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Genre: Comedy / Broadcaster: Fox / TV show based on a high school Glee club.

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      31.01.2014 16:28
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      I'm a Gleek, you should be one too!

      I have been a Glee fan for the past couple of years and I have been watching every episode up until the current one. Glee is currently on hiatus until the middle of February right now so I've been re-watching old episodes.

      Glee is a TV series about a teacher who takes over a high school Glee (singing and performing) club called the New Directions. A bunch of so-called 'misfit' teenagers who all struggle in high school in their own ways join and take part in competitions to win Glee Club championships across the country.

      Throughout series one, two, three, four and five, different characters join and leave for their own reasons, and competitions are won and lost. The show also focuses on the students' personal issues, including coming to terms with bullying, body issues, having sex for the first time, teenage pregnancy, leaving home, and, most recently, death.

      Some of the long term characters are

      Rachel- Pretty much the 'lead' singer and considered the best performer overall by the Glee Club, she gets most of the solos in the competitions. She has an on-off relationship with another Character, Finn Hudson. Rachel gets engaged to Finn, but soon he realises he needs to 'set her free' to go to New York and attend the college of her dreams, NYADA. Rachel is heartbroken at first,

      Finn- Finn was the high school quarterback and the lead male singer in Glee Club. He had an on-off relationship with Rachel and, although he didn't go to performing arts school with her as he never got in, he was going to become a teacher and help run the Glee Club. Sadly, Finn passed away at the start of season 5, when the actor who played him, Cory Monteith, died in real life from a drug overdose. The cause of death for Finn was never revealed, and I didn't personally agree with this decision as I think it would've provided closure for the fans of the show. I was absolutely gutted about Cory Moneteith's death as I liked the character. There is a lovely memorial episode dedicated to him in season 5.

      Mercedes- Mercedes is another singer and member of Glee club. She has a few relationships in the show and ends up getting a recording contract when she graduates school.

      Kurt- Kurt is an openly gay character who suffered from bullying during seasons 1, 2 and 3. However he graduated school, went to the same performing school as Rachel and got engaged to his boyfriend, Blaine.


      There are loads more characters and different storylines that I enjoy. Glee is a musical, and they sing some great songs, from 80's music to current chart songs today, and lots of rock too. There is something for everyone.


      The storylines are really gripping and I don't want to spoil much of it, but there are loads of twists and turns and you will find yourself wanting to watch episode after episode.

      I really recommend this show as it is one of my favourites.

      You can buy it on DVD, and the episodes are usually on repeat on SKY1, especially a lot at weekends.


      Teenagers and adults alike...welcome to the world of GLEE!

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        23.01.2011 22:42
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        A great musical tv show!

        I am a Gleek! (Someone who loves Glee.) When I first saw the adverts for this American musical comedy-drama television show back in late 2009/ early 2010 I decided I would watch it.
        When the time came I put on E4 and my first thought's were it's good, but I wasn't overly impressed. At the end of the first episode called 'Pilot' my mind changed, the Glee club preformed Journey's 'Don't Stop Believing' and I loved it! And the rest is history, I am now a Gleek and proud of it!

        - What Is A Glee Club? -

        Before I write about Glee for those who haven't heard about it before you may not know what a 'Glee Club' actually is.
        It's mostly an American high school activity where students form a show choir group 'Glee Club' in which they sing, dance and just preform. They then compete against other high schools in competitions.


        - What Is Glee About? -

        Glee is a musical comedy-drama show based on a fictional high school's Glee Club, who get ready to compete for the first time against other Glee clubs.
        It starts off with a few members who are considered school losers and throughout the series gains more members, some of which are popular students from the Cheerios (cheerleaders) and the school's football team.
        When popular boy Finn gets made to join the New Directions Glee Club he doesn't like it, but after a while he realises how much he enjoys being able to sing and dance.
        Bossy, annoying, but amazingly talented Rachel develops a crush on Finn and his then girlfriend Quinn, the head cheerleader gets jealous and joins the club along with two other Cheerios. But unknown to the other Glee Club members they are out to destroy it, made to by the Cheerio's coach Sue Sylvester.

        As the series goes on the show focus' on many real life situations such as sexuality, relationships, appearance and pregnancies.
        Some of the students who were set out to destroy the Glee Club actually end up loving it and find that it's the best part of their day.
        Many things happen during the 22 episodes of the first season, which I don't want to give away if your thinking of watching it.


        - My Thoughts -

        The show is often compared to High School Musical, I can see why some people would see this but personally I don't think the two are alike except the singing and dancing part.
        Glee is for teenagers and young adults, so it has more mature adult based story lines unlike the children's movie HSM.
        The songs are also not cheesy and the Glee club cover songs already done by people such as Lady GaGa, Madonna, Journey, Queen etc.
        The songs are preformed very well and they all have fantastic voices, even though some Glee Club members have stronger voices than others but this doesn't effect the show.

        In my opinion I think Rachel gets to many solos in season 1 and it would have been much nicer to hear some of the others sing more e.g Quinn & Puck.
        But so far in Season 2 Rachel does seem to have less solos, and it's being shared out more with the others.

        The show has many funny moments and cheerleader Brittany can come out with some brilliant lines along with the Cheerio's coach Sue! But even though it's a funny show the dramatic scenes are acted out very well too!


        - Other Info -

        Glee was created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan. Murphy is also well known for other shows such as Nip/Tuck and popular.
        So far all of season 1 has been aired. And the UK are a few episodes into season 2, which is shown on E4 and E4+1 on Mondays at 9pm. (10pm on E4+1)

        The show is a massive hit in America and seems to have done brilliantly over here too.
        Glee has won and been nominated for a number of awards including Golden Globes, People's choice awards, Dorian awards, Emmys, Teen Choice awards and many more. Most of which they have won!

        - The Talented Cast -
        (Main Cast of season 1)

        Lea Michele: Plays bossy, annoying, yet amazingly talented Rachel Berry.
        Cory Monteith: Plays the popular quarter back of the football team Finn Hudson.
        Dianna Agron: Plays the popular, pretty head cheerleader Quinn Fabray.
        Mark Salling: Plays bad boy Noah Puckerman 'Puck'.
        Chris Colfer: Plays fashionable, gay Kurt Hummel.
        Kevin McHale: Plays wheelchair bound Artie Abrahams.
        Amber Riley: Plays diva Mercedes Jones.
        Jenna Ushkowitz: Plays shy, fake stuttering Tina Cohen-Chang.
        Matthew Morrison: Plays the Glee Club teacher William Schuester (Mr Schue)
        Jane Lynch: Plays the mean, hilarious cheerleader coach Sue Sylvester.
        Jayma Mays: Plays teacher Emma Pilsbury- who has romantic feelings for married Mr Schuester.

        Some other cast members who aren't considered main cast in season 1 are:
        Naya Rivera- Santana Lopez
        Heather Morris- Brittany Pierce
        Harry Shum Jr- Mike Chang

        I think the cast are brilliant and it really shows in the series!
        Throughout the show they also have guest stars such as Olivia Newton-John, Neil Patrick Harris and Josh Groban.
        And now going into Season 2 they have a few more guest stars, Britney Spears!


