Ryan Murphy, the creator of “Nip/Tuck” and “Popular,” is revisiting high school yet again with “Glee.” While the dark and sinister overtones of “Nip/Tuck” remain on the far opposite spectrum as this new show, just watch the musical episode of “Popular” for one reason to see that Murphy has what it takes to be quirky and fun.
There is so much hype and buzz surrounding “Glee” that the pilot of the hour-long musical comedy is set to air immediately after the season finale of “American Idol” and will pick up again with new episodes in the fall. If you watch the network at all, you’ve undoubtedly seen the promos, which you either loathe or anticipate just so you can sing along, depending on your love/hate of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin.’”
The story follows teacher Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison, Broadway’s “Hairspray”) as he decides to take over and revitalize the school’s Glee Club. Unfortunately, there are only five kids in the club so far, among them: Arty (Kevin McHale), a physically challenged, geeky guitarist; Mercedes (Amber Riley), a boisterous diva-in-the-making; and one bright star, Rachel (Lea Michele), who is reminiscent of Election’s Tracy Flick.
So Will tries to enlist some of the more popular students to join, which – you guessed it – ends in utter failure, until he discovers that the school’s quarterback, Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith), has an amazing voice. Once Will gets Finn to put his rep on the line by becoming part of the club, it seems like nothing can stop them.
Jane Lynch (Best in Show, Role Models) is hilarious as the tough cheer coach, and it’s been confirmed that Kristin Chenoweth (“Pushing Daisies”) and Victor Garber (“Alias”) – both Broadway veterans – are joining the cast in recurring roles.
The special preview of “Glee” airs May 19 at 9 p.m. on Fox.