In any form of pop culture whether it be a book, movie, television show, radio drama…people are going to prefer one character to the other. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. It’s in people’s nature to be drawn to certain personality types and repelled by others.
Even though these characters are merely, as Shakespeare called them, “shadows” of real life; we still care about them. We invested time in reading, watching, and listening to them.
So in the interest of sharing and celebrating, Glee’s hundredth episode I am going to count down my 10 favorite characters. Now this is totally personal and subjective. These are the characters that I personally have loved over the course of the show.
Now these characters are a mixed bag. They are going to one-off, guest stars, and series regulars. Although, if you read this blog or know me, well you can probably guess who my number one is fairly easily. I make no secret of it.
10) Bryan Ryan
Bryan Ryan was a one off character.
He is the greatest one off character of the show’s history.
Neil Patrick Harris, in one episode, played a hilarious over the top villain who is really just a guy trying to recapture his high school glory days. Then there was that mullet. Oh God that mullet.
It was a gloriously awful wig.
Seriously though, Neil Patrick Harris just makes this role his bitch and he won an Emmy for it. Also he did one of the greatest duets on the show with Matthew Morrison.
9) Coach Shannon Bieste
Coach Bieste kicks ass.
That’s pretty much all I got. Dot Marie Jones seems like one of the nicest ladies ever.
Bieste, however, was a character that showed the fluidity of gender. She did not fit into the traditional “feminine” roles. She was a football coach. She lifts weights. She eats a whole chicken with her bare hands. She’s tough as nails.
She was also a character that was so achingly vulnerable. She just wanted to be love and to love someone back. She is loyal to her friends. She cares about the boys on her team. She wants to help build them into better men. She is kind. She is gentle. She is loving.
I admit to never liking the whole domestic violence plotline on the show. As always, it was more of the writing then the acting. Dot Marie Jones acted the hell out of those scenes. She just needed better material.
Also Dot Marie Jones has been nominated for an Emmy every year she has played this role. SHE SHOULD WIN IT! Holy hell she’s amazing as Bieste. Seriously I want to meet her and tell her how fucking awesome she is.
Love to Bieste!
8) Unique Adams
Unique is one of the best characters to happen to Lima in season four. Like seriously, my favorite plots from the season mainly had to due with Unique and her struggle as a transwoman. Her rejection from the role as Rizzo, her and Ryder’s feud, hell even her reason for Catfishing Ryder were all achingly real and ably performed.
(Do I wish for a better resolution between Unique and Ryder? Yes. But I’ll take what I can get from Glee at this point.)
I mean her cover of “If I Were A Boy” was one of the most haunting and chilling that the show has produced (the others being “Make You Feel My Love” and “Songbird”). Unique shows the changing view of gender in the country. It’s not as black and white as previously thought. I think that really the writers wrote her rather well and provided a desperately needed trans point of view to television.
Do I wish they did more with her? Oh yes. I really do. Still for what they did do with Unique, I have to say it made me love her character: a mix of sassy toughness and stark aching vulnerability.
Seriously everyone in that room looks seconds away from crying. I love Unique.
7) Noah Puckerman
I like Puck.
I just think that he has a really interesting and kind of tragic story. His dad left his family and fathered a half-brother previously unknown to him while still with Puck’s mom. He tries to be a man without having no real idea about what it is. So instead he sleeps with older women and his best friend’s girlfriend. This leads to pregnancy and he has to give his daughter up for adoption.
I can go on and on. He goes to juvie. He tries to be a family with his daughter’s adoptive mother. He tries to be an adult in L.A. and fails. He barely graduates high school. Then his best friend dies so he joins the Air Force.
Now. I was also pro-Puck going into the military. I thought it would be good for his character.
But seriously, Puck has one of the saddest stories in the show. Yet he still tries to soldier on the best way he knows how. Even though it seems like the whole world hates him. I totally admire his character for this reason.
He’s a good story about the shit that life throws at you and trying to move on. Sometimes you will not deal with it but other times you’ll thrive.
6) Elliott Gilbert
I really like Elliott.
Mainly the fact that despite having an alter ego named “Starchild” he’s one of the sanest characters in the New York plotline.
No. Seriously he and and Kurt are an oasis of sanity from the rest of the crazy people. All Elliott wants to do is perform, go to class, and just make some new friends. He joins Pamela Lansbury for no evil intention. He just wants to have some fun and meet new people. He has no evil master plan to break up Klaine or to destroy someone’s reputation.
Elliott is a genuinely nice person who loves music and thinks that this crazy people are kind of fun.
