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Glee episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 2
Written by Ryan Murphy
Brad Falchuk
Ian Brennan
Directed by Ryan Murphy
Featured music "Le Freak"
"Gold Digger"
"All by Myself"
"Push It"
"I Say a Little Prayer"
"Take A Bow"
Production no. 1ARC01
Original airdate September 9, 2009 (2009-09-09)
Guest stars
  • Valorie Hubbard as Peggy
Episode chronology
← Previous Next →
"Pilot" "Acafellas"
List of Glee episodes

"Showmance" is the second episode of the television series Glee. The episode premiered on the Fox network on September 9, 2009. It was written by series co-creators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan and directed by Murphy. The episode sees the glee club attempt to recruit new members by performing Salt-n-Pepa's "Push It" in a school assembly. It advances the love triangles between Rachel (Lea Michele), Finn (Cory Monteith) and Quinn (Dianna Agron) and Emma (Jayma Mays), Will (Matthew Morrison) and Terri (Jessalyn Gilsig), and sees antagonist Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) begin to conspire against the club.

The episode features covers of six songs. Studio recordings of three of the songs performed were released as singles, available for digital download. Three of the tracks also appear on the album Glee: The Music, Volume 1. "Showmance" introduces recurring cast members Jennifer Aspen, Kenneth Choi, Romy Rosemont and Heather Morris, and guest-stars Valorie Hubbard.

The episode was watched by 7.3 million US viewers, and was the best-received scripted premiere by Fox in three years. The performance of Kanye West's "Gold Digger" in particular drew positive reviews from critics, with Jarett Wieselman of the New York Post and Entertainment Weekly's Tim Stack comparing the episode favorably to the series' pilot episode. Brian Lowry for Variety, however, received the episode poorly, deeming the show a one-hit wonder, while Robert Lloyd of the Los Angeles Times noted weaknesses in the adult characters.



Sue Sylvester, coach of William McKinley High School's cheerleading team—the Cheerios—informs glee club director Will Schuester that his club must have twelve members to be eligible to compete at Nationals. Will decides to have New Directions perform in a school assembly, hoping to recruit new members. The group are opposed to his choice of song—"Le Freak" by Chic—so as a compromise, Will suggests they also learn "Gold Digger" by Kanye West. Rachel's crush on Finn leads her to join the celibacy club, which he attends with his girlfriend Quinn, who is head of the Cheerios. Quinn and the other members try to pick on Rachel but she stands up for herself, impressing Finn in the process. Rachel also convinces the glee club members to secretly change their performance to "Push It" by Salt-n-Pepa. The song is well received by the student body, however complaints from parents lead Principal Figgins (Iqbal Theba) to compile a list of pre-approved, sanitary songs which New Directions must choose from in future. Will is angry with Rachel for her actions, and when Quinn, Santana (Naya Rivera) and Brittany (Heather Morris), all Cheerios, audition for the club with a tongue-in-cheek rendition of "I Say A Little Prayer", he awards Quinn with Rachel's solo on "Don't Stop Believin'". Sue later recruits Quinn to help her bring the glee club down from the inside.

At home, Will is being pushed by his wife Terri to find a second job so that they can afford to move into a new house before the birth of their child. He begins working at the school as a janitor after hours, and shares a romantic moment with Emma, the school guidance counselor. Football coach Ken Tanaka (Patrick Gallagher) observes them, and warns Emma not to become Will's rebound girl. When Will asks her to meet with him after school again, Emma turns him down, having accepted a date with Ken. Terri discovers that she is actually experiencing a hysterical pregnancy, but lies to Will that they are having a son. She tells him to quit working as a janitor, offering up use of her craft room as a nursery for the baby so they do not need to move. Following a private rehearsal, Finn and Rachel kiss, though he is suddenly overwhelmed with anxiety, and experiences premature ejaculation. He tells her to forget that their tryst happened, and goes back to Quinn. The episode ends with a dismayed Rachel singing Rihanna's "Take a Bow" with glee club members Mercedes (Amber Riley) and Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) singing backup.[1][2]


