Thursday, August 27, 2009

"Glee" - pilot episode spoiler review

I hadn't known anything about "Glee" until some friends of mine started talking about it after the pilot episode had been broadcast. I hadn't even known about the pilot and didn't really know what the show was about. After hearing more about the show from a particular friend and learning that the pilot was available on Hulu, I decided to check it out.

The show started a bit slow for me, but I think that's a problem all new shows run into because they have to set up the story and the cast of characters. The quirks of the various characters were a bit much at first, but as they started to gel, I liked the show better. Each of the characters was drawn with basically one particular identifying quality, but that makes remembering them easier, and while many of the characters are currently stereotypes, I'm hoping those get flushed out as the show progresses.

The main character in the show is teacher Will, who has come back to his old high school to teach and who ends up being the new teacher to run the glee club. His efforts are hampered by a lack of funds and a lack of resources but mostly, the perception that glee club is for losers, resulting in there only being 5 kids in the club. Will accidentally discovers that one of the football jocks (Finn) can actually sing and resorts to questionable tactics to convince said jock to join the glee club.

Will has problems at home as well, with an extremely high-maintenance wife, but life gets even more complicated when his wife announces that she's pregnant. Will initially decides to quit his teaching job to apply for the higher-paying accountant job that his wife has been pushing him towards, but when he sees that the glee club kids have put all their effort into putting on a show, he decides to stay and do what he loves instead.

I liked most of the lead characters, even the "bad" characters. The only exception is Will's wife, who comes off simply as a shrill spoiled brat who you basically just want to stuff in a box. I'm hoping that they give her some redeeming quality so that you can at least not root completely against her.

Much of the conflict is going to arise from the division in the school between the popular kids and the losers, with Finn being the tenuous bridge between the two.

The kids are fun to watch as they sing and dance, and there are some really funny bits in the show. But the show-stopper is the finale of the show, when they've arranged a version of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'". The lead singers are very good, and the backup kids aren't bad either. And really, it's a terrific song - how could you go wrong?

The songs really got me into the show. The use of Journey songs as well as REO Speedwagon's "Can't Fight This Feeling" - ahhh, it's the 80s songs that I love so much!

I liked the show enough to give it a try when the regular season starts. The pilot will be re-aired on Fox on September 2, Wednesday at 9pm, which will be its regular time slot. The first episode of the season will then air on Wednesday, September 9 at 9pm. A friend who went to Comic-Con this year has already seen the first episode and was telling me about it, so I'm really looking forward to seeing it.

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