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Television Review: "Glory Daze"

BY EVAN CLARK | NOVEMBER 16, 2010 7:20 AM

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*** 1/2 out of *****

College life has been portrayed in many various time capsules on the big screen.

Animal House gave us the lovable losers from Delta House of the early '60s, PCU showed us the misuse of political correctness on campuses and the finer points of Ultimate Frisbee of the early '90s, and Old School brought back the rowdiness and mud wrestling of fraternities to the 2000s.

So with a new decade coming in a month or so, a new college-focused television series, "Glory Daze," will première on TBS at 9 p.m. today, providing a glimpse of college life in the '80s, a decade that arguably hasn't been exploited enough.

The pilot episode begins with the introduction of Joel, a slightly reserved yet focused freshman beginning his college career at Haynes University in Indiana. It's about a minute into the episode when we are introduced to our first signs of cleavage, right away showing what this show aims to be.

Joel forms an entourage consisting of the hunky letterman-jacket-wearing jock Brian, the future Christian American boy wonder Jason, and female-obsessed virgin Eli, and the big question on everyone's mind is which fraternity to join. This is something Joel is cautious about, because he seeks to stick to his father's advice and keep his "eyes on the prize."

But after realizing not rushing for a frat means spending more time with his "buddy compatible" rape-whistle-toting roommate Zach, Joel joins the crew on a quest to join the best fraternity on campus, Omega Sigma, resulting in a wild ride that involves a stolen portrait, an absence of clothing, and campus law enforcement.

"Glory Daze" does a decent job of balancing '80s pop culture with characters any generation can relate to.

And while the show does tend to fall into cliché story lines, such as Joel's love interest who already has a boyfriend, snotty sororities versus wild fraternities, and a tad too many masturbation references, "Glory Daze" is able to somewhat shrug off American Pie influences for slight signs of intelligent humor with a heart.

Supporting roles of other '90s "Saturday Night Live" cast members David Koechner, as the macho ball-busting baseball coach, and Tim Meadows, as the overtly liberal paranoid professor, only help amp up the show's hilarity.

Accompanied with a totally rad '80s soundtrack featuring Talking Heads, the Clash, and the Pretenders, "Glory Daze" has an opportunity to be more than just an '80s version of a straight to DVD American Pie sequel and stand out on its own as a bridge between beer bongs and brotherly bonding.


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