Remember When Glee Wasn’t That Bad?

After hundreds of musical numbers, endless hookups between characters and dozens of Slushees wasted, Glee ends its six-season run on Friday. What’s that? You didn’t realize Glee was still on? Or that it’s been six seasons? Or that it’s managed to stay on this long? Yeah, you’re not the only one.

Back when Ryan Murphy’s campy musical comedy made its debut in 2009, it became the hottest show on TV. They earned numerous awards (including a Golden Globe Award for Best TV Series, had best-selling albums, a successful concert tour, a series of young adult books and even a reality competition show to be on Glee.

And then it jumped the shark. And then it jumped the shark again. And then it did a semi-serious episode about school shootings. And then Cory Monteith tragically died and it was never the same again. But through all this, for some reason I’ve managed to stick with it. I would consider myself a high-functioning Gleek circa season 1 and 2, even going to said concert tour and meeting some of the cast during a CD signing. But as the show wavered, so did my dedication as a fan, and I put Glee somewhere in the middle to low end of my TV priority list.

As the show comes to an end, the writers are obviously (and rightfully so) trying to tie everything up in a nice bow and have things come full circle, while still creating a hopeful future for its characters. The show is called Glee, after all. As the glee club takes its final bow, I have been reminded that the show was actually really good at times, and I think that’s the legacy any series wants to leave, no matter how horrible it got towards the end. If a show’s good, it’s good, and how about we remember just how good those times were, shall we?

Halo/Walking on Sunshine

{Season 1, Episode 6}

Early on, Glee was known for taking hit songs and putting them together in “mashups”, which obviously isn’t a new idea, but the show brought the practice back into mainstream pop culture. Not only did they do that, but they did it well, and this was just the first of many. *This is also the ep where all the Glee club members are high on some nasal decongestant drug, which explains why they’re acting insane. See, it used to be hilar!

Jump

{Season 1, Episode 12}

I remember watching this thinking A) That looks like so much fun B) This is actually airing on network TV right now. Glee helped usher in musicals into the small screen, and this definitely helped it become as huge as it did.

Since U Been Gone

{Season 1, Episode 13}

In an effort to pay tribute to their teach Mr. Shue, the New Directions put together this number, and for eagle-eyed Gleeks, you’ll remember that choreo from all the numbers they had done up until that point were put into this performance, and I still see the image of Will running through the hall to confess his love to Emma burned in my memory.

Dream On

{Season 1, Episode 19}

Neil Patrick Harris won an Emmy for this guest starring role. I think that speaks for itself.

Faithfully

{Season 1, Episode 22}

Both Cory and Lea name this song their favorite from all the numbers they’ve done on the show, and it’s clear why.

Teenage Dream

{Season 2, Episode 6}

Remember when we didn’t know who Darren Criss was unless you saw him in the Harry Potter musical on the YouTube? Well this number marked the time he changed our lives forever.

Marry You

{Season 2, Episode 8}

Basically any scene between Finn and Rachel that give me romantical feels makes me cry because Cory’s gone, and this is a particularly sweet scene right before his mom marries Kurt’s dad.

Valerie

{Season 2, Episode 9}

I find myself saying ‘Santana is the only reason I’m still watching this show’, because she’s got a great voice but also her sass meter is off the charts, and she’s often the only one who can spit some realness into Lima, Ohio.

Last Christmas

{Season 2, Episode 10}

Yeah. Finn and Rachel forever.

Thriller/Heads Will Roll

{Season 2, Episode 11}

This was from the episode that aired right after the Super Bowl, and as customary for any network show that airs after the most-watched show of the year, the episode needs to pull out all the stops to keep people watching. This was a little weird because, zombies, but also great because it’s Michael Jackson AND it’s a mashup, which we know, Glee does so well.

Dreams

{Season 2, Episode 19}

Ah April Rhodes/Kristin Chenoweth. My favorite alcoholic on the show. Because of its popularity, Glee had the opportunity to perform songs out of sacred songbooks, including this episode, which was dedicated to Fleetwood Mac, and I’m glad this song was put in the hands of Cheno and Matt Morrison, a couple that will not fuck it up.

Let Me Love You

{Season 3, Episode 13}

I have said from the beginning that Artie/Kevin McHale is one of the best male singers on the show. It’s probably because I have a thing for R&B sounding voices, but I always hoped he would get more solos.

How Will I Know

{Season 3, Episode 17}

Because Glee is the show you watch to see it tackle hard-hitting issues and current events, they dedicated a whole ep to Whitney Houston following her death. They opened the show with this number, an acappella version of one of my personal favorite Whitney songs. It set the right tone for the rest of the show, and also proved bigger is not always better when it comes to musical numbers.

Don’t Stop Believin’

{Season 5, Episode 13}

File under: one of the times Glee could have ended but didn’t. This was from the 100th episode that aired last year, when a bunch of old Glee club members came back to pay tribute to Mr. Shue. And in full Full Circle moment, they sang the last song from the Pilot, and one of the show’s most well-known numbers, Don’t Stop Believin’. The original had Cory singing opposite Lea, but obviously the rest filled in, and as they all surround each other on that stage, I couldn’t help but tear up – and think it would’ve been a satisfying ending to the series.

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4 thoughts on “Remember When Glee Wasn’t That Bad?

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