The breakout hit of this season’s crop of new shows, Glee has found itself the new kid on the block with huge viewing figures and two chart topping albums to boot. After a short break it returns back on screen in the UK today.
Set in Lima, Ohio, the show focuses on the Glee Club at William McKinley High School. After being taken over by previous member turned teacher, Will Schuester is determined to turn the club’s fortunes around and renames them ‘New Directions’.
The original members of the club are social outcasts but, due to bribery, Will manages to enlist popular jock Finn to join. He is soon followed by other members of the football team and cheerleading squad. Although there are internal squabbles and jealousies, they come together to sing, dance and put the High School Musical cast to shame.
Will Schuester – Spanish teacher who hopes to bring the Glee Club back to its former glory. Married to his high school sweetheart, Terri, he ends up working two jobs when he finds out she is pregnant and is left heartbroken when he discovers she lied and is, in fact, only saying it to keep him. Shares a mutual crush on school guidance counsellor Emma, whom he shares a kiss with at the tail end of the first half of the season. Arch enemy of Sue Sylvester.
Sue Sylvester – Head coach of the cheerleading squad ‘The Cheerios’, she hates the Glee Club and especially Will Schuester and tries everything in her power to take both of them down. Has her own spot on a local news channel and isn’t backwards to coming forwards. Showed her softer side when she let a student with Down’s syndrome join the squad and it was later discovered she also has a sister with the same condition, melting her icy exterior just a bit. Gave the Glee Club’s sectionals set list to their rivals to scupper their success, only to be discovered and suspended.
Rachel Berry – The most driven member of Glee Club, who has wanted to be a star since she was born. Jewish, with two gay dads, she knows what it’s like to be different but doesn’t let that or anything else stand in the way of her dreams. Has a crush on Finn, but his relationship with Quinn stops anything from going further. Dated Puck only to break up with him because of her feelings for Finn. Was lead soloist during sectionals.
Finn Hudson – Main male vocalist of New Directions and the football team’s quarterback. Was dating head cheerleader Quinn when she discovered she was pregnant and, although they never had sex, she led him to believe an incident in a hot tub caused the pregnancy. Deciding to stand by her, he was heartbroken to discover that his best friend Puck was the father, causing him to quit the Glee Club, but he came back to help them win sectionals. Has feelings for Rachel, but is unsure what to do with them.
Quinn Fabray – Head cheerleader until she was kicked off the team by Sue when she discovered she was pregnant by her boyfriend Finn’s best friend, Puck. Joined Glee to spy for Sue and to keep Finn within close proximity and away from Rachel. Agreed to give her baby to Terri in return for her medical and clothing bills to be paid and to give it the security she couldn’t. Was thrown out of home when her pregnancy was discovered and after the revelation of the baby’s paternity came out she decides to try and go it alone.
Emma Pillsbury – School guidance counsellor who is in love with Will. Decides to marry football coach Ken when she realises Will is married and off limits, only to be stood up at the altar. Shares a kiss with Will at the end of the first half of the season. Total germophobe.
Terri Schuester – Will’s wife, who wants him to be more than he is and, in return, make more money for her to spend. Believes she is pregnant but discovers she is suffering for a hysterical pregnancy and then lies to Will about it after. Agrees to take Quinn’s baby off her hands but is rumbled when Will finds her fake pregnancy belly in a drawer. Totally insane in a crazy bitch way.
Mercedes Jones – Diva in training and wannabe Beyonce of the group. Had a crush on Kurt. He told her he is gay and they soon become very close friends.
Kurt Hummel – Another diva in training and wannabe Beyonce, Kurt is out and proud but doesn’t like the effect it has when his father is harassed because of it. His mother died when he was young and has an especially close bond with his father. Great fashion sense.
Puck – Best friend of Finn and father of Quinn’s baby, Puck is a bad boy trying to be good but always fails miserably. Dated Rachel as he thought God wanted him to be with a nice Jewish girl. Wants to be a good father to his unborn child.
Tina Cohen-Chang – Extremely shy member of the club, she soon comes out of her shell and admits her stutter is put on to try and keep people away. Has a crush on Artie.
Artie Abrams – After a car accident put him in a wheelchair, Artie uses the Glee Club as a means of escape from the rest of the school. Plays a mean guitar and has a crush on Tina.
Why We Like It
Funny and touching in equal measure, you cannot help but have a smile on your face once you have finished watching it. Each of the characters is over the top and a parody of themselves, which makes for entertaining viewing. The humour is slyer than slapstick and can cut very close to the bone sometimes for a show of this type. Also, they actually sing pretty decent songs and are not afraid to mix chart music with the more traditional musical theatre genre.
Why It Sucks
The ‘very special’ episodes can be slightly over the top, with the moral lessons slapping you in the face rather than gently pushing the episode along.
Glee Club comes to life and there is a rocking rendition of Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ at the end.
Will starts a man band, Kurt comes out and Josh Groban makes a very special guest appearance.
Rachel gets a crush on Will, Quinn’s parents find out about the baby and one learns never to eat a certain spicy type of pepper.
The Glee Club comes of age winning their local sectionals, Finn finds out he isn’t the father of Quinn’s baby and Will and Emma finally share a kiss.
Nuke The Fridge Moment
Far too many to mention, but that is the entire point of the show. You are not meant to believe in it that much.
Current Status Of The Show
Having just come back after its mid-season break to its largest ever audience, Glee has already been commissioned for a second season.
You’ll like Glee if you like:
PopularNip/TuckHigh School MusicalBlossom