As soon as I heard Billy Idol’s “Dancing with Myself” in the promos, I knew I had to watch this show. 80s music, college humor, frat parties…I am there!
The premise of this show is quite simple: 4 freshman starting their college lives together in Indiana at a university called Hayes and deciding to pledge the same fraternity, Omega Sigma. Initially, this seems to be a show with typical jokes (partying, masturbation, falling for the girl you can’t have.) Watch any cheesy college movie in the ’80s and it has that same feel. Until we get to learn the characters better and their college careers advance, it will probably remain that simple. And I’m ok with that. Plus this has some nostalgia for my husband who entered college one year after these guys did. So, as my husband has already informed me, he will be all over the pop cultural references like white on rice. But I have faith that this could turn into a really fun dramedy vs. just dumb college humor.
The main character, Joel (played by Kelly Blatz) is a pre-med student with a really weird roommate and over involved parents (played by Brad Garrett and Cheri Oteri.) Joel has that every kid likability and is trying to balance his studies and pledging a fraternity (which he promised his dad he wouldn’t do.) But one look at his roommate and he decides to meet up with his motley crew to go frat house hopping. He is the type of kid who always does what his parents want….a good boy. So this college journey will also be the growth of Joel becoming his own person and figuring out his own wishes and dreams (as it is with most college students.) Part of this motley crew includes Eli (played by Matt Bush), Jason (played by Drew Seeley), and Brian (Hartley Sawyer.) Eli is the stereotypical horny virgin who wants to pass himself off as the ultimate ladies man and wants nothing more than to get laid. His father wants him to join the Jewish frat house but since none of the other guys would pass, he wants to stick with them and pledges Omega Sig. Brian is the jock. He is there on a baseball scholarship and his coach wants him to focus on nothing but baseball but again, Brian wants to stick with his friends and he pledges as well. Finally we have the conservative, Jason. He and his girlfriend decided to come to Haynes together (she got into Yale but he didn’t) with a plan…join a certain fraternity and sorority that has turn out senators, leaders of industry, and future presidents. After one night with the OS guys (and peeing in his bed) his girlfriend has already given up on him saying she gave up Yale for him (that was dumb) and he has already changed for the worse. Wow. That relationship never had a chance if she thought neither of them would veer from the plan and never change. Later when he goes to bring her flowers to apologize, she flashes him her Yale shirt and gives him the finger as she leaves. Classic!
We were also introduced to some other interesting side characters. Chang (played by Tim Jo) is Eli’s roommate and initially wants to pledge the same frat as the guys but his dad wants him to pledge the Asian fraternity. When he sees the Asian house, he notices that it is really quiet and he is disappointed thinking all those guys are going to do is study and no partying. When he goes to the door, one of the brothers let’s him and gives him a tour of the house. It’s all like he thought but then the brother brings him to the basement. He opens this door and a HUGE party with all the Asian students is happening. “Isn’t it great to be Asian?” the brother says. Ha! So we don’t see Chang for a few days until he comes back to his and Eli’s room and passes out. Christie (played by Julianna Guill) is the pretty blonde that Joel meets in class. They strike up a nice conversation and if little reds heart could have floated over his head like Charlie Brown, they would have. He bumps into her again at the OS party and she mentions that if he pledges, they will see each other a lot. This should have been a huge clue to me. When they are officially named pledges and they meet up again, she mentions how her boyfriend is also a brother. The camera flashes to the president of OS that didn’t want them approved to begin with. This should be an intriguing story for the season. Reno (played by Callard Harris) is in charge of the pledge class and doesn’t seem to care too much about school….just partying. Their chapter is in danger of being revoked so he wants to make sure that doesn’t happen. I have a feeling there is going to more to this “party only mentality” that Reno has the more we get to know him. Turbo (played by James Earl) is the pledge class drill sargent in charge of scaring the crap out of the pledges and making their lives miserable. He is also in charge of “The Beast” which is the most incredible looking beer bong you have ever seen. He’s tough on the pledges but looks to have a heart of gold and fun personality. Zack (played by Josh Brener) is Joel’s creepy roommate. Other than him being an outcast and really annoying right now, there is not much to say on him. And Professor Haines (played by Tim Meadows) is the crazy professor. He has no problem making fun of his students and he seems a bit left of center. He adds some great comic relief to the show.
Glory Daze airs Tuesdays at 10pm on TBS. If you grew up in ’80s, you will love the pop culture references and ’80s one-hit-wonders and appreciate the “Animal House” type humor and situations. I think this show has some good potential but you should check it out and see for yourself!