Inspiring Conversations

TV This: Glee

  • SumoMe

GleeGlee has finally hit our fair Asian shores and I do have to say that I’ve been instantly turned into a fan, or a Gleek as fandom terms it. I’ve had a sneak preview of the first half of season one and I’m already in love with the kooky and hugely talented cast that makes up Glee.

Created by Ryan Murphy, the man that gave us the darkly humoured teen dramedy, Popular and plastic surgery aficionados Nip/Tuck; he gives us what I call High School Musical for adults. Don’t bother thinking of it as a moral compass or a good role model for your teenage children because the show is full of lust, treachery, backstabbing, teenage pregnancy and a quirky brand of humour. Need to blame someone for your child impregnating one girl and giving an STD to another? Blame yourself and stop blaming television.

Now that I’m off my soapbox, Glee tells the story of William Schuester (hunky Matthew Morrison), a Spanish teacher at McKinley High Schoolin Lima, Ohio, who takes over the unfortunately less than popular glee club. Featuring some of our favourite high school stereotypes shoved into less than stereotypical roles while performing fantastic musical numbers seems to be a winning formula.

This melting pot of secrets, friendship, overbearing personalities and everyday growing pains are magnified and mirrored in the songs they break out into while performing together in glee club. It stars some very talented figures such as Lea Michele as Rachel Berry and Cory Monteith as Finn Hudson, one of the main pairings within the show.

gleeclubThe kids don’t get to have all the fun though. Neurotic, competitive and dealing with hormonal teenagers does make the adults cagey and it’s excellently played out by Jane Lynch who stars as Sue Sylvester, head coach of the school’s cheerleading squad, the “Cheerios” and Schue’s arch-nemesis. Jayma Mays gives a subtle edge to her quirkyness as the school’s guidance counsellor, Emma Pillsbury while Iqbal Theba or Principal Figgins has to deal with a flagging economy and the daily disputes amongst his staff, which includes Ken Tanaka. You also can’t forget Schuester’s crazy wife, Terri (Jessalyn Gilsig), who you just want to spork in the guts.

The best part about it obviously has to be the music, which features some interesting mash-ups of contemporary chart toppers and classics. Think, Halo by Beyonce and Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves and you can get an idea of what to expect. In fact, the casts renditions have proven so popular that several albums will be released through Columbia Records. The first, Glee: The Music, Volume 1, was released on November 3, 2009.

Here’s a fun trivia fact, because of the elaborate process behind each musical number, which includes rearrangement of music scores, choreography, rehearsals and studio recordings, each episode costs almost US$3 million to produce.

In any case, there’s just about something for everyone – even if you were the jock or cheerleader at school, the chess club nerd or yes, even in show choir. It’s inspirational, motivational and it’ll definitely get you to laugh and cheer along with these fantastic kids from Glee.

Catch Glee on Starworld, 20 January, Wednesday, 9.00pm.

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