So Ryan Murphy's new show Glee previewed last night (it don't count as a premiere, FOX, when you deprive us of the rest of the season til the Fall, kay?) and I, of course fell in love with it.
Overall, Glee turned out to be a bit smarter than I expected, carefully treading 7th Heaven-type "life lessons" without the schmaltz, and adding a certain depth and humanity into what so easily could have become the high school stereotypes we are so used to seeing on and off screen. But then, what the hell was I expecting? This is from the guy that gave us Popular, probably one of the best and most compellingly hysterical look at high school life among the WB hall of fame (Buffy might edge it out for the top spot... because as Rachel says "Metaphors are important!").
Things I loved about the Glee pilot:
"There is NOTHING ironic about school choir!" - can we just say that I might just have found the most quotable show on TV this side of 30 Rock?
The shower scene. Cause c'mon, if anyone's immortalized great shower scenes on TV it's Ryan Murphy (hello Mario Lopez on Nip/Tuck!) but this one was utterly appropriate, if PG. Also: Corey Monteith is cute as a button.
"Oh hell no! I am Beyonce! I ain't no Kelly Rowland!" - can we just say that I might just have found the best use of pop culture references on TV this side of United States of Tara?
The 'Rehab' Performance (or: where do I get those pretty outfits with the lovely blue suspenders?)
It's Bring it on!... well, it's got the same amount of sass and underdog storyline + Cheers, so you can see why I'd be confused. But then that Eliza/Kirsten film is amazing so, it's a good comparison to live up.
The 'Don't Stop Believing' Performance. (One pet-peeve though: I do think Murphy might want to work on avoiding too many cuts and slashes while presenting musical performances so as to really showcase the performance and not the editing)
But just as with every show I end up loving (30 Rock's Liz, Pushing Daisies' Olive, Buffy's eponymous hero, BSG's Roslin) in particular I was taken with the female characters of the show:
Emma's frail and all-too prim and proper ways (and outfits!) give Jayma Mays a lot to work with while trying to stage the tug-o-war of feelings that her obvious attraction to Schuster elicits in her tin-foiled-wrapped sandwich world.
Jane Lynch's Sue is bitingly funny and while her crackling one-liners ("Waterboarding is hard!") are amazing, her simple gestures (when Schuster comes to see her, bringing coffee to the teacher's lounge) suggest a crack in her bee eye tee cee ache exterior which I can't wait to see explored.
And finally, Lea Michele's Rachel is a wonder of a character: part 'naive ingenue' part myspace loner part Tracy Flick, she really sells us on the point of the show: passion and talent and drive hurt but are worth it for that moment in the spotlight when you know your life means something... (the caveat being presented by the role of Schuster himself...) even if that ephemeral moment fades away and ultimately life kicks in. How does one balance the two, Murphy seems to be asking.
I know we'll have to wait until the Fall, so in the meantime I'll keep watching the Pilot "from the top!"