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Glee the World!

By Shelby

Last night the Chickster founders all got together to help save the world and watch a little TV at the same time, which, as you’ve probably guessed, is pretty much an average Thursday night for us. But this time, we found ourselves at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar at a special charity screening of the spring premiere episode of FOX’s Glee. I’ve been a self-proclaimed Gleek ever since the first episode aired after American Idol nearly a year ago, so I jumped at the chance to get a sneak peek at the latest installment (in addition to a mini-poster, popcorn and soda) for a $15 donation to the GRAMMY Foundation, which helps fund music programs in schools. (For more information on charity screenings around the country, visit Tickets for Charity.

What made the whole experience even more fun is that the Longhorn Singers, the official show choir of the University of Texas, kicked the screening off with a live performance of songs from their recent spring show, including Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA” and Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek.” So it was like Glee for real!

But what you really care about is the show, right?

By the time the last new episodes of Glee aired last fall, the show had become something of a pop culture phenomenon. Then the show disappeared for four months. So in a way, this spring premiere, which airs April 13 and is aptly titled “Hell-O,” is almost more akin to a season premiere, both in the time that has elapsed between the episodes and how much the characters and their relationships have shifted since we last saw them. I’m not saying it was as egregious a jump as Veronica swapping Logan Freaking Echolls for dull Duncan in the S2 premiere of Veronica Mars, but I did get a little bit of whiplash. Even with such big surprises, drama and shake-ups in tow, this episode was still chock full of what I’ve come to expect from this show: biting humor (mostly courtesy of Sue Sylvester and her duo of cheerleader flunkies), unique guest spots (Hello, Broadway stars Idina Menzel and Jonathan Groff!) and, of course, goosebump-inducing musical numbers (because of the episode title, the songs all contain “Hello,” or in two cases “Hell,” in the title).

Because Glee took me on a hell of a fun ride last fall, I will definitely give it the benefit of the doubt and continue to watch, eyes and ears glued to the screen, to see where these characters will take us in the build-up to regionals (aka, the season finale). What else do Gleeks have to look forward to in the next two months? An all-Madonna episode and a legen…wait for it…dary guest appearance by Neil Patrick Harris in an episode directed by none other than Joss Whedon!

Glee airs Tuesday nights on FOX at 8 p.m. (Good thing Lost will be over soon, huh?) If you’re new to the show, you can catch up on everything you’ve missed on Netflix. We’ve got a couple of Glee mini-posters to give away if you’re interested, so send me an e-mail at telling me what your favorite musical number has been and why, and you may win a poster.

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