Every New 'Glee' Character In Season 6: They're So Much Better Than Marley & Co.
For even its most devoted fans, Glee has been one hell of a roller coaster ride. The highs have been so high (the pilot, Season 1 Sectionals), but the lows have been oh so very low (Puppet Master, anyone?). And while opinions on the musical dramedy are as diverse as its audience — some people want Samchel, others just want Samcedes back — one thing I think we can all agree on is that the Season 4 "newbies" were a bust. I'm talking about you, Marley, Jake, and Ryder. Luckily, the new Glee Season 6 characters are a step up.
Even if you happened to be a fan of one or more of the Season 4 set, you have to admit that the show handled their introduction poorly. There was too much of them too soon, and they were poor carbon copies of the graduated seniors. Even the writers admitted their failure when the newbies were dropped unceremoniously halfway through Season 5, never to be heard from again.
Season 6 explained their absence by telling us that Sue had forced them all to transfer to different schools after she disbanded the glee club. The only one who survived the culling was scathing cheerleader Kitty Wilde, who's back in Season 6... even though she's none too happy with how the New Directions — and ex-boyfriend Artie in particular — treated her in the past.
So you can imagine everyone's trepidation when it was announced that Season 6 would focus on a crop of new newbies. "Brandnewbies," if you will. Hadn't the writers learned from their mistakes? Apparently they had, because these new kids are everything Marley & Co. weren't: namely, unique and interesting.
Here are all 10 of the new faces we've been introduced to in the first four episodes of Glee's final season:
1. Jane Hayward
Played by: Samantha Ware
The confident-but-awkward young woman was initially introduced as the first female student at Dalton Academy. (She was legacy, and her dad pulled strings to get her in.) But when she wants to join the Warblers, the traditionally male a cappella group balks, and she winds up transferring to McKinley — where her talent is appreciated. And what talent! Her soulful cover of Janelle Monáe's "Tightrope" proved she can do R&B, but it was her mash-up of Carole King's "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" and Alanis Morissette's "Head Over Feet" with fellow glee clubber Mason that truly showed her impressive range.
Played by: Noah Guthrie
Insecure about his weight, Roderick shields himself from the world behind a pair of oversized headphones. But when Rachel overhears him singing to himself in the library, she practically twists his arm into auditioning for her fledgling group. And what a voice! His audition number, "Mustang Sally" (backed by the Unholy Trinity, natch), is unexpectedly funky, introducing a fairly untapped genre of music to the show six years in. Roderick's raspy soulfulness will undoubtedly be a crucial piece of New Direction's success this season.
3/4. Madison & Mason McCarthy
Played by: Laura Dreyfuss & Billy Lewis, Jr.
"The incest twins," as Kitty so delightfully dubbed them, have been an instant fan-favorite this season with their deadpan expressions, hilarious one-liners, and killer voices. They're sort of like Brittany if she were an offbeat karaoke champion... and there were two of her. Not even the other cheerleaders like these weirdos, especially when they don't hesitate to audition for the school's nerdiest club.
5. Spencer Porter
Played by: Marshall Williams
Spencer is a blonde, hunky football player (and aspiring quarterback) who calls himself a "post-modern gay teen." He's out and proud — an achievement he credits not to the glee club, but to the success of Modern Family. (Nice meta comedy there, writers.) Kurt tries to recruit the arrogant jock to join the New Directions, but he turns down the offer. "I'm not saying no to your glee club because it's gay or straight. I'm saying no because it sucks." Ouch. (Something tells me he won't be saying no for very long...)
Played by: Max George
Portrayed by one of the members of the Anglo-Irish boy band The Wanted, Clint is the lead singer of Carmel High's Vocal Adrenaline... which is now being coached by Will Schuester. He and his cohorts are the exact opposite of the kind of student's Mr. Schue is used to teaching: he doesn't want to talk about his feelings, he doesn't enjoy show circles, and he definitely doesn't like being touched. But he does pull off a red Devo hat quite nicely.
Played by: Justin Prentice
Becky Jackson's new college boyfriend surprised everyone by... not having Down Syndrome, as they all assumed. Cute and attentive Darrell forced Sue and the glee alums to examine their own prejudices and think about why they were made uncomfortable by the idea of Becky being in an intimate relationship. For all their big talk, Becky's beau turned out to be the most open-minded person in the room. Team Darrell!
8. Head Warbler
Played by: Myko Olivier
The first post-Blaine leader of the Dalton Warblers obviously has some pretty big shoes to fill... and I must say, Glee's casting director couldn't have done a better job, hiring someone who could pretty much pass for Darren Criss's younger brother. We haven't gotten to see the Head Warbler do much beyond croon Ed Sheeran's "Sing" yet, but this week's episode will see the Warblers follow Vocal Adrenaline in the Invitationals competition with a rendition of The Knack's "My Sharona."
Played by: Harry Hamlin
Trying to move on after his break-up with Blaine, Kurt tried his hand at online dating... which led to this dinner with the unexpectedly old Walter. Turns out that, while his profile pic was a couple decades old, Kurt's dad was a recently out father of two. Kurt seems oddly charmed by the man, and they agree to be friends and see where things go from there. Will we be seeing more of Walter?
10. Abigail Figgins-Gunderson
Played by: Iqbal Theba
Surprise! Turns out Principal Figgins has a twin sister, Abigail — and she's the principal of Carmel High! And that's not the only surprise that came with this revelation. Abigail also spilled the truth that her brother's first name is literally Principal. So he's Principal Principal Figgins?? Mind = blown.
Still To Come...
(Possible spoilers ahead!) We'll be introduced to even more new characters in just a few weeks. During Episode 8, titled "A Wedding," Santana and Brittany will be getting hitched, which means we'll finally meet the ditzy cheerleader's parents, Whitney and Pierce Pierce. They'll be played by comedy greats Jennifer Coolidge and Ken Jeong. We'll also finally get to know more of Blaine's family when his mom, Pam Anderson, makes an appearance, played by Gina Gershon. (We previously met his older brother Cooper in a Season 3 episode, played by crush-worthy Emmy winner Matt Bomer.)