Some have tagged Glee, Fox’s newest show, as “The Anti High School Musical.” In some ways this is true. The show does feature a cast of high school kids that sing and dance, but there is one key difference. This show is not oozing with Disney magic, far from it in fact. It is the brainchild of none other than Ryan Murphy, the man that brought us Nip/Tuck, a show that pushed the limits for dramatic storytelling, and the first 3 seasons of which are still some of favorite of any show to date. Glee features a rather exaggerated take on high school life. I’d like to think that no one actually would throw a Slurpee into a girl’s face in the hallway (which happens in the first 15 minutes of the pilot), but then again perhaps things have changed a bit since I was in high school. While Murphy relies on many familiar archetypes for his characters, he writes them in such a way that makes them feel more real and human than they appear on the surface. All of the characters are perfectly cast as well, including many actors you may recognize from tv and film (the adult characters), and many you likely will not (the high schoolers). The main plot of Glee revolves around a teacher trying to bring back the high school glee club to its former championship glory, of which he himself contributed in his younger days, as well as the story of how the new club brings together our characters.
If you enjoy music as much as I do then this show is hard not to like. Lea Michelle and Cory Monteith who play Rachel and Quinn both have exceptional singing talent, Michelle sang on Broadway before being cast for Glee, and it is easy to hear. The pilot closes with a stirring rendition of Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing and I couldn’t help but rewind and watch the entire pilot again as soon as I finished it. Glee premiered its second of a 13 episode season and this week’s episode and featured music by Kanye West, Beyonce, and Salt N Pepa. Critics have been buzzing about Glee since the pilot was aired after the American Idol finale in the early summer and it has been well worth the wait. The show is excellently written and has many moments of great humor as well as ones of tremendous heart. As Fall TV season kicks off you will be hard pressed to find a better way to spend Wednesdays at 9pm. Truly feelgood television is hard to come by these days without feeling sappy or forced, but Glee delivers in full and I cannot wait to see where this story goes. You can find the pilot episode on Hulu and check Fox who will, if they are smart, put full episodes online.