Tuesday, Dec. 08, 2009


Consistency is overrated. This musical-comedy-drama about a misfit high school show choir in Lima, Ohio, succeeds where Viva Laughlin and other small-screen musicals have failed, but it also shows the genre's challenges. Some of its story lines (especially the fake pregnancy of the choir director's wife) are distractingly implausible. But when Glee works — which is often — it is transcendent, tear-jerking and thrilling like nothing else on TV. It takes a gay kid, minority kids, jocks and nerds and explodes their stereotypes, channeling high school's heightened emotions through joyous pop music. It can be a mess, but it's what great TV should be: reckless, ambitious, heart-on-its-sleeve and, thanks especially to Jane Lynch as drill-sergeant cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester, gaspingly funny. When it hits its high notes, nothing else matters.