Today, the infamous “Glee” will end after six seasons. Many are saying that it is about time, and in all honesty, it probably is. The show has been up and down creatively for years now. Shifts in ratings have been all over the place for the past couple of seasons, and the cast has changed, largely in part to the death of star Cory Monteith in 2013. Despite the fact that I have stuck with the show and continued to watch for the past six years, because of all the statements above, I didn’t think the end of the show would be hitting me very hard. But as I sit here writing this, I realize that I was so wrong.
In May of 2009, my awkward 14-year-old self decided to stick around for the new pilot that was premiering after “American Idol.” I had seen the commercials, thought it looked fun, and decided to give it a go.
I remember loving that pilot, and like most I downloaded that new cover of “Don’t Stop Believin'” on to my iTunes account. I listened to it throughout the summer, and was excited about the return. However, I was unaware about how that first season, and eventually the show, would completely change my life.
The first season took place during my freshman year of high school. I was an awkward kid who loved theater and writing, and while I had friends, I
never really knew where I fit into the world. “Glee” celebrated that. It added music, optimism and humor to all the emotions that I always felt like I was feeling.
That year I became more than a certified gleek, I became 100% invested. Some (my parents) would more likely say obsessed. After watching each episode twice and jamming out to the songs in my best friend’s car as we drove around our small town, it was around that time that I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in the media industry. I wanted to be apart of something that did for a person what “Glee” did for me.
As the years went on and the quality of the show slightly diminished, I never stopped watching. I refused. I still found moments of pure quality and magic every season. And while I didn’t love the show like I used to, I still loved the idea and what it had done for me and so many people.
“Glee” was a show that had the guts to say stuff that so many shows didn’t. It spoke up for so many people who felt different, or that felt they didn’t have a voice. It gave a voice, a beautiful, belting voice.
So, as the curtain finally closes on this favorite of mine, I can confidently say that I’m not the awkward 14-year-old I was when the show premiered. I have found my voice. And I can confidentially say “Glee” played a role in that.
So thank you, “Glee.”
I never really stopped believing in you.
A Loyal Gleek