"Glee" Kicks "High School Musical's" Bony Ass; or: Goodbye, Zac Efron

The reason why the High School Musical movies grate on many people's nerves is because of their sheer earnestness, their irony-free commitment to the task at hand: entertaining tweens and hypnotizing them into buying tie-in merchandise. It takes someone like me to come along and turn the franchise into the inside joke that Disney never intended. (Read this, this, and this, for example.)

Glee, a new TV series that recently premiered on Fox and that can be viewed for free right now on Hulu, is blissfully self-aware. (It was created by Ryan Murphy, who's responsible for Nip/Tuck.) Glee is about a diverse set of outcasts—the nerd in a wheelchair, the flamboyant gay kid, the big black girl, the quiet Asian chick, the Latina (?) diva, the hot jock with the voice of gold—who join their high school's glee club to make sweet music, while enduring the inevitable ridicule of their peers. The audience is encouraged to make fun of these students and root for them at the same time, a balancing act that the cast pulls off with, well, glee. And it's all framed by one of those inspirational teacher storylines that actually works because of a charming performance by Matthew Morrison, the Spanish teacher who wants to relive his own glee club glory days by leading this lovable band of losers.

Check out the trailer. Watch:

And the musical numbers? Stellar. The pilot episode culminates in a superb rendition of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'." See? Simultaneously cheesy and rockin'.

For those of you who don't mind a big-ass spoiler, here's that Journey number, which is the end of the episode. (The track is also available on iTunes, I believe.) Watch:

Finally, I must admit that it's time to kick Zac Efron out of bed. While his HSM3 shower scene never made it into the final cut, Glee boldly includes a scene featuring the aforementioned hot jock, played by Cory Monteith, belting REO Speedwagon under a shower head while soaping himself down. Be still my beating crotch! Zac is a boy; Cory is a man. A MAN!

Watch the pilot episode for free.

The series picks up in the fall.


  1. The Journey number is great, but I could not stand the premise that these kids are just "okay". And the female lead singer getting no respect and having no friends because no one can recognize how beautiful and talented she is, is ludicrous. That, topped by the fact that these "kids" are all twenty-somethings dooms the show in my eyes.

    That having been said; I'm hot for teacher!

  2. I used to watch Fame even when it wasn't good anymore(if it ever was)because the very idea of a performing arts school in New York was thrilling to me.

    Plus the diva reminds me of Indina Menzel so I love that too.

  3. But I'm totally pissed I have to wait until Fall. Seriously. Don't tease me unless it's with shower scenes.

  4. Actually, I think he was belting REO Speedwagon in the shower scene...wasn't it "I can't stop this feelin' anymore?"

    I'm looking forward to it. Though, I was trying to figure out why the diva is disliked at school...is it her "I'm talented" attitude? Or the fact that she has 2 fathers? Maybe I missed something in the pilot.

  5. Superbadfriend, I know you like MEN!

    Patty, ha ha ha, Cory is like 27, I know, but that's why he's so hunky!

    LAP, you'll have to settle for clips until fall, alas.

    Marisela, good catch on the REO Speedwagon--I've made the correction. As for the diva, yeah, it's not really clear. It could be any number of things--her dads, her attitude, her vague ethnicity--who knows?

  6. These, er, folks (kids just didn't seem appropriate) do seem to have more actual musical talent than Vanefron. I'm still on the fence about hotness. Remind me to watch the whole episode when I'm more awake. ;)

  7. i love, love, love this show... and, i'm glad you dumped zac.. he wasn't good enough for you.

  8. Zefron is just in that awkward in-between stage before he comes back full circle to his musical theater geek roots. Weren't the stars of both "Grease" and "Grease 2" in "Hairspray?"
    He will be cast in a similar role when I bring my 80's high school dream musical, "Mousse!," to fruition.
    Prince, you can be the casting couch director for that one.

  9. Pretty sure Lea Michele (petite diva) is as Latina as I am Black. Which is to say, no.

    She's absolutely amazing, though. I saw her in Spring Awakening on Broadway - Yes, that musical where the protagonist shows his ass on stage. I stalked her into the street to get her autograph. She was that good. Truly.

    This show makes me glee myself. BUT WHY MUST I WAIT FOR FALL?? Ugh.

  10. Loved, loved, LOVED this pilot. I could watch the final number over and over again. I think I will right now.