co-dependency. Let’s hope his parents enter the picture soon.