Episode: S01E02 “Showmance”
Tune-In: Wednesdays, 9/8c
Web Site: http://www.fox.com/glee
Spoilers Ahead: Yup
When I heard FOX was ramping up to do a high school musical that was not a High School Musical, I assumed it might be titled, Viva Laughin Too! (thank you, CBS for not removing canceled show sites in a timely fashion). The pilot would air after American Idol, but without Idol I wasn’t sure there was going to be an audience for it.
I watched the pilot episode however-many months ago and after viewing, I was indifferent. I felt that the show was dangerously close to being an ABC Family program. Coming from Ryan Murphy, the creator of ever-controversial Nip/Tuck, the episode seemed too friendly, too optimistic and really, really safe. I wanted the characters to give a hint that there was something darker lurking under their bubblegum exteriors.
As the days counted down to its return, with building intensity, I was assaulted with everything Glee related (including my favorite video where they subtitled the guy who is speaking english) on the various social networks. Even after blocking the status updates of several abusers, I still watched. And honestly I hoped that I would hate it. Just a little.
But I didn’t. I couldn’t.
“Showmance” delivered just what I wanted. Will’s wife and her hysterical pregnancy, the “Push-It” performance, cheerleader infiltration, Keith talking about dating. Each person revealed their flaws and each of them are out to get what they want. Some are just more vocal about it.
Even though in appearance, the show maintains a quality gloss, the things the characters say on the sly. It took a second viewing (that’s right, second viewing) for me to catch this:
[Emma walks into the bathroom. Gagging sounds.]
Emma: Rachel? Did you just throw up?
Rachel: [quickly, defensively] No.
Emma: You missed the toilet.
Rachel: The girl who was throwing up before me left that. I tried but I guess I just don’t have a gag-reflex.
Emma: One day when you’re older, that will turn out to be a gift. Let’s have a little chat, okay?
I was glad to see they addressed the Will/Emma tension early. I was afraid she would spend the first season wishing and wanting Will quietly from a distance. Instead, Emma tackles the issue head on.
Even the stupid title card impressed me. You would assume this show would have a long intro of explosive colors, dance moves and cast shots galore. But it just shows “glee” in simple font on black.
The only thing that I can complain about with Glee came under examination with a magnifying glass. During the performance scenes the mouth-to-song syncing makes Britney look like a pro. It quickly breaks the flow and feels like you’re watching a bad talent show.
And please just give Jane Lynch the Emmy now. There’s absolutely no one else out there who completely sells you on a character like she does. Her emphasis and delivery on every single brilliantly written word is “delicious” and calculated.
And the slushees to the face makes me laugh every time. So there you go, Jill. I don’t like kicking puppies.
Up next, The CW’s Vampire Diaries.
2009 Fall Season: Foreword / Melrose Place