We love each and every Glee episode for various reasons, but we also know that not all episodes are created equal — and the same goes for the entire seasons, too. People typically say that Season 1 was Glee at its finest, but does that theory hold up under close examination? Now that Season 3 is behind us, let’s find out!
Join us on our trip down memory lane as we rank seasons 1, 2, and 3, and be sure to tell us in the comments how you would have ranked them. And we’ll give you a hint: Our favorite season has a Beyonce cover in it. (Oh, wait — every season has a Beyonce cover in it.)
3. OUR LEAST FAVORITE: Season 2
Here’s why: Okay, so Season 2 coming in last place is kind of a no-brainer, right? Granted, it wasn’t all bad — this is still Glee we’re talking about. Among our more positive memories are the introduction of Blaine (Darren Criss) and the Warblers; the start of Brittana; the fun of Britney Spears and “Rocky Horror” (who could forget Sam [Chord Overstreet] in those gold short-shorts?); and plenty of killer songs, like “Teenage Dream,” “Landslide,” and Gwyneth Paltrow’s “Forget You.” Not too shabby.
However, some of the magic of the other two seasons was missing, as we got bogged down with some boring plots (the glee club has money issues again?); rehashed romantic drama and love triangles; a few too many original songs; and Sue’s shenanigans, which weren’t as clever this time around (a human cannon — really?). Not even a miracle from grilled cheesus would be able to save this season from last place.
High points: We loved Blaine and the Warblers! And, uh, give us a minute to think of something else...
Low points: Finchel and Wemma continue to break up and make up; Kurt (Chris Colfer) is gone from New Directions for too long; Holly Holliday (Gwyneth Paltrow) wears out her welcome.
2. IN THE MIDDLE: Season 1
Here’s why: Gleeks often claim that the series has gone downhill since Season 1. Obviously, Season 1 is amazing, setting the bar extremely high for future seasons. But was it perfect? Let’s not forget that Season 1 is the season of Terri’s (Jessalyn Gilsig) fake pregnancy. It’s also the season of Finn (Cory Monteith) being dumber than usual (hot-tub pregnancy, anyone?). Of Rachel (Lea Michele) and Jesse (Jonathan Groff) breaking up for no real reason. Of unnecessary guest stars (sorry — that means you, Molly Shannon).
Season 1 is also the season of oh-so-much white rapping. Shudder. And, uh, did we mention the fake pregnancy?
High points: The pilot; Finn telling Rachel “I love you”; Kurt coming out to Burt (Mike O’Malley) after the football team’s hilarious “Single Ladies” dance; Wemma’s post-Sectionals kiss; “The Power of Madonna”
Low points: Boy-band overload in “Acafellas”; almost any scene involving Ken or Terri; the overheated Jesse-Shelby plotline.
1. OUR FAVORITE SEASON! Season 3
Here’s why: We’re guessing that the show would like a do-over on those first few episodes of Season 3, with too much “crazy Quinn” and an abundance of show tunes. And let’s face it: The less said about Puck and Shelby’s (Idina Menzel) hookup, the better.
But then things got good. Like, really freakin’ good. We got some of the series’ most memorable moments — like the Kurt-Karofsky (Max Adler) storyline, or Brittana becoming official — while the final three episodes masterfully tie together the past three years. Sure, we could quibble about some things — a lack of Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz), or a few overly serious episodes, or glee club staying divided for a bit too long — but we’d rather focus on the fact that this show just keeps getting better!
High points: Finchel and Klaine’s first times; Wemma and Finchel’s proposals; Karofsky returns; the awesomeness of “Rumour Has It / Someone Like You”; Santana (Naya Rivera) comes out and gets all cute with Brittany (Heather Morris); the body swap in “Props”; New Directions wins!
Low points: The addition of new characters means that some characters get a lot of screentime, while others don’t get enough; Schue as a matador; that yawn-inducing Christmas episode; Finn breaks up with Rachel (and breaks our hearts in the process).