[[[Glee]]] is frothy, delightful television that is as prone to being over-the-top as it is to be emotionally powerful. That it can successfully veer from one extreme to the other is one of the more impressive aspects of the Fox series, created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan. The show burst into the public consciousness with the clever airing of the pilot in the waning days of the 2008-2009 season and got people excited with something fresh and seemingly original (at least for prime time; no doubt Fox saw its potential after Disney’s success with [[[High School Musical]]].
When the show arrived last fall, it proved it was able to blend soap opera, music, and dance with an oddball assortment of characters with several vying for breakout status before Jane Lynch’s Sue Sylvester captured pop culture’s heart. The plight of the misfits that find themselves forming a glee club at Ohio’s William McKinley High School is the overarching theme as the team grows from a sextet to a full squad and prepares for sectionals and then regionals. As a result, we see them working on numerous pieces and with the show’s ratings climb, they stuffed in even more musical numbers which has neatly resulted in several soundtrack CDs already available.
When the show took an extended hiatus, Fox Home Entertainment released Glee, Volume One: Road to Sectionals to tide fans over. Now, in time for the premiere of season two this evening, Glee; The Complete First Season is out in both standard DVD and Blu-ray sets.
The show revels in its absurdity and doesn’t once try to make us think any of these characters are real or that the high school is really a place for learning. After all, we never see the kids in any academic class nor is homework ever a factor. Apparently, few of them need jobs or when they do can take them without breaking a sweat. We know there’s a faculty because we see them in the lounge where some of the more embarrassing adult shenanigans get discussed.
Where the series fell down was properly making us care for the dilemma Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison) faced with his ditzy, desperate, deceptive wife Terri (Jessalyn Gilsig). Her fake pregnancy sub-plot was totally wasting time for other stories and her expulsion from the marriage seemed pre-ordained and yet, she remains attached to the show like a barnacle that won’t go away.