The reception for Fox's new show Glee seems to have been uniformly positive. Several friends have recommended the show to me knowing that I'm a huge vocal music nerd. But therein is the problem. I'm really particular about the vocal music I like. I heavily favor the male voice to female or mixed. I dislike a lot of sound effects and production techniques that seem to be in vogue right now. And I think contemporary a cappella covers are the best thing since sliced bread. But for me, Glee is like what the latest Star Trek movie was for Trekkies; mainstream audiences loved it, fans loved it, except that one guy. I'm that guy.
What's to like about Glee? Matthew Morrison, who plays the vocal teacher, is a handsome guy. There's a point in the show where his wife accuses him of not being the golden boy anymore. With his face, I'd have to disagree. Another cutie is the jock Finn, played by Cory Monteith, who looks like a young Jamie Bamber. Though the best part by far was a rival show choir's performance of Rehab. There's nothing as entertaining as a lot of handsome guys singing and being acrobatic. And the girls were pretty too.
Vocal music enthusiasts of past and present will find a lot of material to relate to, like the journey to stardom and the uphill battle that glee club may not be the coolest thing to do in high school. (Preposterous!) The soundtrack for the show seems to consist predominantly of a cappella covers, which I think is a first for television. The vocal music community will find them refreshing and fun to sing along to while regular viewers will simply enjoy their novelty and apropos.
The writing and direction swing back and forth. The gym teacher (played by Jane Lynch) and the former choir director were really funny (as was Jane's performance in 40 Year-Old Virgin). But everything else was awkward or boring, especially the female lead. I get it, she's supposed to portray someone who's neurotic and insecure. It's a bit much at times, and the height difference between her and Finn is jarring.
Are the show's technical background and handsome actors enough to keep an otherwise ho-hum plot afloat? We won't know for sure until Glee resumes in the fall. Although I'm not in love with the show, I will probably watch to support a cappella music in the mainstream.
I'm quitting to join Homo Explosion.Posted by Mark Canlas at May 30, 2009 2:56 PM