Tonight the final two episodes of Glee will air and millions of dedicated fans, myself included, will probably cry as we sing along to the final performances we’ll ever see from New Directions.
For me, and I’m sure many fans, Glee has been a part of my life through various ups and downs over the last six years. Six seasons is a long run for any television show, especially these days when there are so many methods, formats and mediums in which to watch your favorite shows. When I watched the pilot way back in 2009, I was surprised by how much I liked it. I remember burning a CD with the music from the first episode for my car. Remember CD-Rs!? That’s how long ago this was. As a kid, I was in the music program in high school and though I wasn’t in the glee club, all of my best friends were. I found myself, at 23, connecting with high schoolers who sang and danced again – and I loved it!
Now at 29, quite a lot has changed since then. If you’ve followed along with all 105+ episodes of Glee Chat you may recall how eerily similar the parallels of the show were to my own real life. During the show’s run, I graduated from college. I fell in love. I broke up. I moved home from college. I moved to New York City to follow my dreams. I lost a loved one. All the while I was tuning in every week to see what was going down in the halls of McKinley whether I loved the plots or not.
Glee fans have been through the wringer with this show. The show was a roller coaster of emotions from start to finish. Season 1 started with a bang full of fun, great music, awards, incredible acting and an incredible plot. Season 2 hit phenomenon status when a hugely successful tour and movie were created with thousands of screaming fans filling up arenas. The Glee Project was launched which was not only an incredible show, but gave us our summer fix between seasons. Then the ratings for Glee changed. The lust and lure of music performances on TV started to lose its sparkle to the masses. Smash came along and it wasn’t the only show on TV turning out musical performances. Then the plot of the show started to go a little bit everywhere, much to the dismay of fans who had an emotional attachment to the beginning seasons. The cast eventually became so big it could fill one of those arenas the Glee tour stopped at only a few years prior. The Glee Project didn’t come back either, much to many fans’ dismay.
Then the unthinkable happened: the death of Cory Monteith. Fans and anyone who loved Glee in its heyday were shocked at the news. It was ironic that a show about overcoming obstacles, celebrating the life and individuality of people, a show whose very title meant pure happiness, suddenly had to face arguably one of the most shocking deaths in television history. A primetime comedy just lost its leading man. There was uncertainty as to whether the show could return in the fall. How could a show titled “Glee” come back from such an unimaginable low – not just for the fans but for the actors who were so close? In Cory’s name, the show went on, and fans found new ways to love and admire the new characters, new plots and the new style the show adapted. We, both the show and the fans, rebounded from a big loss.
Four years ago, I was asked to cover Glee in every aspect I could for a new little website one of my closest friends, Andrew Sims, wanted to launch called Hypable. When Hypable launched, it was just Andrew, myself and two others covering everything, with my focus on Glee and a few other fandoms. Can you imagine that now? Andrew and I had worked on a few projects before (R.I.P. GagaBeat.com) and he knew my passion for Glee in 2011, so I gladly accepted.
I was so happy to finally have a place to put all of my energy and excitement for the show. I covered every episode and launched a new Glee podcast, which would go on to be the No. 1 Glee podcast on iTunes, with an incredible cast of people equally as enthusiastic towards the show as I was. Four years ago (almost to the day), I had no idea that this show about misfits and music would bring me such joy as I covered it for fans on Hypable.com and on Glee Chat. The response from fans who thank me and the other hard-working writers, editors and cohosts for the work we do is overwhelming and makes every second I have put towards covering this show for four years absolutely worth it. For that, I am very thankful and appreciative.
So, while I know some of you will be tuning in to hate-watch the final episodes of the series (and I don’t hold that against you, some of that sentiment is justified), try to remember what brought you to McKinley High School in the first place. One of the final episodes is a flashback episode titled “2009” that will showcase how the characters met each other before becoming a part of the glee club. So I ask that you “flashback” yourself, remember the good parts, remember the bad parts, remember singing “Don’t Stop Believing” on the radio with your friends even when you found it corny, and enjoy the final moments of a show that brought so much “glee” to so many people for the last six years!