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Fox’s Glee deserves rave reviews

September 24, 2009

When the pilot episode of Glee aired last spring, Fox essentially guaranteed that it would be one of the smashing successes of this season’s new TV shows. With Dancing With the Stars, High School Musical, American Idol and various other shows performing well in recent years, the stage has quickly become an automatic hit when it is transferred to the small screen.

The reasons for this could be argued forever, but the most simple reason is just that theatrical productions (and shows about them) seem to be more fun, something that the country hasn’t been in recent years. The carefree attitude of the performers is the direct opposite of the frantic reaction to the economy by professionals throughout the land.

Glee succeeds, however, precisely because it allows the kids to shine as performers even though they all have their own set of issues that they bring to rehearsals with them. (The fact that they did one of the best versions of perennial cover-bait “Don’t Stop Believing” might help, too.) The tangled plot lines are beginning to become confusing, as pregnancies, affairs, coming out and other typical teenage drama are explored, but when the lights go down, the characters all manage to excel.

The show’s decision to open this week’s episode with a performance of Beyonce’s “Put a Ring on It” was an excellent one, as it emphasized that the show really was about these people being performers, not the performers trying to be people. When Kurt’s dad comes in to find his son in a leotard, however, the fun quickly stops and lying begins, at least until Kurt performs on what his dad considers the most important stage – the football field, giving him the confidence to tell his father the truth.

Glee’s over-produced set (everything looks a little bit fake) aids the show’s message, as it refuses to take itself too seriously and, in turn, doesn’t let viewers become caught up in all of its drama. And really, that’s the message of Glee – that drama and issues do happen, but that the most important thing will always be performing when it counts.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 28, 2009 12:31 pm

    I love Glee. I think one of the reasons it has been popular so far has to with how it has used social media. You might want to check that out.

  2. October 2, 2009 2:30 pm

    I totally agree! I think this is one of those shows that is perfect for the age of the Internet. You can stream it on Hulu, read about it on any entertainment blog and then download the songs you liked on iTunes…all on your own time. Fox brought this around at the right time.

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