        - Overall -

        I am a Gleek and proud! I am hooked to the TV when Glee is on and I just love it!
        They do a range of songs from old to new and have some good dance moves to go with them.
        It's a fun yet serious programme for teenagers and young adults! I give it 5 Stars.

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          13.08.2010 15:10
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          Give it a chance, you might surprise youself.

          This is one of those shows that I've seen adverts for, heard people talk about and thought 'what a load of ****' however one slow day I decided that there was little better to do so got on youtube and started looking around a bit more on it, and I can officially say I'm now hooked, a Gleek if you will (a GLee gEEK as it were) The show has definite tastes of Grease about it but thoroughly updated for the modern high school student's experience, at least I guess it is! Been a few years now since I was in high school.

          The show focuses on a gorup of social outcasts who audition for the schools show choir which down and out teacher Mr Shuster has taken it upon himself to revitalise.. Without giving too much of the plot away, as it does take some very interesting twists and turns throughout the first season, the show covers elements such as social standing, sexuality, teenage sex and pregnancy, adultery and many more besides.

          The cast of the show is varied and covers all the 'demographic must haves' black, white, asian, disabled, male, female but to be honest, they're actually handled remarkably sensitively on the whole, the only exception to this sensitive approach is dynamic cheerleader coach Sue Sylvester. Now this woman is someone who at first glance you will absolutely despise, and I think that's perhaps the way this is intended, she is frequently bumping heads with Mr Shuster and his little followers, however as the series progresses it becomes clear that she is actually quite a caring person, and there are some scenes in the first season where Sue's actions will actually make you shed a tear or two.

          The show's a hit, love it or hate it, it has been renewed for it's second and third seasons while only half way through it's first run, almost unheard of. Glee - get used to it, it's going to be around a while.

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          08.06.2010 22:01
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          If you want something to make you laugh this is the one to watch.

          This makes brilliant TV and has brought something fresh to air for a while. The characters have lots of energy and all have eccentric personalities making teenagers able to relate to them. The element of music used to create a storyline and a moral ending has shaken up channel 4 in England. It is certainly something unique and many a crowd would now refer to themselves as 'gleeks'. The musical element not only uses older songs, it uses the present day songs making it relevant to today's audience. The Lady Gaga episode reflected individuality and I think it has encouraged teenagers into accepting themselves and perhaps others more in today's society. Glee is now in it's second season in the UK and will end next week with the finale at regionals. Season 1 can be bought in shops. Every episode just leaves me wanting more, I even hum along to the credits at the end. It always leaves me wanting more.

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            03.06.2010 11:37
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            a must for the older audience

            Glee , this program as it all teenage pregnancy and fake pregnancies , Gay Dads and the biggest bunch of misfits you could imagine and , but all with an Excellent talent , singing they all want to be stars but no more than Racheal Berry who is a little eccentric to say the least she is very talented but well lets just say it is long way down from the pedestal she has parked herself on and she has one goal in mind stardom and will not settle for anything less, and theirs finn or is equally as talented but is also torn between glee club and being a big football player. My favourite episode was when Kurk , the resident gay singer who is so secure with his secure with his sexuality he is not bothered what other people think of him , joined the football team , and got them all to warm up to Beyonce's all the single ladies , me and my husband howled with laughter and i cannot listen to or watch this video without thinking of glee. This program is excellent and is a must TV on Monday nights on channel E4 or E4HD. Highly recommended but not for the younger audience.

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              25.05.2010 18:29
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              A brilliant show, really a lot of fun to watch. I know a lot of people won't like it though.

              Back in September 2009, a friend of mine from the States was rambling on about a new TV show that I would love, she begun to send me a few songs, and clips of the show on YouTube. I was impressed, it did look like something I would be interested in it, but at that point, there were rumours that we wouldn't get it here in the UK for a long time. Back in I believe about January 2010, I saw an advertisement on E4 for this show, and knew I would love it, so one Monday night, sat down to watch the first episode and really fell in love with the show.

              Set in Lima, Ohio in the United States, it's based around a high school where a teacher called Will Schuester decides to create another Glee club, which gives a 13 of these high-school kids a chance to live out their dreams of singing and performing. Episodes 1-13 show these kids, preparing for a competition called Sectionals, so they spend most of their time practising and learning new songs, whilst dealing with their own lives.

              The Creator of the show Ryan Murphy is not a new name in our house, for 2 years when I was A LOT younger, back in 1999-2001 we watched a show called Popular. I do know that there is every episode possible on YouTube of this show as I watched them again recently, and it's so similar to Glee it's ridiculous. They have even brought in recently a few episodes where Rachel tries to find her birth mother, again this happened in Popular, and was done very well. It also had the sexuality story running through it (Kurt), the worry about not being very beautiful (Mercedes) and of course the cheerleaders.

              It is very similar to Popular, but the reason why this show works where I think Popular failed is the fact that there is only so many stories they could have done in Popular, Murphy crammed so much into 2 years, that there didn't seem like there would be much more to happen, where is Glee will always be able to fall back on the music. Lets hope that Glee doesn't go the same way as Popular however, and end on a horrible cliff-hanger, lets hope for once that Fox who Broadcasts this show in America, are for once smart enough to keep this brilliant show on air, because I would bet a lot of money on the fact that this is bringing in the big bucks for them.

              The characters of this show are just exceptional, there are a few people on the show that just seem to be there for harmonies and dancing, but the main portion of the cast all seem to have exceptional voices and are amazing actors. The protagonist of the show is called Rachel Berry, and she is played by the brilliant Lea Michele. Rachel has known she was destined from stardom since she was a baby, she's very talented and very ambitious, however seems to annoy a lot of people due to this. Her vocals are just out of this world, she gives us the most amount of solos and rightly so, because she seems to be able to take most songs, and make them amazing.

              The next character I should talk about is Finn played by Cory Monteith, he hasn't got the best voice in my opinion, but his vocals have matured a lot as the show has gone on. He shouldn't ever be allowed to dance however. Kurt played by Chris Colfer is another brilliant character, with his soprano voice and him trying to overcome his sexuality it's another brilliant character. My favourite is Puck played by Mark Salling, even with his dodgy Mohican, he doesn't get enough solos, but he is a joy to watch.

              Artie played by Kevin McHale is another awesome character, Artie is wheelchair bound, but has probably the best male vocal in the whole of the ground, it's very unique. Finally the next two people to talk about are Will Schuester played by Matthew Morrison, he was a former Glee member himself, and wants to help these kids. A great character.

              The best character however has to be Sue Sylvester played by the brilliant Jane Lynch. She plays the tough cheerleading coach. She is very tough and in every episode she delivers the best lines, cutting down these poor kids. What is nice to see however, is the scenes with her Down's syndrome sister, it shows a very touching side to this usually brutal woman.

              The music is the main portion of the show, and boy do they not disappoint. They cover around 5 songs every episode, and except from a few duds, most seem to be absolutely brilliant, and a few are even better than the original. They have really hired some of the most talented young people for this show, and the show allows all of them to show off their vocals in some way or another, with many different genres of music.

