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Commentary: Tears replace ‘Glee’ in season 3 finale

Courtesy of MCT

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I am not ashamed to say I bawled like a baby at the season three finale of Glee Tuesday. I’ve never been one for goodbyes in my real life, and it turns out I’m not any better at fictional ones.

Before the first scene even began, I had a feeling I would cry at some point in the show. I mean, I was a wreck at my own high school graduation. On the stage of the Canton Memorial Civic Center in Canton, last June, I was lucky enough to deliver a speech as student council president to my classmates and friends of 13 years, and I managed to hold back the tears. But soon after, as a slideshow of old pictures played on a huge screen before us, I held my friend’s hand and the floodgates opened.

During the majority of the season finale, I kept my composure. As the underclassmen and teacher, Mr. Schuester, sang goodbye songs to the seniors, I kept my cool. I even laughed as Kurt Hummel’s dad, who is the manly polar opposite of his feminine son, took the stage and danced to Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” as a graduation gift to Kurt.

The show neared its end, and the two main characters, Finn Hudson and Rachel Berry, were driving off to their wedding. Except they weren’t.

Finn told Rachel to go to New York City without him, as he had decided to enlist in the army to honor his late father instead. I lost it.

Whoever decided to throw a breakup together with sending a beloved character off to the army is just cruel.

For me, saying goodbye to these characters who graduated was similar to saying goodbye to old friends. I’m not ashamed that one TV show, which has been the butt of many jokes, judged by many who refuse to watch it, and has caused my father to leave the room almost every time it was on, meant so much to me.

Glee, when I still lived at home, was a chance for my mom and I to watch a show together. We would gossip about the characters, and we would make time on Tuesday nights to enter the world of William McKinley High School together.

Glee also reminds me of my yearbook class in high school. Every day, or close to it, my classmates and I would blast Glee songs while we worked. This picked up speed during winter, when the graphic design room at Lake High School would feature Glee Christmas songs on a continuous loop during fifth period. I’m not sure our yearbook adviser was so crazy about this, but we seniors were crazy about Glee.

Have I loved every number? Not quite. One late-night study session, which turned into an annoying rendition of “The Rain In Spain,” stands out in my mind as a performance I wanted to fast forward. Yes, sometimes the show is cheesy. I mean, they literally sing about everything, but I don’t mind the cheese so much. Overall, Glee’s music, humor and drama have kept me on the edge of my seat, on the verge of tears, tapping my foot and laughing out loud.

Of course, as their prom, parties, classes and average days were nothing like mine were in high school, Glee’s graduation was nothing like mine either. While the school choir did sing at my ceremony, there was not an elaborate song number as diplomas were handed out, like Glee’s graduation performance of “Glory Days” by Bruce Springsteen. Oh, and no one made out on stage like Rachel and Finn did after Rachel received her diploma. Just about nothing in Glee matched by graduation, except for the diplomas, caps, gowns and small-town Ohio setting.

And while I did wait until the May 1 deadline to commit to Ohio State, I found it hard to believe that three of the main characters didn’t even know if they got into the schools of their choices until after they graduated.

But none of those differences really bothered me. Glee, on several occasions, has made me laugh, made me cry and given me chills. It combines truly incredible versions of a wide variety of songs with a plot line that I have become attached to. I care about the characters. Their pain is my pain. And it has tied me to the things I loved about high school.

Farewell, McKinley High School seniors. You will be missed.

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