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October 10, 2015

'Glory Daze' Is a Campus Comedy in Search of Laughs

by Maureen Ryan, posted Nov 16th 2010 9:45AM
The bar for fraternity comedies isn't exactly set high.

Sure, 'Animal House' is a classic, but since that delightful film debuted 32 years ago, college comedies have become increasingly predictable. They feature wild parties, of course, but also the usual campus suspects: the wide-eyed freshman ogling campus babes, the stoner sage dispensing baked wisdom, the weird roommate, the uptight preppies, the charismatic bad boy who educates newbies about Greek life and beer bongs, etc.

Done with the right amount of energy and heart, even a formulaic combination of those elements can end up being rather charming, as is the case with ABC Family's slight but decent college soap 'Greek.'

If you were hoping 'Glory Daze' (10PM ET Tuesday, TBS) would do anything remotely creative with the usual roster of campus standbys, however, consider your hopes dashed.

This hourlong show is set at an Indiana college in 1986, when, as it happens, I was attending college in the Midwest. There's a lot of puffy hair, and the soundtrack consists of songs from the era that I didn't necessarily need to hear again. Like the tinny tunes on the soundtrack, everything about 'Glory Daze' feels a little shopworn and derivative.

It'd be one thing if the show employed thinly drawn, cliched characters in service of solid comedy, but very little of 'Glory Daze' is actually funny. If we're supposed to find the college tribulations of nice guy Joel (Kelly Blatz) dramatically compelling, well, Joel and his three friends (the jock, the would-be ladies man and the preppy guy) are so bland that I couldn't remember any of their names five minutes after watching the pilot.

Actually, I'm not sure if I could remember the characters' names during the pilot.

It's not as if all of 'Glory Daze' is uninspired and predictable. Just most of it. Tim Meadows is, not surprisingly, deft as a rather aggrieved professor and there are a couple of mildly amusing moments (thankfully, a minor story line involving an Asian character didn't end up being racist, though all the ethnic and female characters are mere types that verge on caricature).

The thing about college life is that it can be complicated but also a lot of fun. The blandly mediocre 'Glory Daze' is neither.

Check out our video interview
with the stars of 'Glory Daze'

Follow @MoRyan on Twitter.

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dude, you review as someone who talks about seeing animal house 32 years ago. the HUGE audience that watched Glory Daze last night weren't even born then... get a grip.

November 17 2010 at 2:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

BLADE appears in four of the first eight episodes and is looking forward to a second season. "They built a radio studio cool for me to shoot," he said, "with cart machines and cassette decks. Talk about a flashback! Glory Daze http://usspost.com/glory-daze-22682/

November 17 2010 at 7:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm hoping our opinions differ. The promos seem pretty funny and I have DVR'd the pilot tonight. I think setting it in the 80s is a smart move. And I'm hoping it meshes with my sense of humor, I actually like a few college movies, Van Wilder being one of them... We'll see.

November 16 2010 at 12:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Matt Webb Mitovich, Fancast.com

I echo pretty much everything Mo said. Also, as someone attending college during this exact time frame as well, I found the fashion to be off. Sure, they have the occasional "Miami Vice"-style blazer, but by and large the cast looks outfitted by today's GAP.

November 16 2010 at 11:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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