Glee has captured the hearts and minds of audiences for years. But now the show has finished its final run, it’s time to look back (for those who didn’t see it whilst it was running) and give an overview of what the show was, and what the show was about. This article will take you through what the show Glee was, what it was all about, who was in it, and finally, why the show reached such immense levels of popularity. You can watch reruns of this TV show if you get the right television service.

The Technical Stuff: What Is Glee?

glee the final season fridays

Glee is an American show that ran from May 2009 to May 2015 on the Fox network. It’s set in an American high school, and is a comedy-drama about the students and staff of said high school. It broadly depicts various themes about coming of age and social justice. It was created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, who also directed the earliest episodes. In total, there were six seasons of the show Glee, and these comprised of one hundred and twenty-one episodes in total.

The show has received favorable reviews from critics, and has won many awards including the Golden Globe for best musical or comedy. It was nominated for over seventy awards. Since, Glee has gone on to spawn many other add-ons to the franchise; including merchandise, musicals and other additions – including twenty-five Billboard top 100 singles, and a number of charting albums of various collections of songs featured on the show.

What’s the plot?


The show focuses on the glee club, New Directions, from the William McKinley High School. They compete on a local choir competition circuit, and the major focus of the plot revolves around the diverse students’ (in terms of sexuality, race, and other dividing lines) differences, and how those differences are overcome. Over the several seasons of the show, this cast was expanded to include more core members as the show attracted more regular members of its cast, as well as a huge amount of guest stars.

Who are the regular cast members?

Matthe Morrison will glee

The original main cast consisted of club director and Spanish (later History) teacher Will Schuester (played by Matthew Morrison), cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester played by Jane Lynch, Emma Pillsbury played by Jayma Mays, Will’s wife Terri played by Jessalyn Gilsig, and the members of the club, who were played by Dianna Agron, Chris Colfer, Kevin McHale, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Amber Riley, Mark Salling and Jenna Ushkowitz. In the second season, several changes were made. Mike O’Malley, Heather Morris and Naya Rivera were promoted to the main cast, where as they had been recurring cast in the first season.

For the third season the main cast stayed largely unchanged. That said, Harry Shum, Jr. and Darren Criss were promoted to the main cast, but Gilsig and O’Malley were no longer considered the main cast. The fourth season saw fourteen members in the original starring cast. The fifth season with Corey Monteith’s death, was the most dramatic change to the main cast. Morris, Riley, Salling and Shum were all reduced to a recurring role as opposed to receiving a star billing. In their place, Jacob Artist, Melissa Benoist, Blake Jenner, Alex Newell and Becca Tobin were all promoted to the starring cast for the season – despite only appearing for the first 13 episodes and being entirely missing from the last seven.

The final, sixth season of Glee only had a main cast consisting of nine members: Colfer, Criss, Lynch, McHale, Michele, Morrison and Overstreet remained unchanged from the previous season, whilst Riley was promoted back to the main cast, and Dot-Marie Jones , the school’s football coach, Shannon Beiste was promoted to it.

Who Are The Guest Stars?

glee jane lynch

Glee has become famous for its noted guest stars. Over the years, the popularity of the show has attracted many famous actors, actresses and musicians to take part in the various episodes. Gwyneth Paltrow is perhaps the most notable guest star, as she won a prestigious award for her guest appearance.

However, the guests on the show are almost too numerous to mention, and include the aforementioned Gwyneth Paltrow, Meatloaf, Britney Spears, Demi Lovato, Jeff Goldblum, Helen Mirren, Whoopi Goldberg, Gloria Estefan and Olivia Newton-John.

Why is this show so popular?

take me to church glee

Glee started in the wake of the end of the movies in the High School Musical franchise. These films acted as forerunners – proving the popularity of the genre. Glee was a long running franchise that focused heavily on coming of age themes; relationships, identity and feelings of being different from one’s peers, and meshed them with similar issues that affect the whole of society – current affairs, race relations, gay and women’s rights and issues of discrimination in various facets.

Glee also has the added boost of drawing in viewers by using popular music. The acapella style popularized by the show meant that – whilst the show relied on songs that were already famous – the songs on the show were original sounding, whilst still appealing to fans of the songs of the original arrangements. Glee used songs from Queen, Elvis, The Beatles and various musicals, including the Rocky Horror Picture show to populate the episodes with music. This is in addition to songs from many, many bands as well as traditional songs, including Christmas carols and hymns that are the fare of more traditional acapella ensembles.

Glee’s popularity gained tremendously throughout the show’s run – due in no small part to its cult following – self-titled gleeks (a portmanteau of glee and geek) who posted to various social media sites, particularly Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter, boosting the show’s popularity. Fox even ran nationwide competitions to find who the most dedicated fan was. Yet the hallmark is, and was, the shows insistence on relating what should be a simple and shallow topic – singing competitions – into an avenue for public discourse on socio-political topics. This gives the characters universal appeal – as the target audience, young adults, relate to the characters.