Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on Fox. Eight episodes into the first season.
Warning: Glee causes whiplash. The high school show choir dramedy will be clever and witty and sensitive and fresh, and then, a moment later, it will be stupid and unfunny and cruel and clichéd. Then it will launch into a musical number so energetic and charming that you forgive the bad stuff, and then the bad will take a truly ugly turn, and you wonder how you ever thought it was good enough to make up for that. The choir’s hyperspeed cover of Beyoncé’s “Halo” mashed against “Walking on Sunshine”—yay! The choir teacher’s deeply uncomfortable cover of Sisqo’s “Thong Song”—boo! Awesome, bizarre humor involving Jane Lynch advocating caning and prancing around in a zoot suit—yay! Stupid, bizarre humor involving the football team being coached to dance, literally dance, in the middle of a play—boo! A poignant, beautifully acted scene in which a gay teenage boy comes out to his father—yay! Yet another nasty, misogynistic scene in which an impossibly shrewish woman browbeats her impossibly saintly husband—boo!
Assessing Glee means weighing the good against the bad, and I, at least, have yet to get the scale to stay still long enough to take its measure. The show bewilders me, delights me, and disgusts me—and even when I stop hating it long enough to love it, I feel a little bit dirty about doing so. But I keep watching. It has me hooked. That has to count for something, I guess.