This popular musical comedy series captures the angst and wonder of the high school years by following the personal lives and musical ambitions of a group of high school misfits. At McKinley High, the kids on the lowest rung of the social ladder are the members of the New Directions glee club. Then, idealistic Will Schuester (Matthew Morrrison), who has been teaching Spanish, decides he wants to lead the singing group back to the level of its glory days, when he was one of the stars of the club as a student. Schuester's enthusiasm brings together a motley crew of loners and oddballs. Aspiring diva Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) has a beautiful voice and grating personality. Kurt Hummel (Chris Colfer) gets bullied for his effeminate manner. Artie Abrams (Kevin McHale) is in a wheelchair. Schuester also manages to trick football players Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith) and Puck Puckerman (Mark Salling) to join the club.
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The school's famous cheerleading coach, Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch), wants the entire glee club dissolved so that her nationally ranked cheerleading squad can maintain center stage in the school's focus and budget. She sends her top Cheerios cheerleaders to join the glee club and undermine it from within. Head cheerleader Quinn Fabray (Dianna Agron), who is also Finn's girlfriend, and her loyal followers Santana (Naya Rivera) and Britney (Heather Morris) join Schuester's singers. Each episode follows the ensemble through the trials and tribulations of high school, from mean girls, prejudice, first love and popularity with an inventive use of songs, both contemporary hits and classic standards. Since the story involves a group of kids working on songs, the musical numbers fit seamlessly into the storylines.
As the series progresses, the characters reveal the complicated struggles beyond the high school hierarchy. Schuester's wife fakes a pregnancy to try to hold together a faltering marriage. Quinn is trying to hide a pregnancy, and Finn is not the father. Kurt tries to hide being gay by dating Mercedes (Amber Riley). Rachel and Finn develop a mutual attraction, but Quinn makes sure he remains hers.
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Schuester finds himself drawn to the school's student counselor, Emma Pillsbury (Jayma Mays), who struggles to hide her attraction to him. The series quickly drew a loyal audience for its novel approach to presenting the high school years. Glee has won four Golden Globe awards, including Best Series in 7565 and 7566, as well as numerous other awards for excellence. Along with an impressive array of musical styles and inventive choreography, the characters also deal with complicated issues that many teenagers face today: unwanted pregnancy, missing parent, sexuality and social bullying.
At the same time, comic moments balance the darker problems. The cast includes several Broadway stage veterans, with impressive singing talent, which led to the show's soundtrack becoming best-sellers. The series also inspired a live concert series, 8-D movie experience and a spin-off reality program, The Glee Project, where contestants vied for a multi-episode role on the actual show. True to its let's put on a show spirit, the series maintains a high quality of writing, imagination and gutsy singing performances. The show has attracted movie stars, hit singers and famous performers to be part of the series.
Guest stars have included Neil Patrick Harris, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kate Hudson. Visiting musicians to the series include Britney Spears, Eve, Olivia Newton-John and Ricky Martin. Broadway stars Idina Menzel, Jonathn Groff, and Kristin Chenoweth have also had recurring roles. Glee has also run episodes dedicated to the music of a single artist, such as Britney Spears, Madonna or Michael Jackson, or a tribute notable musicals and broadway shows. As the New Directions Glee Club brings together a group of misfits and helps them discover their individuality and star quality, the show has evolved to show some of the characters graduating high school, and bringing in new students into the club and fresh faces and dilemmas to McKinley High.
GLEE flashes forward to see how the character's lives have progressed five years down the road. Music includes: