Thursday, 3 June 2010

TV Meme, Day 3: Best New Show Last Season

I have not been dedicating as much time to the small screen over the past year, I’ve been keeping up sporadically only with some of my favourites and I haven’t seen as much of many. It wasn’t quite the banner year for new shows like years past but there were a number of auspicious new additions. It’s a bit clichéd to single this particular one out, but I’d feel a little overly stoic if I conduct a 30 day TV meme without focusing on the little show that could – Glee. Anyone could tell you that Glee has its issues – that I’ll admit too. Others might tell you that Glee is unrealistic – that I think is missing the point. in the same way that Grease is an unrelenting parody (albeit, a little ineffective at times) of teenage stereotypes Glee – complete with its missteps on occasion – aims at the stereotypes of high school. I don't particularly care for the word best, I'll go with favourite.

A show like Glee is a bit of an anomaly on the small screen and I’m quite surprised at the cultural phenomenon it’s turned into. I’m a bit worried it’s heading to the ultimate letdown, for with all the hype and all the success it’s attained there seems no way to go but down. But it is what it is. Matthew Morisson’s attempts to revive the Glee Club at his high school while facing opposition from the dastardly Sue Sylvester present the crux (seemingly at least) of the show. But like so many school dramas, the importance of Glee rests on the shoulders of the student. I’ve had an affection for Lea Michele since hearing her on the cast recording for Spring Awakening and her bit part on Ragtime in the late nineties. Thus, perhaps I’m a little bit overly fond of her – even her role is more of a double edged sword than is obvious. It’s particularly difficult for anyone to make the ludicrousness of Rachel’s craziness works, and though Lea has her moments of doubt – she still stands out as my favourite of the cast. Not that she works alone though, the aforementioned Lynch and Morisson are important to the show, even if Morisson’s bland charm is hard to appreciate at times. But each cast member has their role and each fulfils it Amber Riley brings the sass with just the right amount of heart, Chris Colfer does a good job as the pocket gay, Mark Salling, Naya Rivera and Kevin McHale are just a fraction of Glee regulars contributing to the diversity of the show.
And then of course, there are the guests. No primetime show can match Will & Grace when it comes to excellent use of guests but Glee does a good job of using stars that are often forgotten – particularly those from the stage. It’s a part of its charm, and though it has its issues it’s nice to see the actors we probably wouldn’t be seeing on the big screen any time soon. Glee doesn’t exactly give us a fresh perspective on life or high school but week after week it (attempts to least) gives a little bit of joy. It’s not perfect, and I’m unsure on what will happen at the Emmy’s…but if I remember anything from the last television season it will be Glee.

This entry is part of my ongoing meme on TV Moments


The Mad Hatter said...

I watch this show, but Lordy has it had me in fits through the season.

They have has some stellar episodes ("Preggers" the episode where Kurt joins the football team)...and some that seemed immensely dumb ("Hell-O", first one out of the break putting Rachel and Jesse together).

The show seems to suffer when it tries to build the plot around the songs, rather than the other way around...and so help me if I hear about any more single-singer-themed episodes (two before the end of your first season is already too many).

That said, I will be forever grateful to this show for bringing the character of Sue Sylvester into the world. Not only is she a villain for the ages, but the moments of real humanity that they have given her are played perfectly by Jane Lynch.

So might be in for a hard crash, but when you're running on as much hype as Glee does, it's the danger you risk.

BTW - For my money, the best new show of the season is "Community".

Luke said...

You said it best when revising the title of the post from "best show" to "favorite show." It's hard to call Glee at its core an "excellent" show, per se, but dammit if it isn't an entertaining hour of television. I'm sort of entranced by the music and Lynch, and thus am blinded to most of its overt faults (Morrison drives me pretty crazy and some of the plotlines are a little too over-the-top for me). I'm loving your meme, sir! :)

Robert said...

Hehe, I also agree with the "favorite, not best" idea. I have so many issues with this show but it always keeps me coming back week after week. And, Lea Michele is really growing on me. ;)

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

mad hatter yes indeedy, it has its issues. i was fairly fine with the madonna themed episode, but the gaga one in response was a bit silly - though the episode was fine. but i don't think gaga's celebrity warrants her an entire episode - not now at least.

luke entertaining like few shows on TV are at the moment.

robert glad that lea is growing on you.