With a new fall season comes a brand new batch of television shows. Usually there are a few new reality shows, crime shows and cheesy comedies that won’t see it to a second season.
But this fall season, Fox is bringing something totally new to the table.
From Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy, “Glee” is a refreshing and original show that combines the comedic and musical genres.
It is “High School Musical” meets “Little Miss Sunshine,” but in television, rather than theatrical form; it is certainly much more mature than something Disney would muster up.
“Glee” is about a high school glee club, called “New Directions,” that is currently in the developmental stages but has high hopes of successfully competing in competitions.
The show is full of every high school stereotype imaginable: the diva, the rebel, the flamboyant gay boy, the jock, the little miss perfect, the nerd, and even the high school teacher who is stuck in a rut.
And of course, they are all misunderstood and unappreciated.
Glee club advisor, Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison), takes control of the group as a means of reliving his high school glory days, because the past is a much happier time for him than the present. Rachel Berry (Lea Michele), Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith) and the rest of the glee club members join the group because they do not seem to fit in comfortably elsewhere in school. Though Finn is the star of the football team, the glee club is the place where he feels most himself, and like the rest of the club members, it is the place where he feels he can really be somebody.
There is a lot of irony in the name “Glee.” Certainly, the name has to do with the fact that the show is about a glee club, but the irony lies in the meaning of the word glee. Glee means “high-spirited joy,” but most of the student joined the glee club because they were unhappy. While the club gives them happiness, it causes them torment because the rest of the high school students and staff think the glee club is stupid.
The musical element of “Glee” lies in the many song and dance numbers that occur throughout the hour that the show airs. Songs from the first show alone include: Aretha Franklin’s “Respect,” Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl,” Amy Whinehouse’s “Rehab,” John Denver’s “Leaving On A Jet Plane,” Les Miserables’ “On My Own” and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin,” which hit No. 1 on iTunes the next day, exceeding the number of sales for the songs performed by the American Idol contestants the same evening. Glee is likely to attract a wide audience because the genres of music are so diverse.
The comedic element comes into play with the dark humor that is integrated into the script.
From the former teacher who sells drugs to other teachers, to the cheerleading coach (Jane Lynch) referring to high school as a caste system, to Will getting Finn to initially join the club by accusing him of drug usage and making glee club his punishment, the show just goes from one laugh to another. It isn’t all dark.
There is a lot of stupid humor too like when the cheerleaders are referred to as cheerios and a student references male genitalia under the list of names on the glee club auditions sheet.
“Glee” premiered this summer with a teaser episode in May but following that first episode, new and obsessed fans have had to wait for the fall season to come around to see what else is in store.
In attempts to satisfy their cravings for new episodes, the shows fans, self-proclaimed “gleeks,” have been downloading songs and videos from the show on iTunes, watching clips on YouTube and re-watching the episode on Fox’s website.
Fox re-aired a director’s cut version of the show on Sept. 2, making it the second most-watched show that evening.
“Glee” is possibly as original a show could get this season.
It is a fresh concept, with fresh new faces and a fresh spin on old and new popular songs. “Glee” airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on Fox beginning September 9.
Anna Moronski is a fourth-year student majoring in Communications and minoring in Journalism. She can be reached at AM626969@wcupa.edu.