Singing Its Praises

14 Oct

It’s a couple weeks into the TV season, and I’m happy to report that I don’t watch as much TV as I thought I would.

For example, I fell two weeks behind on The Good Wife and Cougar Town, and decided not to catch up. Eastwick I never gave a chance. And Community I gave three episodes, and then decided to switch to Flash Forward.

Oh, and I never did work House into my viewing schedule.

It’s all good. I knew I’d never watch that much, and I never wanted to either.

That said, if there’s one new show I’ve fallen for and never miss, it’s Glee.

I haven’t gotten to the point where I’m scheduling my week around it, or refusing to go out because it’s on, but I don’t go to sleep on Wednesdays without watching that night’s episode.

And my iPhone is filled with the songs from the show.

And it’s topic number one at the office when I get to work on Thursday mornings.

And I share clips and articles on Facebook all the time.

And I’ve convinced other folks that they need to watch.

To be fair, Glee is not the best show I watch. But it’s one of the most enjoyable, week-after-week, even when the episode is lackluster.

Maybe I give the show a long leash, but a bad episode of Glee is still better than a typical episode of Community was.

So why do I like Glee so much? Here are some of the reasons:

1. The music.

With one exception, every episode of Glee has featured the cast’s performances of songs from the last three decades.

Multiple genres have been covered, from rap (“Gold Digger”) to rock (“Don’t Stop Believin'”) to country (“Last Name”) to pop (“Halo”).

Sure, some of the covers have been sung more theatrically than songs on American Idol, and the lip-synching hasn’t always seemed “real,” but when the cast nails it, they really nail it.

Case in point: the cast’s version of Queen’s “Somebody to Love,” which I am not embarrassed to tell you has been the most-played track on my iPhone in the last month. It’s so good and definitely does the song justice. You can download it (and other songs from the first few episodes) and decide for yourself right here.

2. Lea Michele.

Much of the credit for how good the songs sound goes to Lea Michele, who plays Rachel Berry on the show.

Lea, a Broadway veteran who starred in the original cast of Spring Awakening, just outshines everyone else in the show’s glee club.

To put it simply, she’s got an amazing voice.

Lea is a small woman, but her voice is large and powerful and impressive. Any song she sings lead on is great.

I’d be surprised if she doesn’t put out a solo record before long. (Oh, and of course, she’s damned cute too.)

3. The writing.

Glee was created by Ryan Murphy, creator of Nip/Tuck, among other shows, and it reflects that kind of off-kilter sensibility.

This show is not a squeeky-clean portrait of high school. The premise may sound like High School Musical, but Glee is not a show that Disney would ever air. The writing is sharp, sarcastic, good, and often, laugh-out-loud funny.

Especially when it’s spoken by …

4. Jane Lynch.

The undisputed VIP of Glee is comedian Lynch, who always gets the best lines and delivers them with such acidity and deadpan humor that you’ll do a double-take to make sure you heard them correctly (and can remember them later).

“I always thought the desire to procreate showed deep personal weakness.”

“I’ve got a satellite interview. That’s lingo for an interview, via satellite.”

“That was the most offensive thing I’ve seen in 20 years of teaching — and that includes an elementary school production of Hair.”

Lines like these and Lynch’s delivery of them are why DVRs were invented, and they are the stuff that great Facebook status updates are made of.

Not for everyone

Glee is not a show for everyone, but it’s a show for me, and maybe those reasons will give you an incentive to tune in tonight, Wednesday, at 9 p.m. on Fox.

I hope you’ll give it a chance to win you over too.

3 Responses to “Singing Its Praises”


  1. Do You Wanna Rock? « Martin's Musings - June 14, 2012

    […] much more than simply Glee for Grownups, the big-screen version of Rock of Ages features a cast of big-name stars (mostly) […]

  2. All This Is About Getting Even? « Martin's Musings - July 3, 2012

    […] here. Webb’s film is slick without being plastic, youthful without feeling like an episode of Glee, and that makes it a heck of a lot of […]

  3. Woman in Search of a Word « Martin's Musings - July 8, 2012

    […] And I expected more from the story — and from Murphy, creator of Glee. […]

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