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It was the first of its genre, the modern train-wreck masterpieces, messy, fun, and ambitious shows like Empire and Scandal and Orange Is the New Black and, of course, American Horror Story that we have come to love.
That first episode of Glee was perfect. Even those of us with the foggiest memories will remember the chills and goosebumps from the final notes of "Don't Stop Believing.
Some plotlines were executed convincingly, others which made you face-palm yourself with those kids' jazz hands. But the balls to fail occasionally on its mission to be brilliant and say something each week made watching Glee something rare for television at the time: The musical numbers were fun, sure.
And they were really fun. But Glee was great because it shamelessly stood for something, at a time when social responsibility was as uncool as, well, being in your high school show choir.
It proved that TV really can't be too crazy for its own good. It celebrated the young misfit in an age of fetishized perfection. It was a nerds-shall-rise moment for musical theatre fans who had been waiting for their turn on the pop-culture kick line. And it was a haven for a community of indescribably talented, but not quite classically telegenic, Broadway stars—theatre fans used to have settle for geeking out over when they played the murder suspect of the week on SVU.
Moreover, amid its schizophrenia of crazy, it provided landmark attention to a number of social issues, ushering in an age in which TV was allowed to teach lessons without resorting to After School Special broadness or Very Special Episode treacly crap.
Admittedly, Glee didn't always succeed at this, but it swung hard. Together, this all proves that Glee , even while singing for a smaller audience, has stuck to its guns. The truth is that there is a lot to remember Glee for.
There's the fountain of quotables from Jane Lynch's Sue Sylvester, as radical of a domineering supporting character if there ever was one. There's the way it reinvigorated a national passion for the arts in schools, with brassy teens across the country clamoring to be their hometown's own Rachel Berry, or resident Finn Hudson jock-types finally comfortable embracing their musical proclivities—and, finally, parents across the country encouraging them to do so. But what really made Glee the best show ever—both for those of who knew what was happening at the time and for those who were clueless they were bearing witness to a TV revolution—was, as Peitzman rightfully points out, how soooo gay it was.
More, for all the talk of the role a show like Will and Grace played in changing the minds of the nation when it comes to gay rights, Glee broke down another barrier: It's interesting to think how a character like Kurt might be embraced if he was debuting on TV now, as opposed to six years ago.
Diversity on TV today is all about normalization , creating a fictional mirror to reality that reveals, as in life, people of all colors and sexualities exist on a spectrum as varied and complicated as white, straight people have always been allowed to exist on for decades. The groundbreaking thing about Kurt, and Glee in general, was that his flamboyance and fabulousness was meant to set him apart.
Kurt and Blaine could hardly believe thier eyes. Sebastian looked so happy. Content, relaxed, and at peace. There was no sign of the evil nature or scheming demeanor that the boys normally saw. His eyes were glowing with sheer delight and glee, and his wide smile could power the sun. Sebastian met thier wondering eyes, and the compelling joyful air around them faded just a bit.
He blinked in acknowledgement, and the girl he was with turned around in curiosity, wondering about the sudden change in the atmosphere. She had curly light blonde hair, deep chocolate eyes, and pale skin, with rosy cheeks, freckles, shell pink lips and long lashes.
Recognition flared in her eyes, and she frowned at them, turning back around to face her date. Sebastian's own eyes flared with memory and he nodded. She was ignored by everyone but Sebastian, who shot her a smirk and a wink. Draped across the back of her chair was a black blazer, and on her wrist was a silver charm bracelet and a matching silver ring to Sebastian's on her ring finger. Hers was slimmer, but still prettier. Each ring seemed to be engraved with some phrase the boys couldn't read.
Pourquoi ne vous embrassez pas, Hummel? She smiled at him. Blaine was looking at Kurt for translation. He would have to ask the countertenor for French lessons.
Sebastian squeezed her hand. He was sick of this girl's attitude. S'il vous plaît , je vous prie.