Glee 100: Brittany’s Story – Why I Became a Gleek

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I remember standing in the hallway of my high-school as my two friends talked about the new show that just premiered after the Super Bowl. I had no idea what Glee was, but I knew it was the new hottest thing. So, I turned to the internet to figure out just what was so special about the show.

I don’t remember how or why this happened, but someone via YouTube responded to my question of “What is this Glee thing and should I care about it.” The person said, “Glee is basically a music TV show starring that girl from Spring Awakening.”

You didn’t have to tell this theatre nerd twice. Musical TV show? Spring Awakening? LEA MICHELE? It just so happened I had been listening to the Spring Awakening soundtrack for a month straight – even though I had not seen the show because, well, Canadian woes.

So, I watched the pilot as quickly as I could. The first episode had aired so I got myself cozy and watched it online. Instantly, I was smitten. I admit that I initially had some reservations considering the show had all your stereotypical characters; the jock, the cheerleader, the mean coach and the inspiring teacher. I wasn’t sure if this was going to be different from the other high school centred shows airing at the time. I didn’t end up caring because I downloaded the “Don’t Stop Believing” cover and it ended up a constant part of my workout regiment. Realistically, I knew I would never be able to quit the show after Lea Michele’s incredible, goose bump inducing performance of “On My Own.” That was huge for a theatre nerd like me.

When the second and third episode aired, I caught them online. By the third, “Acafellas,” I knew I stumbled upon something great.  By this time I had turned to Wikipedia to find out just who all these talented people were and why I didn’t know any of them – except the Broadway veterans. I recognized all the shows Lea Michele and Matthew Morrison were from, and realized I had grown accustomed to their voices through all the soundtracks they have done that I listened to over and over. Amber Riley, Kevin McHale, Chris Colfer, I knew a lot less about, but could not wait to hear more of.

I listened to their songs, found out Kristen Chenoweth was going to guest star, watched interviews, and 16-year-old me was officially sold. There was nothing better you could have given me. Not to mention how Ryan Murphy’s resume left me open mouthed. Popular? That was my child hood. I stayed up late (i.e 10), and Running With Scissors? The man had directed the movie adaptation of my favourite book of all time. This genius gave me the best present of my life and I was happy to know he had been part of my life for longer than I knew.

And so, it started. When the fourth episode, “Preggers,” came around, I was on my mothers bed ready to watch Glee on television  for the first time. I was not disappointed. I laughed, I cried, then my mother laughed and cried. When I heard the show was covering “Hair” and “Defying Gravity,” the theatre nerd inside me cried happy  tears and tried to not take the hiatus before “Wheels” too personally.

Not much has changed since I first fell  in love with the show. Sure some plot lines I hoped for didn’t happen (Kurtofsky), some events made me a little disappointed (Why are Kurt and Blaine getting married?) but at the end of the day, the Glee writers can do whatever they want and I will be happy. They have created characters I love, they have arranged the covers of songs that I listen to on repeat, they can make me laugh, and they can make me cry. At the end of the day these writers are taking these characters on a journey and I will ALWAYS want to know just how those journeys will end and what obstacles will be faced on the way. I will forever be invested in Rachel Berry’s future, Will’s family life, every single musical theatre number, and will always, always, be stoked when they cover my favourite artists and pay tribute to classics. All I ever wanted out of Glee was to hear them pay homage to Micheal Jackson, Barbra Streisand, Stevie Wonder and Broadway covers, so I would say I’m pretty happy with how everything worked out.  I always said all I needed from Glee was Kevin McHale singing Stevie and Michael, so yeah consider me spoiled. I can’t believe we are at the 100th episode, but even when Glee is over I will rewatch with love and nostalgia and will follow the careers of these actors who I find talented, inspiring, and strong.

Also, I love the newbies. So thanks for sassy Unique, adorable Marley, sweet Ryder, smooth Jake and just flawless Kitty.

Most importantly, thank you for creating Finn, a character who will live in our hearts, and giving us Cory Monteith, a strong man of many talents who is leaving behind an incredible legacy. Gleeks around the world, including myself, will never forget him.

Brittany Goldfield Rodrigues
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