Last night we said goodbye to the television show Glee, after six seasons, countless (okay it’s probably countable, I just don’t feel like looking it up) solos and covers the little awkward tv show about show choir has come to an end. It has been six years of sloppy character development, one season of mocking PSAs and the rest of the series being a giant PSA for everything from bullying and LGBT rights to suicide prevention and stopping discrimination against special needs.
No this blog is not solely about the finale, or the singing, or what happens to the characters. It’s about the show as a whole. It started out quirky which attracted most of it’s audience, alienated it’s audience with season two, and got weird with season three and four.
I watched the first three seasons before deciding ‘there’s better ways to spend my Tuesday nights’ and moving onto NCIS and Arrow as my entertainment. I started the series the summer after it’s first season with a ‘i honestly don’t care’ attitude and continued watching with that same attitude. Then season two came, it started off with the feeling that ‘yeah we’re big shots and we can’t be cancelled by FOX for atleast another two seasons’ but then I saw Grilled Cheesus (which is still my favorite episode) where the topic of religion and atheism was tackled in a shockingly mature way. Kurt the atheist was going through a hard time and didn’t approve of his friends who all happened to be believe in God. Kurt doesn’t convert to Christianity/worshiping the God of Abraham, but thanks his friends for giving him the support needed during his time of crisis and apologizes for the way he treated his friends. Kurt’s friends in return apologize for trying to force him to convert to a belief system and judging him for being an atheist.
The rest of season two can be summed up as “the Rachel show,” with everything focusing on Rachel and Kurt getting a love interest and Santana and Britney’s throw away gag about having sex with each other becoming a full blown relationship. And alot of Tina and Mercedes getting the short end of the stick of anything concerning plot.
Concerning the topics that the series tackled, I really don’t know if it did or did not do anything for the LGBT community. The show premiered when gay rights had become something already in the media, it’s first season took place during the end of the show Ugly Betty that had a gay kiss shared between two teenage boys under eighteen that I feel helped the world get ready for everything that would happen between Kurt and Blain. But did it really do anything for the LGBT community? I don’t know, one character from season six (Spencer) comments that gays became the norm because of Modern Family, not so much the actions of the Glee club. If it did get the world to be accepting of gays then great! If not, then I’m sure it helped someone out there concerning LGBT rights.
Did the show really need to tackle a topic like bullying the way it did in season two? At the time I would have said no since all the glee kids were picked on at some point during season one and treated as a form of comedy. Now being older, maybe those plots concerning bullying were necessary. It is a running theme in the series through all of the seasons, I think the more important thing to care about is how the characters dealt with.
At first the main conflict of bullying (Kurt being an openly gay student) had no choice but to flee his school in fear of his life and wanting safety for his friends. When he returns to McKinnly highschool he chooses to face his bullies, after discovering one of them is in love with him. The issue dies down, but the topic of bullying resurfaces frequently going beyond characters being picked on because they’re gay.Unique is pressured and bullied for being a transgender, Santana goes through her own pain because she’s a lesbian, Kurflousky having a horrible time after being outed in public by his peers and mother, Marley being picked on for having a plus sized mother and being poor, Ryder having a learning disability, Roderick because of his weight, Shannon/Sheldon Beist for not being lady like (she then suffers from spousal abuse), then also suffering from being discriminated against after changing her gender to a male by Vocal Adrenalin. All of these characters presented something for weekly viewers (most of them in their teens) a lesson about being bullied. Face the problem, have courage, don’t take a violent approach, but face the problem.
Inbetween the fourth and fifth season the death of Cory Monteith occurred. It was an event that brought me back to the series. It’s safe to say all fans were affected by his death, his character Finn was killed off with him. All of the aftershocks of this death affected the plot of the show for the remaining seasons. Even if it was tragic, it may have been something fans needed. If the fans needed Glee to handle being bullied, becoming comfortable with their sexuality then the topic of losing a loved one was needed.
The actor and character were different, but it was still tragic. The series ended on a positive note though. All characters got a “happily ever after” in a hopeful future, a future that the world of Glee had always hoped for.