Friday, October 16, 2009

New and Notable (TV): GLEE

I'm rarely excited by a TV show, let alone one on FOX, but this season, the network has come up with something that prompted me to set my DVR to "record series".

Glee is pretty much what the title implies: a show about a high school glee club and its struggle for excellence. It's funny, over-the-top and always seems to keep in mind something near and dear to my heart (and own personal memories): the outsider. Glee should capture and hold the attention of anyone who knows what it's like to be on the fringes in high school...and even some who don't.

The show is fresh, original, and brilliantly written. Its comedy is character-driven and laugh-out-loud funny, without a laugh track to prompt you. Its musical numbers are inspired and often flights of fancy that manage both to entertain and to propel each week's story forward, or to define character. And it has the amazing Jane Lynch as one of the fiercest cheerleading coaches you will ever come across. She's mean, she's politically incorrect, she's scheming and conniving...and you can't help but guffaw at the bizarre, cruel things she says. Her character has no internal censor and Lynch plays it to the fullest. She is one of the show's most winning assets.

But Glee also has an amazing ensemble cast that combines the best and worst of high school society. And it gives them all depth beyond their particular defining characteristics, whether it's prom queen, gay, handicapped, overweight, jock, heartthrob, geek, or any other personality found in just about any US high school.

And it's set in Ohio. What more could you want?

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