Friday, September 11, 2009

Glee

Glee is my new favorite show this fall. It's got all the elements for an exciting, funny series that captures your attention and pulls at your heart strings at the same time. It's only two shows into the season, so if you want to catch up on an excellent fall program, you can watch those two shows on Hulu for free.

The reason I like it so much? The pilot episode was like sitting down to a good first chapter. I mean, I was HOOKED.

How'd the producers do it? Larger than life characters, for starters, a rockin' plot fraught with conflict, and a setting that adds to them both. Here's a rundown.

*Caution: SPOILERS BELOW*

Glee is set in McKinley High School. Matthew Morrison plays Spanish teacher Will Schuester. He takes over the Glee Club when the current Glee teacher makes inappropriate moves toward a student. When Will tells the principal he wants to take over, the principal asks him if he'd like the captain the Titanic, too. F U N N Y.

He has auditions, and the five (eventually six and will grow in later episodes) people he gets are extremely talented and quirky, and actually follow typical high school archtypes. There's an African American diva (Mercedes) who belts out Aretha Franklin's R-E-S-P-E-C-T, an Asian girl (Tina) who dresses more grunge and definitely sings an edgy number, "I Kissed A Girl and I Liked It." Then there's a gay guy (Kurt) who can really sing great and a guy in a wheelchair (Artie) who just cracks you up when he's doing the shows. They wheel him around while their singing and he sometimes crashes into things. F U N N Y.

Then there are the two main Glee members, about which there swirls an awkward attraction that's not without hindrances. Rachel is a girl consumed with Glee Club. She's extremely talented, a little dorky, definitely a loner at school, and beautiful. Finn is the quintessential jock. He's quarterback on the football team and the boyfriend of the captain of the cheerleader team. He's essentially coerced into the Glee Club by Will, who "plants" marijuana in Finn's locker and "finds" it later. (Will tells the audience that it was his lowest point as a teacher, but he'd just heard Finn singing in the locker room while taking a shower, and he's amazingly talented, as well.) Rachel is in love with Finn; he doesn't know she exists (well, until he hears her sing).

There are four other characters worth mentioning: Will's wife, Terri (she's a whiny prima donna; their marriage isn't going so well, but she tells Will she's pregnant--which she learns later isn't true but doesn't own up to it); the cheerleading coach Sue (played brilliantly by Jane Lynch--from The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Role Models; Sue feels threatened by Will because Will is scouring her cheerleading girls for Glee Club recruits; she makes life difficult for him...but F U N N Y!); the guidance counselor Emma (Amy in Paul Blart: Mall Cop; she's in love with Will and also has an enormous phobia of germs...she's likely OCD); and the football coach Ken (who is trying to get a date with Emma and knows she's got a thing for Will).

Gosh....do you realize all the conflict? Throw in the mix Finn's jealous girlfriend (who's president of the Celibacy Club) who wants to join Glee Club to "get her boyfriend back" and who the cheerleading coach recruits to be her "eyes" on the inside; Finn's growing attraction for Rachel - which he acts on with a kiss and a little hormonal surge that's pretty funny; the fact that for the Glee Club to even continue in existence, they have to final in the regional competition (and to do that, they've got to have at least 12 people); the stereotypes of jocks and nerds (and Glee definitely falls into the "loser" category)...it's awesome people. Awesome.

If you haven't seen it...DO. The singing numbers are awesome. I especially like the more modern songs. Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" is sung in the pilot...I was singing it all week long. So good.

Anyway...just thought I'd share. If all our first chapters could end up with the hooks that the pilot did....we'll final in every contest and be published within hours. No joke.

Q4U: Have you seen Glee? What were your thoughts?

And on a monumental aside, let's send up a prayer for those families who lost a loved one or a friend in the 9-11 attacks.

Wordle: signature

12 comments:

Janna Qualman said...

I watched the teaser episode... and remembered the premiere about an hour after it played. Will have to pull it up on Hulu. I love it!

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Not reading the spoiler part, I haven't seen it yet.

Have a great weekend, Jeannie!!

Jill Kemerer said...

I've heard so many good things about this show. I'm going to have to give it a whirl! Have a great weekend!

Jamie D. said...

I saw the pilot - even hubby was hooked. It really is very well done. I think we caught a Friday or Saturday repeat of it last week. Haven't seen this week's episode (not quite in "scheduled TV" mode yet, since most of what we watch doesn't premiere for another week or so). But if none of our "regular" shows are on at the same time, I can see us watching this one. Love the music!

Susanne Dietze said...

Oh my gosh, I love this show. It is fresh and funny, "High School Musical" meets "Earl." It is not for everybody: I'm sure we'll be hearing about how offensive it is. Personally, I wish the most vicious character wasn't the only notable Christian, and I can't believe the show got away with some of the moves in the "Push It" number, but I couldn't stop laughing all the same.

On another TV note, Jeannie, how was Vampire Diaries? I couldn't get it here. It was pre-empted by football...I'm sure I'll see it eventually. But what did you think? And is the author of VD suing Stephenie Meyer?

Karen said...

I'm a gleek!

And great analogy. The pilot really was like an excellent first chapter. It reminded me, in that way, of LOST. Even though it's plot has gotten wacky and way out there, I still remember my initial reaction to the pilot.

Let's hope Glee keeps it up!

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

susie - not sure about VD! i missed it (seeing as how i'm on central time...it came on at 7 and i thought it was 8!) but i'm watching it tonight. i got on tvguide.com and MADE SURE i won't miss it. so i'll let you know. :) and i don't know if L.J. is suing stephenie meyers or not!

Marybeth Poppins said...

I absolutely ADORE this show and am now questioning why my high school did not have a glee club!

I'm hopelessly addicted after only two episodes!

Terri Tiffany said...

I love this show and watched the first one and just found I can catch the one I missed tonight!

Katie Ganshert said...

Okay...now I must watch the show. I've been seeing previews, and it looks super good. I just don't have time. Grrrr.... I do watch SYTYCD, which is on before it. Do you watch that show?

Tara said...

I haven't seen it, but if I can find a spare moment, I might check it out on Hulu.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Hi, Jeannie!

I have watched the first 2 episodes of "Glee" and loved the music. It made me wish we'd had that in high school because I actually would have wanted to join... which would have been a miracle!