I could go on and on about the technical flaws I saw on last nights episode ( the musical numbers were way to polished and the AV was out of sync), but I’m not. No. Because I am in love with this show.
The fact I love this show should be no surprise to anyone, as I am also deeply in love with Ryan Murphy’s previous high school dramedy Popular (Mary Cherry forever!). Glee in many ways hits similar tones comically and dramatically as this late 90s cult classic, and the struggles the students face are also similar. The slightly awkward, overly ambitious girl crushes on the cool jock boy who dates the pretty blonde cheerleader. There are kids with speech impediments and disabilities, and they aren’t all a size two. Murphy creates a real high school feeling. Then he throws on show stopping musical numbers.
Now, the audio of ” Gold Digger” is amazing, but it was hampered last night by poor mixing and editing. In fact, that was an issue with all the musical numbers last night. If this show is going to work over the long haul, they have to fix it. Off sync is distracting. And the “Push It” number was amazingly cringe worthy and hilarious at the same time. I watched it mouth agape and sniggering the entire time. That was right on the edge of appropriate and Murphy probably knows it ( the man also created Nip/Tuck, which has been crossing that line for years).
But there were some really great moments in the episode- Will and Emma’s chalk dust on the nose, Finn and Rachel bonding over their mutual love of music, Finn making the angels cry with that popping balloon, Rachel’s speech on teenage sexuality that made her a hero to a certain faction of horny teenage boys, every moment Jane Lynch and Jayma Mays were on screen, and the realization that Quinn and the Cheerios can kind of sing. As the Cheerios go in to spy for Sue Sylvester, expect high jinks to ensue.
The flaws, though, have the potential to be too distracting. I like Jessalyn Gilsig a lot as an actor, but her character Terri is shrill and shrewish. I honestly wanted to punch her at various moments ( though I did snicker when she pointed out the children’s bedroom as the room for ” their daughter or gay son”). The Cheerios are still way into Mean Girls territory and have yet to be really fleshed out as characters. The same thing can be said about the jocks. There are those sync issues and they need to dirty up the vocal tracks as well ( last night was a little too polished and studio for my liking- only ” Take A Bow” came close to any real emotional connection, aside from Jayma Mays’ Emma sobbing through ” All By Myself” in her car).
Then there are the highs. The appealing youngsters are delightful as the ” island of misfit toys”, as Sue called them. Matthew Morrison ( Tony nominee for Light In The Piazza and the original Link in Hairspray) is charming as Will, who only seems to come really alive when he’s at the school, doing Glee and interacting with the students. The incomparable Jane Lynch is clearly delighting in playing the vindictive, spoiled, entitled cheerleading coach, who gets the school to pay for European dry cleaners and for some reason has seen an elementary school production of Hair. There is sharp humor and commentary about relationships, the high school caste system, and the general malaise of education systems in North America.
After the completely charming pilot, this was a good follow up episode.
Pilot received an A from me. ” Showmance” gets a solid B+.
Rachel: I guess I don’t have a gag reflex.
Emma: Years from now you’ll find that a blessing.
Coach Tanaka: I’m a minority so they can’t fire me, I’ll always be able to provide for you.
Kurt: Wait! One day you will all work for me.
Other things of note:
Figures guys would join the Celibacy Club to try and bed their chaste girlfriends.
Chris Colfer, who plays Kurt, is going to get a big episode coming up that Ryan Murphy has said is based on his own high school experience. If you know anything about Ryan Murphy, you can probably figure it out.
I tend to hate cheerleaders in TV world. These ones take the cake.
Quinn and Finn. I hate cutesy couples with rhyming names.
Amber Reilly has a voice and a half!
I do not remember the disco revivial of 1993. Anyone else?