About the Show

by Sarah Cassie

This chapter is a free excerpt from Glee Season 1 (TV Show).

Glee had caused a fuss before the show even aired. From the first cryptic commercials to the success of the first episodes, potential future audiences wondered if a show about misfits singing in a show choir could “make it.” The buzz was loud, expectations were high. In the end, however, Glee successfully managed to combine karaoke-style singing with astute commentary on the high-school experience and universal teenage dramas.


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Glee had caused a fuss before the show even aired. From the first cryptic commercials to the success of the first episodes, potential future audiences wondered if a show about misfits singing in a show choir could “make it.” The buzz was loud, expectations were high. In the end, however, Glee successfully managed to combine karaoke-style singing with astute commentary on the high-school experience and universal teenage dramas.

Although TV had been enamored with the karaoke-style singing show format ever since American Idol premiered in the US in 2002, few had attempted to combine singing with elements of traditional comedy. Before Glee premiered in 2009, creator Ryan Murphy spent his time assuring potential audiences that the show wouldn’t include only show tunes and that cast members wouldn’t spontaneously break into song. People were put at ease when they saw that the show featured some of their favorite songs, including songs from Top 40 lists to oldies to yes, even a few show tunes. A hit with audiences, the TV show Glee, which was originally conceived as a feature-length film, quickly became a hit.

Although Glee is truly a musical comedy at heart, it often tackles difficult issues surrounding teenage life, such as sexuality and teen pregnancy. The first season is dedicated to following “The New Directions” (the name of the high-school’s show choir) and its journey to the regional show choir competition. However, Glee also introduces engaging adult characters. Played by established stars such as Broadway’s Matthew Morrison and actress Jane Lynch, these characters are often cast as teachers at the choir members’ school.

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