Last night I attended the Fox premiere of its new summer show Glee at Santa Monica High School. There was a nice turnout and I even got a t-shirt.
Before I tell you what I thought, I should preface this by saying I am very much a choir nerd and a music geek. I have always and will always be a choir girl who loves music, adores singing, and appreciates a well-performed and -arranged performance. That being said, I really hope this show can stick around. It is right up my alley. It fills a very empty niche. I wouldn't really call it a glee club (I think of my dad in men's glee club in college in the 60s) as much as a "show choir." But Glee works better as the title (and they can put the loser "L" in the title on the promos).
Here is a brief synopsis: Will is a high school Spanish teacher who feels the urge to takeover the pitiful glee club at his school. He holds auditions and finds only a few who are both willing and talented enough to join. These also happen to the be the social outcasts. Will decides to do what he an to draw in new members from the popular crowd, thus giving the glee club a new public perception. He has to do some manipulation but acquires a new member and the group is official. But there are many bumps along the way to a success at a competitive level.
The people who have gotten excited about this show constantly refer to the "Don't Stop Believing" commercial for it. The actual appearance of this song in the premiere episode was great. I couldn't stop dancing throughout the whole show, but this one just sucked me in (plus the viewers were kind of emotionally involved by then, too).
The singing was excellent and there is a fun array of characters representative of high school (or at least of high school on film). There is the uber-talented, socially-awkward and somewhat annoying Rachel, played by Lea Michelle (her voice is amazing, but I already knew that from Spring Awakening). Then they combined the geeky guy with glasses and the guy in the wheelchair to come up with Arty, played by Kevin McHale (who is NOT so nerdy or wheelchair-bound in real life -- he was adorable). You've got the jock-with-a-heart-turned-glee-club-member Finn, played by Corrie Monteith (who perfectly embodies the qualities of an athlete, a singer and a nice guy). And the soulful black girl with attitude Mercedes (Amber Riley, who coincidentally is an Idol castoff from years past). The gay boy more concerned with his designer duds than anything else, Kurt (played by Chris Colfer).
As for the adults, Will is the teacher who takes over the glee club. He is played by Matthew Morrison, who I think comes straight from Broadway. But he didn't sing in the first episode, so I look forward to hearing that. Jane Lynch as the cheer coach is absolutely hysterical. In fact, she was so funny in person, too. I officially love her now. Jesselyn Gilsig is appropriately annoying and frustrating as Will's wife.
The soundtrack when the cast isn't performing is still done with vocals and is really different and fun. And if rumors are true, they will release the music to iTunes directly after each episode. I better start saving up my money now because I will be purchasing new music every week!
Come on, just watch this trailer! And then watch on May 19!!