We all know that the past few seasons of Glee (namely seasons 4 and 5) were likely the worst in the show’s history. Going into season 6, which will only consist of a total of 13 episodes, I wasn’t expecting anything different. Boy, was I wrong.
Season 4 was when Gleeks said a reluctant “see you soon” to some of their favourite characters, like Quinn, Puck, and Mercedes, and were forced to welcome a host of new kids, each clearly meant to fill an archetype in McKinley High, left void by the departing students of the first three seasons.
There was Marley, the girl with amazing talent but little self-confidence, who I expect was meant to fill the shoes of NYC bound, Rachel Berry, while Kitty was likely a replacement for Quinn (pre-season 3) and Santana (every season). Unique was brought in to cover the sass department left empty by Mercedes and Ryder was around because every glee club needs a loveable, but fairly plain, jock.
Throughout seasons 4 and 5, we were forced to watch as Rachel, despite the fact that she was only 18/19 years old, won the starring role in her own Broadway show – a remake of Funny Girl. I don’t know why, but I sort of imagined it taking a little longer than the better part of 8 months. She quickly decided that her star was too bright for a Broadway stage and hopped on the next plane for Hollywood, determined to win over studio execs and get her own TV series. It seemed like the Rachel Berry we had all watched, who had drooled over living in NYC and making it big on Broadway, was gone.
When season 6 picked up, Rachel was in the early stages of her own TV. It was all for not, sadly, because the show was soon cancelled. Heartbroken, Rachel returned to Ohio and reinvigorated the glee club, along with Kurt who miraculously had a work-study option that semester at NYADA. What better way to earn college credit than to help your friend reinstate a singing group at your old high school.
Like in season 4, new kids were introduced, but I was quick to realize that it wouldn’t be like the last time. When each new character was introduced, their story line seemed to go as far as whatever brought them to the glee club in the first place.
Jane was the only girl at Dalton Academy and decided to jump ship to McKinley where she could be accepted into a non-sexist group.
Roderick was the token “fat kid” at McKinley but found acceptance and admiration in the New Directions because of his incredible voice and love of music.
Twins, Madison and Mason, joined the glee club, literally in sync, while dodging incest jokes because of their close relationship. In the glee club, they’re able to be themselves.
The latest addition, Spencer, is a gay football player who was too afraid to share his love of music because of the unimaginable pressure he felt to stay “masculine” around his teammates.
Thankfully, none of these characters were shoved down our throats. We weren’t expected to instantly fall in love with them and immediately empathize with their shitty high school existence. Even as season 4 dragged on, and Marley was manipulated by Kitty into developing an eating disorder, I found myself sitting there and wondering why I should care. I didn’t know Marley. Nothing about her time on the show had made me see another side of her. Episode after episode, we were “treated” to scenes of Marley’s insecurities (like her lunch lady mother) and her inability to choose between Jake and Ryder. I’m not able to sympathize with a TV character if they don’t possess some sort of redeemable quality and, surely, the writers hadn’t even given us a chance to see that from her before giving her character a dramatic twist.
Of course, eating disorders are terrible and, for that, I felt bad. Marley should not have had to go through that. My qualm is with the Glee writers. Only a few episodes into her Glee life and they had already given one of the heaviest plot twists in the show’s history to the new girl? No thanks!
While we had to adjust to Rachel, Kurt, and eventually Santana, living in NYC, and the sudden absence of a few of our most beloved characters, we were suddenly expected to welcome in these new characters as if they were the same people, but with different faces. Unique was not Mercedes; Kitty was not Quinn; Marley was not Rachel; Ryder was not Finn; Jake was not Puck; and so on and so forth.
Becky Jackson has had quite a bit more screen time this season – at least more than she has had in recent years. I’ve always maintained that Becky Jackson is the unsung comedic genius of the show because her one-liners and perfectly timed insults are always on point.
Glee season 6 has gone back to its roots. Finally, it’s back to being about a ragtag group of misfits who come together to do something great. Rachel and Kurt are back at McKinley, the environment we feel the most comfortable seeing them in. This transition means that more original characters have made extended appearances. When the duo was in NYC, I’d imagine it’d be hard to come up with different, but equally unique, reasons to have their friends visit over two seasons.
The current season also promises to wrap up some of the long-ended storylines of the show’s most popular couples.
We’ve seen Klaine (Blaine and Kurt) go through a rollercoaster relationship since first meeting in season 2. They’ve broken up, they’ve gotten back together, they’ve kissed, they’ve gotten engaged, they’ve broken up, they’ve kissed, and so on and so forth. With only a few more episodes left, the show’s creative minds have, as of this point in time, already decided the fate of Blaine and Kurt. Will they finally end up together or will they realize that they really are better off apart? Recent episodes would point to a very happy ending for Klaine in the coming weeks.
Brittana (Brittany and Santana) are set to get married on this week’s episode, with teaser photos already hitting the web. Brittany and Santana, friends for a long time, officially began their whirlwind romance in season 3 after coming to terms with their sexual orientations. Despite breaking up and getting back together (Klaine doesn’t have the monopoly on that when it comes to this show, unfortunately), Santana proposed to Brittany and all signs are pointing to a very happy ending for one of Glee‘s most iconic couples.
The fact that Glee is finally forced to wrap up story lines, without any further ability to come back and change their decisions or shift characters into other directions, is reassuring. While I don’t want Glee to end, especially after this season, I do find it comforting to know that whatever happens when the show ends is what we’ll be left with. No matter the fate of Rachel, Kurt, Santana, Brittany, Blaine, Mercedes, and everyone else, at least we’ll have the memories of one last great season of a once groundbreaking musical-comedy TV series.
As a fan of the show since season 1, it’s hard to describe the overwhelming feeling that Glee is back in fine form. Unfortunately, their revitalized streak is set to come to an end, because the show’s series finale is scheduled for March 10.
Glee season 6, episode 8 “A Wedding” airs this Friday, February 20 at 9PM EST on Fox.
What do you think of “Glee” season 6 so far? Leave your opinion in a comment below!