10 Harsh Realities Of Rewatching Glee

Split image showing Sue and Rachel with Finn in Glee.

Ryan Murphy recently visited the And That’s What You Really Missed podcast and revealed he’s been toying with the idea of revisiting his hit show, Glee. During the interview, Murphy revealed a reboot or Broadway musical adaptation of the musical show is not out of the question, prompting many fans to raise their eyebrows.

After all, Glee‘s reputation hasn’t improved over time. The once mighty show ended with a whimper rather than a bang, and revisiting it is a weird and often uncomfortable experience. Because while funny and full of music, Glee is also a product of its time, meaning fans discover harsh and ugly realities with every rewatch.


Glee’s Characters Are Awful

The cast of Glee in a promo photo for season 1.

The McKinley High Glee Club included several characters that audiences were supposed to root for and appreciate. However, the kids were actually awful people. They were selfish, annoying, and sometimes obnoxious, mainly because the show’s writing was so uneven.

RELATED: 10 Musicians Who Loved Glee’s Covers Of Their Songs

It was hard to root for these characters because they all behaved like brats most of the time. And while it was understandable because they were still teenagers, their behaviors kept worsening as they grew older, meaning they stayed largely the same even as the seasons went on.

Glee’s Characters Aren’t “Losers”

The Glee Club posing with their Sectionals trophy in Glee.

Most of Glee‘s best storylines focused on how the New Directions were underdogs who overcame numerous obstacles through song and dance. However, looking back on the show means realizing the kids weren’t really losers.

Yes, the Glee Club kids suffered considerable bullying at McKinley, but the entire school was a nightmare. Furthermore, the New Directions performed in numerous school events where the crowd cheered for them and celebrated them. And while they weren’t the most popular click at school, the New Directions were also not at the bottom of the barrel.

Glee Is Tone-Deaf

For all its talk about inclusion and acceptance, Glee was an incredibly tone-deaf show. It never read the room and often made baffling choices that were confusing at best and deeply offensive at worst.

When Karofsky attempts suicide in season 3, the show has the New Directions “honor” him by having the Troubletones perform Kelly Clarkson’s “(Stronger) What Doesn’t Kill You.” In season 5, Schuester goes on a crusade for freedom of expression by performing “Blurred Lines” and twerking with his students. Many of Glee‘s musical performances aged poorly because the show didn’t understand subtlety and actively chose to be as grand and loud as possible.

Glee’s Adult Characters Are Poorly Written

Glee Will and Sue

It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that every adult in Glee sucked. Will Schuester was obviously the worst offender, but practically every adult figure was terrible and problematic, behaving more immaturely and erratically than the students.

RELATED: 10 Broadway Roles The Original Cast Of Glee Would Be Great In

There are some exceptions — Burt, Carole, and Beiste come to mind — but they aren’t enough to compensate for the other adults who acted like creeps. Glee‘s main problem was always its lack of consistency, and this issue becomes egregiously clear in the writing for the adult characters.

McKinley High Is The Worst School Ever

Joe, Quinn, Sam, and Mercedes signing in the McKinley courtyard

The New Directions suffered all kinds of bullying from the jocks on the football and hockey teams, but they were far from the only click mistreated at McKinley High. In fact, every other student seemed to live in fear of not only the jocks but also some of the teachers, especially Sue Sylvester.

Thus, it’s safe to say that McKinley High was hell. Its students spent their time cowering in fear but seized every opportunity they could to inflict pain on others. It was a vicious and neverending cycle of cruelty that the show treated as a joke when it could’ve done something more interesting and thought-provoking.

The Glee Club Deserves All Their Loses

The New Directions performing on stage in Glee

Thanks to its undeniably talented cast, Glee did some incredible covers of well-known songs. The kids in New Directions were full of contagious energy and had incredible voices, particularly characters like Rachel, Mercedes, Santana, and Artie.

However, it’s also safe to say that they weren’t the best performers, especially compared to other groups like Vocal Adrenaline. The New Directions lost several times throughout the show, and honestly, they deserved it every time. They were never bad, but they were never the best out of the bunch. And while the show portrayed those losses as underserved, fans can’t help but agree with the verdict.

Glee Is Terrible At Handling “Serious Issues”

Brittany crying inside a bathroom stall in Glee.

Glee’s best episodes showcased how sweet and thoughtful it could be. However, it miserably failed whenever it tried to address “serious issues.” The show was too unsubtle and campy to pull off some of its dramatic storylines, and the result ended up being cheap and fake.

The shooting episode in season 4 — egregiously titled “Shooting Star” — is perhaps the most obvious example. There was no reason for there to be a shooting episode other than Glee wanting to be solemn and “socially conscious.” However, it always seemed as though the show was checking boxes in a long to-do list of serious issues rather than being genuinely interested in addressing them.

Sue Sylvester Really Is The Villain, Actually

Sue Sylvester was arguably the best and most memorable character in the show. It’s no surprise that Jane Lynch won multiple awards for her performance, including a Golden Globe and an Emmy; she was the funniest and most chaotic character in a show full of them.

RELATED: 10 Worst Things Sue Sylvester Ever Did On Glee

However, no matter how much fans try to claim she was the show’s unsung hero, the truth is she was the villain. Sue was a terrible teacher and a bully who enjoyed mistreating others. As headmaster, she locked overweight students in cages, forcing them to wear pig ears and noses. Sue also used hounds to terrorize the students and even physically assaulted some. In short, she was the worst.

Every Couple In Glee Is Toxic

Finn sits with Rachel in the choir room in Glee.

Like most teenage shows, Glee had no shortage of relationship drama. The show’s couples were fan favorites, but that doesn’t mean they were perfect. Indeed, all of the pairings in Glee were bad, with the most famous — Finchel and Klaine — being awfully toxic.

There was love between them, but they were wrong for each other. They cheated, lied to, and mistreated each other multiple times, to the point where fans didn’t understand why they were still together. The show’s adult couples weren’t much better, but the teenage drama always took center stage. Thank god for Brittany and Santana; they were the show’s only good couple.

Glee’s Humor Is Offensive

Quinn and Santana toasting at a party in Glee.

Rewatching the show means realizing all the humor was offensive. Most jokes made fun of the characters’ stereotypes, and the show didn’t shy away from using racist, sexist, and even homophobic humor.

Santana and Sue, by far the show’s funniest characters, always insulted the other characters, making fun of their physical attributes. The show also enjoyed overusing harmful stereotypes for laughs and took great pleasure in bringing its characters down. It’s one thing to make an occasional joke about a sensitive issue, but Glee did it every episode, proving that its comedy was always weak.

NEXT: 10 Worst Storylines In Glee, According To Reddit

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