2009. Rachel Berry signing up for New Directions, putting a gold star at the end of her name. A metaphor, she says. A metaphor for the life she is going to live: as a somebody, a star.
Scrolling through Netflix, I came upon Glee Season One, Episode One. It’s been ten years, which just seems crazy to me. I remember exactly where I was when I first saw it, as a preview for the season yet to come. I was sitting in my dad’s living room, not really knowing what I was about to watch. I’d never heard of it before, but immediately I was hooked. Rachel, Arty, Mercedes, Kurt, Tina, and Finn – we could all relate to them.
And don’t forget the music. Oh, how Glee made us sing! It introduced a whole new generation to classic hits of the 70’s and 80’s.
It reminded us that we are all losers, all longing to be a part of something special, something successful, something bigger than ourselves. We all want to be stars.
For me, Glee changed the way people watched television. I remember watching and thinking how lucky we were to be a part of it, this new golden age – lucky to be watching it, experiencing it, belonging to it. Glee was pure joy – optimistic and open-minded. It addressed topics in a way we’d never seen before.
We were all Rachel Berry. We were all Finn Hudson. We found a home in Glee. A safe place where we were always welcome. A place where dreams came true. A place of our own. A place that we could believe in
So next time you’re scrolling through Netflix and you get bored, take a little nostalgic tour of William McKinley High. Stop by the Glee club. Tell them I said hi.