OK so the season of "Glee" started this week. As loyal followers of this blog remember, I weighed in on the show when its pilot first aired a few months ago. It's clever in an ordinary, non-threatening way. The actors all have great chemistry and seem to own their characters pretty well. (Cool photo gallery here.)
The show has all the ingredients of a great chapter in our shared television heritage, but it's a bit (ahem) "off tune." It would work better as a half-hour than a full-hour format. Brevity being the soul of wit, and all that.
Here's the episode on Hulu.
The acting good, and so's the music, but I really don't think it has steam to continue for more than a season or 2. They're already rehashing some of the same jokes from the pilot (jocks agree to let openly gay kid set aside designer article of clothing before tossing him into the dumpster).
There's still some appeal to the sexual tension between the
1) song teacher and the cute guidance counselor, and
2) lead female Glee Club member and lead male Glee Club member
but they're both too over the top. The reason "The Office" was so good its first three seasons is because it was so subtle. Just as soon as you started hating Roy, they threw in something to make his relationship with Pam make sense, leaving our poor Jim feeling all the more despondent. Neither "Glee"-lationship is even in the same solar system as Jim and Pam, and I'm just not patient enough to wait more than a couple episodes for these two lovable "Glee"-chers to get together, especially since we found out (which we already all suspected) that whats-his-name's wife had hysterical pregnancy.
Also, I'm not a prude, but the show was too coarse for what it's trying to be. All in one episode, it was too much to have
1) The "Push It" video,
2) the guidance counselor making an oral sex joke to a girl with bulimia,
3) the depiction of premature ejaculation as part of teen dry-humping, and
4) a rather bigoted demonization of Christian abstinence efforts
You can do a _bit_ of raunchy humor, but all at once makes you look like you don't really have any substantive writing, and you're just taking the lowest common denominator, and we don't need any more of that kind of mindless pablum masquerading as wit on TV.
As "Seinfeld" demonstrated in "The Contest" episode, the best way to do dirty humor is _not_ do dirty humor. Euphemisms allow the viewer to fill in the punchline with their own imagination. It's like how Howard Stern was more popular when the FCC was bleeping him on terrestrial radio than he ever will be on satellite.
Anyway. USA Today says essentially the same stuff as me here. I hope they can keep it together, if only for more stuff like this Journey song...