Archive for review

Are Television Viewers Cheering with Glee?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on October 13, 2009 by jganolik

Well why wouldn’t they be, with a cast that features an obsessive-compulsive clean freak teacher, a self-proclaimed starlet whose main audience is her Myspace community, and an iron pill chomping cheerleading coach?

Fox advertises the series as “a new comedy for the inspiring underdog in all of us,” brought to you by Ryan Murphy the creator of Nip/Tuck. The show is about one driven teacher and a bunch of misfit, yet vocally gifted, students who are hell-bent on raising the school’s Glee club from its ruins.

What is a Glee club, you may ask? The Glee club (outside of the show) was founded in London in the 17th century, and is similar to an a capella group, but nowadays can refer to a general choir. The first Glee clubs performed “glee-syle” music, which was composed for three or more voices, and traditionally functioned as drinking songs that expressed lewd sentiments. The glee club at the fictional McKinley High School still adheres to the latter tradition.

This wacky, High School Musical on acid comedy, caters to an astonishingly mature audience. Most of the musical numbers performed by the cast (such as “I Wanna Sex You Up”) carry overt sexual messages, and the show explores issues of stalkderdom, premature orgasm, and marital discontent.

Within the show, the Glee club rests at the bottom of high school’s social totem pole. To be in the club means that one must kiss their social standing goodbye. Indeed, this is exactly what Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith), the high school quarterback does after Mr. Schuester (Matthew Morrison) blackmails him into joining glee by framing him for marijuana possession. After a few practices, Finn comes around to the idea of the club, or rather to the idea of Rachel Berry (Lea Michele), with whom he cheats on his ultra-Christian cheerleader girlfriend.

Crazy, huh? Well it only gets better. The cheerleading coach (Jane Lynch) sends in her team as undercover glee members to sabotage the club’s progress, while in the meantime Mr. Schuester has been crushing on his colleague, Emma (Jayma Mays) and trying to repair the marriage with his wife who has, beyond his knowledge, faked her own pregnancy. And that is only a taste of the scandalous happenings within McKinley High School.

The soundtrack of Glee makes clever use of a capella voices: dum dum dum’s and buzzing noises are used to accent stress and conflict. Then there are the frequent break-outs into song and dance, which seem to frequent television shows that feature broadway stars. Take Pushing Daisies and Kristen Chenoweth for example.

Caricatures make up the entirety of the cast: the aforementioned germaphobe, the flamingly gay student, the starlet, the list goes on, and the said caricatures seem to face overly cliche and exaggerated life issues. That said, the characters fit in with the bright and bubbly, black comedic nature of the show.

There have been some bizarre plot twits as of late: the queen of the celibacy club is pregnant, the cheerleading coach has snagged a spot on the evening news, and the football team is taking dance lessons to up their game.

So maybe the show’s messages are a bit off color, and maybe it’s somewhat uncomfortable to watch high schoolers dry hump each other during a musical number on their auditorium stage, but if what you’re looking for is some kooky entertainment, sprinkled with vocal talent, grab your pom poms, your microphone, or your hypo-allergenic gloves (whatever your preference), and tune into Glee on Wednesday at 9.