              They have covered many songs, from Aerosmith's 'Dream On', to Bonnie Tyler's 'Total Eclipse Of The Heart' to All American Rejects 'Give You Hell'. Like I said before, some songs just don't work, but most do and I have a lot of CD's in my car dedicated to this wonderful show. Along with the hit television show, most of the songs end up on albums and all of them end up on ITunes, with a lot of them getting put into the Top 40 here in the UK. Most songs work brilliantly on the albums but there are a few which you need to watch on YouTube to understand the brilliance of the show. They are when the Football team preformed Single Ladies on the football pitch, when Sue Sylvester made a version of the video of Vogue by Madonna and when she also recreated the video Physical with Olivia Newton John.

              Like I said before, they cover lots of different types of songs, the show has become so popular that a lot of artists are handing out their songs to the show, for free, Rihanna gave them the songs quite cheaply and Madonna even granted them the rights to her whole catalogue for the special episode.

              As well as artists loving the show a lot of actors and big named stars love the show as well. I believe they have just finished filming the first season, and there are so many big names already in the show and I'm sure in Season 2 the number will be even bigger. Here are some of the amazing guest stars on the show so far:

              Neil Patrick Harris
              Idina Menzel
              Jonathan Groff
              Kristin Chenoweth
              Olivia Newton John
              Josh Groban

              To show you a perfect example of the target audience of this show, you just have to look at my family. We're not big musical fans, I am the only one that really enjoys watching musicals, but my mum, younger sister and even my nan all love this show, and tune in every week. It's aimed at everyone, sure their main fan base is people around my sisters age to my age (15-19 year olds), but anyone who has an interest in music of any kind will probably love this show.

              ==========
              Final Note
              ==========

              The show has such a charm about it, it is really hard not to be pulled in every week to watch it, the joy that is portrayed on the show and the music they have covered is just infectious and even when I'm writing this review, I have on the soundtrack, and it's a joy to listen to. Apparently they have just been picked up for another two seasons, so we have a definite two more years after Season 1 has ended of Glee.

              The show is very funny, the music is excellent and they really have some of the most talented people in the show. If you have yet to see Glee, then please give it a chance. It is currently always on if you have E4, but the new episodes air every Monday at 9:00pm. If you don't have E4 then you can check it out on a Friday night on C4 and then again on a Sunday afternoon.

              Hope this helps.

              (C) Kirsty 2010

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                24.05.2010 22:14
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                Sing along fun!

                Hi I'm 27 years old and I'm a Gleek.

                Glee is a programme currently running on E4 (you can catch up with this on 4od online). Glee is based on a US High School singing group. The group is made up of various individuals from all walks of life. They are brought together by their love of music and singing.

                This is a really feel good programme. The kids in the group all have their own personal struggles (a pregnant teenage cheerleader, teenage wheelchair user, gay boy trying to gain the acceptance of his father) which we learn about and see them trying to get on with their lives.

                There is always a huge selection of songs sung during the shows. And these are always connected in some way or another to what is happening in the episode we are watching. So they aren't just sung randomly for no reason. We also get an insight into the teachers lives as well and some of these (Sue Sylvester) are so funny whereas others are really touching.

                The singing is really good, I have even bought the second Glee album (of which there are 3!). A few weeks ago there was a Madonna episode where all of the songs sung were covers of Madonna songs. The songs and the quality of singing are the reasons I enjoy this programme so much. However, the way the pupils all lean on each other is also very heart warming.

                If you haven't watched Glee yet what are you waiting for!

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                  24.05.2010 15:39
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                  Great new TV series

                  Glee is an American musical comedy-drama television series that aired in America first and now show on E4 and Channel 4. It's a very new drama that only started last year and there have teen nineteen episodes so far. Plans to continue it though are well underway as it has proved very popular for many viewers out there. The show focuses on a high school glee club called 'New Directions' set at the fictional school of William McKingley High School in Lima, Ohio. I have watched a few episodes now and have found it highly entertaining if not a little cheesy at times and the music is catchy and upbeat which adds to the enjoyment.

                  The club that this drama centres around at the school are fighting to win a competition and the respect of other students. They are desperately trying to win over the others in the school as it's not perceived as particulary cool to be in the club and it's an ongoing battle to change people's perceptions of them.

                  Matthew Morrison is superb as the Spanish teacher, Will Schuester who takes over the running of the club in the first episode and has his work cut out controlling it and stopping it from being cut by the headteacher. He was in a winning Glee club when he was a student and wants these kids now to have the same feeling he did back then.

                  Every week we get a different story told from the perspective of one of the main characters in the show which is a great variation. The show tackles some in depth issues too like sexuality and teenage pregnancy so has a tough side to it too.

                  One of the main reasons I like this so much is because whatever drama unfolds, it's told in a light-hearted way that is made even more funny and heartwarming by the fact that there is the music in between.

                  If you've not seen this show yet you should do as it's both funny and dramatic and will make you laugh and feel sad.

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                  24.05.2010 14:30
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                  Great Series for all ages!

                  Glee

                  Yes I like many millions of people across the world would probably consider myself a "gleek". Generally I'm not a massive fan of musicals but since glee I have been hooked on all of the tracks featured in the show as well as many other musical gems!

                  The Cast
                  The Glee cast is complete with the typical American stereotyped high school "geek" crowd and fox ensures each minority is also present for political correctness (like most shows these days are morally obliged to do). Aside from this my opinion of the cast is very high, all of them have incredible voices particularly Lea Michele (Rachel Berry) who carries many of the vocals throughout the show.

                  Cast list and brief descriptions:
                  Dianna Agron - Quinn Fabray "The typical cheerleader of the school with the "jock" boyfriend, as well as head of the celibacy club. She finds herself in the glee club after feeling threatened by Rachel's advances on Quinn, later in the series when she discovers she is carrying a child ruining her high school reputation she feels more at home in the glee club"
                  Chris Colfer - Kurt Hummel " Stereotypical Gay character but a very lovable character who discovers himself and opens up to his father (Burt Hummel - Mike O' Malley) throughout the series"
                  Jessalyn Gilsig - Terri Schuester "Mr Schuester's (Matthew Morrison) other half"
                  Jane Lynch - Sue Sylvester "Gym Teacher and head of the 'cheerios'. When Glee Club returns by Will Schuester's intervention the budget for her cheerios is under threat, because of this a strong competitive rivalry is formed between the pair which often leaves one or the other in a compromising position"
                  Jayma Mays - Emma Pillsbury "OCD Freak school councilor, who may have a small soft spot for Will Schuester..."
                  Kevin McHale - Artie Abrams "A founding member of the glee club Artie may be bound by his wheelchair but he sure can sing and dance.."
                  Lea Michele - Rachel Berry "The world revolves around her at least she thinks it does, at the heart of glee club Rachel wants to be the lead of every song and the centre stage. Her character initially sparks sympathy from the audience but the storyline's make you take a second opinion of her."
                  Cory Monteith - Finn Hudson "Typical jock dating head cheerleader scenario, Finn takes the lead male role in glee club after being blackmailed to join the club to make the club 'cool'"
                  Matthew Morrison - Will Schuester "Spanish Teacher at McKinley High, who takes over the glee club"
                  Amber Riley - Mercedes Jones "Stereotypical character again Mercedes takes on all of the powerful soul music, she joined the glee club to because she felt like an outcast due to her above size zero weight"
                  Mark Salling - Noah "Puck" Puckerman "A leader of the jocks, typical tough guy character who can sing (good co-incidence) and joins glee club to get the attention of the cheerios and other women"
                  Jenna Ushkowitz - Tina Cohen-Chang "Tina joined glee club because of her stutter which made her different, but later we discover this was just a front."
                  Naya Rivera - Santana Lopez "Top cheerio, girlfriend of Puck and Finn and has been with most of the guys at McKinley High you get the impression"
                  Heather Morris - Brittany "Another Cheerleader Sue has employed to spy on the glee club"
                  Dijon Talton - Matt Rutherford "Another Jock/Glee Club member"
                  Iqbal Theba - Principal Figgins
                  Harry Shum Jr. - Mike Chang "Another Jock/Glee Club member"
                  Jonathan Groff - Jesse St. James "Ex-vocal adrenaline lead Jesse moves to McKinley to follow his love for New Directions lead Rachel Berry"
                  Patrick Gallagher - Ken Tanaka "Football coach"
                  Romy Rosemont - Carole Hudson "Finn's Mum"
                  Mike O'Malley - Burt Hummel "Kurt's Dad"
                  Kristin Chenoweth - April Rhodes "Will Schuester's old school friend who used to be part of her show choir back in the day"

