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Get in the Glee club Wednesday at … 8:58 p.m. ET?

In television on 09/02/2009 at 9:09 am

Global is billing tonight’s broadcast of the one-hour musical comedy Glee as a series debut. But that’s not quite right. Close watchers of TV got their first viewing of the pilot episode in the spring and it’s been online ever since (check out Global show site to watch: click on “Pilot”). Tonight is just a repeat of that pilot — excellent though it is and worthy of a repeat. In fact, new material has been added so I guess that’s what warrants the bizarre advertised starting time of 8:58 p.m. ET. Recording alert! don’t miss the start.

The story sounded incredibly dorky to me and the springtime descriptions of “American Idol-inspired weekly comedy series” did not pique my interest at all. I was, in fact, shamed into watching it by the suspicion that maybe the buzz was worth investigating.

The framework is this: A teacher with a hole where his zest for life used to be decides that running his high-school’s glee club is what he must do. There’s some big glee competition among the schools and he wants to whip a pathetic band of stragglers into champs.

But what sounds hokey — moreso when the bossy overachiever student tries to take over, when the studly and kind of dim football star is overheard crooning in the shower and other clichees threaten — becomes something with what I think the American Idol zombies would call heart and soul. I’m surprised, but I like it a lot. If you’re keeping up with the lingo, that would make me a Gleek.

You check it out, either tonight — Wednesday at 8:58 p.m. ET — or online at the link above, and we’ll meet back here before the Sept. 9 premiere of new episodes for a more formal look at the show, its cast, creators and website.

Here’s the official trailer:

— Denise Duguay

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