It Lives Up to Its Name


Yesterday I recommended that anyone who hasn't already watched the pilot of Glee do so immediately. If you haven't already seen it, you might stop and ask yourself WHY THE HELL NOT, since it's been available on Hulu or wherever since May. Or you might not waste any time with that question and instead just watch the pilot while you still can.

I had heard from a dozen people how great this show was before I finally watched it in June or so; I trusted them and everything but I don't really like watching shows on my computer and I was lazy. But I got around to watching it eventually, and I had a reaction television doesn't usually arouse in me: I WEPT. Seriously. I shed big, sloppy, noisy, wet tears of joy and sympathy and admiration and amazement at the beauty and pathos and complexity that is the human condition.

I'm not kidding. I've watched the pilot three or four more times since then and while I haven't cried every single time, I still think it's the best 47 minutes of television I've ever watched in my life.

Get ready for a heretical statement: it's even better than Buffy. I don't know if the entire series will last seven seasons and hold up as well as (most of) Buffy, but the five episodes that have already aired? I wasn't crazy about #5, but the others were pretty damn good.

I will provide details in the future about precisely what I think is so great--I love this show too much not to blog about it. In the mean time, let me just say that this show lives up to its name. The glee and pleasure the people working on this show feel is palpable, and it arouses just as much glee in me.


fyi1: Glee is such an odd word, that I couldn't help looking it and its etymology up.

glee: 1. jubilant delight; joy. 2. Music. A part song scored for three or more usually male and unaccompanied voices that was popular in the 18th century.

According to the etymology index, the word derives from ghei, an old English term meaning "to shine" and is related to terms like "gold, arsenic, melancholy, Hare Krishna, gleam, glimpse and glide." And this even though there is another old English ghei that means "to call, to yell, to sound, to shout." Seems more logical to me that a term for singing would derive from a term for shouting or sounding than a term for shining, but I must trust that these etymologists know what they're talking about.

fyi2: while looking up glee, I came across the word glabella, which means "the smooth area between the the eyebrows and above the nose, from Latin glabellus, hairless." Who knew there was a term for that, besides "third eye"?


I'm not sure I love this show more than Buffy, but...yes. It's great. GREAT. It's cheesy on its own terms, and it's just fantastic and joyful and heartbreaking and SO. MUCH. FUN.

Did you like the pilot better than the football/coming out episode two weeks ago? Now that one had me weeping. I agree that the show is up there among the best television I have seen. (Complete side note, but I was also very moved by the season opener of House this year.)

Hi Rebecca--

I don't know if I'll end up loving this show as much as Buffy--that depends on how it plays out over its existence. I mean, I thought the first season of "Veronica Mars" was better than the first season of Buffy, but then VM got stupid and weird, while Buffy got better and better. But I definitely think that the first five eps of Glee are, overall, stronger than the first five eps of Buffy.

I guess I shouldn't worry about comparing the shows and should just enjoy Glee while it's still so rockin' awesome

Hi GMA--

OH! Episode Four! Aka Preggers! Yes, I LOVED that episode, and will have more to say about it in the future. But I was sort of trying to go in order in talking about the eps. I may abandon that before too long, though.

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This page contains a single entry by Holly published on October 5, 2009 2:14 PM.

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