You know what makes "Glee" really sing? It's not all of the Journey songs the cast performs, although that never hurts. It's not the pure, molten evil of coach Sue Sylvester, played by the now-Emmy-winning Jane Lynch. It's the guest stars.
Think back to last season. (Sigh.) How loud did you squeal at the sight of Olivia Newton-John playing herself (twice!)? Or Neil Patrick Harris as Will Schuester's old archenemy, Bryan Ryan?
This season, we can look forward to appearances by John Stamos, Oscar-winning Javier Bardem and even pop tart/gossip princess Britney Spears. Carol Burnett will even show up as coach Sue's mom!
But tossing "Glee" aside, which we must until the season premiere Sept. 21, there are many other juicy guest-star appearances on TV this fall.
The top five guest stars this fall:
1. Jane Lynch ("iCarly"): Coach Sue will leave her megaphone behind to play mom to Sam (Jennette McCurdy) on Nickelodeon on Saturday at 7 p.m. TV Guide says Lynch will put an appropriately comic face on her character's "colorful dating life, horrible driving skills and questionable hygiene."
2. Dolph Lundgren ("Chuck"): Try this one: Ivan Drago. The actor who played Rocky's Russian punching pal is set for the Sept. 20 season premiere, along with creepy "Big Love" co-star Harry Dean Stanton. How much longer until we can break out the "I must break you" jokes?
3. Jennifer Aniston ("Cougar Town"):
Aw -- Rachel and Monica are back together again Sept. 22. Courteney Cox's show has steadily improved, even if TV viewers aren't noticing, while Aniston's movie career has taken a nosedive. At this point, who is helping whom?
4. Justin Bieber ("CSI"): It's the first acting gig for Bieber. Too bad we all lost interest in the show when William Petersen left the cast. Publicity photos from the Sept. 23 season premiere show the Muppet/pop star being led to jail in handcuffs. Finally, some justice for his crimes against the music business!
5. Betty White ("Community"): Yes, the Golden Girl is everywhere these days. And it'd be tiresome except for the fact that she's always so perfectly cast. White appears on the Sept. 23 season premiere to play Prof. June Bauer, the community college's "unhinged" anthropology professor. Is there any other kind?