When "Glee" premiered in 2009, the force and energy could have powered a train. The story of high-school misfits who loved to sing, the show is broadcast as an hourlong musical comedy. But beyond the (sometimes insanely good) performances, the show was once really about a bunch of high-school misfits. In the first episode, the original six glee club members sing their audition songs, each one telling the story of who that person was: Rachel's "On My Own," Kurt's "Mr. Cellophane," Finn's "Can't Stop This Feeling," Tina's "I Kissed a Girl," and Mercedes' "R-E-S-P-E-C-T." The kids all came together under the guidance of club adviser Mr. Schuster, a misfit himself who just wanted to sing and dance.
The first-season, especially, mixed in the emotions and heartbreak of being in high school along with the musical-comedy pathos (one scene in the finale, for example, featured the kids crying that their trip to Regionals had been canceled--so real), and they tackled issues ranging from teen pregnancy to the high drama of sharing a solo. Could this photo of Rachel and Finn be anymore high school?
But later seasons strayed into becoming just a vehicle for the insanely popular single sales ("Glee" broke the Beatles record of the most songs on Billboard 100 in 2010), and most of the original kids graduated high school in season three. The storylines at McKinley High would be focused around Mr. Schuster and the rest of the teachers with a group of new kids (and Finn, who stuck around), and Rachel, Kurt, and Santana went to New York to pursue their dreams.
But the death of star Cory Monteith in 2013 at the start of season five changed things, and eventually the Ohio storylines faded. In the series' 100 episodes, the McKinley High School glee club sang a tribute to Mr. Schuster, and then they bowed out for good--the show will focus now on New York. "Once Cory passed away, that part of the story as we had imagined it just didn't make any sense anymore -- and it felt bad, to be quite honest," creator Ryan Murphy said in April 2014. The finale, Murphy said, would have featured Rachel and Finn back in Lima again--something that doesn't work without Monteith. Nonetheless, 2014-15 will be the show's last season anyway.
"Glee" is available on Netflix, Amazon Instant and DVD. (Credit: Adam Rose/FOX )