Few shows bottle pure delight like Glee
, a TV series about the ups and downs of a high school glee club, or show choir. The show lures you in with its musical numbers, a mix of classic rock and Broadway show tunes performed by a cast of marvellous singers and dancers--but what keeps you watching are the wonderful characters, ranging from Rachel (Lea Michele), whose self-obsession is as uninhibited as it is annoying; to Emma (Jayma Mays), a germ-phobic guidance counsellor hopelessly in love with a married teacher; to Kurt (Chris Colfer), a cherubic young gay man who discovers he's got a fantastic football kick. The centre of the show is Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison), the earnest Spanish teacher of McKinley High School, who's determined to guide the glee club to victory at a national competition. He sees this collection of overemotional misfits as heroic, but they're looked down on as losers by the rest of the school--especially Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Best In Show
), the ruthless cheerleading coach who will stop at nothing to destroy the glee club before they can take even a fraction of her extravagant budget. Glee
fuses adolescent soap opera, the comic pettiness of academic politics, and exuberant song and dance. (While it would be better if the songs weren't so glossily produced, it's impossible to deny the pep and talent of these young performers.) Somehow, the characters manage to be cartoonish yet multidimensional; even the nicest characters are capable of being jerks and the most manipulative have moments of sympathy or grace. For example, Will's wife, Terri (Jessalyn Gilsig), fakes a pregnancy because she's afraid Will is about to leave her for Emma--but as absurd as this scenario is, it's carefully grounded in enough moments of desperate yearning that it becomes completely compelling… particularly when Terri seizes on the unwanted pregnancy of lead cheerleader Quinn (Dianna Agron) as the solution to her problem. Throw in vividly coloured costume designs and blisteringly funny rants from Sue, and it's easy to see why Glee
became an unexpected hit. --Bret Fetzer
All 22 episodes of the first series of the phenomenally popular and Golden Globe-winning teen musical comedy series. When bored Spanish teacher Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison) takes over the high school glee club, he envisages restoring it to its past glories. To this end, he assembles a small but talented group of social misfits, whose combined talents soon give rise to an extravaganza of show-stopping music and dance performances. The episodes are: 'Pilot', 'Showmance', 'Acafellas', 'Preggers', 'The Rhodes Not Taken', 'Vitamin D', 'Throwdown', 'Mash-Up', 'Wheels', 'Ballad', 'Hairography', 'Mattress', 'Sectionals', 'Hell-O', 'The Power of Madonna', 'Home', 'Bad Reputation', 'Laryngitis', 'Dream On', 'Theatricality', 'Funk' and 'Journey'.