                  Other Cast Include:
                  Kent Avenido - Howard Bamboo
                  Josh Sussman - Jacob Ben Israel
                  Stephen Tobolowsky - Sandy Ryerson
                  Max Adler - Dave Karofsky
                  James Earl - Azimio
                  Idina Menzel - Shelby Corcoran
                  Jennifer Aspen - Kendra Giardi
                  Bill A. Jones - Rod Remington
                  Lauren Potter - Becky Jackson
                  Rachael Markarian - Cheerio
                  Hayley Holmes - Liz Schneider
                  Eve - Grace Hitchens

                  (Help from IMDB)

                  Brief Synopsis:
                  Without giving too much away the plot is lead by stories of essentially make ups and break ups. With in the Road to Sections the lead storyline being that of Quinn's baby and Terri Schuester's fake pregnancy. The Road to the Nationals which is currently being played on screen in the UK features storylines which aid the development of some of the smaller characters in the first section. With Kurt and Finn's parents becoming intimate Kurt faces problems on a personal level as his dad chooses Finn over him to take to the game. Whilst in the glee club Rachel is facing more boy trouble even now she bagged Finn. The other characters each have their own which you will have to watch Glee to fine out about!! Although some of the storyline's are relative to the audience the characters are very stereotypical but this only adds to the American Fox TV shows we all know and love.

                  The Music:
                  The Glee cast have amazing vocals and featured in many episodes are well known singers such as Olivia Newton John. The show also stars two members of the Broadway cast of Wicked "Kristin Chenoweth" and "Idina Menzel" and is almost guaranteed to feature more and more famous faces as the series continues. The cast have released 4 albums:

                  - Glee Volume 1
                  - Glee Volume 2
                  - Glee Volume 3 Musical Showstoppers
                  - Glee The Power of Madonna

                  All of which are available in store and online for approximately £10 with except to the Madonna album which is generally around £5 as it features fewer songs. These albums feature the chart topping "Don't Stop Believing" (Vol.1), "Defying Grafity" (Vol.1), "Imagine" (Vol.2), "Like a Prayer" (Power of Madonna) and "Hello Goodbye" (Vol.3). In my opinion all of the above and those on these cover albums all do the songs full justice and are great records in their own rights.

                  My Opinion:
                  I love Glee as it is a great show with an incredibly talented cast. Every week there are new songs and musical gems that bring back all of the great music from the past decades. Although many people hate Glee, I think a general consensus would review it as great. If you would admit to liking High School Musical then you will love glee if you a fan of any music and like a good American series.

                  Price:
                  The first volume of Glee can be picked up for between £15 and £20 on the high street and online. The new series of Glee - The Road to Regionals is going to be available later on this year date TBC. I think it is completely worth the cash as with 13 episodes and special extras you can't really say no!

                  Showing on E4 every Monday night at 9pm (GMT) and again on E4 +1 at 10pm (GMT) it is also on every Friday night on Channel 4 at 9pm (GMT) on Friday and again on Channel 4 +1 at 10pm (GMT)

                  I would recommend this to anyone and everyone I hope you have enjoyed my review!

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                    11.05.2010 15:50
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                    A must see

                    Glee is the latest American hit tv show to come across to the UK and has really taken the airwaves by storm. it is shown on E4 on a monday at 9pm and is in the second part of Season 1 at the moment.

                    I am a huge musical theatre fan and so it is natural that I would love this show, but I think loads of people who aren't love it as well and it is really helping to continue the exposure of the masses to muscial theatre.

                    It is based on a group of high school students in America who are part of the Glee club which is basically a club that competes in singing and dancing competitions. They are a group of misfits with geeks, a guy in a wheelchair, different races and also some jocks. The series follows their life at school, their various love lives and relationships and also the lives of their teachers. The teacher in charge of the club is Mr Shuester played by Matthew Morrison and I think he is absolutely fab. He tries to help the kids whilst going through a lot of personal problems himself!

                    His arch nemesis is Sue Sylvester who is a witty cynical cheerleading coach who wants to do everything to bring the Glee Club down.

                    Each week they continue the story line on and there are usually at least three songs in the episode ranging from Musical theatre to things like Madonna, with loads of 'mash up' medleys. The show also has some big guest starts from the musical theatre world such as Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth.

                    All the characters are great, the singing on the whole is excellent and the jokes really funny.

                    A must see!

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                      25.04.2010 15:22
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                      Give it a try

                      Glee is the fairly new television series from American which everyone is talking about. Not just for teens it is something the whole family can watch.

                      The general principles are quite simple: it follows a high school 'glee' club (which is basically a singing club) as they compete and try to win and their general day to day high school struggles, such as relationships.
                      Each week there are a mix of update songs from a range of decades from Journey's Don't Stop Believing, Madonna and Beyonce tracks.
                      It is easy to watch tv at its best and I find it uplifting.

                      You have may have heard the name 'Gleeks'- this refers to fans of the show and I have to confess I am a Gleek! I would recommend it to anyone who likes 'cheesy' tv, singing/ popular music and a bit of fun tv without mega dramas.

                      There are a number of characters in the show, both students, teachers and a few others, but I won't spoil it for you- just give one episode a try and see what you think!.

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                      15.04.2010 11:33
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                      I love it

                      As a parent that has been forced by my daughter to watch High School Musical many times, I had little desire to watch Glee when I first saw the commercials popping up on TV. I ignored it, but noticed that various mums in the school playground kept talking about it . These were grown women - SANE grown women, and they seemed to be loving it . I decided to watch an episode, and from that moment I was hooked!

