Glee Season 5 Review “New New York”

Glee Season 5 Episode 14 New New York (7)

Thank god this happened. If you’ve been reading my reviews of Glee since I started in 2011, you’ll be aware that season four wasn’t my favourite. I gave season 5a a bit of a pass due to the obvious but the episode that really got me excited for the show again was ‘Movin’ Out’. This episode, ‘New New York’, was a spiritual sequel to the Billy Joel tribute in that, with the slightly puzzling addition of Artie and temporary subtraction of Santana, we’re back in NYC and the whole gang are there waiting. Now, if only we could forget the last year and a half didn’t happen…

Which is kind of what Glee itself has done, though not really in a mean way. Acknowledging that the high school storyline just wasn’t working without Finn there to ground the drama and give it meaning was the bravest and smartest thing the show has ever done, and the fruits of that difficult decision can be seen in this episode. We now have Rachel, Kurt, Blaine, Sam, Mercedes and Artie all living and working (or studying) in the big city with big city problems and adult relationships to work out. This is the show we should have been watching for some time now and, even though we had to wait for the series to work its way towards this place, I dare say it was worth the wait.

My biggest fear going into this brand new show was the status of Kurt and Blaine’s relationship, and whether we could really expect the show to keep them together and happy from now until the inevitable endgame marriage and/or Russian twin baby adoption. Their storyline in ‘New New York,’ then, was absolutely perfect. We got to see what a NYC-Klaine would look like with ‘You Make Me Feel So Young’, before watching them deal with actual, real-life problems and then make rational, plausible and mature decisions that will be both good for their relationship and good for the show in general. It’s been too long since I’ve used the words ‘rational’ and ‘plausible’ when talking about Glee, but I guess these two bring it out in the writers.

But Kurt and Blaine have been separated once again, though this time not by a cheating scandal or a plane ride. As we leave the gang, Sam, Blaine and Mercedes are living together while Kurt, Rachel and Artie reside in the old loft. I may have hated season four on the whole, but one great thing we got out of the split narrative experiment was undoubtedly Blam. Those two are probably my favourite pairing after Kurt and Blaine and, with them living together with the added excitement of watching Sam and Mercedes possibly rekindle things, we’re getting the best of both worlds. Blaine is a different character when he’s not insecure about his relationship status, and that’s necessary if we’re back to an ensemble show.

And that’s what this episode was – a pilot for a spin-off show that has gotten most of our favorite players and plonked them into a whole new, grown-up life that none of them really know how to navigate. Maybe it’s because I’m out of high school and can relate much better to the storylines Glee now wants to tell, but ‘New New York’ was like watching all of my dreams for the show come true. It was big, expensive-looking and fresh – hanging out with the people we love without any of those poxy distractions. We might see McKinley again; we might not; but right now let’s just enjoy this new and improved Glee for all its ambition and renewed swagger.

What did you think of the episode? Was this the New York-set Glee you’ve been hoping for? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.