A phenomenon in the US, Glee follows an optimistic secondary school teacher as he attempts to inspire an oddball group of students to realise their star potential and restore the school’s show choir – the glee club – to its former glory. In the pilot episode, teacher Will Schuester – or Mr Schu – begs the headteacher – Principal Figgins – to let him take on the Herculean task of transforming this group of underdogs into a world-class vocal ensemble. Source: E4
So I finally saw the first episode of Glee which has just premièred here in the UK. One of the most anticipated US imports of recent times opening with unanimously strong reviews. Really really good. Funny, uplifting, satirical, darkly comical. Loving it!
After teasing with the pilot last month, E4 finally launches the full series of Glee with a glorious double bill. It fully deserves all the praise that’s been flung at it in recent months, with Broadway-calibre performances, a triumph-of-the-losers drive and one of the best villains ever to appear on TV in the form of acidic cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester (“You think this is hard? Try waterboarding. That’s hard!”). Tonight, glee club is formed, spirits are lifted and Sue tries her hardest to ruin it for everyone. Source.
Radio Times review:
Ashamed at being more addicted to High School Musical than your kids are? Let your jazz hands flutter freely with this instantly adorable American series. It adds a tart, grown-up script to the finger-clickin’ joy of plucky, white-toothed wannabes putting on a show against the odds. An idealistic young teacher with nice curly hair wants to revive the school musical-theatre group. Can he and his ragbag of shiny hopefuls overcome the mockery of the jocks, the bitter envy of the prom queens, and their own self-doubt to win some sort of singing competition? On the adult emotional drama front, can the teacher square his lingering creative dreams with the nesting urges of his horrid, cardboard wife? Glee could easily collapse under the weight of its high-school archetypes, but this pilot episode (the second instalment follows at 6:35pm) makes them all minty fresh. Swift, sharp, witty, romantic and filled with fabulous Fame-y set pieces, it manages to simultaneously celebrate and satirise the passion of born performers. It’s got a hundred 100W bulbs on it, spelling out the word “hit”. Source.
Part of me is enraptured, and part enraged, by the transcendental experience that is Glee, the new television series on E4. Everything about it is irresistible – it’s set in an American high school, with great music, lots of pretty people and surprisingly good jokes.
But the discovery of this thing they call the glee club has been deeply painful. They’ve been enjoying them in the US all this time, and no one told us? We’ve given them so much – pilgrims, independence, a language, The Office – and they never found time to export the glee club to schools over here. Would it really have hurt them? Source.
More about Glee on E4’s website.
UK residents can watch again on 4oD.