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 |

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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.

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