New in Celebritology: An assessment of the “Glee” premiere.
There are a variety of reasons to be nervous about the fourth season of Fox’s “Glee,” which begins tonight. A few:
1. Several new characters are being introduced as pseudo-replacements for the ones who graduated last season. One of them is the “half-brother of Noah Puckerman” who may share some of the rebellious traits of his partial sibling. When a show starts bringing in the half-brothers of regular characters, it starts skating dangerously close to what I’ll call Danny-Cooksey-on-“Diff’rent-Strokes” territory.
2. In addition to following the action at McKinley High, we’ll also be watching what happens with characters no longer in Lima, like Rachel and Kurt in New York. Unless this is handled well, it could make the show feel bloated and disjointed.
3. “Glee” is now on Thursdays at 9 p.m. instead of Tuesdays at 8. Which means the odds are strong that some of us may forget to watch or set our DVRs in the “Grey’s Anatomy”/“The Office”/ “Person of Interest” chaos.
All valid “Glee” concerns. But the most significant reason why I am not sure if I can power through another full season of “Glee” — even though I want to love it, I swear — is encapsulated in the recently released preview clip of the “Call Me Maybe” cover from tonight’s episode. It features Brittany S. Pierce (not to be confused with the Britney Spears on “Glee’s” lead-in, “The X Factor”), Tina, Wade (aka Unique) and Blaine attempting to outmug each other while crooning the inescapable Carly Rae Jepsen track. And despite the presence of Darren Criss, whose bow ties add a touch of pep to virtually any situation, the clip is a total snooze.
In the past several months we have seen approximately 10,787 YouTube clips of everyone on the planet lip synching to this song. It has been done and done and D-O-N-E super-duper duh-un to death. And the “Glee” stars, talented and adorable though they may be, aren’t bringing anything new to the table. For God’s sake, no one even makes a telephone-receiver hand gesture until 52 seconds into the thing.
The problem with this clip is the core potential problem with “Glee”: that it has nothing left to do, say or sing that has not already been done, said or sung already. I plan to stick with it this season to see if it can find some fresh sources of oxygen, and also to see whether guest stars Kate Hudson and Sarah Jessica Parker are able to out-Gwyneth Miss “Forget You” Paltrow.
I hope it is better than my fears suggest. Otherwise, for those who haven’t already said farewell, the fourth season could be the one that means “Goodbye” for good. Maybe.