Friday, March 20, 2015

A tearful farewell to Glee (2009-2015)

It is not easy to say goodbye to a TV series about a group of teen aged outsiders who came together because of their shared love of singing and preforming but Glee was the perfect show during the six seasons it aired.
         The years we spent at William McKinley High School were happy, sad, torturous and exciting (at times it was like walking down the hallways of my alma mater) and like in real life they are years and people that won’t be forgotten.

There was sometime Spanish teacher and leader of New Directions Mr. William Schuester played by Matthew Morrison. A teacher who no matter if the glee club won or lost, was still and always proud of his students. From the moment Will first set eyes on the school’s counselor Emma Pillsbury played by Jayma Mays and her silly yet useful pamphlets he was in love with her. Sadly at the time he was married to a horrible woman and she had a boyfriend but amongst all of Emma’s germaphobic “quirks” and Will’s troubles they ended up together and were happily married and started a family. Unfortunately Mr.Schue’s time at McKinley wasn’t all sunshine and lollipops, there, in his way was Sue Sylvester played by Jane Lynch. She was his and The Glee Club’s #1 enemy and Champion Cheerleading Coach of the Cheerios. Sue (in her array of track suits) with Becky Jackson played by Lauren Potter, by her side (not quite to the end) was right there, always plotting ways to destroy all involved with the glee club.
The New Directions Members included…

           Rachel Barry played by Lea Michele, who saw herself as the star of the glee club and had dreams of being on Broadway from the day she was born. Rachel and her best friend, Kurt Hummel played by Chris Colfer were the first to sign-up. At first Kurt felt like an outcast within the group because of his sexual orientation and was being bullied by Dave so his loving and supportive father Burt (Mike O’Malley) found a way for his son to transfer to Dalton Academy. While at Dalton Kurt joined the wonderful Warblers and that was how he (and the viewers) met (my favorite character and cast member) Blaine Anderson played by Darren Criss. Kurt and Blaine (Klaine) had their own ups and downs through the years with cheating, other suitors like the incorrigible flirt Sebastian Smythe (CWs The Flash’s Grant Gustin) who entice his way into their lives (An Eddie Haskell for The Millennials) and a broken engagement. In the end Kurt and Blaine knew they couldn’t live without each other and were married (with Brittana) in a beautiful ceremony. Rachel on the other hand, had a major crush on football player Finn Hudson played by the late Cory Monteith, the first jock to join New Directions. Finn was dating Quinn Fabray played by Dianna Agron, when he and Rachel met. To make things even more difficult Quinn was pregnant by Finn’s friend, fellow football player (and pool boy) Noah “Puck” Puckerman played by Mark Salling. When Finn found out the whole truth about the two he found his way to his true love, Rachel and was with her until his untimely death. It was actually Sue (remember Sue) who made Quinn and her fellow Cheerios, Brittney S. Pierce played by Heather Morris and the fierce Santana Lopez played by Naya Rivera join the glee club as her spies and cohorts in crime. To Sue’s disappointment the three would grow to like being a part of New Directions and being popular wasn’t as important as it once was. Britney, who always had what I called wonderful Brittisms to say, was a girl who loved her cat Lord Tubbington and hosted the web series “Fondue for Two”. She would turn out to be a math genus when college came around and would go on to marry Santana (with Klaine).

Other members in the beginning of the series were… 
            Mercedes Jones played by Amber Riley who was another standout star of New Directions.  After graduation her amazing voice got her to Hollywood and a record deal, she moved to NYC for a year and dated fellow glee club member Sam Evans played by Chord Overstreet who was also a football player when he joined the group. I have to admit I didn’t learn his name until well into his 2ed season but when his family had to move and he had to take a job as a stripper I quickly learned and never forgot it again. As good as Mercedes and Sam were together they were better apart. In the end they never stopped caring about each other as Mercedes told Sam it was okay for him to date Rachel    

And there was…    
         Tina Cohen-Chang played by Jenna Ushkowitz who was never really seen by the group as anything but background. She once had a crush on Blaine but fell for dancer Mike Chang played by Harry Shum Jr. in the end she would make a deal (to marry if they weren’t by 40) with Artie Abrams played by Kevin McHale, whose wheel chair never stopped him from singing, dancing and pursuing a dream to become a film director.             

But let’s not forget…
          Coach Shannon aka Sheldon Beiste (Dot-Marie Jones), Principal Figgins (Iqbal Theba), Jake, Marley, Ryder, Wade aka Unique, Kitty, Rory, Madison and her brother Mason, Jane, Spencer and Myron.

I apologize to those I have forgotten.
           Now before I begin to cry let us raise (not thrown in the face at) a cup of slushee and eat unlimited bread sticks at Breadsticks to all that appeared on the show (including the many guest stars) and the over 200 songs sung from Broadway to Pop to even some I liked when I watched MTV back in the 90s. There were mash-ups (as two songs became one) and special episodes where one artist (Brittany Spears or Michael Jackson) was at the center of that week’s “lesson”. All were good and each week everyone was a joy and inspiration to watch.

I would like to send a special thank you to Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan for creating this amazing, groundbreaking, fun and sincere show. If there was a series like this on TV when I was in high school things for me (and my friends) may have been different. At least Glee got a chance to be seen and will always be a part of its fans aka Gleeks lives.