Glee recently ended its run after 6 seasons on Fox. Though the show suffered the last few seasons in quality, there is a lot I am thankful for with it. Plus I know I will miss the great musical numbers and fun, loveable and relatable characters.
When the show first premiered in 2009, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. Created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, the show was described as the anti-High School Musical. (And I am a fan of that Disney series of movies). I saw the first episode, and was impressed with the level of talent among the kids in the Glee Club. But I can’t say it won me over that first episode. But into the first season, I came to love the show and it’s stars.
There was Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison), Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch), Rachel Barry (Lea Michele), Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith), Kurt Hummel (Chris Colfer), Noah ‘Puck’ Puckerman (Mark Salling), Mercedes Jones (Amber Riley), Tina Cohen Chang (Jenna Ushkowitz), Quinn Fabray (Dianna Agron), and Artie Ambrams (Kevin McHale). Later seasons brought us Britney S. Pierce (Heather Morris), Santana Lopez (Naya Rivera), Sam Evans (Chord Overstreet) and Blaine Anderson (Darren Chris). These misfits all came together in song, and the world is a better place for it.
Like a lot of gay teens, I totally felt left out and different growing up. I was an outcast or misfit myself. I so wanted to be in the ‘”in crowd” and be popular. I guess plenty of other people could identify with this feeling and why we latched on to “Glee.” We became “Gleeks” — a person who marches to the beat of their own drum, and is not afraid to sing about it.
I love the fact that you had openly gay teenagers on the show. It was a big deal at the time, and the producers took a lot of heat for it. Today, with how things have progressed as far as gay rights, I’d like to think that “Glee” had something to do with it. I also enjoyed the relationship between Kurt and his father. This was also something you hadn’t seen before on TV, with a Dad (Mike O’Malley) being supportive of his gay son.
The musical numbers were always great, and gave us many memorable moments. I have around 10 of the “Glee” CDs and listen to them often. Their interpretations are often as good as or better than the originals. And who can forget their mash-ups, where they put 2-3 songs together in a medley to dazzling results. I also love how much joy those songs/performances brought to the world. It looked like the kids were having so much fun in those scenes. I would have loved to be in that club!
I love that the show had songs from all different genres: Broadway, pop, rock, R&B, folk and more. There were often times I heard a song on the show first, only to find out who the original artist was later.
It’s a shame that so far the stars of the show have not gone onto successful recording careers: Darren Chris, Amber Riley, Lea Michele and Naya Rivera all have great voices. Maybe the next stop is Broadway for some of them.
I also want to mention Cory Monteith. What a tragedy. He was fantastic in the role of Finn Hudson, and I cried when I heard that he died. He may be gone, but his songs and acting will live on. I loved the fact that they brought back the original performance of “Don’t Stop Believin” from the pilot episode, it had me all teary eyed.
So goodbye, “Glee” — it was great having you around for the last 6 years. I know that the show and songs will always have a special place in my heart. The quote on the plaque in the last shot said it all: See the world not as it is, but as it should be.
KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.