Remembering ‘Glee’: A look back at the good and the bad

What we'll miss and what we're happy to forget.

10:00 am EDT, March 23, 2015

The Glee finale has come and gone, so it’s time to reflect on the best and worst parts of the series.

After six years of Glee, there’s bound to be a mix of high and low points. There were times we wanted to turn off the television, and other times when we couldn’t get enough. It was a love-hate relationship between viewers and the show, and oftentimes what we loved was simultaneously what we hated. Let’s start with the bad and end on the good.

What We Won’t Miss

1) The Characters

glee sugar motta

Most of the characters were diamonds, but there were definitely a few roughs stones, too. Can someone explain what the point of Sugar was? Aside from being irritating? Oh right, she was rich and her dad bought her into a glee club.

Jacob was no shining star either. It’s true he was supposed to be creepy, but it was too much for TV and too uncomfortable to watch.

Will Schuester might take the cake though, for reasons explained in full below.

2) The Performances

glee cast gangnam style

Glee did an unnecessary amount of performances each episode, so it’s no surprise many of them turned out poorly. There also seemed to be common themes amongst the bad ones. Many featured Tina whose performances unfortunately became punchlines or jokes, despite Jenna Ushkowtiz having a terrific voice. After the beautiful “True Colors” first season, it mostly went downhill from there (“Gangnam Style” anyone?). In addition, Will Schuester’s performances were quite cringe-worthy. The rapping was never cool and his sexual performance in “Toxic” with his students was wholly inappropriate.

Of course there were plenty of others that we wish we could forget that didn’t feature Tina or Will. Brittany’s “Dinosaur” during prom left a lot of question marks above people’s heads, and Blaine and Kurt’s “Candles” is certainly a tough one to defend (and listen to). If a performance will be as basic as the entire group standing, the vocals have to be spectacular, and they weren’t. The arrangement was so strange and didn’t suit either of their voices.

And although many people hated “Run Joey Run,” this author thought it was fantastic.

3) The Relationships

glee quinn fabray joe hart

There were some relationships on this show that were utterly forgettable, pointless, and boring. Does anyone remember Quinn’s fling with Joe? Does anyone remember Joe? Or what about Puck’s relationships with Rachel, Mercedes, and Shelby (which was also plain creepy)? No, we’re better off leaving those in the past.

What’s worse, some relationships were really toxic on Glee, and sadly, some of them were at the forefront of the show. Will and Emma’s relationship was rocky, to say the least. He cheated on her, he tried pressuring her into sleeping with him, and he tried seducing her while she was in a happy relationship with someone else.

Then there’s Kurt and Blaine, who started out adorable and turned downright unhealthy. Cheating on each other, influencing life decisions for selfish reasons, poor communication, and not enough give and take. If you really need convincing as to why this relationship just didn’t work, let us direct you here.

4) Inconsistencies

glee tina cohen chang

Initially it was funny when Glee would acknowledge their inconsistencies, but it became so frequent it was as if Glee just didn’t care about plot or character continuity. They wouldn’t take it seriously, and considering the characters are the heart of the show, a lack of consistency there really hurt it.

Tina changed every season, Blaine changed drastically the moment he transferred to McKinley (and no, not just his wardrobe), Quinn went through a weird time somewhere in the middle (before having a rather beautiful development), and Sam also had some odd moments (how does he not know who Indiana Jones is?). Glee did what it had to do to advance the plot, even at the expense of continuity and character likability.

5) Bad Messages

glee sebastian smythe

Perhaps worst of all were the moments when Glee would have storylines that displayed or made light of a terrible message. Here are some examples:

In season 4, Kitty encouraged Marley to have an eating disorder, a serious issue that wasn’t taken particularly seriously in the show. Not to mention, it didn’t make a lot of sense. How could Marley actually believe she had gained weight when all her clothes fit normally apart from one outfit that was ridiculously tight? Bit of a stretch.

Sexual relations were sometimes questionable. In the early stages of Will and Emma’s relationship, Emma wasn’t ready for such close intimacy, so what did Will do? He hooked up with someone else. Even later on, the circumstances under which they became intimate were dubious. Having it happen immediately after winning Nationals for the first time made it seem like she was rewarding Will with sex. Hopefully it’s needless to say that your first time should not be as a reward to someone else; it should solely be because you want to.

Rachel’s first time also poses some questions, as initially she wanted to as preparation for her role in West Side Story. Somehow, by the end of the episode, she suddenly realized it’s actually because she loves him. It’s hard to believe her reason would change so quickly.

The now infamous vaporape scene deserves a mention. Very deliberate non-consensual touching was made light of, despite being canonically dubbed with the term ‘rape.’ Those offended by this moment were not being sensitive; they were socially conscious of how inappropriate this moment was and how poorly it was handled.

Despite Brittany failing high school, she ended up at MIT. There is no amount of ‘hidden genius’ that makes this plot line acceptable. She had a GPA of 0. You don’t just get into any university, let alone MIT, with a GPA of 0.

Lastly, for this list at least, Sebastian and his fellow Warblers got into a sing-off with New Directions in season 3. It ended with Sebastian throwing a slushie in Blaine’s face, resulting in surgery for a scratched cornea. Turns out they put rock salt in the slushie. Of course though, in true Glee fashion, there’s no punishment for abhorrent behavior. Even after getting Sebastian’s confession, they decided not to report him, but to duke it out at Regionals. Because when someone physically assaults you the best thing to do is pretend it never happened.

On page 2: What fond ‘Glee’ memories are we left with?

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