Tonight is the "Madonna" episode of Glee, a hot topic during my weekly chat with Lima, Ohio morning man Mike Miller at WIMA. The Clear Channel station is broadcast out of the very city where Glee is supposed to take place--Lima.
They never hear the term "Lima loser" in Lima, one of a number of sore points between the people of this city of about 40,000 and the producers of the series. There is no William McKinley High, either.
Glee executive producer Ryan Murphy used to visit a fairgrounds in the city on summer trips with his family and that's why Glee is set there. When critics were invited to the Fox lot in Beverly Hills to check out the set of Glee last January, we got to see the interiors of the glee club music room and some of the school offices, including the staff lunch room and Sue Sylvester's trophy-packed office. (That's me behind Sue's desk, failing at giving the "Sue C's It" sign and/or indicating penis size; either way not very impressive.) By thew way, Sue's vitamin pill cart would put even Roger Clemons to shame. I also got to take an extra close look at some of the kooky fake signs posted in the hallways of the school set (below).
Murphy is all about details but one gem he didn't know--a nugget passed on to me by Miller--is that the locals used to have their own saying for what LIMA stood for: Lost In Middle America. When I shared that with Murphy he said, "Perfect." Don't be surprised to hear it in a future episode.
As for tonight's Madonna-tracked romp, it seems too reverential to me. I can't imagine Sylvester (Jane Lynch) really being that stoked by the empowerment of Madonna's music, she seems dismissive of almost everything else. The closing "Like A Prayer" number features a Heavenly choir and is a suitable crowd pleaser. "Like a Virgin" is well integrated into the storyline. The already celebrated, shot-for-shot recreation of the Vogue video, featuring Lynch, is disappointing because it takes the one essential ingredient out of that black and white short--Madonna. It calls out for parody, not cloning. It would have been fun to see Figgins and Tanaka worked into the vibe.
But judge for yourselves tonight at 9 p.m. on Fox and Global. And for more of my WIMA radio chat with Mike Miller, listen in here.