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Is <i>The Glee Project</i> Better Than Actual <i>Glee</i>?

When I first heard about the The Glee Project, I kept my expectations low. At best, I thought it'd be a harmless reality series that I DVR'd and maybe watched during a heat wave. Instead, I've been pleasantly surprised and legitimately invested -- so much so, in fact, I would argue the competition series has become more compelling, interesting and all-around entertaining than the show that spawned it.

The Stakes Are Higher
Know what I don't give a crap about? High school drama and relationships... unless the writing is great. Glee's plot lines are often shoddily written around the songs, which does nothing for the actual story arcs. I realize this is a complete paradox, but the draw of TGP is that the winner will gets a multi-episode guest-starring role on a highly successful nationally broadcasted series. Way better than, "Who will Finn pathetically latch on to this season?"

There's Little-To-No Attempt at a Plot
Speaking of Glee's writing, TGP takes most of the best elements of its alma mater -- the singing, dancing, message of self-acceptance, and celebration of weirdness -- and gets rid of icky things like dropped storyline and anything having to do with Gwyneth Paltrow.

There Are Actual Ugly People
I really say this with admiration. The New Directions crew is supposed to be primarily comprised of social rejects, and yet most of the kids are way better looking than your average teen -- not that this is anything new for television, or even Ryan Murphy himself (hello, Carly Pope as "freak" Sam McPherson on Popular). Although most of the less-attractive looking competitors have already been booted from TGP, we were seeing some truly normal (read: ugly) looking kids for a while there. It was actually sort of empowering.

The Behind-the-Scenes Aspect
I've really enjoyed seeing some of the choreographers, coaches, and directors who the Glee cast actually works with on a daily basis. Plus, it's been truly interesting to hear from Murphy himself about his creative process. Who knew he wanted more jazz, country, and Christians on show? And while some the guest mentors have been pretty hilariously lame (I'll give you Darren Chris twice, but Dot Jones? This week it's Gay Dave... c'mon!), any problem I might have with them can be solved by gazing into Zach Woodlee's eyes.

Should we feel sorry for the attractive, well-adjusted singers on The Glee Project? Our vloggers make the case in this video:

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