GLEE is a new TV show in which we realise why our education system sucks: nobody does their job.
Just The Facts
- Roughly 30 seconds of the entire pilot show any evidence of a GLEE adult doing their job.
- A major theme appears to be breaking the high school caste system. Original.
- Every character is extremely one-dimensional.
In Case You Live Under a Rock
Just on the off-chance you are the world's only internet-surfing Amish man (there would be an internet-surfing Amish woman, but she's too busy in the kitchen) and therefore don't know about ABC's newest pilot, GLEE, here's a quick overview: GLEE is a show about show choirs, affectionately referred to as "GLEE club". Nobody really knows why. I like to think it's because calling a club "mirth" is just stupid and calling a club "elation" is pompous.
You follow the exploits of six fun and zany kids who come from all walks of life and try to break down the social boundaries built into high school. Which is an entirely original concept. Perhaps riffing out on that creative wonder, GLEE ends with a duet between the jock who likes to sing, too, and the socially awkward girl.
Do You Even WORK Here?
Taking place in a high school, GLEE shows us some varied professionals at work. We see teachers, an administrator, the spouses of teachers, and I-don't-even-know-what-you-dos. Let's take a stroll through our line-up:
- Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison): Mr. Schuester is a Spanish teacher. The only reason we actually know this is because for about thirty seconds, we see him in Spanish class (he leaves) and in the very opening, he speaks Spanish to a student- who was otherwise occupied, dumping another student in a dumpster. Something Will managed to remain oblivious to. The rest of the pilot, all 43 minutes of it, is devoted to watching him struggle with his marriage and struggle with his failing attempts to revive the GLEE club that hadn't been great since he had been part of it when he was a student.
- Emma Pillsbury (Jayma Mays): Emma is a guidance counselor. I didn't actually even know that until I looked at IMDB to find out who played her. All we see her do on-screen is obsess with her mysophobia and crush on Will. And... yeah, that's it. We never even see her talk to a student, let alone guide or counsel them.
- Sue Sylvester and Ken Tanaka (Jane Lynch and Patrick Gallagher): I don't actually have any idea what these two do at the school. Ostensibly, they're coaches; you can tell because they have whistles, yell a lot, and dress in warm-up suits. I don't know of any high school that can afford to pay people for the sole purpose of coaching. Usually, they have other jobs to do. So these two may very well be going zero for two in the "doing your job" department.
- Speaking of expenses, there's Principal Figgins (Iqbal Theba): Principal Figgins is a penny-pinching (you can tell because he's an Asian in a suit. Oh, and he's always calculating and counting money) principal (you can tell because he's behind a desk) who we only ever see interacting with Will, and when I say "interacting with" I mean "demanding money from".
- Terri Schuester (Jessalyn Gilsig): Terri Schuester is thrown in, I believe, in a vain attempt to add depth to Will's character. "He does exist outside of chasing hopeless dreams! Look! There's someone he knocks up when he goes home, too!" Unfortunately, we actually see Terri do her job... sort of. We see her yell at a hapless employee in the "Sheets 'n Things" she is a manager at. This is unfortunate, because it throws into stark relief the fact that her husband never actually does anything. It's also unfortunate because it doesn't actually count as a GLEE adult doing their job, because, as Will's wife, Terri's job is technically to be making him sandwiches. So she's a failure, too.