Glee is a musical comedy-drama television series that airs on Fox in the United States. It focuses on a high school show choir (a modern glee club) called "New Directions", at the fictional William McKinley High School in Lima, Ohio.
The show has received generally positive reviews from critics. The series won the 2010 Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series Musical or Comedy and received three additional nominations for Best Actress (Lea Michele), Best Actor (Matthew Morrison), and Best Supporting Actress (Jane Lynch). The show won a People's Choice Award for Favorite New TV Comedy in 2010. Its first season also earned a Peabody Award. It will receive a comedy writing award at the Just for Laughs conference in Montreal in July 2010
Main Characters: (Attention! Spoiler!!)
Artie Abrams (Kevin McHale) is a guitarist and paraplegic manual wheelchair user. McHale describes Artie as a "nerd" who loves the glee club wholeheartedly and uses it as a form of escapism. He found it challenging to adapt to the fact Artie is in a wheelchair, explaining: "Coming from a dance background, I instinctually want to start dancing or tapping my foot to the music. So, I've been learning how to keep that under control and how quickly being in the wheelchair becomes natural. Artie uses a wheelchair due to a spinal cord injury he received in a car crash at the age of eight. He has feelings for fellow glee club member Tina, but is hurt to discover she has been faking her own disability, a speech impediment. The two later reconcile, and Artie begins to accept his disability and the fact he will never become a dancer.
Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) is a "strong, driven" member of the glee club, who is misunderstood by her peers. Michele took the role in Glee because of Rachel's characterization, explaining: "Not only is she a singer, but she has so much heart I think it's what we need on TV." Michele described the first thirteen episodes of the series as: "Rachel's journey of finding herself within the glee club", explaining that: "She's learning how to be a team player and work within this group." Rachel has an on-off relationship with Finn, and the two share their first kiss in the episode "Showmance". Rachel quits the glee club when Will assigns a solo performance she wanted for herself to Tina, and is awarded the lead role in the school musical, Cabaret, but later quits to rejoin the glee club when she realizes she would rather be in a group where she has friends. Rachel has a brief relationship with Puck, but ultimately breaks up with him over her feelings for Finn. She later dates Jesse St. James, the lead singer of rival glee club Vocal Adrenaline, who ultimately betrays her in favor of his club. Rachel discovers that Vocal Adrenaline coach Shelby Corcoran is her birth mother, but the two fail to forge a relationship. At the end of season one, she and Finn reconcile and he tells her that he loves her.
Tina Cohen-Chang (Jenna Ushkowitz) auditions for the glee club with the song "I Kissed A Girl" by Katy
Perry. She goes on a date with Artie, and confesses to him that she has been faking a speech impediment since the sixth grade, explaining that she wanted to drive people away, but as part of the glee club, she no longer wants that. Artie is hurt, and tells her that the connection he thought they shared was a
lie. Artie forgives Tina, but makes misogynistic comments about her appearance, suggesting that she should begin wearing more revealing clothes if she wants to be with him. Tina shouts at him, prompting Artie to apologize, and the two
reunite. When a spate of pseudo-vampirism affects the school, Principal Figgins tells Tina she can no longer dress as a goth. She briefly changes her style, before dressing as a vampire and convincing Figgins that if he does not allow her to wear her preferred clothes, her vicious Asian vampire father will bite
Ushkowitz was initially given little information about Tina's backstory, and believed that her stutter was real. She was pleased when the truth was revealed, however, explaining: "It would have been fun to keep it because that just gives her one more quirk, but this opens up a whole new set of doors for Tina." Ushkowitz has created her own backstory for Tina, and believes that she is rebelling against her mother rather than genuinely being a goth, explaining: "I don't think her room is filled with dark posters and heavy metal stuff I just think this is a phase she's going through. There's definitely a lot of options for all the characters to evolve and change next year. I'm totally rooting for Tina to join The Cheerios or something crazy like that.
Quinn Fabray (Dianna Agron) is introduced as Finn's girlfriend, head of the cheerleading squad and president of the celibacy club. She is described by Agron as Rachel's enemy, and "terrible, the meanest girl". Quinn joins the glee club as Finn is a member, and cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester wants her to bring the club down from the inside. She reveals to Finn that she is pregnant and tells him that the baby is his despite the fact the real father is his best friend Puck. Quinn agrees to let Will's wife Terri secretly adopt her baby, but is kicked off the cheerleading team, becomes unpopular at school, and is thrown out by her parents. In the episode "Mattress", Quinn tries to rejoin the Cheerios to be in the team's yearbook photograph, but ultimately decides she would rather be a part of the glee club where she feels accepted. In "Sectionals", Finn learns from Rachel that Puck is the father of Quinn's baby. He breaks up with Quinn, who tells Puck that she wishes to deal with her pregnancy by herself. In the season finale, Quinn gives birth to her daughter, who she and Puck name Beth. The baby is adopted by Vocal Adrenaline coach Shelby Corcoran.
Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith) is star quarterback of the school's football team who risks alienation by his friends to join the Glee Club. Monteith was attracted to the fact that Finn "isn't just a dumb jock", but instead "walks a fine line between following his dreams and balancing what other people expect of him." He is dating cheerleader Quinn, but is conflicted by his growing feelings for Rachel. Quinn later tells Finn she is pregnant and he is the father. Finn intends to support her, unaware the father is actually his best friend Puck. He has a premature ejaculation problem, which causes him to believe he is the father of Quinn's baby despite the fact that they have never had sex. Finn's father was killed in Operation Desert Storm. He tells Quinn's parents that she is pregnant by singing "You're Having My Baby" to her, causing her parents to confront the young couple and subsequently throw Quinn out. Finn's mother then allows Quinn to move in with them. Finn finds out that Quinn's baby is Puck's after Rachel tells him. He breaks up with Quinn and is no longer friends with Puck. He later loses his virginity to Santana, but feels as though it meant nothing because it wasn't with someone he loved. After Rachel is egged by Vocal Adrenaline, Finn immediately offers to stand up for her (Funk).In the season finale, he professes his love for Rachel before New Directions performs at Regionals.
Kurt Hummel (Chris Colfer) is a flamboyant singer who is bullied by the football team. In the pilot episode, Kurt auditions for the glee club by performing Mr. Cellophane from the musical Chicago. Kurt comes out as gay to Mercedes in the episode "Acafellas", and to his father in the following episode, "Preggers". He joins the football team in order to impress his father, and helps McKinley High's failing team to win a game. Kurt has a high vocal range, and self-identifies as a soprano singer. He competes against Rachel for a solo on "Defying Gravity", but throws the high F note to save his father from being harassed over his sexuality.Dismayed at never receiving solo songs, Kurt joins the Cheerios along with Mercedes. Kurt has a crush on Finn, and hopes if Finn breaks up with Quinn, he will turn to Kurt for comfort. He is aware that Rachel also has feelings for Finn, and attempts to sabotage her chances with him by giving her a bad makeover. Because of his feelings for Finn, at Parent's Night, Kurt set his dad up with Finn's Mom. Then in the episode Theatricality, the Hudsons move into the Hummels’ house. Finn gets mad at Kurt for decorating their room and says some offensive words to Kurt about his sexuality. Kurt's father is furious and reprimands Finn by throwing him out.
Mercedes Jones (Amber Riley) is "diva-in-training who refuses to sing back-up", with a "flair for fashion". In the pilot episode Mercedes auditions for the glee club by performing "Respect" by Aretha Franklin. Due to Cheerios scheming, Mercedes develops a small crush on Kurt, unaware that he is gay. She is hurt when he rejects her, but Mercedes quickly recovers and she is supportive when he confides his sexuality. After this, the two become especially close friends. Her father is a dentist. In The Rhodes Not Taken, when April Rhodes is trying to get the other Glee club members on her side, she teaches Mercedes and Tina how to shoplift, later Mercedes goes to Mr. Schuester with new clothes and accessories saying that they love April. Dismayed at never receiving solo songs, Mercedes joins the Cheerios along with Kurt. She briefly dates Puck, but ultimately breaks up with him and quits the cheerleading squad, afraid of turning into someone she does not want to be.
Emma Pillsbury (Jayma Mays) is the school's guidance counselor who has OCD, with obsessions and compulsions primarily focused on contamination and cleanliness. She has romantic feelings for Will. Mays has deemed Emma an "amazing" character to play, explaining: "I don't find that female characters are always written with a lot of depth, but she's so well defined on the page. Sure, she's terrified of germs and in love with a married man, so seeing her as the voice of reason for the kids is amazing." Glee's costume designer Lou Eyrich selects "quirky" outfits for Emma, to reflect her "sunny disposition". In an attempt to get over Will, Emma begins dating football coach Ken Tanaka, becoming engaged to him in the episode "Vitamin D". However, when Will is unable to attend a competition with the glee club, Emma volunteers to take them in his place, postponing her own wedding by several hours. Acknowledging her continuing feelings for Will, Ken breaks up with her on their wedding day. Emma resigns from the school, but as she prepares to leave, Will finds her and stops her with a kiss. She reveals to Will that she is a virgin, but does not go through with her plan to lose her virginity to him.
