Thursday, September 10, 2009

TV Review: Glee

Fox is brilliant. By teasing millions of people with the pilot of Glee, the network’s most promising new show, Fox managed to mount a maelstrom of enthusiasm for last night’s season premiere. Twitter was abuzz with posts about Glee, Facebook was abuzz with posts about Glee, and my pants were abuzz because I think Matthew Morrison (who plays teacher Will Schuester) is super hot. All in all, people were excited.

However, did the show live up to its expectations? Overall, I would say yes. The show delivered some great musical numbers, particularly Lea Michele’s interpretation of Rihanna’s Take a Bow. Indeed, Michele is blessed with the best voice on the show so it should come as no surprise that her song stood out. The group’s version of Push It was hilariously raunchy and their take on Golddigger was very funky, despite Morrison’s tendency to over-enunciate the rap lines. A valid concern that a friend pointed out was that the musical numbers are very obviously recorded. It does tend to be a bit distracting and seems only to serve as an advertisement for the tracks on iTunes. Perhaps in later episodes they’ll give the music more of a “live” feel. Half of this last paragraph is the intellectual property of ALR, but I fully agree.

The show seems to be setting itself up for some promising storylines. The tension between Quinn, Rachel (Michele’s character), and Finn will no doubt provide some great moments. Additionally, the burgeoning relationship between Jayma Mays’ Emma and Will has to eventually cause marriage problems for Will. It’ll be exciting to see where that goes. I would like to see the other Glee members more fully developed, but a few other reviews have indicated that the show will explore the other characters more fully. The students are the heart and soul of Glee, because they're the ones we're rooting for and they're the ones who are struggling through high school.

I have two small criticisms that I hope the show addresses. First of all, I feel like a few of the adults are becoming caricatures. Jane Lynch, who is delicious wicked as the Cheerios coach, may become a bit one-note if her character’s motivations aren’t explained. She’s evil, and Lynch has some of the best lines on the show, but I think her character could use a bit more depth. The same could be said for Jessalyn Gilsig, who plays Terri Schuester. To be blunt, she doesn’t resemble any real human beings I’ve ever met. I think she could, quite easily, if we get to learn more about her backstory and what makes her tick.

My other worry is that the show might have a hard time sustaining itself. The concept seems to lend itself much more easily to a movie than to a TV show. Hopefully the songs and storylines will stay fresh. Nevertheless, the show right now is a clever, heartfelt, and musical delight. It definitely keeps me full of glee.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

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