Break out the Kleenex, tomorrow night Glee has its last ever episode on ELEVEN.
It brings to an end 6 seasons of this sky-rocket of a show, that became a pop phenomenon in its early seasons.
Yes it went on too long, and yes not every episode was gold. But when Glee hit its stride it was wonderful television.
Ryan Murphy managed to restore some faith in the music drama series, the best of its kind since Fame.
His story about a high school choir of geeks and misfits thrived on the premise of individuality expressed through song. Its diverse cast put issues of sexuality, race, disability and identity front and centre, wrapped up in a bow of pop theatricality.
Glee spawned a small industry of music, merchandise and live touring. According to Forbes, the cast has managed to place 205 songs on the Hot 100, outranking Elvis Presley. How well we remember TEN securing most of the first cast for a promotional tour in 2009 (flashback to the Glee kids sitting in the audience of Australian Idol) and even inspiring TEN to announce a choir talent series, aptly titled Don’t Stop Believing (it did not proceed).
Of course, not mention of Glee would be complete without acknowledging the tragic passing of Corey Monteith in 2013. With Monteith and co-star Lea Michele in a true-life relationship, mirroring their characters Finn and Rachel, it was truly heartbreaking. His death, also painfully written into the show for Finn, denied the show its core relationship. Glee was never the same thereafter.
Murphy admitted his dream ending for the series had to be reworked, as the show refocussed on Rachel and her gay-pal Kurt (Chris Colfer), even as they graduated from William McKinley High. Special acknowledgment to Jane Lynch for her snide tracksuited villain, Sue Sylvester -ably assisted by pint-sized sidekick, Becky Jackson (Lauren Potter).
In addition to full episodes devoted to Michael Jackson, Fleetwood Mac, Lady Gaga and Madonna, Glee also attracted a cavalcade of guest stars including Gwyneth Paltrow, Adam Lambert, Idina Menzel, Britney Spears, Kristin Chenoweth, John Stamos, Lindsay Lohan, Carol Burnett, Whoopi Goldberg,
Kate Hudson, Ricky Martin, Sarah Jessica Parker, Neil Patrick Harris and Shirley MacLaine.
The final episode, “Dreams Come True,” focusses on most of the central characters, some better than others, and there are moments that tug at the heartstrings.
And as they step into the spotlight one last time, the kids from Glee remind us that to be individual you only have to open up your heart to sing.
Glee airs 9:30pm Friday on ELEVEN.