Saturday, November 07, 2009

New Season Brings Glee

At this point we're well into the new season of television, with the start of a number of new shows, and the welcome return of others. Most shows are hitting episode seven or eight this week, so we have a fair idea of what to expect from the brand new offerings, as well as the season story arcs for the new season of those series we've watched for years.

Smallville has introduced Zod in the awesome form of Callum Blue, a move that almost makes me want to catch up on the series I left way back in season three. But there are just too many other great shows to invest time in, and while I'm sure many people who know me think I spend all my time either playing games on my Xbox or using it to watch tv, I really have more important things to do than sit on my couch long enough to watch everything that's available. How I Met Your Mother, House and Heroes are just three of the many shows I've let slide, while repeated recommendations like Dollhouse, Chuck, Sons of Anarchy and 30 Rock haven't even been given a chance.

There are just far too many good shows to watch right now. Returning Big Bang Theory and Mythbusters are joined by the immensely enjoyable Castle, starring everyone's favourite space cowboy, and the intriguing mystery series FlashForward, which I hate to think will become the new Lost, giving question after question and no answers, but I'm finding myself sucked into regardless of caution.

But there is another that has taken me by surprise. I never even knew it existed until I stumbled onto it from a completely unrelated article online. It sings to my inner love of cheesy music and cringe-worthy but hilarious situations. It plays on my desire to be a famous singer/dancer (admit it, everyone has that dream, right? ... Er... Right?). Watching it makes me smile and laugh. It brings me great Glee.

Glee is about a music club in an American high school. In the past, the club was popular and successful, but now they are nothing, while cheerleading and football rule the school. The series starts when Will, the Spanish teacher, volunteers to be the new Glee teacher as well, and recruits new members, including the football teams quarterback.

All the clichés are there. The thickheaded bully is a fantastic singer, the bitch cheerleader can sing as well as she dances, in fact, the entire cast is full of highly trained singers and dancers, most coming from Broadway. Unlike Fame, people don't spontaneously burst into song in Glee. Instead, any song is a product of the clubs rehearsal, stage production, or the individuals exorcising their personal demons in front of a mirror. As of the end of the third episode, the only example of someone bursting into song and causing people around her to dance in perfect choreography was, of course, part of a dream sequence.

But it works. I love it! It's hilariously funny. The cast is excellent, both vocally and in acting ability. The dynamics of the characters are fun, and the relationships are interesting. The cast are strong and all seem to be truly enjoying themselves. Thankfully, the network seems to agree. If is to be believed, Fox has picked up the show for a full 22 episode first season.

In the end, the show is just fun. The songs are fantastic and the choreography is flawless, making the many numbers during each episode fascinating to watch. It's a great addition to the weekly viewing, moreso because of it's core nature. In Glee, life is good. It might be tough sometimes, but ultimately, it's an enjoyable ride. While every other show of television has murder, tragedy, affairs, broken relationships, jealousy and hatred, Glee has songs, laughter, music and dance.

And when the credits roll, Glee leaves you smiling and humming a tune.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Gunpowder Treason and Plot

As with last years post*;

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,

I know of no reason

Why Gunpowder Treason

Should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
To blow up King and Parliament.
Three-score barrels of powder below

To prove old England's overthrow;

By God's providence he was catch'd

With a dark lantern and burning match.

Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.

Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!

Instead of watching V For Vendetta this evening, we watched the pilot for the remake of 80's series V. It's been getting slammed online, which I think is a bit unfair. It's nothing special, but it's far from the worst thing I've had to watch in recent months. I think people were hoping for big changes that refreshed the old concept like BattleStar Galactica did, but instead the pilot is a reshoot of the original concept with a few very minor changes.

*- only 12 more years to go!