So, Phil and I have started watching “Glee”, which is a new American comedy. Apparently Alex and Sarah both really like it, and Alex gave us some episodes to watch through (it’s being shown on Channel 4 at the moment I think).
Anyway, as it started out I didn’t think I was going to like it, but it won me over by the end of the first episode (we’ve only watched the first two episodes, including the pilot). At the moment it seems feel-good comedy, but it seems well written and the musical numbers are very well done. I also like the fact that it is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, so when the supposedly amateur high schoolers (who’ve never got anything musically right before) perform a pretty much spot-on version of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”, it tips a nod to the audience as if to say, “Yeah, we know, it’s just part of the show… enjoy it”.
That said, it does epitomise some of the things I don’t like about American comedy. Namely, characterisation. I don’t know, it just seems that British comedies tend to make it more subtle – you get a more realistic blend of character traits. For example, in Green Wing, even the unsympathetic characters (such as Joanna Clore, Guy Secretan, Alan Statham) you really feel for sometimes. They still have moments of genuine warmth for them.
American characters tend to be much more… well, I would say more pantomime characters. They just aren’t as complex as real life. I don’t know whether this is a difference in my perception or whether there is something objective going on. But I still have to say I prefer British comedies. Perhaps America is just a different place to Britian, and Glee really is reflecting what’s going on in America.
All I can say is, if Glee is an accurate (or at least, based on facts) depiction of what happens in American schools, I’m glad I didn’t go to school there!