                      Glee centres on Spanish teacher Will Schuester, and his attempt to revive the failing glee club. As a former glee clubber himself, he remembers the glory days when they were great - but alas, those days are long gone, and Will finds himself with a small bunch of talented, but wildly unpopular kids. He also finds himself the target of Cheerios coach Sue Sylvesters anger, as her cheerleading budget is cut to fund the Glee club. Can will find enough talented and enthusiastic people to make the glee club great again, or will Sue's attempts to sabotage him succeed. And what will his passion for the glee club do to his marriage? Not to mention the teenage glee members have their own set of problems.

                      One of the best things about Glee for me is that each character is so very different from the others , and each has two sides. Take Sue Sylvester, the cheerleading coach. She's tough, she's brutal, she takes no prisoners - but we also get glimpses of her vulnerable side too . She's lonely, she lacks romance, and underneath that tough exterior she has a hidden mushy side. Not that we get to see this side often, but when we do it's a touching little glimpse.

                      Other characters include Rachel, the talented and ambitious drama queen, Kurt, the effeminate shy guy, Artie- a wheelchair bound guy with a knack for guitars, Tina the stutterer, and Emma, the hygeine obsessed guidance counsellor. I haven't described any of these in depth, but they all have something distinctive.

                      One of the good things about making the characters so different is that the show manages to lightly touch on all manner of issues that normal teenagers face - the worry of coming out to friends and relatives for instance, or the struggle to balance different interests . Teen pregnancy makes an appearance in the show too, and like any teen show, there's plenty of flirting, sighing over crushes, and sexual innuendo - but, it's all done quite innocently and humourously.

                      The cast all do their own singing and dancing ,and I have to say I am blown away by how talented they all are, tackling a wide range of songs from some classic soul numbers to some more recent R&B. Particular highlights so far in the series for me included the footballers, complete with padding and helmets, prancing across the field singing Beyonce's 'All the single ladies'. I rolled about laughing at that one, but not all the songs are placed for comedy - a lot of the time they are used to demonstrate the way the group or members of it are feeling at the time , such as the excellent rendition by Mercedes of 'I bust the windows on your car' when she is rejected by Kurt. I've found myself singing along on more than one occasion, and I've also occasionally found myself wiping away a tear.

                      A teen show wouldn't be complete without it's heartwarming moments, and I think one of the long running themes throughout the first series so far has been the importance of being yourself, accepting yourself, and of having good friends . Its great watching all these vastly different teens slowly start pulling together as a group rather than individuals.

                      Overall, I think the show is funny, entertaining, and refreshing, with excellent music and dance routines throughout . I don't think it will appeal to everyone, and I would say that some of the themes might make parents want to watch this before allowing younger teens to, just in case . However, I do think a lot of people will enjoy it, and it's well worth a watch . I'm addicted, 5 stars .

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                        14.04.2010 19:49
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                        If you haven't watched this yet, you have been seriously missing out!!!

                        This programme has literally become my obsession since it was first shown in the UK, I cannot understand how anyone doesn't like it. The mixture of song and dance with serious but cleverly convincing storylines has you hooked right from the very beginning. I love all things musical so this was the perfect programme for me, they have used so many modern and well known old songs that you can't help but sing along when they are played. I think that the casting of the characters couldn't be more spot on and they are all so full of talent that it is practically bursting off of my screen with every episode I watch. It is nice to have some eye candy in the forms of Puck and Finn, which make every episode just that little easier to watch. It actually really makes me want to form a Glee Club of my own, in the hope that I might find my very own Puck or Finn :D
                        Many of the versions of the songs that have been featured and sung on Glee have made their way into our charts and although comparisons have been made, there is no possible way that they can compete with the originals. As stand alone songs they are musically gifted and I will definitely be buying the both albums as well as the DVD.

                        *The Characters and their Storylines*
                        Rachel Berry (played by Lea Michele) is an over achieving, slightly pretentious, starry eyed individual who always strives (and believes!!) that she is the best performer in existence. She has two gay dads who fully support her in every dance and singing competition she sees fit to enter, ever since her first win at three months old. She is constantly bullied for her belief in her talent as it makes her seem extremely self-centred and a touch nerdy but the continual Slushie facials don't seem to stop her motivation to be the very best and the lead. Despite all of this you actually get real insight into her feelings and emotions and become to realise that she is just holding out hope for a dream that could possibly come true. Her determination and motivation are encouraging and her voice is absolutely amazing and flawless. As she is a lead character the creators have seen fit to develop her into a wholesome individual and show every side of her, not just the over-achiever. Her only problem is that she is totally in love with Finn and at the beginning he tends to not even know her name, until he joins Glee Club and sees her for who she is. All of her storylines revolve around her singing talent and the fact that she feels she should be the lead in all the songs they want to perform at sectionals as well as her constant battle with her feelings for Finn and how she has to deal with them without alienating everyone (when she tells Finn the baby isn't his, she has completely selfish motives, believing that he will finally want to be with her).

                        Finn Hudson (played by Cory Monteith) is the star quarterback and all round heartthrob of McKinley High. He is smarter than most of the other footballers you see portrayed in typical teen series and has boyish good looks that have most of the girls swooning. The fun part is that he is discovered by Mr Schuster singing in the showers in the boy's locker room and hence becomes part of Glee Club as the lead male vocal. This puts him in contact with Rachel, who obviously falls for him and believes that they would make a wonderful couple. However, all through series one he is completely in love with Quinn Fabray, the head cheerleader and all round American girl. The only thing Finn can't do is dance well...at all. He is gawky and awkward and a laugh to watch but it makes him all the more loveable as a character, it is nice to see he isn't polished like some male leads tend to be. Unfortunately for Finn he finds out that his girlfriend Quinn is pregnant (even though they haven't slept together) and makes plans for the baby, before finding out from Rachel that the baby is actually Puck's, his best friend on the football squad. This causes him to face the dilemma head on and decide what he must do about Glee Club, luckily choosing to help them out at sectionals when their set list gets copied by the other competitors.

                        Quinn Fabray (played by Dianna Agron) is the head cheerleader and queen of the Abstinence (Celibacy) Club. She is more popular than any other girl and is seen to be quite terrifying as she seemingly holds a lot of power within the school. Quinn is especially unliked by those in the Glee Club whom she throws scorn upon whenever she encounters them in the hallways of McKinley High. This is until she discovers she is pregnant at 16 by Puck after a one night stand, before realising that her popularity and relationship with Finn is on the edge of breaking if the truth is revealed. Her worst fears are confirmed when she is thrown off the Cheerios cheerleading squad by Sue Sylvester on suspicion of being pregnant and thrown out of her house by her parents after Finn sings the truth at a dinner. The only people she has to turn to are those in the Glee Club until Rachel tells Finn the truth and he ends their relationship.

