Sometimes, a movie or TV show is so ridiculously over-hyped that one feels more inclined to gouge out one’s own eyes than bother watching. Case in point: I have yet to watch an episode of LOST, largely because during its run so many people of my acquaintance entirely failed to shut the fuck up about it for more than an hour or two. Now that it is over, I may opt to see what all the fuss was about. Maybe.
And then there is Glee.
Glee has been over-hyped the bejesus out of. (I’m fully aware of the grammatical inconsistency of that sentence, but am including it in homage to a similar phrasing used by my boss recently.) The trailers I saw made the show look so bad that the prospect of watching a full episode seemed a torture worthy of Abu Ghraib.
And yet, against my will, it has become my guilty pleasure.
It is by no means a televisual phenomenon on a par with The X-Files or Firefly or The West Wing. With any of these shows, I can rewatch an episode several times, dissecting and discovering, coming up with new evidence of the sheer genius with which the show was done. These are the literature of television.
Glee, on the other hand, is the novel you buy at the airport while your departure time whooshes by with nary a call for boarding. It’s a fun, largely surface-level diversion which is certainly worthy of the time you invest in it, but is unlikely to stay on the shelf to be watched time and again. Refreshingly, it doesn’t try to be anything more than that.
The music and choreography is (largely) very well executed, the cast is (again largely) talented and the balance between humor and melodrama is (etc.) well maintained. There are a few moments of painfully obvious auto-tune, or where even the greatest suspension bridge couldn’t quite hold up the disbelief, but on the whole it is done well.
Plus, even were I inclined to give up at this stage, the prospect of an episode directed by Joss Whedon and guest-starring Neil Patrick Harris and Idina Menzel would keep me going for the next however-many episodes it is until then.
So… yeah. I guess, on top of being a “believer”, a “Browncoat” and a “Wingnut”, I am now officially a “Gleek”.