Wednesday, September 30, 2009
"Glee" does not fill me with glee
I'm really trying to like you, Glee, seriously I am. But something isn't quite right. Which is odd, considering I'm pretty much the target audience: a hip twentysomething with an a cappella past.
Watching Glee for me is like going on a date with a guy whom you think is going to be your soulmate. And then halfway through the salad course, you realize he's not as interesting as you thought. Everything looks right, but for some reason, there's no chemistry.
Glee is very slick -- Fox obviously put a lot of money into it and releasing the premiere at the end of last season was a genius move. I was convinced I loved the show before I'd ever seen it. The cast is good and some of the writing is clever. But there's something smug about the whole presentation -- the show thinks it's a hit but it hasn't really earned it yet, in my opinion. The episodes I've seen have all been just ok. Which is fine -- it usually takes a show about half a season to really find its rhythm. I just think it's annoying that Fox is pretending like it's perfect already and the BEST SHOW EVER.
I detect a bit of an identity crisis: Glee can't quite decide how over-the-top/campy/surreal it wants to be. Some of the characters seem real and some are complete caricatures. And I don't see yet how they are going to keep the premise going for more than one season. Clearly, this season is all about Glee Club getting to, and presumably winning, the oft-mentioned regional championships. But what about next season? And the focus is so split between the adult characters and the high schoolers that I'm not sure whom I'm supposed to be rooting for, other than not arch villain Sue Sylvester, played by the admittedly hilarious Jane Lynch.
I'm not giving up on Glee yet...but I do want it to start living up to its hype. Also, I'd really like it if they would stop making all the songs sound so produced and professional. I know we're not supposed to be in the world of realism, but since all of the actors are doing their own singing, it would be nice to be able to hear what they would sound like, were they actually in a vocal group together (as opposed to a recording studio).
As a little bonus, I'm including a video here of the kind of show choir that possibly inspired the creators of Glee. Behold the crazy intensity of Attaché, from Clinton, MS. These kids are in it to win it! If you enjoy this video, I highly recommend you check out some of the others posted on YouTube. The "Dream On/I Dreamed A Dream" medley is particularly inspiring.