Oh, how I adore Glee. It airs Wednesday nights on FOX, in case you’ve been living under a rock. It’s centered around a Glee Club at an Ohio high school, and all the dramas that come along with it. And it of course features a lot of show choir and other musical numbers, though they are set in realistic circumstances – no spontaneous breaking into song here.
And it’s a show that knows its audience. Clearly, this show isn’t for everyone and could have easily failed if put in the wrong place.
The first episode of Glee aired as a special sneak preview after an episode of American Idol this summer. Obviously people who love the drama of the biggest Glee Club in the world – the one made of American Idol contestants – will love a show set around one.
Now it airs right after So You Think You Can Dance. Again, capturing the audience of dance enthusiasts and leading them into the show.
A vast majority of the cast of Glee is also on Twitter, talking back and forth with each other and fans throughout episodes and the week. They have determined that fans are “Gleeks”, and ask for feedback each week. In fact, “Glee” was still a trending topic as of 5 PM today.
And the soundtrack for each episode is released on iTunes after each episode. Earlier, last night’s final song was #3 on iTunes.
The show itself is smart as well. It keeps a good balance of the surreal and ridiculous, and real themes like teen pregnancy, infatuation, and homosexuality. The creator, Ryan Murphy, selects all of the show’s musical numbers with a degree of genius – a great blend of showtunes for the choir nerds, and pop songs of the 70s-now to satisfy everyone else. Last nights Cabaret duel/duet with Kristin Chenoweth and Lea Michele solidified the show’s ability to use showtunes in a totally awesome manner.
So, where does Glee fit into the scheme of things? It’s not really like any other shows out right now. It’s a dramedy by all accounts. It has three dimensional characters, fantastical sequences, textured lighting, an ensemble cast that’s truly related to each other, story arcs, and other stuff I can’t think of anymore (college was 6 months ago!) The only other dramedy I can think of that’s currently on air right now is Scrubs. However, Scrubs operates on a 30 minute sitcom type formula, allowing it to be easily placed in the comedy category. What other one hour comedies exist?
Where does a musical dramedy satirical show about high schoolers fit in amongst all of your other entertainment?