One of the big hits of the 2009 – 2010 television season was Glee. Glee was not only popular among the young fans but it was also a favorite of critics. Only halfway into its first season Glee won a Golden Globe and was nominated for three others. It’s interesting that critics are falling all over Glee when they took every chance they could get to crap all over another musical television production, High School Musical.
How can any unbiased impartial critic like Glee and not High School Musical? The two are practically the same. In fact, you could make a strong argument for High School Musical being even better than Glee.
Take for example the lead male student on Glee and High School Musical. Zac Efron vs. Cory Monteith is not a contest at all. I was surprised that Monteith was given the lead in Glee. It’s not that he’s bad or anything, but he is clearly the weakest singer, dancer, and actor of the glee members (at least the ones that get speaking and singing parts). Efron on the other hand is about as good a singer/dancer as you’ll find on the planet. His acting isn’t great, but it’s better than Monteith for sure.
Obviously the female lead goes to Glee, just because Lea Michele’s voice is so good that she makes Vanessa Hudgens sound like William Hung. The acting certainly closes the gap some though. Hudgens isn’t going to be winning any Oscars any time soon but Lea Michelle’s facial expressions are so ridiculous it makes my face hurt to watch her “act”.
None of the other Glee members are that good when it comes to acting. Again Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Blue and company aren’t exactly actors I want to see on the big screen any time soon, but if it doesn’t include musical numbers than I would rather see them than the Glee kids. At least Glee was smart enough to get some supporting characters that can act. By now everybody knows that Jane Lynch is the star of the acting portions of Glee but Mike O’Malley (Kurt’s dad) is increasingly becoming a highlight of Glee as well.
The dancing on Glee and High School Musical are about even. If you were to take each actor from Glee and each actor from High School Musical and had one on one dance battles (and who wouldn’t want to see that ) then Glee would win every single one of them except Efron vs. Monteith (maybe Efron vs. Matthew Morrison would be closer) but High School Musical definitely gets the edge in those large musical dance numbers.
The one factor that makes me consider that possibly High School Musical is better than Glee is the writing. First there are the storylines. There is nothing special about the story in High School Musical. Zac Efron’s character is a jock and he doesn’t want his basketball buddies to know that he likes to sing and dance. Along the way he finds a girl and falls in love, blah, blah, blah. This is all pretty unoriginal stuff.
An unoriginal script is better than an awful script though. Glee’s writing might be the worst on a television show in my lifetime. Cory Monteith’s character thinks that he is the father of the head cheerleader’s baby when they didn’t even have sex? How old is he supposed to be? Sixteen? What sixteen in today’s world doesn’t know how babies are made? I couldn’t come up with a worse story if I tried. If I was to try and make an even worse storyline I would start with an adult. This adult is falling for one of his co-workers even though he’s married. The wife starts to get jealous so she pretends to be pregnant. She then gets away with it for six months or so because the husband, despite living in the same house and sleeping in the same bed, never notices that his wife isn’t really pregnant! Oh wait, Glee already used that too.
Throw in the story where the school counselor almost marries the gym teacher, a man that she hates, for no reason and the incredibly lame story where Lea Michele’s character is the daughter of the rival glee club’s teacher and Glee has run the gamut of incredibly stupid stories. What do the Glee writers have in store for season 2? I expect we’ll see the introduction of Artie’s evil twin, Cyborg Puck and Quinn’s alien baby.
Then there is the music. I’m not going to deny that the music in Glee is excellent. I have a few songs from the Glee albums on my MP3 player. Ultimately though, they are cover songs. They are really good cover songs, but they are cover songs nonetheless. High School Musical on the other hand is original songs with original music. I know some people will say, “But High School Musical is cheesy pop music” but really, so is Glee.
Of course it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why critics like Glee and not High School Musical. Glee was made by Fox and High School Musical was made by Disney and Disney is like a bad word to most critics. Believe it or not, enjoying one thing made by “the D word” does not mean you are admitting to having a Nick Jonas poster on your wall or owning every season of Hannah Montana.
I’m not denying I have either though.