Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I'm a Gleek!

Yeah, I know it's taken me forever to post on this, but it's one of those things I keep meaning to do and then I run out of time because I have to work on the Lost Rewatch. (Not that I hold it against you, Lost Rewatch. Never.) I'm hoping most of you have checked out the best new show on television, and if you haven't, tonight is the time to do it.

Because, quite simply, Glee is glorious.

So, if you haven't yet tuned in, I'll catch you up so you can watch tonight:

Glee is the story of a Spanish teacher, Will, who peaked in high school when his glee club won the nationals. In the first episode (which aired last May following American Idol), the glee club teacher (a.k.a. Buffy's original principal in the unaired pilot) was fired after touching a student inappropriately, and so Will jumps in as the new glee club teacher. His band of misfits that join are Rachel (think Reese Witherspoon in Election, only more sympathetic), Finn (Chris Klein in Election, only smarter), Jenna (a Chinese girl with a slight stuttering problem), Kurt (a flamboyant soprano who's trying unsuccessfully to hide his homosexuality from everyone), Artie (referred to as "the cripple," he's in a wheelchair and has a bit of trouble joining in during the dance routines), and Mercedes, who has a voice that could stop traffic. Rachel has developed a crush on Finn, but he's dating Quinn, the head cheerleader and president of the celibacy club. In last week's episode, she announced to Finn that he'd somehow impregnated her to cover up the fact that she'd actually had sex with Puck, the morally reprehensible jock who is Finn's best friend. Puck has figured out the truth, and is pretty ticked. Meanwhile, Rachel wants to have all the leads in the songs, and is upset whenever Will gives them to anyone else, and she's defected from Glee Club to the school production of Cabaret (which is masterminded by the villainous cheerleading coach).

The school's claim to fame is that the cheerleading squad is a Bring It On type that has gone to nationals and won several trophies, under the tutelage of drill sergeant Sue Sylvester (played by the inimitable Jane Lynch, who is never seen without a full Adidas track suit). She's threatened by the glee club, and needs to convince the rest of the school that it's made up of a bunch of Losers (capital L) and she'll do anything to bring it down. The guidance counsellor, Emma, is a germaphobe who is always wearing plastic gloves and cleaning off everything with Lysol wipes before sitting next to it (we found out why a couple of weeks ago) and the football coach, Ken, has designs on her. Will, Emma, and Ken sit together at lunch (and Sue usually shows up to brag about the interviews she's been doing and to deliver some overpriced snack for everyone before immediately leaving the room again) and Emma and Will are starting to notice a connection between them.

But Will is married to Terri, who works at "Sheets-N-Things" (Ha!) and is constantly complaining about her very difficult life, having to stand on her feet for three 4-hour shifts a week, which is KILLING her. She finds out she's pregnant, and just as Will is starting to gravitate to Emma, he realizes he really wants to be a father and embraces his new family. When Terri immediately finds out she's NOT, in fact, pregnant, and that her body made her believe it was, she doesn't tell Will, and is now wearing a belly pad and looking for a baby she can call her own to trick him.

It's an insane show, and much like "School of Rock," where the actors were hired for their singing ability over their acting, there are moments where the acting is a little wooden (Jenna, for example, usually stutters on the first word of a sentence and then never does it again in the scene, so for the first couple of episodes I always thought she was tripping over her lines, rather than portraying someone with a speech difficulty; Kurt can be a little wooden as well, even though I completely love him). Jane Lynch is the true star of the show for me -- last week when she got her own segment on the local news, the show moved from the glorious to the sublime. Everything out of her mouth makes me laugh. In one scene she's talking down to Will ("condescending" is the ONLY tone she takes with him) and tosses her iron pills at him for energy, telling him that it's great for menstruation. He says, "I don't menstruate." Without missing a beat, she replies, "Neither do I." The show is filled with awesome moments:

• The gang performing Journey's "Don't Stop Believin" at the end of the first episode in May
• The "Acafellas" performing "Poison," especially with Ken delivering the line, "Cause my crew used to do her" at the end, which had me in stitches
• Kurt trying to perfect Beyonce's choreography from her Single Ladies video by performing it in his basement, complete with a spangled glove and two backup girls wearing black leotards
• The football team performing the same moves (I think I've watched that scene 10 times now)
• Quinn telling Finn that he impregnated her when they were in a hot tub together
• The scene of the Celibacy club dancing with balloons between them
• Will's mother talking to Josh Groban, which is one of the funniest things I've seen all season.
• The scene in Emma's office after she catches Rachel trying to purge in the toilet. The brochures in the background have sayings like, "Why won't my Bipolar Mother Stop Yelling?" and Rachel tells Emma she's tried purging but she doesn't have an active gag reflex, to which Emma replies, "When you're older, you'll see that as a gift." HAHAHAHA!!

Last season I was devastated when Pushing Daisies was cancelled, and while I may never have that perfect blend of dark, funny, and fantasy in such a wonderful mix again, Glee definitely fills some of the void that show left behind. Even better, Kristen Chenoweth (Olive!) guest stars in tonight's episode as someone Will brings along to help everyone at glee club. I'm so excited I might just sing... sing... sing... [music swells] Oh. Wait. I can't sing. Sigh...

Tune in tonight and reward your inner gleek.


Greg Tramel said...

i can't WAIT for tonite's ep

i MISS Pushing Dasies

Zari said...

I'm LOVING Glee!!!

And if you all haven't yet seen "Julie & Julia", do -- you'll see Jane Lynch as Julia Child's sister. She's as fabulous as the fabulous Meryl "Julia" Streep!

JS said...

best line - Josh Groban loves a blousy alcoholic!

Austin Gorton said...

I absolutely adore Glee. They had me hooked with the "Don't Stop Believin'" song at the end of the first episode.

I'm like you: everything Jane Lynch says cracks me up. I love how she never calls Emma by the correct name, or the same name twice, and the casual way she references past accomplishments, like when she was in the Special Forces and carried out missions in Latin America in the 80s.

Also, I hope something really, really bad happens to Terri's sister. Terri, as shrill and harpy-like as she is, has a tiny bit of humanity left in her, but her sister? Yeesh.

Also, Victor Garber's appearance had me hoping for a song, so hopefully he'll come back and sometime and sing. Ever since Eli Stone ended, I'm missing my Victor Garber fix.

And that Josh Groban scene w/Will's mom? Awesome. Who knew Josh Groban had such a sense of humor about himself? Josh Groban loves a blousy alcoholic.

Oh, and isn't the girl that stutters Tina, not Jenna?

Robert said...

Glee continues to astonish me.

After reviewing every episode, it's clear the show is not just a one-trick-pony. Plus, the musical selection is diverse and the covers quite impressive.

JennM said...

I LOVED Kristin Chenoweth last night! Loved her! She is great singer, and she was hilarious. I too, am a full-on Gleek.

mgkoeln said...

Yes, "Glee" is fun! I wasn't too happy with the Acafellas episode, but the rest has been great so far. And I'm glad the "Nip/Tuck"-producers found a new job for Jessalyn Gilsig who is hilarious as the pseudo-pregnant wife.

Anonymous said...

hey! i looove glee! but the stuttering chick is tina, not jenna but keep up the good work!