'Glee'-fully on Top: Cast of Cult Favorite Revels in Spotlight

Photo: The Cast of Glee with Jane Lynch and Matthew Morrison

The kids are bright-eyed. The teacher is yummy. And the high school hallways are alive with the sound of music.

But saccharine family fare, "Glee" isn't.

Now barreling into sweeps on Fox television with storylines about potentially adulterous school employees, teen pregnancy and -- oh yeah -- glee club, the show that initially blew most reviewers out of the water seems to be living up to the hype.

"It was either going to be really good or really bad," star Matthew Morrison told ABCNews.com. "As soon as we shot the pilot, there was just this feeling. We knew it was something special."

Almost manic in its plots and twists, "Glee" jumps throughout each episode as the characters deal with hope, rejection -- and Sue Sylvester.

Jane Lynch, the veteran comedienne whose performance as Sue, the villianous cheerleading coach, has led some to call her the best part of the show and others to speculate an Emmy nod may be in her future, said she's proud of what the show has been able to accomplish.

"A lot of people say 'Glee' makes me feel happy," she told ABCNews.com.

The show, generally well-received by TV watchers and bloggers alike, has gotten some online backlash from parents who say they are disappointed that it is too raunchy to watch with their pre-teen "High School Musical"-loving children.

"It is a little racy, I think, for a younger audience," Morrison said, but added that sometimes parents are too quick to protect their children from what they already know.

"Young kids know all this stuff. We don't live in a world right now where it's like the '50s and everyone is wholesome. People have sex in high school all the time," he said. "We need to give kids more credit. They're not stupid."

Morrison, who plays glee club leader and Spanish teacher Will Schuester, said he's learned to learned to stay off the blogs and away from armchair critics, saying everyone always has "skeptics and haters."

"I think it's impossible to ever create any kind of entertainment or TV show or theater or anything that everyone across the board is going to like," he said.

Lynch agreed, saying of the critics, "Well, too bad for them.

"I've also heard from people who do not like musical theater," she said. "They'd rather have a root canal than go to see a production of 'Oklahoma.' And they love it."

The music itself is proving to be as popular as the show. Songs from "Glee" -- all performed by the show's stars -- have raced to the top of iTunes' charts and the soundtrack's first volume will be out in stores today. Even A-list celebrities are fans -- Madonna recently released her catalog to the show.

Jane Lynch Embraces Her Inner Devil

"Glee" is Lynch's first major foray into small-screen comedy and, so far, she's loving it.

Not only does she seem to get the best lines, she gets to come into work every day wearing Sue's trademark track suits and sneakers.

"I'm not wearing them right now and I miss them desperately," Lynch said. "I think I have about 20 now."

While "Glee" fans --dubbed "Gleeks" -- got to see the softer side of Sue in one recent episode, Lynch said viewers shouldn't be expecting to see any more of that for a while, though an upcoming introduction of one of Sue's family members may give the audience some insight into her cantankerous personality.

So far, Sue has dubbed a wheelchair-bound glee-club member a "cripple," isolated minority students from the white kids, and promised to give Morrison's character a kitten and then punch him in the face.

"That's what I love about Sue. There's always that dark person inside of us. That little devil on our shoulder, whispering in our ear," she said. "There are awful thoughts going through my mind at all times. And Sue says them."

Lynch said she's not quite as callous as her character -- at least not in public -- but she does have a certain edge that she can lend to Sue.

"I'm not as mean, but I can be sharp if pushed," she said.

Her favorite Sue insults? Anything having to do with Morrison's perfectly coiffed curls.

"I love when I get to make fun of Matt's hair," she said. "[Show creator] Ryan Murphy is obsessed with Matt's hair."

The two actors, at their best going head to head in the principal's office, said they often feed off each other and have at times, veered off script only to have their improv version make it on the screen.

"Jane Lynch is my new comic icon," Morrison said. "Getting the chance to work with her -- she's really raised the bar for myself as an actor."

But Lynch insists that most of Sue's poisonous lines come from the writers.

"They are from the sick twisted minds of those gentlemen," she said. "I think it comes from their inner mean girl."

Matthew Morrison : From Real Life Glee Club Member to On-Screen Leader

Morrison said he's relishing his first leading role on television after years of racking up accolades, including a Tony nomination, on stage.

"I've been trying to make a break into the TV and film world for probably about six or seven years now," Morrison said, admitting he was skeptical about taking the role of Will Schuester, given the historically rocky track record of musical television.

But the response, he said, has been "overwhelming."

"It's changed my life," he said.

After all, where else on television could a stage actor get the chance to freestyle to Young MC's "Bust a Move?"

And working with a cast of young, relative unknowns who are just cutting their teeth in the business has only helped the production, he said, instead of hindering it.

"There's no diva-ness," he said. "They say jump and the kids do it."

A one-time high school performer himself -- his high school glee club once performed "Tiny Bubbles" with Don Ho in Hawaii -- Morrison said his Will Schuester comes from his own glee club leader, but also his high school English teacher.

"I don't remember him teaching me where to put a comma … but he taught in the moment," he said. "It wasn't a job for him."

Mr. Schuester has faced some criticism from viewers, most notably for being so dense as to not realize that his wife, played by Jessalyn Gilsig, has been faking her pregnancy for months, all the while scheming to adopt the head cheerleader's unborn child behind his back.

So how can Mr. Shue -- who seems so in tune and all-knowing at school -- be such a simpleton at home?

Morrison realizes that part of his character can come off a little stupid onscreen, but defended him as a man who just "really wants a family."

Careful not to reveal any plot twists, Morrison promised something big for "Glee" fans.

"Relationships are constantly changing. "Some sh-- is going to go down," he said. "Everytime I read a script. I can't believe it."

Now on a break from shooting -- the cast goes back to the studios in January to finish filming the first season -- Lynch said she's looking forward to whatever else the show's writers will throw at them.

"This is the biggest project I've been on, in terms of the cultural phenomenon," she said. "I'd be very happy to stay in that track suit for several years."

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