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Filling Up With Glee

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:08 UK time, Saturday, 16 January 2010

The cast of Glee

If you take a quick squizz at this picture, it should cause one of two reactions (or possibly three):

REACTION 1: "Wow, the Arcade Fire Juniors don't look up to much, do they?"

REACTION 2: "Oh look, there's the cast of the popular American TV show Glee, which I love."

POSSIBLE REACTION 3: "Oh God, there's the cast of the popular American TV show Glee, which I cannot bear."

Glee, you see, is everywhere at the moment. It's on telly, it's all over the internet, and now, finally, it's taking over the charts. Whether you see this as a good thing or not may depend on your tolerance for high school musical/comedy/drama TV shows, and radical re-workings of old pop songs as if they were made for the Broadway stage.

But be warned, it may NOT depend on that, and this is what makes Glee so interesting.

Under normal circumstances, I'm not much of a fan of musical theatre. It's all a bit Same Difference for my tender sensibilities, and always seems to sound either forced and overjolly, or despairing and melodramatic, depending on the song.

But that's my prejudice. And all it takes to overwhelm any prejudice is for something amazing to come along which deviates from the thing you are prejudiced against in no way whatsoever, but remains amazing.

That thing, friends, is Glee. And I'm clearly not alone. The show's version of Journey's 'Don't Stop Believin' is shooting up the charts, and has caused a THIRD wave of re-interest in the original, after it featured first on Family Guy and then heavily on last year's X Factor.

As a result, they're now BOTH attempting to get to this week's No.1, and the weird thing is, either one of them could do it.

The reason people are getting so excited about the music from Glee is partly to do with the TV show, which is pretty great, in a funny/sweet kind of way. It's partly the songs they've chosen to cover and the fond associations that come with them, but it's mostly because the reworked songs sound fantastic.

I'm clearly not the only person who broke out in surprised goosebumps when they launched into a revved-up, high-sugar version of 'Rehab' in the first episode, and that's not even the show's signature song. 'Don't Stop Believin' has made two impossible things possible in my addled head, the enjoyment of musical theatre and the enjoyment of Journey.

Seriously, Journey.

Honestly, I'll be listening to OPERA next...

PS: BBC Slink has a very entertaining Glee quiz which allows you to find out which character you are. G'wan...you know you want to...



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