In the January issue of Vanity Fair, contributing editor James Wolcott offers his take on the wonderfulness of this high school musical infused with the wicked comic sensibility of Heathers and Mean Girls:
Glee, a show that restored our faith in the power of song, the beauty of dance, and the magic of “spirit fingers” to chase our cares and woes into somebody else’s backyard ... Following a successful test launch of its pilot episode last summer, Glee has accelerated into the critical/popular hit debut series of the 2009 television season, a rocking confection that has achieved the wondrous feat of making musical theater look hip, mainstream, and sexily redemptive, empowering theater queens of every age, race, creed, sexual orientation, and landmass shape to embrace their inner “Liza with a Z” and let the sequins fall where they may. Let none dare call them sissy.
I'll second that.
Wolcott ends his piece by noting the unhappy irony of the show, hitting the small screen at this particular time:
The unhappy irony is that, while Glee is hitting the heights, school arts funding is being slashed across the country due to the steep recession and declining tax revenues. To the bottom-line mentalities that make policy, the arts are still considered frilly extras, a myopic view that—oh, forget it. I don’t want to end this column on a downer. Five minutes ago, I was feeling so cheerful, and then I had to go introduce the real world into the discussion, like an idiot. Better I should go on singing in the rain, the way God and Gene Kelly and MGM intended.