Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Glee Goes Madonna

It started 11 months ago, when the premiere episode of Glee was telecast after the American Idol finale. Right away, people started to sing the show's praises. I know: I was one of them.

When the show started airing weekly last September, what had begun as a swell took on the shape of a wave. Now, 14 episodes later, that wave has become absolutely tsunamic.

Glee is, in a word, everywhere. It's become a cultural touchstone, its young performers genuine, shining stars. The re-tooled songs sell so fast on iTunes that if Sony, the show's label, sold only CDs they'd have a hard time keeping up with the demand.

In its short lifespan--less than one season--it's already spawned two chart-topping CDs. And this week a third appeared, devoted to Madonna.

The so-called "Power of Madonna" collection is Glee at its best. Some of the star's best-loved songs have gotten the Glee treatment, and each one's a show-stopper: a sexually frustrated "Express Yourself," a startling mash-up of "Borderline" and "Open Your Heart," "Vogue" as performed by the show's villain Sue Sylvester (played by Jane Lynch), "Like a Virgin" as sung by six of the show's stars, a piping-hot marching band version of "4 Minutes," an all-male "What It Feels Like for a Girl," and "Like a Prayer," complete with a massive choir.

I'm sure there will be more CDs soon; I've already heard there's a fourth on the way, collecting songs used in the last episodes of this season.

Every week, Glee delivers comedy, drama, heartbreak, confusion, kick-ass one-liners, and brilliant re-creations of songs we all know and love. With this week's all-Madonna episode, the show-slash-phenomenon has gone even further, proving once again that success, in Glee terms, is all about making the material (girl) proud.

No comments: