Fall Treats AboundBy Michael Karol Posted: Sep 11, 2009
Everyone I've spoken to in every demographic — except newborns; I tried talking TV to my week-old twin niece and nephew, but they slept right through my spiel — agrees that there appears to have been no summer, and all of a sudden it's Labor Day. But for those of us who cover TV, fall is the best time of the year, when we get to sample what the networks and cable stations have to offer, and hopes are high that one pilot, or, praise the cathode ray tube, maybe more than one — will exceed expectations.
Here's what come over the transom so far — and if you're one of those who doesn't like to know anything about what's ahead, then STOP READING NOW.
Fox has already found its first hit. GLEE takes off from the high point of its pilot episode and took me even higher. Will (Matthew Morrison) only has six of the 12 Glee Club members he needs in order to qualify for the regionals — and if he doesn't qualify for the regionals, the McKinley High Glee Club will be shut down. GLEE is all about the music, and how it heals, annoys and otherwise affects the teachers and students at McKinley High. Further complicating matters:
The cast of GLEE
1. Hilarious Jane Lynch as tough-as-nails Sue Sylvester, head of the school's trophy-winning cheerleading squad, the Cheerios, who doesn't deal well with competition.
2. Will's demanding wife, Terri (Jessalyn Gilsig), who wants the moon, including a status symbol house and kids, and is currently lying to Will about being pregnant.
3. Rachel (Lea Michelle), the unpopular, most talented member of Will's Glee Club, who is heartbreakingly in love with…
4. …handsome Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith), McKinley's star quarterback, also a Glee Club member, and balancing the jock/geek combination as best he can.
5. Unfortunately, Finn's girlfriend, Quinn (Dianna Agron) is jealous of the time he's spending with Rachel. So, having conveniently become pregnant by Quinn's best friend, obnoxious jock Noah (Mark Salling), during a drunken night of revelry — also, she says, because she "thought she was fat that night" — Quinn tells Finn the baby's his. But Will's wife, who needs a real baby, may have something to say about that….
6. Meanwhile, gay Glee Club member Kurt (Chris Colfer) discovers his inner jock in an effort to convince his dad he's not gay, and becomes the star kicker and, in an incredibly empowering TV moment, the team's savior.
There's so much more, such as hangdog football coach Ken Tanaka (Patrick Gallagher), who has a crush on cleanliness-obsessed McKinley guidance counselor Emma Pillsbury (Jayma Mays), who only has eyes for…married Will, of course.
Sounds like a soap, dunnit? It is, in the best possible sense, and I can't wait to see the above issues play out during the upcoming freshman season, plus a slew of promised guest appearances by the likes of Victor Garber (ELI STONE) and especially the fabulous Kristen Chenoweth (PUSHING DAISIES).
Have I mentioned the MUSIC?! Everything from Beyoncé to Burt Bacharach to Leonard Bernstein is showcased in tightly choreographed and heavenly sung numbers. GLEE is that rare TV entity: a show created as a labor of love that turned out to be one of the loveliest offerings of any recent season. It's my new No. 1 with a bullet.