Thursday, May 21, 2009
Fingers Crossed For "Glee"
As someone who has a habit of liking critically-acclaimed shows that get canceled, I'm wary of getting too attached to "Glee." It's a funny, quirky show about geeks, one that assumes (correctly) that high school mostly blows. And when has that ever panned out?
But if the pilot episode is indicative of what's to come, I hope "Glee" makes it. Maybe it doesn't achieve the greatness of "Freaks and Geeks," but it's got loads of potential.
When a high school glee club loses its director in a scandal, teacher Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison) steps in to keep it going and to reconnect with his passion for song. But even the principal thinks glee club is for losers, refusing to pony up the $40 a month required to run it. But Schuester isn't dissuaded, and once word gets out, the school's aspiring songbirds come forward.
These kids are my people — ambitious nerds who have that "One day you losers will know how awesome I am" gleam in their eye. Rachel (Lea Michele), who is talented but delusional, uploads new performance video daily on her MySpace page. Diva-in-training Mercedes (Amber Riley) declares that she shouldn't be singing backup because "I'm Beyonce, not Kelly Rowland." The only member with any social standing is quarterback Finn (Cory Monteith), a Troy Bolton type who wants to throw footballs and sing show tunes.
But my favorite glee club member, by far, is Kurt (Chris Colfer), who is clearly a friend of Dorothy. He begs the jocks to remove his Marc Jacobs jacket before they toss him into the dumpster, and when he belts out "Cellophane Man" during his audition, he does so with a hand on his hip and an I-do-this-in-my-sleep stroke of his bangs.
Perhaps best of all, "Glee" has the wonderful Jane Lynch, playing a ball-busting cheerleading coach who sees the new club as a threat. No one delivers a put-down quite like Lynch, who, upon seeing one of her cheerleaders flub a move, says, "You think this is hard? Being water-boarded is hard."
My only quibble is that Schuester's Pottery Barn-obsessed wife is a shade too unlikable to be believed. Otherwise, "Glee" has captured my attention in a way network television hasn't for years. When it returns in the fall, I'll be there with my jazz hands ready.