“Glee” still has legs and I’m not just talking about tonight’s guest star performance by Kate Hudson.
I’m also talking about 2010 Williamsville South graduate Jacob Artist.
Artist arrives about midway through the fourth season premiere of the Fox series (9 p.m., WUTV) and he immediately looks like a star before he finishes his audition song, the Frays’ “Never Say Never” (I’m not hip, I looked up the lyrics).
“He is sexy,” says one member of the Glee Club as Artist sings. Then there is a brief unnecessary debate about the line’s accuracy.
I was somewhat skeptical of how prominent a role Artist would have in “Glee” after reading the Tuesday article about him in the Buffalo News.
I also was skeptical about whether “Glee” could recapture the magic it had in its first two seasons after last year’s disappointing season that led so many viewers I know to abandon it before its strong finishing kick in the season finale.
But the New Direction, or should I saw Directions, it has headed seem to be very positive ones, starting with the casting of Artist as Jake Puckerman, the half-brother of Noah “Puck” Puckerman.
Artist only has three scenes tonight, all of which validate what he told The News and illustrate that his character is as angry as he is talented. Those brief glimpses of Artist also illustrate that he has star power.
In addition, a new female star is born in Melissa Benonist, who arrives as another beautiful singer, Marly, with a secret that she can’t keep for long and tests the manners and humanity of Glee Club members.
Titled “The New Rachel,” the pilot goes in two different directions. Back at home in Ohio, Mr. Schuester (Matthew Morrison) is looking for new talent to replace the “Glee” graduates who won the national title.
Meanwhile, superstar-to-be Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) is off chasing her dream in New York and dealing with a difficult, demeaning dance teacher (Hudson) a world away from Ohio in New York City.
Rachel is a little homesick and her confidence is tested by the teacher, who probably would be fired by today’s Williamsville School Board because her motivating techniques are old school. Those techniques also have successfully molded stars, as Rachel learns from a new hunk that may eventually make her forget about Finn (Cory Montieth).
The dueling story lines can become a little distracting at times, but “Glee” really never has worried too much about smooth transitions.
In “Glee,” the songs often become transitions. And tonight’s premiere has several strong ones, including “the song of the summer, ‘Call Me Maybe.’”
Can “Glee” recapture its magic?
Tonight’s season opener has a sweet, emotional ending. My call is that is that with these new cast additions “Glee” has a stronger chance than “maybe” of becoming popular again.
NBC sort of apologized Wednesday to its affiliates for its embarrassing decision to have the “Today” show breakaway from the moment of silence on 9/11 to carry an interview with Kris Jenner, better known as Mama Kardashian.
In an email to affiliates full of self-praise for NBC News’ coverage of Wednesday’s Embassy Attack, News President Steve Capus noted the network carried “ a substantial amount of time” to the 11th anniversary of 9/11, but also conceded “we still touched a nerve with many of your viewers… and for that we apologize.”
Inquiring minds want to know where did Channel 2’s newest reporter, Jeff Preval, arrive from?
I saw him on the air for the first Wednesday night and was impressed.
After an Internet search, I learned that he was a reporter and MMJ (that’s a multi-media journalist) at WTJA-TV in Altoona, Pa. and that one of his duties there was to cover the child abuse trial of former Penn State defensive-coordinator Jerry Sandusky.