Next week Glee finally returns to our TVs after its seven-week hiatus, which means we only need one more countdown of seven to get us through the grueling break. Over the course of these countdowns, I’ve shared my own personal love-hate relationship with the gayest show on TV — and you’ve shared your similar love-hate relationship in the comments. So, this week, I thought I’d countdown the seven reasons I left Glee, but finally welcomed it back with open arms.
It was right around the time that Will kissed Coach Bieste out of some misguided sense of chivalry that I threw the remote control at the television and vowed, NEVER AGAIN! But Dorothy Snarker gently guided me back at the end of season two by sending me a supercut of Brittany and Santana’s scenes together, culminating with Santana’s “Lebanese” t-shirt. I rewatched from the beginning and sighed, “OK, again.” And here’s why:
The Good Ship Brittana
It started as a throwaway line between two supporting characters and launched the mightiest fandom known to man. I confess, I thought the writers were just dicking everyone around promising that Brittana was going to happen one day. At best, I thought we’d get a Sweeps Week peck on the lips. At worst, I thought they’d toy with every lesbian’s heart by offering up the most minimal subtext for all time.
But then, the craziest thing happened: The actual story broke through my almost-impenetrable wall of cynicism with such power and nuance and authenticity that I couldn’t help but fall in love with it. It resonates from every angle. On one side, you’ve got caustic, guarded Santana Lopez, the full-on lesbian who didn’t realize she was a lesbian until she looked up and saw that she’d built her entire life around her best friend. And on the other side, you’ve got innocent, open Brittany S. Pierce, the sexually fluid optimist who never questioned her love for her best friend.
It was a two-second joke that became the very best thing about the show.
When Glee gets it right, it gets it so right
Glee‘s method of creating stories is basically just tossing every character into a hormone tornado and seeing what pairings come whizzing out the other side. Then: Have them sing a chart-topper about their sudden, uncontrollable feelings. It’s the weirdest. But there are those rare times when the writers send their characters on an organic journey and the journey tests and taunts them, but ultimately they come out the other side, illuminated with personal authenticity and triumph. And then they sing about it. It’s what made the pilot episode so special. And it’s what makes some storylines so real that I’m willing to forgive every other misstep.
Those damn earworm-y mash-ups
Even when I wasn’t watching Glee, I was secretly downloading the best songs onto my iPod. Nobody does mash-ups like this show. Nobody.