Glee came into my life at the perfect time. I was a junior in high school and heavily involved with the choir and the drama department. I may have loved her at the time (and now do not), but Rachel Berry was everything I aspired to be. Not to mention I saw my friends in choir in every character in Glee. While my choir teacher was never like Will Schuester (what teacher ever is? Let’s be real), some aspects of his character reminded me of my own teachers.
I will admit that I never got past season two of Glee. It’s horrible, I know. So these characters are just from the first two seasons and I apologize ahead of time. I am going to rectify this while I’m on summer break. So, without further ado, have my incredibly biased season one and season two list of the four best Glee characters.
1. Quinn Fabray
Homegirl is my fave. Hands down. 1/3 of the Unholy Trinity (along with Brittany S. Pierce and Santana Lopez), Quinn began as the head cheerleader of the Cheerios.
She got pregnant, fell in love with Puck, developed a sisterhood with Rachel, began to come into her own, had a baby, and just generally killed it. She might have gone off the rails at the beginning of season 3 (I’ve seen the gifs) but she pulled herself together and became a great character.
I think the reason I adore Quinn so much is not only her killer voice but also the way her character changes. Quinn goes through a lot of shit, but she still becomes a better person. She tries all of these things and I think she deserved better, especially in the first and second season. Dianna Agron acted her heart out with Quinn and I’m glad she was such an important character.
2. Sue Sylvester
Jane Lynch is a goddess. Sue Sylvester would jump at the chance of being called a goddess all the while insulting me and those around me, and I would love every damn minute of it. Let’s be real.
While Sue has always been witty and, admittedly, a little over the top, she is the second best character of the show. She takes the crown easily. Even though she’s a caricature of a villain and not a very good female character because of the way she’s written, Jane Lynch nails it and rolls with the punches. I think that’s part of the reason I like Sue so much. Not only is she over the top, Lynch just seems to have so much fun with it.
Despite her being a villain, what’s great about Sue is that she has a heart; Becky and her sister Jean show that. It’s those moments of heart that really make Sue stand out in the first two seasons. I can’t wait to see how she develops as a character over the rest of the seasons. If Tumblr is to be believed, I think I’ll like her even more as I go.
3. Emma Pillsbury
I think Emma is an underrated character. So much so that I actually forgot how much I liked her until I started rewatching the show. She is often at the butt end of Sue’s scathing put-downs, mostly because of her hair and her big, soft, brown eyes that seem to carry the weight of the world. I hate that that’s how some people might remember her, especially if, like me, they’ve only seen the first two seasons.
The most important part of Emma Pillsbury is the fact that, for Glee, which was sometimes panned for its writing of certain characters, her OCD in the first two seasons was portrayed well and frankly dealt with without undermining Emma as a surprisingly strong and able-bodied woman and school counselor. While there are some things that I don’t particularly like about Emma’s writing, I will admit that, since I’m older, I really identify with Emma and while her advice was sometimes misguided, she really had the kids and Will’s best interests at heart. That makes Emma pretty special.
4. Santana Lopez
Who saw this coming? Let’s face it, seasons one and two were kind of Santana-lite but there was a lot of character development for Miss Lopez in those two seasons. She went from being 1/3 of the Unholy Trinity to quitting the Cheerios and joining glee club full time. She went from a sassy Latina who lusted after Puck and sexted him, and threatened Quinn for taking her man to fully realizing her lesbian potential with the love of her life and that, my friends, is character development.
I mean, the signs were all there for Santana, but the “Britney/Brittany” episode I think really kicked things up a notch, especially seeing as Brittany and Santana sang “Slave 4 U” which was (and I think still is) a bit of a lesbian anthem. Thank you Britney Spears and Madonna for making that iconic kiss happen on stage and thus paving the way for these two to be adorable together.
Plus, Santana has a killer voice and in the first two seasons, she wasn’t used enough. “Valerie” was a huge number and I hope there’s more of Naya Rivera’s singing voice in the seasons to come because I need all the Santana vocals.
These are my favorite characters from the first two seasons! I know, they’re all girls, but I really could keep listing characters from now until kingdom come, honestly.
Glee was such a big part of my life when I was a kid. Now, looking back, and rewatching the show, it has become something of a guilty pleasure of mine. Maybe I shouldn’t feel guilty about it. Glee broke barriers of all kinds and showed that a bunch of singing high schoolers from different backgrounds could grow close, change, and become a family unit. That is what is special.
Thank you Glee, and happy 10th Anniversary!