Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Glee: Don't Stop Believin' ... That This Show Is Going to Be Awesome

We now interrupt this one-person danceathon to bring you this important announcement:

You should watch Glee tonight on Fox after American Idol.

Last week, I went to the New York premiere of Glee (thanks, Skristin) and was just blown away by how much I enjoyed the pilot, airing tonight.

Glee is for the grown-ups (like me) who sometimes listen to the High School Musical soundtrack on their iPods. The show centers around a failing high school glee club in Lima, Ohio. We get the idea that even if this glee club were overwhelmingly successful, the kids in it would still be unpopular.

But beyond the campy premise (and sing-alongable soundtrack) is a heart that puts HSM to shame.



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The characters are expertly drawn, even if they seem familiar. (If anyone seems like a caricature of a HSM character, it's Finn Hudson, the football player with a secret aptitude for music.)

But this show is a lot more than cliches. There's something deliciously dark about this show--the humor is biting, sarcastic, and not always appropriate. Definitely not Disney material.

And the music, rather than cheesy songs about breakups, makeups, and going to prom, are sexy glee-ified remixes of mixed-CD standards like "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Rehab."

No, seriously, you can download the full versions on iTunes now, and I've been rocking out all freaking day.

It's just delightful.

There's also (gasp) a little romance to be had--and one of the more interesting ship beginnings I've seen in a while.

Of course, we have the obvious, predictable potential pairing between Finn and Rachel Berry, the unpopular, glee-obsessed headcase with the powerhouse voice of that girl on the Spring Awakening soundtrack.

But the surprising potential ship is between their teacher, Will Schuester, and the guidance counselor, Emma Pillsbury. I don't want to spoil it, but by the end of the pilot, you'll know there's no hope between Mr. Shoe and Emma for a good long while.

Oh, right. There's also lots of angst in this show.

The good kind of angst. Moral ambiguity angst. You don't really know what to hope for or what's right or wrong. And just when you think everything's gone to hell, they're singing "You're the One That I Want" and you're dancing in your chair.

The downside?

I'm not really sure what this show is going to be like on an episode-by-episode basis. They've set up several awesome arcs, but I'm not sure what the baby steps are. I saw some cast interviews that said the glee club's going to need more members, so that's something. More characters is good for business. And the already established characters are delightful, so they've got a lot to build on, I just don't really know what the premise of week two is going to be.

But there's time and heart and some witty writing. And so even though I have to wait another four months to see episode two, I'm on board.

6 Responses to “Glee: Don't Stop Believin' ... That This Show Is Going to Be Awesome”

Hannah said...

Thanks so much for the recc, Caroline! I ended up tivo-ing the episode and just watched it. Normally you don't get such amazing summer programming. I do hope they have more episodes this summer. That way I'd have something to keep me busy until September.

I don't want to spoil it either, but I really was hoping for some ship with Will & Emma. Maybe in later eps...

I think I may have to go make a few purchases on iTunes now...

Caroline Carter said...

Hannah--I'm so glad you liked it! Unfortunately, this isn't a new summer series. This was the (unprecedented) "special preview event." The pilot will re-air officially in the fall--and that's when subsequent episodes will start airing. Look for it around September 16. :(

Hannah said...

Caroline- Seriously? No new episodes until fall? And I thought I was going to have something to keep me busy until certain season premieres. *coughBonesandGreyscough*

Just to let everyone know-- the first episode is free on iTunes!

Cassey said...

I cannot stop listening to "Don't Stop Believin". As an adult who also tends to get sucked in by catchy beats and sing-along lyrics this has taken over my iPod.

The show was good too, I agree that it balances campy and heart really well.

I have to admit that I'm a little hesitant to fall in love though. With the cut-throat business that TV seems to be, I'm a little scared for this baby. The fact that Fox clearly loves it is great, but this could easily fall into the "not-really-aimed-at-anybody-in particular-so-the-general-audience is-too-stupid-to-figure-out-who's-gonna-watch-it" category that kills shows like Pushing Daisies and Chuck (and almost got Bones).
I really hope it survives because I think it could be great. Stupid networks.

Caroline Carter said...

Cassey--I definitely see where you're coming from and share that apprehension. Pushing Daisies was pushed HARD by ABC when it premiered. Couple things--

1. I think Pushing Daisies was massively affected by the strike. Had it had a full season, it might not have returned for season two so weak.

2. There is something really compelling about Glee. I thought Pushing Daisies would have made a better movie; Ned saving Chuck from death was the best story they had to tell, and it happened in the pie-lette. Glee still has a lot of stories left to tell.

But you're right--it's an awkward demographic. I wonder if Mystic will pop in and give her two cents--she seems to have a knack for pinpointing cancellation potential.

Overall, though--let's not even talk about cancellation yet. It's not even officially premiering for four months!

J said...

This show was weak... it was High School Musical for the older generation. The sports guy who doesn't want people to think he's lame cuz he sings. The teacher that needs more people to join and reaches out in unorthodox means. The unlikable star. I saw a little glimpse of a rip-off of grey's with the hysterical pregnancy thing. And, the wife, it's like they want us to want their marriage to fail. And somehow it's okay for him to just turn to someone else who is slightly crazy herself. I don't know when they'll have time to fit this show in, but I probably won't be watching it if it goes up against Grey's, Chuck, Heroes, or Castle.