Why Is Glee a Hit When Other Musical Shows Have Failed?
Glee is such a pop-culture juggernaut that it’s hard to believe that there was a time when people didn’t think it would succeed. However, such a time apparently did exist.
Glee has made Entertainment Weekly’s list of nine hit shows that should have been flops but ended up proving people wrong. Explaining why Glee’s success is a surprise, EW writes, “There hadn’t been a hit scripted TV musical series in decades (1982′s Fame, best I can find, was the last), and there’s been a few attempts (Viva Laughlin, Cop Rock, Hull High).”
So how did Glee manage to work when other musical shows haven’t? “Two crucial decisions: Using popular songs that viewers already like (instead of original songs, like on Cop Rock) and the high-school glee-club setting (which, like Fame, gives a musical context to the story rather than, say, courtroom lawyers breaking out into song).”
And of course, Glee wouldn’t be Glee without its wicked sense of humor and lovable characters. “Disney Channel’s High School Musical movies paved the way, but Glee added a snarky wit and more heart that made it work as a weekly show.”
Other shows on the list of surprising hits were Dancing with the Stars, The Walking Dead, and Dexter.