Friday, November 20, 2009

VA Watches: GLEE

If you're not watching Glee, you're crazy.

A delightful show, airing weekly on Fox, I'm not afraid to say it's my guilty pleasure. With witty one-liners, dramatic plot lines, and the knock-em-outta-the-park show tunes, it's definitely a winner in my book.

Here's what I'll do - a quick run-down of characters and plot lines so you can jump right in watching next week.

The series follows Will Schuster, a Spanish teacher at an Ohio high school that decides to bring back the Glee club. Of course, like typical high school life, the musically talented kids are the geeks and losers of the school. Mr. Schu is trying to change that. Recruiting the star football player and members of the award-winning cheerleading squad, these students, while they battle high school stereotypes, sing their tiny hearts out each episode. Will is married (she'll be listed below), but has obvious love for the HS guidance counselor, Emma. Will can sing and dance amazingly, even though he's a white guy. And, when he opens that mouth and belts out a song, it makes my couch-sittin' heart melt. A guy who loves kids, education, and can sing? Sign me up, please!

Ah, Sue Sylvester. The coach of the cheerleading squad, The Cheerios, and the show's villain. Sue quickly became one of my favorite characters on the show because she's got some AMAZING one-liners. Hell-bent on destroying Mr. Schu and the Glee club so that her extra-curricular budget isn't split, she does everything she can to bust up the show-tune-express. Including throwing some of her own cheerleaders into the mix to infiltrate from the inside. I guess she didn't expect those panel-skirt-wearin' ladies to start glee-lovin'. Sue is known in the small Ohio town for coaching the Cheerios into constantly winning national championships and even has her own segment on the local news, Sue's Corner, where she constantly tries to turn people onto the idea of torture to make champions. "Caning works!"

Emma Pilsbury, the soft-spoken, germaphobic guidance counselor who is hopelessly in love with a married man: Will Schuster. I love Emma's character, with her straight-from-Antrhropologie wardrobe and her obsessive cleaning habits, she provides a stark contrast to the overbearing wife of Will's. She's got a timid voice, but gives good advice and you can tell she and Will have a good friendship. And, though she's only sung once, turns out, she's got quite a voice on her. And, I love her permanent hair flip-out on one side. Must figure out how to get my hair to do that.

Up next is Terri Schuster, Will's neurotic wife who works very little at Sheets-N-Things and does crafts. While having marriage problems in the beginning of the series, Terri has a hysterical pregnancy and is now pretending that she is pregnant in order to get Will to stay in the marriage. Though her sister knows, she advised Terri to not fess-up to Will and instead continue with the lie stating "we're going to have to get you a baby". I gotta give major props to Jessalyn Gilsig, the actress that plays Terri, because she is doing an amazing job portraying a character that is specifically written for all of us to hate. She's superficial and mean, and we (the viewers) desperately want Will to find out her stupid secret (really, how does she expect to hide a pregnancy from her husband for 9 months?!) so he can leave her and jazz run down the hall of the school into Emma's clean arms, and sing their hearts out right into each other's faces.

Let's move on to the chil'ren.

Rachel Berry. The amazingly talented sophomore, who obviously knows that she's good. She's decidedly the lead vocal in the Glee club and everyone else seems to agree on her talent. She's a bit neurotic, practicing all the time and always talking about her "career". She'd be the one that starts sending letters and tapes to Juilliard, hoping that she could receive not only early admission, but a scholarship and a record deal. Not that she's not right - the girl can belt like Mariah and can make any song sound good. Even though she's rediculously talented, she's still considered a geek in the school and is constantly tormented by the "popular kids". Her hope is that Glee will become as popular as it was when Will was a student so she can get a boyfriend. Big dreams, hun. The only thing that really bothers me about Rachel is that she wears pleated knee-legnth skirts, and fold-down ankle socks with mary-jane shoes. No, no, no, no.

Finn Hudson. God, that boy is hot. And, he's even hotter in person (yes, I saw him at the Glee CD signing in Columbus Circle. And, it's okay for me to crush on him because Cory Monteith is actually a 29 year old playing a high school kid.) He's the star quarterback, but just happens to be a complete idiot. His girlfriend (we'll profile her in a minute), the head cheerleader, happens to be pregnant, but surprise of surprises, Finn is not the father. But, it shows his character that he believes he could actually get a girl pregnant by prematurely ejaculating in his swimsuit while making out in a hot tub. He's got a good voice, and is usually picked for the male lead opposite Rachel. There's definite chemistry between Rachel and Finn and that helps provide a love-triangle situation on the student level.

Quinn Fabray. The bitchy, once Head Cheerio, now kicked off the squad because of her pregnancy. She had sex with Finn's best friend, but maintains that Finn is the father. President of the Celibacy Club (do high schools really have Celibacy clubs?!) her Glen Beck-lovin’ family didn’t take too kindly with the knowledge that daddy’s little girl is daddy’s little got-a-girl-in-the-oven. In fact, daddy kicked ol’girl out of the house last episode and she’ll now be living with Finn and his mom.

This is getting long, so I’ll fly through the rest of them.

Mercedes, the token black girl is the Jennifer Hudson of the group. That girl has got a set of pipes for sure!

Artie, wheelchair kid, also has an unbelievable voice, it’s almost shocking the sound that comes out when he opens his mouth.

Tina, the punk-asian, with a fake stutter and blue streaks in her hair. (They’re really playing up the “loser” stereotypes here.)

Kurt. Ah, Kurt, I love him. He’s the gay kid that every show choir needs. In this show, we’re really seeing Kurt go through a transition where he recognizes that he is gay and is starting to openly display it and hopes that he wont be completely shunned for it. Kurt’s a definite male soprano and that high-pitched voice is to die for. Kurt also has impeccable fashion – apparently not appreciated in the small Ohio town. I feel ya, Kurt, I feel ya.

Lastly, there’s Puck. The bad-ass, Mohawk sportin’ dude that really knocked up the Queen of the Chastity Ball. He’s a bit resentful for Finn, who gets all of the sympathy for being the baby-daddy. I really began liking Puck once he played the guitar and belted out a lovely version of Sweet Caroline.

Now that we’ve blown through the main characters, I’ll leave you with what really makes this show fantastic. The music:

So, stop reading, go straight over to and watch all of the Glee episodes, then tune into Fox next Wednesday to catch the next episode. It's a laugh out loud funny show, but keep in mind that while some of the plot lines are surreal and it's not likely that people belt out in song while walking down the hall, it's supposed to be a fun time - a break from life for about an hour. And please, don't act like you haven't wanted to belt out a version of "Lean on Me" before!

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