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Can we have a round of applause for a realistic show about high school? Thank you.

“Glee,” a new series on FOX, is about students trying to find their niche. And they do – in the Glee Club. Their principal is looking for any excuse to cancel the club (since the last director was fond of flirting with members). Enter Will, the (cute) Spanish teacher and a former Glee Club member himself, who takes over to help the club regain its former glory. But there's a tough road ahead.

With a talented cast – featuring Lea Michele from “Spring Awakening” and Matthew Morrison from “Hairspray” – “Glee” is the most realistic portrayal of high school students on television.

I am gleeful to see this show break stereotypes and inject honesty into its writing. Unlike with Blair Waldorf or Naomi Clark, I can relate to these characters (they don't walk around dropping brand names). They are searching for who they are because they don't fall into trite social categories like jocks, cheerleaders, etc. And what a relief to find a student in a wheelchair (Arty) outside of a Hallmark made-for-TV movie. I feel warmth after watching “Glee,” compared with my desperate urge to buy hairbands after watching “Gossip Girl.”

I'm not a fan of “High School Musical,” yet I enjoy the singing and dancing in “Glee.” Unlike “HSM,” which was directed at preteens, these characters have depth. Rachel is a talented girl who wants to be accepted by her peers and to be special, and Finn is a jock who plays football and endures his teammates' teasing because he enjoys singing. “High School Musical” – cheesiness + real life – unrealistic plans to save the day = “Glee.”

Sure, “Glee” contains some clichés – Rachel is going to fall for Finn – but in spite of this, I think the show will inspire teenagers, and even teachers who have lost the love for what they do. Why? It's honest. It is not extravagant or pure fairy tale.

It's real.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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ChangedForever said...
Apr. 17, 2010 at 12:36 pm:
Although i do love the show, i think that there is way to much going on, and it gets a little soap opera-y. Idont agree that it is a realistic portrayal of real students, because i've never seen anyone who got slushies thrown into their faces daily, and so on. still, the singing is still incredible, and much better then HSM
 
Grace V. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Apr. 17, 2010 at 7:12 pm :
Thanks for reviewing. I wrote this article quite a while ago (when I watched the pilot actually) before the show got all the drama. I do agree that the realism has tanked in the later episodes. But in the heart of it, the struggles the members go through are pretty relatable. :)
 
ChangedForever replied...
Apr. 18, 2010 at 11:29 am :
THAT makes sense. the pilot was soo good :) haha yeah, and even without realism, i guess we're all still watching so something about it is working
 
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BasketballChick5 said...
Mar. 9, 2010 at 9:16 pm:
I LOVE GLEE!!!!!!!!! IT'S AWESOME I CANT WAIT TO WATCH IT AGAIN!!!!!!
 
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hootowl4 said...
Feb. 15, 2010 at 7:31 am:
i love glee!!! i have the dvd and everything. great article
 
Wildflower30 replied...
Jul. 7, 2011 at 11:10 am :
"Glee" is like the definition of AMAZING! The songs... I mean, they've got EVERYTHING in there! Rock, pop, classics, musicals, dance...! You can really, really connect to it. It might seem cliched, but isn't that how life is?
:)
Nicely written article!
 
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Grace V. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 2, 2010 at 10:07 pm:
Hey! thanks for reviewing. the 'lunch money stolen' was what Cory Monteith said in an interview right? :D
 
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Aluna said...
Feb. 2, 2010 at 8:26 pm:
I like to think of the show Glee as High School Musical that's had it's lunch money stolen and recieved a slushie in the face. Yup, that's pretty accurate! I am a Glee finatic! Great review! I love your word choice and your foreshadowing! Nicely written!
 
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panicback said...
Dec. 28, 2009 at 10:32 am:
I completely agree with everything said. Glee shows how high school is so confusing, and how people don't always fit in, but it also shows how teenagers know how to have a good time. I am such a Gleek.
As for realisticness of breaking out into song every couple of seconds... not so much, but they even fixed that by having most of their numbers in rehearsal.
 
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808Vips said...
Dec. 23, 2009 at 2:43 pm:
Hey, great review! =)
I do feel the same way but I'm just wondering: throughout the season, has anyone noticed the plot inconsistencies? There seemed to be quite a few - but the overall morale and theme of the show (along with the amazing talent) redeem it immensely.
 
Grace replied...
Dec. 25, 2009 at 5:19 am :
Inconsistencies such as? :) Thanks for reviewing
 
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ShowchoirPike said...
Nov. 10, 2009 at 4:19 pm:
LOVE THIS SHOW, THANK YOU A SHOW BOUT SHOWCHOIR! My dad even likes it and he HATEs musicals!
 
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Lexy13 said...
Nov. 8, 2009 at 7:54 pm:
Best.Show.EVER!!! If you haven't seen it, watch it. You will be glad you did.
 
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peace<3:) said...
Nov. 5, 2009 at 11:07 am:
I LOVE GLEE!!!!
 
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nodaybut2day14 said...
Oct. 8, 2009 at 3:21 pm:
Glee is pretty much the best show ever. Every Wed. at 9 I'm in front of the tv. Can't wait till next week's episode.
 
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LaylaViolet said...
Sept. 24, 2009 at 11:58 am:
Cannot agree with you any more. This show is so awesome! Thursday's (9/23/09) episode was, like, the best. Everytime I hear "Single Ladies" I'm so gonna think about the football team! So freaking hilarious!
 
Grace V. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 24, 2009 at 9:59 pm :
Hey, I loved Kurt dancing!! :) And the football team were SO good at it. I can't wait to see them sing Somebody to love next week :) :) Thanks for reviewing.
 
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