                        Mr Schuster (played by Matthew Morrison) is the only person who wholeheartedly believes in McKinley High's Glee Club. He himself is said to have been in the Glee Club back in 1993 and was destined for great things as a performer but puts all those dreams on hold to marry his high school sweetheart and become a Spanish teacher. When the current Glee Club coach gets fired for his indiscretions towards the pupils, Mr Schuster steps in and saves the day, reinventing the Glee Club as the "New Directions" and reliving his dream of singing and dancing. This does, however, put a strain upon his marriage as his wife disagrees with his decision. Mr Schuster is obviously in love with the guidance counsellor at the school but restrains himself because of his marriage and his love for his wife. Upon sensing this, his wife Terri Schuster (played by Jessalyn Gilsig) concocts a story about a fake pregnancy, she is told it is a hysterical pregnancy (because she wants a baby to fix her marriage) and fools him into thinking she is pregnant. This continues for most of the first series, with her trying to buy Quinn's baby as well as wearing fake pregnancy stomachs and getting the DVD of the scan of Quinn's baby to use when Mr Schuster goes to an antenatal scan with her. Terri is eventually rumbled by Mr Schuster who gets angry and tells her to get out, leaving him a broken man, but free to move towards the guidance counsellor Emma.

                        Sue Sylvester (played by Jane Lynch) is the arch nemesis of Mr Shuster, who is constantly trying to get the Glee Club shut down, especially when she loses three of her cheerleaders (including head cheerleader Quinn Fabray) to the club. She is seen as ruthless and pure evil, with continual put downs for Mr Schuster and her never-ending meddling proves to be a sore point for the Spanish teacher and his club. Mr Schuster and Sue are always getting into confrontations in front of both the staff and the students, which never makes either seem overly favourable. Sue is forever putting her cheerleaders on a mission to spy and infiltrate the Glee Club with the intention of shutting it down to get back the money used so that she can put it towards the Cheerios. During one episode, Sue organises it so that she becomes the co-director of Glee Club, effectively splitting the group when she takes the "minorities" to make her own club. When Sue allows a Down Syndrome girl to replace Quinn, you wonder about her motives, until you are shown that she also has a Down Syndrome sister, giving an insight into a softer side of her character.

                        Emma Pillsbury (played by Jayma Mays) is the guidance counsellor at McKinley High, with a severe case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and huge crush on Mr Schuster. She is old-fashioned in her ways and frightened of anything that could have contact with germs, often shown through her rigorous cleaning of various foodstuffs and random surfaces. Emma spends most of series one completely in love with Mr Schuster, though she knows there is absolutely no hope for a romance as he is married with a baby (albeit a fake one) on the way. She instead settles for the coach of the football team, Ken Tanaka (played by Patrick Gallagher) who himself has been in love with her for an extremely long time. Although she doesn't like Ken touching her or being near her, she accepts his proposal of marriage as the one she really wants is out of her reach. Upon realising that he will never be the only one of her affections Ken stands Emma up at the altar leaving her free and single at the precise moment that Mr Schuster is. This leads to the romantic display of Mr Schuster running through the corridors of McKinley High just so he can kiss her before she leaves his life forever.

                        Noah "Puck" Puckerman (played by Mark Salling) is Finn's best friend and fellow football player who is also in love with Quinn. He is known to be the bad boy of McKinley High who won't play by the rules, not least because he had a one night stand with Quinn in which she fell pregnant. Puck is a pool cleaner in his spare time after school and is renowned for his sexual antics with the kept women of the houses he visits as well as being the main culprit for all the Slushie facials that the Glee Club are given. Despite his feelings for Quinn, Puck is unable to keep himself from chasing any of the girls within the cheerleading squad, which lands him in hot water with Quinn as it is obvious she has feelings for him too. At one point Puck thinks Finn is an absolute fool for joining the Glee Club and treats him as one of the enemy before realising that it might not be that bad leading to him joining. Puck briefly dates Rachel during one episode after his mother persuades him to find a nice Jewish girl to go out with. However, it doesn't work as Puck is in love with Quinn and Rachel has feelings for Finn. Puck confides in Mercedes (played by Amber Riley) that he is the father of Quinn's child after hearing her discussing it with other members of the Glee Club and is told to leave her to be with Finn. Throughout the series Puck is seen trying to persuade Quinn that he would make a good father to their baby when compared to Finn, so that she doesn't have to give the baby away.

                        Kurt Hummel (played by Chris Colfer) is the ultra fashionable but extremely gay character who is also in love with Finn Hudson. Kurt is fully aware that Rachel is also in love with Finn and does everything in his power to sabotage her by giving her the wrong advice and a disastrous makeover. He is used to his constant taunts and Slushie facials from the football team over his impeccable dress sense as is often seen being thrown in the bins outside of McKinley High. Kurt hasn't told his father, who is very masculine and into cars and fishing, he is gay nor in the Glee Club and tells him that he is actually on the football team. Knowing this his father requests that he get him a seat so he can watch him play next game. The race is then on to become part of the football team and participate in one of their games in order to prove that he is like his father. Kurt is only able to kick the ball through the post with the help of Single Ladies by Beyonce, after which he can kick the ball for miles. Upon doing this, Ken Tanaka has the whole team practice dance moves in order to loosen them up and make them play better (and maybe even make them win a game!). At the game, the football team win thanks to the help of Kurt and the Glee Club's routine to Single Ladies and of course Kurt's father is extremely proud of his son. After the game and back at home, Kurt's father comes to congratulate him and tell him that his dead mother would be proud of him, leading to Kurt finally confessing to his father that he is actually gay. He is surprised to hear that his father has known for a very long time and accepts him and loves him no matter what his sexuality, leading to a profound moment for Kurt.

                        Mercedes Jones (played by Amber Riley) is the one character with a voice to rival Rachel's, though she is constantly given the back-up parts to sing, much to her annoyance. Though she acts like a diva, she has a sensitive side and becomes slightly infatuated with Kurt, due to some meddling from cheerleaders in the Glee Club. When he rejects her because of his sexuality and tells her the truth she becomes his confidante and support.

                        Artie Abrams (played by Kevin McHale) is the only disabled, wheelchair-bound member of the Glee Club with a love of guitar. In series one the audience find out that he has been in his wheelchair since he was 8 years of age due to a car accident that meant he lost the use of his legs. Artie finds comfort in his friend Tina Cohen-Chang (played by Jenna Ushkowitz) whom is sometimes crippled by a severe stutter. Upon finding out that Tina lied about having a speech impediment he feels betrayed and leaves her standing alone in the corridor.

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                          10.04.2010 19:02
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                          A great mix of comedy, drama and music for all ages.

                          I remember seeing the adverts for this new show 'Glee' that was arriving fresh from high praise in America, to be aired on E4 here in the UK, and I knew straight from the off that I had to see this show! Those 30 second teaser clips on the ads for the few weeks leading up to the first episode were enough to whet my appetite and leave me wondering what on earth I was letting myself in for with this all singing, all dancing, fierce beast of a show. I knew, just from those adverts, that I was going to love it!

                          The story behind the show 'Glee':
                          Based at the William McKinley High School, enthusiastic Spanish teacher Will Schuester ( or Mr.Schue to me, you, and the members of Glee) takes over the failing Glee club, becoming its new director, with full intent to restore the schools' club back to its former glory. But will it really be that easy? With only a handful of poles apart members and a lack of interest from the school pupils and teachers alike, does Will have what it takes to recruit more members into the Glee club and encourage them to shine like the stars he knows they are?

