Picks and Pans Review: Glee

updated 09/14/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/14/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Fox, Sept. 9, 9 p.m. ET/PT |

bgwhite bgwhite bgwhite bgwhite 

When Glee aired its pilot in May, the show promised to be one of fall's high points. That verdict stands. Moving into new episodes, though, what seemed like a grown-up High School Musical, a sparkling little satirical show about a high school singing group, is more clearly the work of Ryan Murphy, the gleefully malicious mind behind Nip/Tuck. Jane Lynch, as a cheerleading coach determined to squelch any projects that don't serve her needs, has gone from campily monstrous to rapaciously cruel. She's like some weird fascist allegory. And a story about pregnancy is so nutty it seems to have barged in from a telenovela. These shifts in tone don't lessen my affection for Glee—there are touching moments too, and the song routines remain happily sharp. It just means this adventurous show requires close watching.

From Our Partners