On Saturday afternoon we joined the throngs of red-shirted Glee fans (apparently they have special red Glee shirts?) for an advance screening of the second episode and a Q+A with the show's cast and producers.
So, how was it? The episode was SO GOOD OMG. It was even better than the pilot. And I really enjoyed the pilot. They managed to cram in so much plot and also the following songs:
-Gold Digga (Kanye, what up)
-I Say a Little Prayer for You
-Take a Bow (Rhianna)
In one episode! Six songs! It was crazy. And watching it with a huge crowd (probably at least 1000 people) was a seriously cool experience. People were laughing hysterically, clapping, shouting, and just really really enjoying themselves. It made me wish I could watch every episode with a group that big. And then wonder how I would fit them into my one bedroom condo. Space-saver bags maybe?
I also liked how the show seems to be moving things along plot-wise at a really good clip. So many shows just draaaag things out forever (like sexual tension and relationships), but not Glee. Someone actually asked the producers a question along the lines of "why are you moving things forward so quickly?" and they replied that they had a lot of stories they wanted to tell and didn't see any reason not to just get to it. As a viewer, I really appreciate that. Especially since I am so impatient.
Ok, so here's the scoop for the Fall. They have recorded 60 tracks of songs for the coming episodes, including songs by Barbara Streisand, The Rolling Stones, and Van Halen. There will sometimes be as many as six or seven songs in an episode, and the first (!!!) soundtrack album will be available in November. Future guest-star include Kristin Chenowith, Josh Groban, Victor Garber, Deborah Monk, and Eve.
The cast is currently traveling around the country as part of a tour, but they aren't making too many stops. 10 cities in 12 days, and are stopping in (gulp) Hot Topic stores. So, WTF, Hot Topic? I don't know, maybe the girls in the cast have run out of clean Twilight tees or something.
As for the central conceit of the show, the creators stated that they didn't want their characters just randomly bursting into song, but the music in the rehearsal sessions and in the characters minds should be used to explain their inner feelings. They have definite rules for when music can be used, so it doesn't seem too jarring.
During the Q+A portion of the panel, Monkey Sri had a really great question that she tried to ask, but got rejected by the screeners. She was planning to ask the creators, "for a show that is ostensibly about social outcasts, why is the main cast all white straight people?" Which I think is a great question; I know the show has also gotten flack for having stereotyped characters, the diva black girl, the white jock, the skinny gay kid, etc. But apparently the screeners thought it would "put them on the spot" and sent her back to her seat. And trust me, after listening to all the bullshit questions other people had asked at other panels, that kind of pissed me off.
But despite that little hiccup, Glee definitely rates up there as one of the best panels I saw, and now I feel all too cool for school having gotten a look at the next episode.
And no, I won't tell you any spoilers. You'll just have to wait!