                          So what is 'Glee'? Well, it just so happens that 'Glee' is a high school club that showcases the talent of singers and dancers. A 'show choir' if you will. Much like those choirs that we are forced to join by our music teachers in school, but with added pizazz!

                          When you think of Glee, you instantly think back to the likes of Disney's 'High School Musical' and that old school classic, 'Grease'. Glee does take elements from each of these, but combines them in a way so as not to be copycat. Glee brings something new, fresh and up to date to the table and keeps enjoyment open to any age. Even if you're not one for the extreme chedder cheesiness that musicals or sing-song movies bring to the table, Glee could be just the right amount of cheese for you to enjoy!

                          Aside from the singing and dancing, Glee is in fact a comedy-drama. With enough explosive plot twists and character relations to sink a battle ship, and enough hilarious one liners and tongue in cheek scenes to keep your quote-of-the-day filled for the next few years, Glee mixes the right amount of laugh out loud comedy with a generous dash of edge-of-your-seat drama to keep the masses coming back for more.

                          Each episode of Glee runs for around the 45 minute mark (not including ad breaks), and each minute is filled with powerhouse vocals, show stopping tunes, window busting drama and a whole dash of fierce plot twists. The intertwining stories beind and attached to each character is enough to keep you wanting more throughout, and after, the 45 minute run time is up.

                          The individual characters within, and surrounding, the Glee club are as follows:

                          Will Schuester: The one that started it all. Not only a resident Spanish teacher at the William McKinley High School, but the 'heart and soul' and director of the Glee club. Married to Terri.

                          Rachel Berry: The one with all the talent. A promising, talented, enthusiastic and at times demanding young jewish woman, brought up by her two Fathers to believe that she can be a star. Unashamedly in love with Finn.

                          Finn Hudson: Quarterback for the William McKinley High football team, and popular Glee hunk. Dating Quinn, and believes he is the Father to her unborn child. Adored by Rachel and Kurt alike.

                          Sue Sylvester: Ruthless 'Cheerios' dictator. The cheerleading squad coach at William McKinley High. Takes no prisoners. Suffers no fools. Says it like it is. Will do anything within, and beyond, her power to ruin the Glee club. Definitely not one to be messed with!

                          Emma Pillsbury: The guidance counselor for McKinley High. Has an obsessive fear of germs, old fashioned sensibilities and a school-girl crush on Will..

                          Kurt Hummel: Camp as a row of pink tents and as fierce as Tyra Banks. The Glee clubs resident gay, with a passion for fashion. Raised single handedly by his manly man Father after his Mother passed away. Has a secret, undying love for quarterback Finn.

                          Quinn Fabray: Head of the Cheerios. Girlfriend to McKinley High's quarterback, Finn. President of the schools' celibacy club, and pregnant at 16. The most popular, and feared girl in school.

                          Terri Schuester: Irritating and manipulative wife of Will. Faking her own pregnancy to keep her marriage to Will ongoing. Planned to adopt Quinn's baby and pass it off as her own.

                          Artie Abrams: Paralyzed from the waist down and wheelchair bound after a car accident, but anything than lacking in confidence. Knows how to strum a mean riff on the guitar during Glee sessions.

                          Mercedes Jones: Fierce, sassy and super talented. Definitely the biggest voice in the Glee club when given half a chance to shine. Knows how to belt out the divalicious tunes and never fails to hit all those powerhouse notes.

                          Noah 'Puck' Puckerman: Mohawked, football bad boy. Famed at McKinley High for getting lucky with 'cougars' and throwing slushies in the faces of those that are less popular than himself. Finn's best friend and real father to Quinn's baby.

                          Tina Cohen-Chang: Shy and insecure, but not to be underestimated. Can hold her own in a Glee solo and sets herself apart with her individual style and streaked hair. Has feelings for good friend Artie.

                          Santana Lopez: Resident Cheerio and spy for Sue. Was made to join Glee by Sue to report back on the workings of the club. Admitedly enjoys Glee for what it is. 1/3 of the love triangle between Puck and Quinn.

                          Brittany: Less than bright Cheerio and spy for Sue. Infiltrated Glee club along with Santana and Quinn in Sue's attempt to break up the club. One of the best dancers Glee has.

                          Ken Tanaka: Coach of the football team. Only has eyes for Emma. Has his heart set on getting the girl no matter how much she refuses.

                          Principal Figgins: The man at the top. Constantly has Will and Sue in his office whilst they argue amongst themselves and fight it out for control of the Glee club.

                          Die hard fans of the show have now adopted the title of 'Gleek' - yes that is 'Glee' and 'Geek' rolled into one. Fans of the show span a huge age range, and it is a well know fact that both young and old alike are thoroughly enjoying and tuning in week upon week to watch the most popular show of the year!

                          The songs used in the show span decades, combining good old classics with up to date new chart toppers. From belting out to heart felt lyrics of Journey's 'Don't Stop Believing' to wiggling your way into the football team with a step for step rendition of Beyonce's 'Single Ladies', Glee has it all! The songs used within the episodes are relevant to the characters and storylines within each episode and do not exclude any music fan as each song used is well known and loved. Glee is also known to produce 'mash ups' in its episodes - a fusion of two songs, generally one old and one new, to create a new, ridiculously catchy rendition that will have you tapping your toes and singing along.

                          - - -

                          In my opinion, Glee is absolutely superb! I'm not really a great fan of the likes of High School Musical, but I can be a bit of a sucker for most things 'all singing, all dancing', and this drama filled tv series has managed to keep me entertained without having to try too hard.

                          Character-wise, I think they are all interesting in their own ways, with their individual quirks and talents and their intertwining storylines. Each character has been well written and created to enable us to relate to on a personal level, or for us to think 'yeah I know/knew someone like that at school!'. The roles that have been cast can come across as somewhat stereotypical - the overachiever, the popular guy, the camp best friend, the always hopeful teacher - however, these character roles are, for me, definitely ones I can relate to, or look around and know of people I know, and knew, and relate each character to them. Each individual member of the Glee show has a lot to offer, and although there are the 'main' character roles, the other characters do not fall into the distance as background characters, they each stand up in episodes to take the limelight and make the show their own. Now, who's your favourite?

                          Unlike a lot of tv series' that have been shipped onto our British tv screens from America, Glee is rather more believable, which for me, makes it more enjoyable. Sometimes, popular American shows can grind to a dissapointing halt when they are aired here in the UK, due to the content of the show being somewhat rather 'out of this world' and over emphasised to the point of being completey irritating. However, Glee seems to have caught on quickly here in the UK with the young and the old alike. There is something in the storylines that almost everyone can relate to, and although a lot of people may not like the cheesey singing and dancing, they can enjoy the show for its exciting plot twists and ever explosive drama!

                          The only downside I have with Glee is not with the show itself, but with the editing. At some points in the show, the actors mouths are a little out of time with the songs, which can be somewhat distracting and make the show look cheap. This minor hiccup is a bit of a shame really, as each individual cast member sings their own parts for the show. The out of sync editing sometimes makes it look like the characters voices have been dubbed during the singing sequences, which can detract from the actual real talent these young actors and actresses have. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this will hopefully be addressed and be fixed in the future episodes.

