I've been putting off doing this review for abit, seeing as the pilot already aired on television back in April, but, I figure sense i've been doing this thing with soon to be appearing television series, I might as well do this one too, you know, to be fair, interesting side note, it seems the only pilots hitting the net so far are FOX, normally by now we've seen almost all of them and the shows that aren't gonna make it, but its still early... so we'll see how that goes...
Here is what Fox's website says on Glee:
From Ryan Murphy, the creator of "Nip/Tuck" and "Popular," comes GLEE, a one-hour musical comedy that follows an optimistic high school teacher as he tries to transform the school's Glee Club and inspire a group of ragtag performers to make it to the biggest competition of them all: Nationals.
McKinley High School's Glee Club used to be at the top of the show choir world, but years later, a series of scandals have turned it into a haven for misfits and social outcasts. WILL SCHUESTER (Matthew Morrison, Broadway's "Hairspray"), a young optimistic teacher, has offered to take on the Herculean task of restoring McKinley's Glee Club to its former glory with the help of fellow teacher EMMA PILLSBURY (Jayma Mays, "Ugly Betty"). It's a tall order when the brightest stars of the pitch-imperfect club include KURT (Chris Colfer), a nerdy soprano with a flair for the dramatic; MERCEDES (Amber Riley), a dynamic diva-in-training who refuses to sing back-up; ARTY (Kevin McHale, "Zoey 101"), a geeky guitarist who spends more time avoiding bullies than chasing girls; and TINA (Jenna Ushkowitz, "Spring Awakening"), an awkward girl who needs to suppress her stutter before she can take center stage.
Will's only hope lies with two true talents: RACHEL BERRY (Lea Michele, "Spring Awakening"), a perfectionist firecracker who is convinced that show choir is her ticket to stardom; and FINN HUDSON (Cory Monteith, "Kyle XY"), the popular high school quarterback with movie star looks and a Motown voice who must protect his reputation with his holier-than-thou girlfriend, QUINN (Dianna Agron), and his arrogant teammate, PUCK (Mark Salling).
Driven by his secret past, Will is determined to do whatever it takes to make Glee great again, even though everyone around him thinks he's nuts. He's out to prove them all wrong - from his tough-as-nails wife TERRI SCHUESTER (Jessalyn Gilsig, "Nip/Tuck") to McKinley's cheerleading coach SUE SYLVESTER (guest star Jane Lynch, "Best In Show," "Role Models") to an ?ber-hip world that thinks jazz hands and sequined tuxedos litter the road to infamy rather than pave the way to Hollywood dreams.
Featuring a soundtrack of hit songs from past and present, GLEE is produced by Ryan Murphy Television in association with 20th Century Fox Television. Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan are co-creators of the series. Murphy, Falchuk and Dante Di Loreto serve as executive producers, while Ian Brennan and John Kousakis serve as co-executive producers. Murphy directed the pilot.
Remember what I said last time out about how a show's press release isn't always what the show is about and how its just to give you an overview of the cast and who makes it? Thats half true here this outline is actually pretty true to the pilot, however honestly this doesn't really do the show justice, because I honestly believe its gonna be the winner in the race for best new series. Now to some that might be a bit of a jump, specially for a series that at the surface looks like another teen aimed fluff series, but, like "Gossip Girl" proved two years ago, and some could argue "10 Things I Hate About You: The TV Series" has done over this summer, even a show in that field can have some teeth and enough power to stay around on story, casting and content instead of starring "Generic Attractive Teenager A" and their "dreamy" eyes, Generic Attractive Teenager B" with their "perfect hair" and "Generic Marketed As A 16 Year Old Sex Symbol A" with her skin tight way to adult for her to be wearing clothing, and so on, you get the idea. The only difference between Glee and most of the other shows in its field, much like 10 Things, it doesn't really take itself seriously, it would rather poke fun at the stereotypes created by other shows in its field then to actually give in to them, I do love when a series is brave enough to break ranks that way, and when a network backs it fully for doing so.
For those of you that didn't see the pilot when it aired as a special in April, or haven't watched the streaming episode of it on Fox.com, or where in another country and not aware of it at all, here is a more indepth look at the plot..
