Why I Love “Glee”

My friends, family and acquaintances will not be surprised by the confession I am about to make.  In fact, they’re probably sick and tired of hearing me talk about it.  But I’m going to talk about it anyway.

I love “Glee.”

There, I said it.

First of all, I can’t believe this show has only been on for one season.  It’s  become such a staple for me and my friends that I feel like it’s been on for years, not just mere months.

Second, when I look at the number of songs this cast has performed in its first season, it astounds me.  Never mind the fact that they are over-produced (a problem many people– myself included– have with the show); the fact that this cast has performed, in one form or another, 137 songs in its first season (a herculean feat for ANY group) makes me only further believe that they are THE hardest-working cast on TV right now… or of all time.

But that’s not why I love “Glee.”

I love the show because at its center are a cast of characters from which I can find a part of myself at any given time in my life.  And they all share the same common bond– the love of music.

Diversity in casting is fairly commonplace these days, but while some shows show diversity while still presenting “beautiful people,’ “Glee” went a step further.

“Glee” made it a point to showcase the outcasts: the kids who were the brunt of jokes and the recipients of teasing and sometimes torture by other kids.  The ones who look different, sound different, and sometimes even move different from everyone else.  Into that mix, it threw in some of the “cool kids” – the jocks, cheerleaders and otherwise “popular” ones who had higher places on the social hierarchy.  Would they co-exist and still create music together?  Or would they throw everything down the tubes?

In the season finale, we learned that everyone who joined the Glee club had grown considerably since the first episode– from students to teachers to counselors.  The revelations by each of the characters showed that the story we had been following had made a difference in each of their lives– and the difference that was made was due, for the most part, to the common bond they shared– music.

In each of these characters, I saw a part of myself– both when I was their age and today.  I found myself relating most to, of course, Kurt– for his awkwardness and self-discovery; and to Tina for her shyness and newfound ability to make friends.  I also related to Artie, who, although he is wheelchair-bound, never lets that be a barrier.  Will Scheuster’s starry-eyed hopefulness was familiar, as I have often found myself to feel that way about situations– only to be disappointed in the end.  That’s not being Debbie-Downerish– that’s just being real.  Not everything is bright and shiny and wonderful.  And Will’s discovery throughout this show’s first season proved that.

Then there’s Sue Sylvester– the snarky, vicious, hell-driven antagonist.  There were times I thought the character was a bit too much– but there was always a method to her madness.  Sue could have been a completely one-dimensional character, but the writers didn’t let that happen.  I always hoped we’d see her other side, and the episode where she visited her sister with Down Syndrome did just that, and beautifully.  And in that moment, the caricature that we had seen since day one was crumbled.  Sue has a heart.  Everyone has a heart– we just don’t always show it.

Of course, the show is not perfect.  There were some major clunker episodes in the course of the first season, and a few times where the fantasy aspect of the show got way out of hand.  I’d love to see a touch more realism in the next season– but not TOO much.  The fantasy aspect of the show is what makes it fun.  After all, it’s not just a comedy or a drama– it’s a MUSICAL comedy-drama.  A MuDramEdy.  I just coined a phrase.

So now the show is done and us “Gleeks” are left to watch our DVDs and listen to our soundtrack MP3s until the fall.  Will the anticipation of Season 2 pay off?  I hope so.  Until then, I’ll relive some of the best moments and enjoy my summer.

What were some of your favorite moments of the first season of “Glee”?  What were some moments you wish had gone a bit better?

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