The first public screening of "Showmance" occurred in July 2009, at the Glee Comic-Con panel. Scott Collins of the Los Angeles Times wrote that turnout for the panel was standing-room only, and deemed the reception "enthusiastic".[3] Recurring cast members who appear in the episode are Patrick Gallagher as football coach Ken Tanaka, Iqbal Theba as Principal Figgins, Jennifer Aspen as Terri's sister Kendra Giardi, Romy Rosemont as Finn's mother Carole Hudson, Ken Choi as Terri's OB/GYN Dr. Wu, and Naya Rivera and Heather Morris as new glee club members Santana Lopez and Brittany. Valorie Hubbard guest stars as Peggy.[1]

The episode features covers of Kanye West's "Gold Digger",[4] Salt-n-Pepa's "Push It",[4] "Take A Bow" by Rihanna, "All by Myself" by Eric Carmen,[5] and Chic's "Le Freak".[6][7] Studio recordings of "Gold Digger", "Take a Bow" and "Push It" were released as singles, available for digital download. "Gold Digger" charted at number 59 in Australia,[8] "Take a Bow" at number 38 in Australia,[9] 73 in Canada and 46 in America,[10] and "Push It" at number 60 in Australia.[8] "Gold Digger" and "Take a Bow" feature on the album Glee: The Music, Volume 1, with a studio recording of "I Say A Little Prayer" included as a bonus track on discs purchased from iTunes.[11] "Take A Bow" was offered for use in the episode at a reduced licensing rate,[12] something which surprised Murphy, who believed he would not be able to secure the rights to the song.[13] He stated: "Usually, people who have no. 1 hits, even if they give it to you, want hundreds of thousands of dollars, in my experience. But Rihanna gave it to us for a really good price. That's been one of the cool and surprising things about this experience, that these people that the cast and we really admire and respect have found out about the show and are supportive."[13]


"Showmance" averaged 7.3 million US viewers, making Glee the second most watched show of the evening after NBC's America's Got Talent. It achieved a 3.5/9 rating/share in the 18-49 demographic, making it Fox's best scripted premiere in three years.[14] However, as Scott Collins for the Los Angeles Times noted, the other major networks besides Fox all opened the evening by airing a speech by President Barack Obama, disrupting regular viewing patterns. Furthermore, the official fall season had yet to begin, placing Glee against weaker competition in the ratings than the remainder of the season would experience.[15] "Showmance" was the third most watched show in Canada for the week of broadcast, with 1.77 million viewers.[16] In the UK, the episode was shown straight after the pilot episode, with the audience dropping from 1.1 million to 913,000 viewers, with 166,000 more viewers on timeshift. The episode was still noted as a channel success, as the highest rating for an acquired show since an August 2005 episode of Lost.[17]

Shawna Malcom for the Los Angeles Times wrote that with "Showmance", Glee: "admirably lived up to the promise of its pilot (and even most of the ensuing hype)".[18] Jarett Wieselman of the New York Post wrote that "Showmance": "cemented my undying devotion to 2009's best new series",[5] opining that: "If it's possible, the second episode actually trumps the pilot in terms of sheer brilliance, laugh-out-loud moments and heart."[5] Entertainment Weekly's Tim Stack called the episode "really really fun", observing that: "The quality seen in the pilot definitely does not waver. If anything, the show seems to be finding its footing and tone."[19] David Hinckley of the Daily News rated the episode 4 out of 5 stars and commented: "Glee could have a hard time sustaining what it has set up. But the opening number gives us a rousing good show."[20]

Brian Lowry for Variety, however, criticized the episode. He opined that Lynch's performance was "fitfully funny but usually just plain annoying", calling the pregnancy subplot "credulity-straining".[21] Lowry praised Colfer and Michele, however stated that the show's talent was squandered by its "jokey, cartoonish, wildly uneven tone".[21] He deemed the show a "one-hit wonder", writing:

The promise and energy associated with the debut of Glee last spring largely evaporates in previewing two additional hours, where the musical numbers—generally less infectious and buoyant than the first time out—can’t compensate for overly broad characterizations and absurdly soapy situations. A few genuinely human moments emerge, but the series too often undermines the likability quotient of its cast, leaving the audience relatively little to latch onto. Put simply, Glee strikes too many sour notes for a series with precious little margin for error.