Glee tells the story of high school teacher Will Schuester, he's a quiet, depressed, Spanish teacher that seems to have given up on ever becoming more then he really is at this moment, he has a wife named Terri who is very demanding and tends to be rather, forceful and vocal about how she wants to live and seems to not care much for what Will thinks of it, which doesn't really help much for Will's self esteem, the only things that seem to give Will any moniker of joy at all, is when he stands infront of the award case in the front of the school he works at, and looks at the awards for glee club from about 10 years before, Will seems to flash back to his days when he was in glee club and how happy it made him, and how he feels he's lost that. The other thing that makes him remotely happy, seems to be the scatter brained School counselor Emma Pillsbury, both Emma and Will both show noticeable attraction to each other, but seem to scared to ever actually make a move on it, infact its Emma, in one of their cute but awkward conversations, Will decides to resurrect the one thing that made him happy, he decides to restart Glee Club. After abit of bargaining with the principal, who mocks his idea and tells him its going to fail, he puts up a signing sheet and waits to see who signs up.
Given how little people sign up, everyone that tried out, gets into the group, the "gleeks" as they're called are as follows; Rachel Berry, a girl who's two fathers have claimed is destine to be a star, she believes in this so much that she will do whatever it takes, she states she's so committed to her path that she posts videos of her singing different songs on myspace every single day, she's repeatedly turned down by the Cheerleaders when she wants to join their quad and is mocked and bullied by other students who find her weird, given her overly peppy attitude, its infact Rachel that says the show's tag line "Being a part of something special makes you special, right?". She's then followed by, Artie Abrams, who is in a wheelchair who plays guitar and has friends in the Jazz Club. Tina Cohen-Chang, an asian girl that actually does a great version of Katy Perry's "I kissed a girl" when she first appears. Kurt Hummel, a sharp dressed young man who really has a great voice, even if he looks like he's 10. And Mercedes Jones, a fashion loving diva who thinks she's a superstar. she seems strong willed but really wants the club to work out. Now with the group in place, they try and get themselves together as a group, but it just isn't working, they're still missing something..
Thats when by chance, when trying to get new members by talking to the football team, Will discovers, that quarterback Finn Hudson, has an incredible voice, and after working hard to get him to give Glee a try, Finn has a flashback to how music has always been a part of his life, and how much he loves to sing it, he agrees to join the club, but doesn't tell his couch or his friends on the football team at first. With Finn, the group finally comes together, and finally finish their first number, which is surprisingly good. And after they go to check out a regional Glee competition, where they watch the reigning championship team do an amazing version of Amy Winehouse's "Rehab", they start to get abit scared, but Will, with the help of Finn and Rachel are able to get them to see they're good enough to beat the champs, their practice attracts the attention of Emma, who is overjoyed to see Will actually happy about something for once. When Will goes to the principal to ask for money to get some team uniforms and stuff, he runs afoul of Sue Sylvester, the insanely cut throat head of the Cheerleader Squad, she hates the idea of the glee club and wants to destroy it. At this point we also find out that Will's wife doesn't really like what he's doing, I'm assuming because she's a selfish bitch.
Eventually Finn's friends on the football team find out he had joined Glee, and after mocking him to the point where he decides to quit and focus on Football, he happens across his friends bullying Artie and Kurt, and after they demand he stuff Kurt into a portable toilet and knock it over, he realizes that he made the wrong choice, he refuses to do it, and when he's called a loser, he says the line that probably will define his character, "Don't you get it? Were all losers, everyone in this school. No, everyone in this town. Out of all the kids who graduate maybe half will go to college and two will leave the state to do it. I'm not afraid of being called a loser cause I can accept that that's what I am... But I am afraid of turning my back on something that made me happy for the first time in my sorry life.", he then tells them that he's not quiting football, or Glee Club, stating that both are going to win trophies that year, because he's good enough to do both, and both need him. He then picks up Kurt and wheels Artie off to reunite with the club, who then choose a group name, "New Directions", given that the group is a new direction for all of them.
At this point Will comes in and tells the group that he's decided to leave them, stating that its causing problems for him with his wife, after they all try and get him to stay, he leaves, saying they will be able to find someone else to watch over their group for them. Later Will happens across Emma who then tells him how she'd never seen him as happy as he was with those kids. He then decides to return, after he hears them practicing and it makes him smile, as he realizes just how good they really are. the group is rejoiced. The Pilot ends with Sue and Finn's girlfriend Quinn, the head cheerleader plotting how to get rid of the group.
Now for my thoughts on the pilot and the upcoming series? I think its gonna seriously be the runaway hit of the new shows this year, its got the right mixture of what just about every demographic could enjoy, and when you take into account that each show has eight songs, and that when you also add in that the cast was picked because of how they sound together as well as their acting, instead of their looks or some other lame crap, you seriously do have a future hit on your hands.
So if you haven't seen it yet, and you don't wanna wait till September, go over to Fox.com, or any of the many websites taht stream tv shows on the net, or find the torrent from when it aired last spring and have a look at the pilot to Glee, you probably won't regret it.