Sunday, September 27, 2009

GLEE! - Not Just For Your Average Choir Nerd.


Glee, FOX's new one-hour musical comedy-drama, is in its fourth episode and already has a strong following. The series is downright witty, scandalous, crafty, and funny. While the direction of Glee uses opportune dramatic zoom-ins to add tension and comedic relief, the light-heartedness leaves me coming back for more.

The premise: An Arrested Development-like comedy set in a high school environment, filled with clich├ęd characters, soap-opera drama (which could be overbearing but is handled with humor), hidden innuendos, and quick dialogue.

The triple-threat cast: So when Ryan Murphy, creator of Glee, needed to find a cast, he needed to get it right. And in an interview with FOX, according to Murphy, "In Hollywood, it's rare to find a cast-full of actors that can do all three-- sing, dance, and act". Luckily, he struck gold. And as much as I'd love to brief you on the 12-member cast, I'll stick the four that in my opinion are noteworthy.

The compassionate Mr. Schuester (Matthew Morrison), the high school Spanish teacher who becomes the Glee Club director. An evil cheerleading Coach Sue Sylvester (the talented Jane Lynch), who is tyrannical and manipulative. Then there's the egotistical, talented student, Rachel (Lea Michele)--who is endlessly bullied while believing that being part of something special (like Glee Club) makes her special. And we can't forget about the all-around, misunderstood jock that joins the Glee Club, Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith), who you can't help but root for.

The dialogue: My favorite part of this new series! The witty and quick dialogue is shared among the entire cast. From a one-minute cameo to a leading role, the cast gets to bravely state things like: "The staircase was made by Ecuadoran children." "This, this is the room where our girl or gay son will sleep." I have to admit, I'm impressed with FOX. The content seems a little risky at times.

One of the things the writers pride themselves in, according to their FOX interview, is that the series doesn't break out into a song randomly like it would in a movie. They claim that the musical scenes happen in organic rehearsal or performance settings. While this is mostly true, there are still a few musical numbers that sneak up randomly. (Not that I have a problem with that.) Nevertheless, the numbers are always fitting to the scenario. 

FOX's new musical comedy-drama series, Glee, is a hit! Notice, I say this proudly... So this is far from a guilty pleasure. (Even though I will admit, I too, belonged to a vocal jazz ensemble throughout high school. Uh, forget I mentioned that last part...) And who cares if the L in glee stands for loser? It's a comedy-drama that's bound to get you hooked.

Watch Glee, Wednesdays at 8/7 central on FOX.

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