DVD: Glee and Our Other Favorite Singin' Teens
Glee Season 2, Volume 1 is out this week from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, giving you the opportunity of watching Chord Overstreet's shower scenes and Darren Criss' Blaine singing "Teenage Dream" to Chris Colfer's Kurt over and over again. (And by "you," I mean me.) But once you've seen these 10 episodes again and watched the extras (which include a salute to the wit and wisdom of Heather Morris' Brittany S. Pears and a look at the making and unveiling of Jane Lynch's Madame Tussaud's wax figure), where else can you turn to see photogenic teens make music? So glad you asked:
Camp and Bandslam: Actor-turned-director Todd Graff has proven himself to be adept at telling stories about talented adolescents in his first two at-bats. One's a story about show-tune addicted teens and the other one's set in the world of competitive garage bands, but both films marry the gloss (and exciting musical numbers) of Glee with a slightly more real-world take on what some Broadway buffs would call "The Bitch of Living."
Josie and the Pussycats: Probably the most underrated pop satire of the last decade, this deliriously entertaining comedy just celebrated its 10th anniversary at L.A.'s Cinefamily. (And on a personal note, I got to geek out about this movie with star Rachael Leigh Cook at Sundance before she spoke with Jen Yamato about her new film Vampire.) True, the titular trio of Cook, Rosario Dawson, and Tara Reid (above) don't actually make any of the music, but they're lip-synching to songs so good (by a panoply of top pop-meisters) that the soundtrack is still in my iPod.
Babes in Arms: The original let's-put-on-a-show kids, Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney, have such infectious enthusiasm and obvious talent that more than 70 years later, they're exuberantly entertaining to watch, even if you know that this was the era at MGM when the bosses started putting Garland on amphetamines to lose weight, leading to lifelong battles with drug addiction. All of the Garland-Rooney musicals still pop off the screen, and it doesn't hurt that folks like George Gershwin, Harold Arlen, and Rodgers & Hart were writing the songs.