Sunday, 28 March 2010

Why I like Glee

There seems to be no stopping the hit US TV show Glee which is about to air a second series in America after a wildly successful debut last year. News (or rumours masquerading as news) about the show seems to crop up almost hourly. The cast are going on Oprah (true); they are planning a Broadway version (not true, at least for now). The kids in the lead roles - like Michelle Lea - are now major stars. The show is scoring record ratings in the UK for its channel E4 and the cast versions of various songs have hit the charts, most notably Don't Stop Believing by Journey.

I confess to being something of a fan although I wouldn't classify myself as a "Gleek" as the more obsessive fans are known. For the uninitiated it's set in a High School and follows the fortunes of a Glee (singing and dancing) club with lots of musical numbers, subplots about cheerleaders and nerds vs the cool kids rivalries. If that sounds a bit duff it is actually quite addictive for these reasons:

- it's well made. The States churns out some TV crap but also the slickest and cleverest shows. This is one of the smart and funny ones, created by the man behind Nip/Tuck.
- the cast is very good. The best character is a half-in-closet gay pupil called Kurt played by an actor with no previous experience.
- the music is very varied, from hip hop to show tunes, and their take on the songs is always very original. They also fit the music around the plotlines cleverly.
- I love American High School films like those done in the 80s by John Hughes and this is very much in that genre.
- while it can be a bit sickly sweet at times it isn't overly so and it doesn't all work out tritely and happily all the time. In fact the kids seem to have a pretty up and down time and react like kids would which is possibly the real secret of its appeal.

Best song so far:

Funniest routine:

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