                          - - -

                          Cast List:

                          Lea Michele ... Rachel Berry
                          Matthew Morrison ... Will Schuester
                          Jane Lynch ... Sue Sylvester
                          Jayma Mays ... Emma Pillsbury
                          Cory Monteith ... Finn Hudson
                          Chris Colfer ... Kurt Hummel
                          Dianna Agron ... Quinn Fabray
                          Jessalyn Gilsig ... Terri Schuester
                          Kevin McHale ... Artie Abrams
                          Amber Riley ... Mercedes Jones
                          Mark Salling ... Noah 'Puck' Puckerman
                          Jenna Ushkowitz ... Tina Cohen-Chang
                          Naya Rivera ... Santana Lopez
                          Heather Morris ... Brittany
                          Patrick Gallagher ... Ken Tanaka
                          Iqbal Theba ... Principal Figgins

                          ** Also posted on Ciao under the username little_feets88 **

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                            30.03.2010 13:32
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                            Another good US import!

                            ***Please note that this is a review of Glee on E4 pace so the series hasn't yet finished at the time of me writing this***

                            If you're not familiar with Glee, it's an all-singing, all-dancing teen show from the States, which centres on the lives of the Glee club at McKinley High and is being shown on the e4 channel in the UK. From the previous sentence, you're probably envisaging a High School Musical style show but I'd describe it as more mature than that as there's a lot of quite amusing one-liners thrown in and it's as nicey-nicey as HSM. As a basic plot, their leader Mr Schuester (a Spanish teacher at the school and known as Mr Schue by the kids) is taking the Glee club to sectionals, where they'll compete against a range of other schools in a performing competition.

                            There's a good mix between the drama and the singing and each episode typically features at least one solo song (usually Rachel, but there have also been solos from Finn, Mercedes, Quinn, Tina and Puck, to name just a few) and at least one group number (the most well-known probably being the Glee version of Journey's Don't Stop Believin'). Every song featured in the show is a cover, often one that's had a more musical theatre twist put on it if Rachel is the lead, but otherwise it tends to be just a slightly different vocal interpretation and doesn't stray too far from the originals. Just to give you an idea of the range of songs featured in the show, there has been the likes of Take a Bow (Rihanna, sung by Rachel), And I'm Telling You ... (Jennifer Hudson, sung by Mercedes), Sweet Caroline (Neil Diamond, sung by Puck), Gold Digger (Kanye West, group number featuring Glee leader Mr Schue), Smile (Lily Allen, sung by Rachel and Finn) and Defying Gravity (Idina Menzel, sung by Rachel and Kurt both separately and together). Actress Kristin Chenowitz also made a guest appearance, singing Alone (Heart, duet with Mr Schue) and Maybe This Time.

                            ***THE CHARACTERS***
                            Most of the original members of the Glee club are what you might call the school 'misfits', in that they're not really all that popular and tend to be jeered at and picked on by the cooler students. The exceptions to that are Finn, Quinn (and the other cheerleaders, Brittany and Santana) but they also tend to be cut off by the rest of the school after having joined. I won't go into great detail about all of the characters as not all of them have a huge role and I don't want to give too much plot away but I'll dicuss a few of them:

                            RACHEL - Convinced that she's a star in the making, she often pushes herself to the front whenever there's a solo slot going - much to the annoyance of Mercedes, who is an equally good singer. She often sounds quite shrill to me in some of the songs, so I'm not sure why she is pushed forward so much but I guess that's a character thing. I'm not all that keen on her as she's a bit 'me, me, me' and can be a bit conniving at times. She's in love with Finn but resigns herself to not being able to have him due to Quinn's circumstances.

                            FINN - Was captain of the football team but now a fully paid-up member of Glee. He and Quinn are one of the coolest couples in school until he joins Glee and she worries that their popularity will go down the pan. I find him a bit dense at times (for example, thinking that fooling around in a hot tub with your clothes on means getting pregnant if there's no sex involved) but he's a likeable character in general, especially as the audience knows something about him and Quinn that he doesn't (I won't reveal that in case people want to watch the series on DVD or when it's repeated without knowing too much already). He's the lead male in the Glee club and shares a lot of vocals with Rachel.

                            QUINN - Was head cheerleader and originally joined Glee as a spy for 'Cheerios' coach, Sue, but gets roped in herself. I don't think I'm giving too much away if I say that she ends up leaving the cheerleading squad after falling pregnant as that happens early on in the series. As I mentioned in the Finn paragraph, she's holding a secret against Finn that probably should make her come across a bitch but I actually quite like her character as she seems quite sweet and genuinely torn. She was a couple of solos (Say a Little Prayer For Me, Papa Don't Preach and You Keep Me Holding On) but I wouldn't say that she's a particularly prominent member of the Glee club on the peformance side of things.

                            PUCK - Finn's best friend, but he's in on Quinn's secret. Like Finn, he was also a member of the football team but joins Glee. While he's a relatively big side role in the drama side of things, I can only remember him getting one solo so far (Sweet Caroline) so he's one of the members who's more in the background as far as singing and performing goes. He's another character that I quite like (despite the plot).

                            MERCEDES - Besides Rachel, the second female lead with solos including And I'm Telling You..., Proud Mary, Bust Your Windows and Hate On You. She has a bit of a rivalry going with Rachel and wants more lead vocals for herself. While she's quite heavily used in the singing side of things, her role in the drama side of things is considerably less.

                            MR SCHUESTER - The Glee club's leader and a teacher at the school, he was the task of leading the club to sectionals and hopefully winning the trophy. I like him as a character and have a lot of sympathy for him as a result of his wife, Teri, who he believes to be pregnant. He's very caring towards the kids and becomes a kind of mentor to them.

                            TERI - Will's wife, who he thinks is pregnant. She doesn't set out to play him as she genuinely believes that she is pregnant in the first episode but it turns out to be a 'hysterial pregnancy' and she can't bring herself to tell Will that they won't be having their much longer for baby after all so she keeps up the pretence, even trying to persuade Quinn to pass on her baby after its born! I get the impression that she's supposed to be a bit of a bitch but I found that storyline more amusing than anything.

                            EMMA - A guidance counsellor at the school and very much in love with Will. Knowing she can't have him, she agrees to marry Ken (who also works at the school) even though she can barely tolerate him as she's too scared to end up alone. She's a bit of a germ freak and eats her lunch with plastic gloves on.

                            SUE - The head coach of the 'Cheerios' (cheerleaders), which is in direct competition with the Glee club for funding so she uses her manipulative and vindictive streak to try to trip Mr Schue up so that she can have all of the funding. She's not all bad though as she's a very amusing character with a lot of clever one-liners.

                            Just as an aside about the songs featured in the show, they're available to buy individually on iTunes and Amazon for around 99p. You can buy the albums (volumes 1 and 2) which feature a lot of the tracks shown in series 1, but not all of the songs are on there. For example, the boys and girls mash-ups (It's My Life/Confessions and Halo/Walking on Sunshine) are only available individually.

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