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Glee season 1

25 Sep

“Jubilant delight” and “joy” are what Glee causes inside me. Singing, dancing and triumphant geeks are three of my favourite things. Glee combines them all with slick choreography, biting wit and some cheesy story lines which make me smile, cringe and at times feel like weeping. Yes, Glee is series gold.

Matthew Morrison heads up the cast of the high school musical comedy series. He is Willaim Schuester, the Spanish teacher who takes over Glee Club (also known as Show Choir) and tries to bring the talent out of the misfit members so that they can be proud of themselves. Jane Lynch, co-stars as Sue Sylvester, coach of the cheerleading squad, the Cheerios. She is committed to the destruction of Glee Club so that her Cheerios can keep their full quota of talent and the budget.

The misfits cast is made up of the incredbily talented Lea Michele, Chris Colfer, Kevin McHale, Amber Riley and others. They are the heart and soul of the series. Lea Michelle’s character, Rachel, is the obnoxious ingenue (her word, not mine) and undeniable singing star of the series. When she sings “On My Own” from Les Mis, I get goosebumps!

But of course, to build up Glee Club, Mr Schuester has to try recruit popular kids to join their ranks and so enter Cory Monteith (as the quarterback, Finn), Dianna Argon (his cheerleader girlfriend, Quinn) and Mark Salling. THis is where the politics and twisted plot lines really begin.

Glee has plenty of typical high school drama – bullying, learning to accept others, being proud of who you are, coming out the closet, even teenage pregnancy. But this isn’t just about high school: Mr Schuester’s life is falling apart thanks to his crazy (and I mean LOCO) wife, bizarre jock colleague and school guidance counsellor crush. And if this wasn’t all enough, he is under pressure for the Glee Club to perform at the regional competition so that the programme isn’t cut.

So that’s the storyline, but what’s the catch? How can something that sounds so ordinary attract so much attention? Simply by the fact that it’s not ordinary. The humour is not your average American sitcom humour – some of it is more abrasive, some of it is quirkier and some of it is just plain ridiculous. The humour of King of the Hill and Arrested Development  become mainstream (if somewhat watered down) and I love it in this high school context. Jane Lynch’s character is perfect at mocking the “winner” attitude of so many Americans. Plus her uniform of matching tracksuits is ridiculous!

But of course it’s the singing of Glee that sets it apart. From show tunes, to feel-good classics, to contemporary chart-toppers, Glee has some music for everyone. Who says the sparkle of musicals is only for the silverscreen or stage? The cast of Glee are superb, most of them having been sourced from Broadway, and most viewers won’t be able to resist tapping their feet.

When you are feeling down, there is nothing as uplifting as music, or a good story about underdogs becoming victorious. Rent or buy Glee and smile, because you will have definitely made the right choice. Season 2 has only just started showing on US screens, so unfortunatley we’ll have to wait some time to get it. Until then I’ll be getting my dose of “jubilant delight” by watching season 1 again and again (especially episode 4!)