McKinley High School's Spanish teacher, Will Schuester, takes over New Directions, the school's glee club, after the former director, Sandy Ryerson, gets fired for inappropriate behavior toward a male student. He has hopes of restoring it to its former glory. His motley glee crew consists of Rachel Berry, the overly ambitious and talented singer who is bullied by the cheerleaders (Cheerios) and football players; Kurt Hummel, a male soprano who is also bullied; Artie Abrams, a wheelchair-bound guitar player; Mercedes Jones, a blinged-out diva who refuses to sing back-up; and Tina Cohen-Chang, an Asian-American goth with a speech impediment. They can't even get in sync, let alone consider the dream of competing in Regionals and Nationals. But we have a feeling that they'll find a way to improve, considering the season is more than just one episode long.
Hoping to attract more members, Will recruits Finn Hudson by blackmailing him with detention. Ah, the lessons we learn from this show! Finn, the star quarterback of the football team with a secret passion for singing, risks alienation from his popular girlfriend, Cheerio Quinn Fabray, and football teammate, Noah "Puck" Puckerman, for his participation in glee. But sometimes, you just gotta sing!
With moral support from friend and fellow colleague Emma Pillsbury (and despite threats from "Cheerios" head Sue Sylvester), Will starts to get his glee club on track. Yet when his wife Terri finds out she is pregnant, Will is pressured to quit teaching and take on a better-paying job. The glee club vows to go on, and they work together to stage a number without a director. When Will sees them perform "Don't Stop Believin'," he knows he has to come back to school and glee. "It would kill me to watch you win Nationals without me," he says. And this was just the first of countless moments from this show that leave us misty-eyed and reaching for the tissue box!
1. Don't Stop Believin' — Journey (1981)/ Album: Escape New Directions 2. Rehab — Amy Winehouse (2006)/ Album: Back to Black Vocal Adrenaline 3. On My Own — from Les Misérables (composed in 1980) Rachel Berry 4. Respect — Otis Redding (1965), Aretha Franklin (1967)/ Albums: Otis Blue (Otis Redding) and I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (Aretha Franklin) Mercedes Jones 5. Mr. Cellophane — from Chicago (opened on Broadway in 1975) Kurt Hummel 6. I Kissed a Girl — Katy Perry (2008)/ Album: One of the Boys Tina Cohen-Chang 7. Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat — from Guys and Dolls (opened on Broadway in 1950) New Directions 8. Can't Fight This Feeling — REO Speedwagon (1984)/ Album: Wheels Are Turnin' Finn Hudson