On Dec. 27 and Dec. 28 TVLine tweeted their 2012 Year in Review articles, and Ryan Murphy’s recent Screen Actors Guild nominated series “Glee” was dubbed TVLine’s Best Spin-Off Within a Show (“Glee Sends Rachel and Kurt to New York”). “Eonline” also named “Glee” as one of their picks for Top 10 Comedies of 2012.
This is great news for “Glee” co-creators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan, who piqued the curiosity of Gleeks far and wide, once they announced that Rachel (Lea Michele), Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Finn (Cory Monteith) would graduate from McKinley at the end of season three.
The questions that followed: Where do they go from here? And, will rebooting the wildly popular series to take these much beloved characters beyond high school actually work?
The answers: The show is completely transformed with Rachel and Kurt now living in New York attending NYADA and yes, it totally works.
While “Glee” failed to make this year’s AFI Television Programs of the Year, Murphy and Falchuk’s other joint venture series, “American Horror Story,” now in its sophomore season, made that distinctive list, along with a series that Ryan Murphy has personally praised on many levels, “Girls.”
“Glee” was also shut out by the Golden Globes this year, but earned enough recognition from its peers in snagging the Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy Series Screen Actors Guild Award nomination.
The series, now in its fourth season, has been totally revamped. Several fresh new faces have joined the stellar, veteran cast. Among them is Melissa Benoist, as Marley Rose, who recently made the cut as one of “Eonline’s” 2012 Breakout Stars.
Also making notably indelible impressions are recurring guest stars Sarah Jessica Parker as Kurt’s vivacious Vogue.com boss, Isabel Wright and Kate Hudson as Rachel’s NYADA nemesis, Cassandra July.
Examiner picks for the Best of Glee Episodes 2012 are as follows:
Season Three, Episode 14, “On My Way,” air date Feb. 21 – This unforgettable episode sends some very strong messages on two very important social issues: Attempted teen suicide as a result of bullying and the dangers of texting and driving.
Max Adler and Chris Colfer give standout performances following Dave Karofsky’s suicide attempt after being bullied about being gay. Plus, we are shocked by Quinn’s (Dianna Agron) accident (and her paralysis that follows) as a result of texting and driving.
“Glee,” as a series, remains undaunted in its effort to raise a voice against bullying and to stand up for equality and inclusion, and 2012 proved no exception in the series’ ability to make a loud and clear statement in the name of a positive social impact.
Season Three, Episodes 20 and 21, “Props”/”Nationals”, air date May 15, 2012 – In these gripping back-to-back episodes, Dot Marie Jones gives an outstanding performance as Coach Beiste gathers the nerve to leave Cooter due to his domestic abuse and Rachel struggles to pick up the pieces after her botched NYADA audition.
In the end, New Directions wins their first Nationals title and Mr. Schue wins the Teacher of the Year Award. What makes the episode particularly bittersweet is the fact that we are saying goodbye to our beloved cast of characters as we know them, even before the season finale graduation. The episode focuses on staying true to yourself and following your dreams, even when the odds seem stacked against you – which is the core of what this series is all about.
Season Three, Episode 22, “Goodbye,” air date May 22, 2012 – This season finale is the best in series history, possibly even in television history. We follow the New Directions gang through graduation ceremonies and we watch Mr. Schue bid his seniors farewell.
By far the most outstanding performances, though, go to Cory Monteith and Lea Michele as Finn “sets Rachel free” and instead of marrying her, he drives her to the train station to send her off to New York to follow her dreams.
Equally moving are Mike O’Malley and Chris Colfer as Burt bids Kurt farewell and reminds all of us how hard it is for parents and children to part ways as a child embarks on life beyond high school en route to becoming an adult. And, Kurt and Blaine pledge to stay together, despite the distance between them and we are left with an ache and a longing for this fan favorite couple, Klaine.
Season Four, Episode 4, “The Break Up,” air date October 4, 2012 – This episode is the Examiner pick for “Glee’s” Best Episode of 2012. Darren Criss and Chris Colfer give series standout performances as we are shocked by Blaine’s confession of infidelity and the much-beloved couple of Kurt and Blaine split up.
Rachel and Finn and Brittany (Heather Morris) and Santana (Naya Rivera) also split and we are pretty much in tears for the entire episode. The most remarkable thing about all of the performances from these fan favorite couples, is their emotions surrounding their respective break ups are so raw and honest and real.
Life as we know it for all of the characters as couples, and as individuals is markedly changed from this point forward. As an audience we are drawn into their pain and hope for the best for all of their futures. The break ups also mark an emotional turning point for these characters and a sort of rite of passage from high school students into adulthood as they move forward with their lives, leaving their “first loves” behind.
Season Four, Episode 9, “Swan Song,” air date December 6, 2012 – In this standout episode, our beloved series returns to its roots, finding New Directions members floundering in the wake of a sectionals loss and Rachel and Kurt enjoying well-deserved moments of victory at NYADA.
Cory Monteith shines as Finn strives to encourage the New Directions gang not to give up on glee club or pursuing their dreams. Plus, Kurt gets an unexpected second chance to audition for NYADA and he does an amazing job.
Lea Michele shines in her “Being Good Isn’t Good Enough” and “O Holy Night” vocal performances and Chris Colfer’s “Being Alive” is a revelation. Overall, we are reminded to chase the dreams closest to our hearts at all costs and in this sense, this episode returns “Glee” to its celebration of the underdog roots.
“Glee” returns to Flint on WSMH FOX66 on January 10, 2013 at 9 p.m. EST.