Glee or Gee?

The album cover for the first season of the hit show Glee. It aired on FOX from 2009 to 2015

Provided by: FOX

The album cover for the first season of the hit show ‘Glee’. It aired on FOX from 2009 to 2015

If I could describe the six season, satire fest that needs a trigger warning before nearly every episode called ‘Glee’ in one word, I would most likely choose the word ‘yikes’, but both in a good and bad way. From May 2009 to March 2015, Glee had aired 121 episodes and hosted around 45 guest stars ranging from Jeff Goldblum, portraying one of Rachel Berry’s gay dads, and Grant Gustin, yes- the CW Flash star- who portrayed Sebastian Smythe a Dalton Academy Warbler in Season 3.

 To say that the show has had some controversy is an understatement. Even outside of the show there has been plenty of controversy surrounding the actors and actresses and trust me when I say this, there is a lot of controversy. A few examples of controversy the show sparked is how Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith) treats his soon to be stereotypical gay step-brother Kurt Hummel (Chris Colfer) in season one by throwing the ‘f’ slur around to describe what he thinks of the bedroom Kurt graciously and thoughtfully decorated for them to share in and there is also controversy surrounding the Glee Club teacher Mr. William Schuester (Matthew Morrison). He blackmailed Finn into being in the Glee club by planting cannabis in his locker, he also is a horrible Spanish teacher, mostly because he doesn’t even know Spanish and he uses stereotypical songs like ‘La Cucaracha’ and a ‘Running of the Bulls’ performance in order to teach his students, to which fans have started to make compilations of ‘All the Times Will Schuester Should’ve Gone to Jail’.  Another example of a controversy is Rachel Berry, portrayed by Lea Michele, sending a foreign exchange student named Sunshine Corazon to a crackhouse because Rachel does not want any new members in the glee club, especially if they can outshine her in any way. 

Not all characters in the show were the worst people however. Cheerios coach Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch), is the voice of reason in all six seasons, despite her complete lack of concern for the students safety sometimes, and Principal Figgins (Iqbal Theba) wanted to shut the whole Glee operation down because of the chaos that it caused. Emma Pillsbury (Jayma Mays), the extreme germaphobe and OCD driven school counsellor, supported the Glee club in everything they did even though she sucked at her job, only handing out pamphlets which are themed to the students and teachers needs but are titled as rhetorical and sarcastic questions or statements like ‘Divorce: Why Your Parents Stopped Loving You’ and ‘You Won’t Be Alone Forever…Probably’. Actually, none of the teachers at McKinley High School were qualified to teach and I take back everything I said.

There are many talents of the show that make up for the horrible people, from dancers like Harry Shum Jr. who played Mike Chang, singers like Damian McGinty who played Rory Flannagan, an Irish foreign exchange student, and the late Naya Rivera who portrayed Santana Lopez, the lesbian icon of the early 2010’s, who had a silky smooth voice fit for jazz songs from Amy Winehouse, demanding for pop songs from Michael Jackson and a sweet sultry voice for love songs from Taylor Swift and sad songs from The Band Perry. 

Glee was a very inclusive show, from LGBTQ+ characters like Kurt, Santana, Brittany, and Blaine to characters with disabilities like Jean Sylvester, Artie Abrams (Kevin McHale), Becky Jackson and those who have mental disabilities like Ryder Lynn (Blake Jenner) and Sam Evans (Chord Overstreet) who have dyslexia, and here is where the trigger warning from before will come into place, so once again, here is a trigger warning for self-harm, shootings and bullying. The show also explores the aftermath and affects of school shootings, suicide attempts and bullying of LGBTQ+ characters.

All in all, Glee was and still is very problematic both in real life and on the TV screen or social media outlets like Twitter and Instagram. There are so many things that can be fixed with the series if they were to produce a reboot of the show or a show like it. It was a satirical comedy that just aged horribly as things in the show became more of the norm in reality.