—Brian Lowry, Variety[21]

Lowry noted that: "Given its merits and unique attributes, there’s a strong desire to root for Glee in spite of its failings." He stated, however, that for the show to survive despite its high costs and doubts that audiences would accept a weekly musical, "the show’s going to have to croon a tune a helluva lot better than this."[21] Robert Bianco for USA Today highlighted Rachel's performance of "Take a Bow" and Will's flirtation with Emma as "soaring moments" of the episode. However, he opined that the insults levied at Rachel went too far, and that "Jessalyn Gilsig's self-centered, ridiculously strident Terri just needs to go, period."[22] Bianco wrote: "It would be better if Glee had more control and fewer abrupt tonal shifts, but that's not the Glee we're getting — and maybe it wouldn't be Glee at all. It's not perfect, but in a sea of procedural conformity, Glee is its own weird, often enchanting little island escape."[22]

Morrison's performance of "Gold Digger" was well received by critics.

While Hank Stuever for The Washington Post praised the show's inclusion of adult storylines alongside teenage drama,[23] Robert Lloyd for the Los Angeles Times opined that the adult characters "tend more to caricature than character", writing of Sue that: "the writing flattens her toward a single note. She's funny from line to line, but there is little to her besides tin-pot contrariness." Lloyd stated that by contrast, "Will, as the show's only normal person over the age of 18, [can] seem a little drab".[24] However, he noted that Will "comes alive when singing and dancing", citing his "exuberant" performance of "Gold Digger".[24] The Chicago Tribune's Maureen Ryan commented similarly: "there's one big flaw in Glee [...] and it may be a harbinger of bad things to come. Will's wife, Terri (Jessalyn Gilsig), manages to drain all the fun out of Glee every time she appears. Not only is this shrill character intensely annoying, but she makes you wonder whether Will has brain damage. What other explanation could there be for his ending up with this materialistic harpy?".[25] Ryan received the younger cast more positively, stating that there were "no weak links", and praising Colfer and Michele in particular.[25]

The episode's musical numbers attracted positive reviews, particularly Will's rendition of "Gold Digger". Raymund Flandez for The Wall Street Journal praised this performance, also describing the group performance of "Push It" as "glorious in encapsulating every teenage horror".[26] Flandez also wrote that Rachel's "Take a Bow" was also a highlight of the episode, opining: "It can take anyone’s breath away."[26] Discussing the performance of "Gold Digger", Dave Itzkoff for The New York Times wrote: "Outside of the catalog of 2 Live Crew, it’s hard to imagine a song more inappropriate for a high school glee club [...] but the young misfits of the Fox comedy Glee somehow made it work [...] the lyrics are ridiculously bowdlerized, and yes, it’s a little bizarre to hear an ensemble of teenagers chanting "We want prenup!" But it’s kind of infectious — at least as much as the glee-club cover of Salt-N-Pepa’s "Push It" that came later in the show."[27] Malcolm too praised the performance of "Gold Digger", opining: "It was all so joyous and infectious, and made a TV-comedy musical from envelope-pushing producer Ryan Murphy seem easy, like the most natural of endeavors — not one of the biggest risks of the new fall season."[18]


