Saturday, March 21, 2015

Farewell, Glee


Alas, another of my series leaves the airwaves.

I loved Glee right from the start.  It had a great pilot episode, was well cast, covered a terrific variety of songs from all genres (including some amazing mash-ups), and really captured realistically much of the issues and angst felt by teenagers, both who do and don't fit the norm. 


Overall, Glee had a strong run, adding in along the way talented new regulars like Darren Criss, Chord Overstreet, though it weakened when the original kids graduated from the fictional McKinley High in Lima, Ohio and a group of new kids were brought in to carry on the show choir torch, still led by choir director Will Schuster (Matthew Morrison) and tormented by perpetual villain Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch).  The new kids were talented, for sure, but just like Saved By The Bell: The New Class, they just didn't capture the magic and gelling of the originals. 


The show then tried to live two lives by following primary characters Rachel (Lea Michelle), Artie (Kevin McHale), Kurt (Chris Colfer), and Mercedes (Amber Riley) on their adventures in NYC, while still keeping roots in Lima

Eventually for its final season, almost all of the original cast - including Santana (Naya Rivera), Brittany (Heather Morris), Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz), Puck (Mark Salling) and Quinn (Dianna Agron) appeared throughout, wrapping up by bringing us full circle in last night's series finale: hour one took us back to the formation of the original glee club and showed us how this group of misfit kids came together despite their differences and perceptions of each other (six years later, the now-adult actors actually pulled off playing their younger selves really well).  Hour two took us to the future to see where they ended up five years later.

I appreciated how Glee tackled issues like bullying, homosexuality, low self-esteem, cliques, and death, among others.  Especially poignant was how the death of star Cory Montieth was handled following his passing from drug abuse.  It was a fitting, touching tribute to the young actor. I always wrestled with the Sue character - how truly hateful and monstrous she could be and wasn't even a character you loved to hate, but they would throw in occasional moments that showed she did have a heart, so I overall felt divided with her.  But there were enough positives to make you accept any negatives that come with any long-running series.

For the most part, I really enjoyed this show and I will truly miss it.   Its characters, its music ... its glee.


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