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Finger-clicking good

There are two responses to the musical genre and everyone has one or the other. Either: "People don't break into song like that in real life" (said grumpily). Or: "I wish people broke into song like that in real life!" (said wistfully). Whichever of these is your automatic reaction, will determine your position on Glee.

Okay, Glee throws a sop to the realists by having all the tunes put in the context of a school glee club, but they're not really fooling anyone given that this supposedly under-resourced club has a band on standby, an orchestra just out of shot and their supposedly spontaneous dance moves seem very well rehearsed.

I don't care. I'm in that category of people that perform West Side Story style finger-clicks on Talbot Street in the hope that passers-by might join in, so I think Glee is great.



Unicorn

As well as being a musical, it's also a genuinely subversive programme that smuggles real issues into cartoonish melodrama.

In last night's episode Kurt Hummel (the excellent Chris Colfer) struggled with the fact his flamboyant gayness (he's "a unicorn" according to idiot savant cheerleader Brittany) was barring him from lead roles in the school musicals ("You're gay-gay and not Rock Hudson gay," his dad tells him).

Later, he had to cope with the fact his hunkier, more masculine, boyfriend was considered more cast-able. It was a pretty nuanced and moving piece of identity politics for a Friday night television show.

Of course, this was offset by the hilarious villainy of cheer-leading coach Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) on a campaign to bring down the arts, and deadpan surrealist Brittany who says things like: "When a pony a does a good deed he gets a horn and becomes a unicorn and then he poops out cotton-candy until his horn falls off and he forgets that he's magical."

I'm not going to look this up, but I'm hoping it's hard science. Glee still gives me a sense of glee.

When I first heard the title, Jerry Bruckheimer's Chase, I thought "At last, someone is making that monster pay for Coyote Ugly, Pearl Harbour and The National Treasure franchise."

Sadly it turns out that Bruckheimer is not himself being chased and that his name in the title is proprietorial (the apostrophe should have been a give-away).

This is not just anyone's chase. This is Jerry Bruckheimer's Chase. He's thumbing his noses at us and saying: "Nyah, nyah, nyah! After CSI and Cold Case and Without a Trace, which are all basically the same programme, they've allowed me to do it again!"



Squabbles

In Chase yet another icy blonde (see Cold Case and Without a Trace) heads up a team of square-jawed, multi-ethnic US Marshals who begin each episode "chasing" a fugitive while delivering expository dialogue at the same time ("Where is this drug runner!" they wonder aloud, without breaking a sweat, so we know they're chasing a drug-runner).

There's also a rugged bounty hunter in the supporting cast, who our heroine fancies but who she squabbles with and whose advances she keeps rejecting. Yes, she might be a US Marshal chasing people for a living, but in love it is she who is chased. How ironic.

In this episode, the baddie is a chap with an explosive temper and also some explosive explosives. He keeps blowing people up. "Why is he blowing people up?" they ask. How is he blowing people up? Where will he be blowing people up next? And thus using the logic of a precocious four-year-old they find the killer and, like a precocious four-year-old with access to fire-arms, shoot him in the head.

The team then walk from the crime scene shoulder-to-shoulder and all in a row. Sadly, they never once click their fingers and break into song.

Glee HHHHI

Jerry Bruckheimer's Chase HHIII