Fox gave us a little taste of high school choir dramedy Glee last night after American Idol, and let’s be honest: that was good strategy. I loved the darn thing. Loved its guts. Any show with an a capella version of “Moonlight Sonata” and a huge choir’s worth of kids in polka-dot 50s dresses belting out “Rehab” has so got me on its side.
I do wonder, however, whom Fox is targeting with this show. The numbers, particularly among young viewers, don’t look huge but don’t look bad, which gives me hope. Maybe there really are millions of other people out there who, having just been surprised on a cross-country flight that Delta’s entertainment system includes Spring Awakening (it’s the bitch of flying), screamed “It’s WENDLA!” when Glee’s version of Tracy Flick graced the screen (Lea Michele is a wonderful balance of ego and vulnerability here). Maybe the young people understand the greatness that is Journey. Maybe everyone else who watches Fox has a congenital inability to change the channel if they trip over Camp (hey, where is Fritzi these days? Ooh, she’s Stacey Pilgrim! That’s so cool! Ooh, she’s also in Twilight. That’s so not cool). Maybe millions of other viewers howled laughing when Tracy Flick, upset at the possibility that having the kid in the wheelchair take the lead on “Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat” was meant ironically, snapped, “There’s nothing ironic about show choir!”…and then had to wonder if they would have understood the irony of show choir when they were her age or if they were in fact Tracy Flick. Were there enough of us rocking that boat in high school to support what, given the music rights, will have to be an expensive show?
Here’s hoping so, because even with some of the creakiness pilots tend to have (the musical theater kid in a Marc Jacobs jacket [Chris Colfer] gets thrown into a Dumpster by jocks? I’m shocked), this was a hoot. Presumably, we’ll be following the adventures of whether financially-challenged teacher Will (Matthew Morrison of Broadway’s The Light in the Piazza, Hairspray, and Footloose) can support an expanding family while paying for glee club, whether his shaky marriage can withstand both his wife’s spending habits and the adorableness that is fellow teacher Jayma Mays (Heroes, Pushing Daisies), whether star QB Finn (Cory Monteith [Kyle XY]) can bridge the jock/singer divide, and whether our plucky band can win the championship. As long as they sing and dance the whole way (to Journey songs!), I’ll likely follow them down the yellow brick road. You can make the wait until fall shorter by catching the pilot on iTunes (free, at least for the moment) and Hulu.