  1. ^ a b "Showmance". Ryan Murphy (director, writer), Brad Falchuk (writer), Ian Brennan (writer). Glee. Fox. 2009-09-09. No. 2, season 1.
  2. ^ "Episode Recap: Showmance". Fox Broadcasting Company. Retrieved 2009-11-26.  
  3. ^ Collins, Scott (July 25, 2009). "Comic-Con: 'Glee' producers spill secrets of Episode 2". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved 2009-09-06.  
  4. ^ a b Martin, Denise (August 13, 2009). "A 'Glee' teaser: Matthew Morrison raps 'Gold Digger'". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved 2009-09-06.  
  5. ^ a b c Wieselman, Jarett (July 20, 2009). "What Can You Expect On 'Glee' This Fall?". New York Post. News Corporation. Retrieved 2009-09-06.  
  6. ^ Cutler, Jacqueline (September 6, 2009). "‘Glee’ hitting all the right notes". Zap2it. Retrieved 2009-09-06.  
  7. ^ "Showmance: Featured Music". Fox Broadcasting Company. Retrieved 2009-11-19.  
  8. ^ a b "The ARIA Report: Week Commencing 5th October 2009" (pdf). Pandora Archive. Retrieved 2009-10-29.  
  9. ^ "Discography Glee Cast - Australia". Retrieved 2009-10-27.  
  10. ^ "Glee Cast". Retrieved 2009-10-27.  
  11. ^ Linder, Brian (November 4, 2009). "Glee: The Music - Vol. 1 Review". IGN. Retrieved 2009-11-27.  
  12. ^ Frankel, Daniel (January 13, 2009). "'Glee' gets songs for free". Variety. Reed Business Information. Retrieved 2009-06-03.  
  13. ^ a b Strachan, Alex (September 4, 2009). "Glee hums in mostly buzz-free TV season". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2009-09-06.  
  14. ^ Siedman, Robert (September 10, 2009). "Updated TV Ratings: SYTYCD vs. POTUS and Glee premieres nicely". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved 2009-09-12.  
  15. ^ Collins, Scott (September 10, 2009). "Fox passes early audition with 'Glee' ratings, but real tests are to come". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved 2009-09-12.  
  16. ^ "Top Programs – Total Canada (English): September 7 - September 13, 2009" (pdf). BBM Canada. Retrieved 2009-11-27.  
  17. ^ Tryhorn, Chris (Januar 12, 2010). "TV ratings: Glee opens with 1.3m viewers for first part of double bill". Retrieved 12 January 2010.  
  18. ^ a b Malcolm, Shawna (September 10, 2009). "'Glee': Please don't stop the music". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved 2009-09-12.  
  19. ^ Stack, Time (July 13, 2009). "'Glee' preview: I've seen the next two episodes!". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc.. Retrieved 2009-09-06.  
  20. ^ Hinckley, David (September 9, 2009). "On 'Glee,' sex is the keynote at musical high school in Ohio". Daily News. Daily News. Retrieved 2009-09-12.  
  21. ^ a b c d Lowry, Brian (September 5, 2009). "Glee". Variety. Reed Business Information. Retrieved 2009-09-06.  
  22. ^ a b Bianco, Robert (September 9, 2009). "'Glee': A few sour notes don't spoil the usual harmony". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved 2009-09-11.  
  23. ^ Stuever, Hank (September 9, 2009). "You're Just In Time to Join the 'Glee' Club". The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company. Retrieved 2009-09-11.  
  24. ^ a b Lloyd, Robert (September 9, 2009). "Review: 'Glee'". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company.,0,3769031.story. Retrieved 2009-09-11.  
  25. ^ a b Ryan, Maureen (September 9, 2009). "'Glee' pulls off tricky balancing act". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Company.,0,7144649.column. Retrieved 2009-09-12.  
  26. ^ a b Flandez, Raymund (September 10, 2009). "“Glee”: Season One, Episode One: TV Recap". The Wall Street Journal. News Corporation. Retrieved 2009-09-11.  
  27. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (September 10, 2009). "‘Glee’ Does ‘Gold Digger’". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2009-09-11.  

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