Wednesday, January 27, 2010


This is the most curious piece of television I have yet to witness. A musical drama set in a high school, it presents cliche after cliche- we have the high school football star with inner depths, the shrewlike wife holding the lead back, the gay kid who loves singing... I could go on. At times the sentiment is piled on in an unholy amount, leading to a sometimes saccharine environment.

Yet theres something to it. There are few plotlines here you haven't seen before, but the telling mixes between the joy of the musical numbers and an overwhelming underlying sadness. The story here is kind of about how much life is holding all these characters down, how the town they are born in appears to be dictating how their life will be. The show can be delightfully surreal, and genuinely hilarious at times (with Jane Lynch providing many of the laughs).

There are some serious flaws here at work. The songs feel a bit overproduced at times, which is sad, as everyone there is clearly very talented, so it'd be nice if they'd just be allowed to sing now and then. The biggest problem is the pace the story goes at. Some of the episodes have had arcs that should have taken three episodes conclude in one, which feels rushed and unecessary- part of why the show has been so absurd so far is it has had to reach for more and more ridiculous plots because it keeps concluding stories earlier than it needs to. The show does appear to be settling down, however, and the fourth episode was great. I will continue to watch with interest.

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