On Jan. 13, the sixth month anniversary of Cory Monteith's passing, a demo of Glee's original cast recording of Seasons of Love was leaked. The Season 3 graduates sing the RENT anthem in unison, each allotted a solo line or two and Monteith's solo part was nothing less than haunting as he belted out, "In bridges he burned or the way that she died." Unknown to everyone at the time, this song would be later dedicated to Monteith is his memorial episode. Aside from the heartbreaking irony, this bittersweet demo serves as a reminder of everything we miss about Glee.
I know I can't be alone in rejoicing when it was announced that Glee would be leaving McKinley in the dust and making a more permanent move to New York with Rachel, Kurt, and Santana. They have been the only aspect of the show that doesn't have my finger heavy on the fast forward button.
The fifth season (and to be honest the fourth, too) has been nothing short of an absolute disaster. The show struggles to balance the Kurt/Rachel storyline in New York while introducing a slew of new characters to McKinley who we frankly just don't care about. The "New Rachel" character Marley Rose falls flat. She's whiny, fragile, unfunny, and timid — literally everything that Rachel Berry despises.
Jake Puckerman, Puck's (surprise!) younger half-brother, has all of the womanizing ways as his sibling without any of his redeeming qualities. At this point, he's nothing more than a villain. Even the more likable characters such as Unique and Kitty have been shoved so far down our throats that we can feel them coming out the other end. You can't make us like these robotic, forced, PSA characters, who unlike the original cast are overly sensitive, humorless, and act without motive or reason — they're one dimensional. A stark contrast to the original characters such as the self-serving Rachel who even had a reason to send a naive Sunshine to an inactive crack house.
The original cast is what made Glee so special — the unique blending of Broadway stars like Lea Michele and Jenna Ushkowitz, powerhouse voices like Amber Riley and Naya Rivera, the sheer raw talent of unknowns like Chris Colfer, Mark Salling, and Kevin McHale, and Cory Monteith. This formula wasn't a predictable one but it was exact. You could feel the chemistry by watching it or just by simply catching the cast interact in an interview.
Glee, a singing, campy, endearing, smart show completely transformed pop culture. They taught America's pop-obsessed youth to appreciate classic songs and addressed social and personal issues and they did it in a way that was palatable.
Hopefully, refocusing on the originals (and the almost originals like Sam and Blaine) will bring the show back to its former glory. Michele, Colfer, and Rivera have proved that they can hold their own and no doubt triple threats like Chord Overstreet and Darren Criss will follow suit. We're anxiously anticipating what stunt Ryan Murphy will pull to put him back in our good graces come Glee's return. We don't care what it is as long as it works, Murphy.