Noah "Puck" Puckerman (Mark Salling) is Finn's best friend and football team-mate, who initially disapproves of Finn joining the glee club. Puck joins Will's all-male acapella group, the Acafellas, hoping to impress the mothers at the school's PTA meeting, as he prefers older women. He later discovers that he is the father of Quinn's baby. She rejects him when he offers to support her and the baby, calling him a "Lima loser". Later in the same episode, Puck joins the glee club. In "Mash-Up", Puck begins dating Rachel after his mother urges him to find a Jewish girlfriend. The relationship ends, however, as Rachel is still conflicted over her feelings for Finn and Puck has feelings for Quinn. In the episode "Ballad", Puck confesses to Mercedes that he is the father of Quinn's baby, and is advised to leave her alone. In "Hairography," Quinn briefly wonders whether she should raise her baby with Puck and invites him to help her babysit the three rambunctious sons of Terri's sister Kendra. Quinn admires the way Puck handles the situation, but is later irritated to learn that he was "sexting" Santana throughout the night. Puck tells Quinn that he would be a good father to the baby and a good boyfriend to her, but could not be expected to remain monogamous if Quinn continued to refuse him sex. She returns to her original plan of giving the baby to the Schuesters. After shaving his mohawk, Puck is no longer considered a credible bully, and begins dating Mercedes to boost his social status. Even though Quinn will be giving up the baby, he tells her that he wants to be there for the birth to meet their daughter. He sings "Beth" to let her know that he wants to name their daughter Beth instead of Jackie Daniels as he originally suggested.
Terri Schuester (Jessalyn Gilsig) is Will's wife of five years. Gilsig has deemed Terri "a woman of conviction", willing to do "whatever it takes" to keep Will from leaving her. She explained that Will and Terri's communication is weak and that Terri is "missing a lot of the skills for the marriage", commenting that Terri feels threatened by Will's commitment to the glee club, worried that it will pull him away from her. Gilsig characterized Terri as emotionally still being in high school, and does not know how long her character will feature in the series, as she was initially only created as an obstacle to come between Emma and Will. Terri briefly believes herself to be pregnant, and pushes Will to take a better paying job as an accountant. She discovers she has actually experienced a hysterical pregnancy, but hides this from Will, afraid he will leave her. After confiding her deception in her sister Kendra, Terri approaches pregnant cheerleader Quinn Fabray, with an interest in her baby. She briefly becomes the school nurse, but is asked to step down after giving the Glee Club pseudoephedrine tablets. In the episode "Mattress," Will uncovers Terri's ruse when he discovers her pregnancy pad in a drawer. Terri begins attending therapy, but Will tells her he no longer loves her and is leaving her.
William "Will" Schuester (Matthew Morrison) is McKinley High's Spanish teacher who becomes director of the glee club, hoping to restore it to its former glory. Morrison has assessed that the crux of Glee is "about [Will's] passion for music and influencing his kids". Will is married to his high school sweetheart Terri. Believing her to be pregnant, unaware that she actually experienced a hysterical pregnancy, he considers leaving the teaching field to become an accountant. He ultimately decides against it, though briefly works after hours at the school as a janitor to earn extra money. His dedication to the glee club wavers when his choreography skills are called into question, but after starting a well-received all-male a cappella group, the Acafellas, he recommits to the club. After discovering Terri faked her pregnancy, Will ends his marriage and shares a kiss with Emma. He also kisses Vocal Adrenaline coach Shelby Corcoran, Rachel Berry's mother (Idina Menzel).
Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) is head coach of the cheerleading squad or "Cheerios", and the glee club's "arch-nemesis". Lynch states that Sue is "pure evil and doesn't hide it", having been created as a product of Murphy, Brennan and Falchuk's "inner mean girl". With regards to her motivation, Lynch explained: "Sue will do whatever it takes to win. If that means she has to prostitute herself or take advantage of a 16-year-old boy, she'll do it. It's all about power and winning. That's her entire world view." Sue enlists cheerleaders Quinn, Brittany and Santana to help her bring the glee club down from the inside. She has her own spot on the local news, which she uses to editorialize on issues such as support for caning and littering. In the episode "Vitamin D", Sue is made co-director of the glee club, but in the following episode "Throwdown" she scales back her involvement considerably after a public confrontation with Will. In the episode "Wheels", Sue allows a girl with Down Syndrome to join the Cheerios as a replacement for Quinn. It is later revealed that Sue has an older sister who herself has Down Syndrome, showing a softer side to her normally brash character. Hoping to sabotage the glee club's chances of winning at sectionals, Sue gives the club's set-list to rival glee club directors Grace Hitchens (Eve) and Dalton Rumba (Michael Hitchcock). When her actions are discovered by Principal Figgins (Iqbal Theba), Sue is suspended from the school. She later becomes reinstated after blackmailing Principal Figgins.