I know it’s unpopular, but I am still a diehard Glee fan. I’m too invested at this point to stop watching so I haven’t missed an episode this season. Tonight was the series finale and it made me nostalgic, so I am dedicating this slice to the show that always makes me laugh and cry.
Glee premiered in May 2009. I was teaching 6th grade with my dream team of teachers. Three of us were (and are still) obsessed with Broadway musicals so we immediately fell in love with this wacky show where they sang songs like “On My Own”, “Maybe This Time”, “Defying Gravity” alongside “Don’t Stop Believin'”, “Ride Wit Me”, and “One”. We would purchase the songs from each episode and listen to them on the drive to and from work. We went to the first tour at Radio City Music Hall and had an awesome time. Sure, most of the attendees were kids, but we loved it!
Soon after that I moved to my current job. But we still talked about Glee, excitedly following the appearance of guest stars like the amazing Patti Lupone. And we went to the second Glee! Tour the next summer, too. This time the audience was mostly our age.
Another reason I loved Glee was because my students and I could talk about it together. My first year at HTHS I spent many lunch periods discussing the show with the underclassmen while doing my lunch duty. It became a regular chat and I love getting to my students outside of English class. Most of those kids have graduated now, but the show will always hold a special place in my heart because it reminds me of them.
And of course, there was the loss of Cory Monteith. I woke up on that August morning in 2013 to a text message from my friend saying, “Cory Monteith died?!” I think it’s the first time I ever felt the loss of a celebrity. Lea Michelle and Cory Monteith seemed so happy together and I had been a Lea Michelle fan since seeing her in Spring Awakening. (And standing in line behind her at the Tony Awards!) Then, watching her sing goodbye to Cory and his character Finn just broke my heart. I am still impressed by her drive and dedication to the show, continuing to perform even after losing him.
Tonight was the final episode of Glee and they did a wonderful job. It was great to see the all of the characters back and to learn where they would go from here. You could tell they were saying goodbye to each other along with their characters. The music choices were wonderful and the throwbacks to the first season made me smile. I’ll miss the show and I will definitely miss the music. But I am so glad that Glee was on my TV for so many years. Thank you to the cast, crew, writers, and staff for an awesome (and often crazy) show. “Don’t Stop Believin'” will always make me smile.