Caroline the Future Librarian

Caroline Davis | LIBR 265-10 | SJSU | Wrenn-Estes


Title: Glee
Channel: Fox
Date: May 2009

Plot Summary: Will Shuester is a Spanish teacher at William McKinley High School in Lima, Ohio, his former high school, where he was a popular member of the Glee Club and dated the head cheerleader, who is now his wife.  When the opportunity arises to head the Glee Club, which has faded into obscurity, Will leaps at the chance to try and restore it to the glory days.  The school principal, and even Will’s wife, don’t understand why he would ask for such an undertaking, and even “Mr. Shu” is discouraged by the lack of student interest in the club.  But with a determined group of talented misfits, and the support of guidance counselor Emma Pillsbury, the Glee Club – now called “New Directions” – begins to see greater attendance and even attracts the popular kids to join.  Now they’re on track to compete at Nationals – as long as they can survive the sabotage attempts of head cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester.

Critical Evaluation: There’s so much to love about Glee.  Likeable characters, great music, complicated teen relationships – it’s like High School Musical meets Freaks and Geeks.  The show is not afraid to tackle difficult issues like teen pregnancy and coming out as gay to friends and family.  The musical comedy show has some genuinely funny moments – especially the zinging one-liners from Jane Lynch’s character, Sue Sylvester.  That said, it seems to me that there is something a little off that keeps the show from really shining.  For me, it requires a huge suspension of disbelief to accept that the Glee kids can launch right into a brand new song and have their parts and choreography memorized right off the bat.  Not that I need to see hours of rehearsal, but their overly polished performances (on the first run through) are distracting.  There are some incredible singers in the group, so it’s unfortunate that they use obvious Autotune in the songs.  These might be minor quibbles, but they really detract from the show in my opinion.  It really is an amazingly popular show (the cast will be heading on tour soon), and they recently launched a nationwide audition process using MySpace to cast an unknown in a future episode.  Calling all Gleeks!

Annotation: High school Spanish teacher Will Shuester leaps at the opportunity to direct the Glee Club, hoping to restore it to the glory days from when he was a member.  Can they make it to Nationals?

About the Creator: Ian Brennan came up with the idea for Glee, which he originally envisioned (and wrote a script for) as a film.  In high school, Brennan was a member of the show choir at Prospect High School in Mount Prospect, Illinois.  The musical director, John Marquette, was his inspiration for the character Will Shuester.  Brennan, who aspired to be an actor, studied theater at Loyola University in Chicago, graduating in 2000 and starting an acting career in Chicago and New York.

In 2005, a choir director at Prospect High was accused of inappropriate behavior with a student (mimicked in the pilot episode of Glee), which inspired Brennan to write the original script as a film.  There was little interest in the project for years, until the writers and producers Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk read the script and suggested that it be rewritten as a television series – which was picked up by Fox within 15 hours of being received.  Brennan, Murphy and Falchuk are credited as the show’s creators and write all of the show’s episodes.

Genre: Musical, Comedy

Curriculum Ties: Music, Theater

Discussion Ideas:
1) What is Will’s motivation for reviving the Glee Club?  Is he trying to relive his adolescence?
2) Contrast Will’s relationship with his wife, Terri, and the guidance counselor, Emma.
3) The characters Rachel and Quinn are often compared.  In what ways are they alike and different?

Interest Age: 12 and older

Challenge Issues: sexual content, drug and alcohol use

Challenge Defense Ideas:

• Become familiar with the TV show and its content.

• Refer to the collection development policy of the library, if none, see here to develop one right away.

• Refer to reviews available for viewing on

• Try to get reviews of the TV show from teens who watch it.

Selection: I chose to review Glee because it is a popular current show about high school students.  Also, I have a weakness for musical theater.


Official Website

Glee on

Glee on Hulu


May 9, 2010 - Posted by | TV Shows | ,

1 Comment »

  1. I’m 11 & i think glee is awesome!

    Comment by israel | February 6, 2011 | Reply

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