Glee Music Recap: Episode 11 - The Sue Sylvester Shuffle

I’ll be the first to admit it: I was excited for Glee to return, but had a sense of trepidation knowing that the show was coming back as the follow-up to the Super Bowl. In the past, whenever Glee has promised us a BIG, EVEN MORE EXCITING, show, the results have been mixed. Characters act uncharacteristically, there’s a lot of hubbub, and then the writers press the BIG, EVEN MORE EXCITING reset button at the end of the episode to get us back to where we started.

While last night’s big return did have some big budget, flashy moments (a gigantic human canon, and the musical rights to use “Thriller” couldn’t have been cheap), I was pleasantly surprised with what we got: a tight storyline that made sense in the Glee universe, and some understated but effective musical performances.

Puck and Rachel kicked things off with a straight up cover of Lady Antebellum’s big 2010 hit “Need You Now.” Mark Salling and Lea Michele’s voices blended beautifully together, and the song went down smoother than another shot of whiskey. It was the right kind of southern comfort, and I hope we get to hear these two team up for more duets this season.

The Glee guys got some help from the football team and performed The Zombie’s “She’s Not There.” It was a fun number, and it felt like a quality high school performance: simple, and really well done. Finn shines in this 1960’s throwback that proves zombies have been cool for decades.

The Dalton Warblers came out of nowhere last night and hit it hard with a great a cappella rendition of “Bills, Bills, Bills” from Destiny’s Child. Blaine’s voice was unnecessarily over-produced with some studio echoes; but the effect of all the voices performing the heavy bass, electronic beeps, and harmonies together overcame that little flub. Any time these guys want to perform, I’m happy to listen.

The night’s big number was a stellar mash-up of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs “Heads Will Roll.” The performance tied in with the episode’s story, and it was great to hear Artie and Santana nailing it. I was especially glad that Kevin McHale (a huge MJ fan) got a chance to sing something from one of his musical heroes.

All in all, it was a really solid return episode. Welcome back, Glee, you’ve been missed.

Jonathan is the managing editor of You can follow him on Twitter, @GleekReport.
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