The first season carried all before it. So much there appealed - the concept of a club created to bolster the self-esteem of the High School's victims of ridicule and bullying; the continued existence of that club depending on success in competitions.
Season 2 (this first part at any rate) simply has not the same drive - at times seemingly coasting along, eked out with songs that do not always merit inclusion. The standard soars when storylines become more meaningful, they this time round usually featuring Kurt (homophobia rife, his father desperately ill). Treats abound: the Rocky Horror sequences; in Ep.4 that excellent rendering of "Sing" from "A Chorus Line"; Gwyneth Paltrow's guest appearance - she a surprise and a delight. (Yet that episode ends with one of the series' lows. Was that "Singing in the Rain" number choreographed? It seemed like an improvised self-indulgence - absolutely dreadful.
Jane Lynch's Sue remains a joy - politically incorrect everytime she opens her mouth. Note too her mother, temporarily giving up her hunt for Nazis so she can attend Sue's wedding. Sue's wedding?! Another reason to watch.
Despite the misses, there is much to enjoy (including talented new recruit Sam and that initially fearsome female football coach). Yes, there are absurdities - including two of the male "teenagers" clearly aged about thirty. These do not matter if writing is strong and there is throughout a firm sense of direction. When the standard wobbles, such weaknesses become increasingly evident. Hopefully GLEE once more will be the show that thoroughly entertains and uplifts.