"Glee" gets a do over. What it needs is a clear vision.
The latest season (opening 9 p.m. today, WTNZ, Channel 43) starts a new path for the once-buzz worthy hour, by splitting its time between the high school singers and its former members.
Graduate Rachel (Lea Michele) is trying to adjust to life in New York City, where she's a small fish.
And, yes, the glee club at William McKinley High School in Lima, Ohio, gets its share of screen time. But, it's pathetically dull with what's left of the glee club after graduation.
The new high school characters hit the same notes as the old ones, but they add nothing new.
Of the two parallel story lines, the more compelling one is Rachel's. Michele is truly in the spotlight, making the self-absorbed Rachel into a vulnerable mess. She's struggling to find her place in her performing arts school and unsure of her skills.
"Glee" has always had too many stories going, too many characters and struggled with focus.
Creatively "Glee" has battled itself between moving a story along against its bread and butter — those infectious production numbers. "Glee" is often much better off with those musical moments.
Now adding Rachel's tale — no matter how well told — into the mix only makes "Glee" that much more lacking in focus.
Why not go with a spin-off of Rachel? Well, "Glee" is getting stale and overly familiar. Don't be surprised if next season is its last. A spin-off might not be prudent. Also, Fox has a tiny schedule and another hour musical may be too much, no matter how well it can be pulled together.
"Glee" is growing up awkwardly and sometimes beautifully. All we can do is sit back and enjoy the choice moments.
Score: 3 stars (out of five)
Terry Morrow may be reached at 865-342-6445 or email@example.com.
© 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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