If you enjoy the ChaliceBlog's bleeding-heart-smartass tone, then you should probably be watching "Glee." If you want to catch up, Hulu is keeping five trailing episodes. There have only been four episodes so far, so you should have two weeks to watch the first episode before they take it down.
Fellow fans of "Criminal Minds" will recognize beloved-by-CC character actress Jane Lynch, who plays Spencer's mother on Criminal Minds and does a wonderful job subtly sharing similar facial expressions and little mannerisms with the actor who plays Spencer*. Lynch is in Glee and is amazing as an evil cheerleading coach and has none of those little tics in this performance. Fellow fans of "Boston Legal" will know her as Alan's sex therapist.
I appreciate actors like Queen Latifah who can do a modern Falstaff thing and play essentially the same character over and over and always make it entertaining. Yet actresses like Jane Lynch and Alison Janney who can play vastly different characters in both serious and comic roles, just blow me away. One could argue that this is the baseline definition of "acting," but you don't see it all that much, at least not to the degree that Lynch and Janney can do it.
Anyway, Lynch is good stuff and the show is good stuff. Glee is both sarcastic and sweet and mixes those elements so masterfully that there are plenty of moments when you have no idea what is coming next or how a situation will turn out. It's very hard to surprise me with a plot twist, but Glee has done it. If there seems to be a critical mass of mean characters in the first couple of episodes, you should know that on Glee, as in life, a lot of mean people are that way because they are scared. Glee doesn't shy away from that and things calm down a bit by the third episode as the characters open up a bit and you start seeing their motivations for what they do.
Also, it's set at a high school. A lot of us were pretty mean then.
*I have literally never seen actors playing a parent and child who did this as perfectly as Jane Lynch and Matthew Gray Gubler do in these roles. That Lynch plays a schizophrenic, though a different sort than what I'm used to, makes this subtle playing up of the similarity between mother and son all the more poignant. Not to mention it does a very different riff on the "FBI agent and insightful mentally ill person" dynamic that has been imitated since "Silence of the Lambs" but never equaled.
I'll try it again from the beginning, but I really didn't care for the episode I saw (they buy the house they can't afford, they sing Gold Digger). I remember the cheerleading coach from the movie, "Role Models.". Her character in that was ... something else.
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