Who am I kidding? Plenty of us were suckered in by this group of loveable losers becoming an award-winning show choir. I re-watched all 6 seasons recently. I will admit, there are some of the songs that have never left my playlist (Looking at you Valerie, Mine, and Smooth Criminal.)
The 752 (Yeah, I did that math) musical numbers done across the 6 seasons are not enough to honestly make up for shoddy storytelling. You had everything from bullying, to eating disorders to underage strippers. Even Finn outing one of his teammates was swept up in a few “female empowerment anthems”. I had honestly forgotten how bad of a show it was. I had all of the nostalgic memories of dressing as Rachel Berry for Halloween in 4th grade, and spending my 13th birthday with a slushy thrown in my face by my best friend while Loser Like Me played in the background. Glee brought in so many utterly talented people, simply to misuse them as awful characters, or characters whose only job was to sit in the background. You had the phenomenal Jonathan Groff, who was meant to be this dastardly love interest for Rachel. Jesse was alway sort of there, sort of not, until it came out that Jesse St. James and Rachel got married after Finn died. She thanked her husband Jesse in her Tony acceptance speech. The only time they truly used Groff’s talent to his full potential was when Jesse came back to sweep Rachel off her feet, and they sang Rolling in The Deep.
It didn’t stop with Broadway greats like Groff, Menzel, and Chenoweth. Thanks to a competition reality series, they had the likes of Alex Newell and Damian McGinty. Damian was practically wasted, getting 4 songs total during his one season run. He was the only winner of The Glee Project who was a continuous member of the New Directions, who wasn’t brought back after everyone graduated. Who needs the really talented Irish kid, when you could bring in 4 cheap knockoffs of the people who graduated? The only time they ever used Rory was the episode that introduced him when he got to sing the Kermit the Frog classic It’s Not Easy Being Green. Yes. The extent of the characterization of an Irish kid was singing a song about being green. He deserved better.
Utilized characters didn’t get much better than Rory. Sugar Motta was brought in as filler, just because she was a spoiled rich girl. For crying out loud, Tina Cohen-Chang, who was an original member of The New Directions only ever had one solo in a competition. She got to sing Gangnam Style. Yeah. That was the biggest solo the one Asian girl in the glee club ever got. It was nonsense.
For all of its faults, Glee did a lot of good. The awakening of my sexuality came at the hands of Rachel Berry and Santana Lopez. It gave plenty of talented people a platform. It introduced the world to the likes of Grant Gustin and Melissa Benoist. It let people outside of the theater world hear how talented Lea Michele is. It truly did a lot of good. Plus, if nothing else, Run Joey Run was a bop.
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