September 24, 2009

Not a new favorite, but close

If you own a television, you know that the Fall line-up is probably the best it's been in a few years. Several new shows might give some of the oldies a run for their money (hear that, CSI Miami?! You're done!).

Of all the shows premiering over the last couple of weeks - and with the exception of my favorite Monday night CBS line-up - I made a marked effort to catch the pilot and proceeding episodes of Glee. If you haven't heard of Glee, here is FOX's blurb about the new hit:

From Ryan Murphy, the creator of "Nip/Tuck," comes GLEE, a new comedy for the aspiring underdog in all of us.

The series follows an optimistic teacher, WILL SCHUESTER (Matthew Morrison), who - against all odds and a malicious cheerleading coach - attempts to save McKinley High's Glee Club from obscurity, while helping a group of aspiring underdogs realize their true star potential. It's a tall order when the brightest stars of the group include KURT (Chris Colfer), a soprano who hits a high note in fashion; MERCEDES (Amber Riley), a larger-than-life diva with a voice to match; ARTIE (Kevin McHale), a geeky guitarist who rocks and rolls; and TINA (Jenna Ushkowitz), a punk rocker who hides behind her stutter and blue hair extensions.

Will's only hope lies with two true talents: RACHEL BERRY (Lea Michele), a self-proclaimed star who is convinced that MySpace and show choir and are her tickets to fame; and FINN HUDSON (Cory Monteith), the popular high school quarterback with movie star looks who must protect his reputation from his holier-than-thou girlfriend and "Cheerios" head cheerleader, QUINN (Dianna Agron), and his arrogant football teammate, PUCK (Mark Salling).

Will is determined to do whatever it takes to make Glee great again, but his only ally is fellow teacher and germaphobe EMMA PILLSBURY (Jayma Mays). Everyone else around him thinks he's nuts - from his tough-as-nails wife TERRI SCHUESTER (Jessalyn Gilsig) to McKinley's scheming cheerleading coach SUE SYLVESTER (Jane Lynch) - but he's out to prove them wrong.

Featuring a soundtrack of hit songs from past and present, GLEE is produced by Ryan Murphy Television in association with 20th Century Fox Television. Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan are co-creators of the series. Murphy, Falchuk and Dante Di Loreto serve as executive producers, while Ian Brennan serves as co-executive producer. Murphy directed the pilot.

From the blurb alone, I would dismiss this as some pep squad tv-version of Bring It On. Also, this show seemed to present a long list of "no way joses" for me: I refuse to watch anything related to Nip/Tuck; FOX is notoriously raunchy (seems like an oxymoron given their "conservative" news program); historically I haven't liked movies/tv shows with over-the-top representations of cliche characters (the gay kid, the reject artsy girl, the jock and cheerleader couple, the loud black girl, etc); the guy who plays the jock looks a lot like Chris Klein (yuck!), ad nauseam.

However, thanks to FOX's smart and catchy plugs for the show at the onset of summer, I became more and more interested. I finally sat down last weekend and watched all the current episodes on Hulu. I'll be honest - this show is not even morally neutral; it's moral-meter leans way more towards Bad than Good. I have to give credit, though, to the musical talent and choreography of the cast and creators. They picked a great cast of people - very talented - and the show features current pop songs musical-style. It makes for great entertainment when viewed outside of the usual FOX raunchiness.

I want to watch the show because of these scenes which says a lot because I am NOT a musical fan. Ask my bestie Karen; she is a HUGE musical fan. Out of all the time I've known her, I've been to two musicals with her - Radio City Rockettes (it was free) and The Lion King (my favorite cartoon movie). However, I might have to pass and only watch clips of the musical scenes on Hulu because of the great bent towards sexual themes.

Now that I've finished my official review of Glee, let me present you with a great clip I found (via of a recent episode. You pick up in the last few minutes of a football game where the team is in a pinch and needs some extra help. I hope you enjoy it! Afterwards, you might be tempted to join me in my Hulu clip excursions for gems like these.

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