This is HUGE for Glee! Normally, Elliott would want to destroy Kurt and like wear his skin or something. The fact that Elliott is so refreshingly, bracingly normal makes me adore him. I have no clue if this was one of Adam Lambert’s stipulations for going on the show. I don’t really care. I pray. I pray so hard that they find a way to keep Adam Lambert around because Elliott is one of my favorite things about this season.
Also because I can, here’s “I Believe In A Thing Called Love.”
(Also seriously everyone add to the NYC cast. All these famous guest stars are nice I suppose but yeah you can’t keep them forever. Find new people. Make it work.)
5) Burt Hummel
Burt Hummel is one of the best television Dads in the history of TV Dads.
He is protective, supportive, loving, and also not afraid to call his kids out on their crap. He reminds me of my own Dad. I just want to give him a hug and give Mike O’Malley an Emmy and a longer lasting TV show just for him.
Burt loves his son. He may not understand Kurt, but he loves him. When Kurt came out to his Dad and Burt accepted him, I was just gross sobbing. Also the scene where he said he wanted to hug Finn more in “The Quarterback” (season five episode three). He continued to support his son. He also help shape Finn into being a better man.
Also he gave us one of the greatest dance numbers in the history of the show.
(Sorry for the shitty quality. I couldn’t find a better one.)
4) Will Schuester
Don’t hate. It’s not his fault that the writers continuously shitted all over his character. Matthew Morrison worked with what he had the best he got. Now he’s going back to theater with two Emmy nominations on top of his Tony nod, two albums, Hollywood friendships…just give the man good work. Please. He is talented.
Anyway yeah, I still like Will. Yeah his character has been…just so shit upon ever since season two. Still though, I think that he is a good teacher especially compared to the rest of McKinley. Still I would agree that his best season was in season one. I loved Will in season one. They knew what to do with him and used him effectively. He supported the kids, was falling for Emma, and sold the whole ‘my wife faked a pregnancy’ thing. He sold it really well. He was a supportive teacher. Yes maybe he didn’t always gets the kids but he still cared about them.
Also he was competent. HE SPOKE SPANISH DAMMIT! I really hate “The Spanish Teacher” (season three episode twelve).
I also loved his mentor-mentee relationship with Finn. There was a lot of mutual respect and he truly did seem to believe in him. So dammit let me hold onto my affection for Will Schuester. When the writers weren’t destroying his character, he was really great.
3) Santana Lopez
I have had complex feelings toward the character of Santana Lopez for years. This mainly stems from my own issues with gorgeous girls with sharp tongues and knowing where to hurt. I tend to not really like characters like that. Yes. I thought she was funny, but for the most part I thought that the character of Santana was just really nasty and mean.
Then things changed. Truthfully I think that Santana’s character arc, especially during the McKinley years, is one of the best things that the show has done. Period. So watching Santana struggle and slowly accept herself through her sexuality is really great. Santana eventually settles into a frenemy role for Rachel and a friend for Kurt. She’s still abrasive but almost in a way that’s charming. For the most, she helps her friends.
She just provides the tough voice of reason. Also she provides conflict. Both are needed on the New York side of things. I take Santana as a more credible threat to Rachel then the likes of Cassie July.
2) Kurt Hummel
Kurt was not a character that I loved instantly. At first, I was kind of ambivalent about him.
Then “Preggers” happened. That was the episode where I can pinpoint my love for Kurt Hummel. I don’t know just seeing that utter vulnerability in his face as he told his Dad that he’s gay…It really spoke to me. So I started liking Kurt around that time.
(The awkward crush on Finn. It was really hard to sit through.)
I can say, as a Kurt fan, that I fully converted to being a fan of the character around the time of “Never Been Kissed” (season two episode six). Now the reason for this is simple, it just spoke to me. As someone who grew up being bullied, emotionally in my case, seeing Kurt in a bad situation and the clear desire to escape and then put into a more complex situation (Karofsky kissing him and revealing that he is guy)…it just got my sympathy. Also Chris Colfer clearly drew on past experience for this and it shows in his performance throughout season two.
So yes. I have totally converted from my season one days of Kurt Hummel. Currently, I would even go as far to say that I root for great success for him. Also, he’s the only sane person in New York and he got engaged at nineteen. This should honestly tell you a lot. And I’m not saying that Kurt isn’t riddle with insecurities and at times borders on neurotic because yeah he kind of is. He just seems to deal with it better. I think that he has learned grace under fire and has become a great man, and a great character, for this reason.
1) Finn Hudson
It honestly shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows me that my absolute favorite Glee character is Finn Hudson. I don’t mean to bring the mood down in anyway by saying that, but well, it’s the truth. Finn will always be my favorite character on Glee. He’s one of my favorite characters ever.
The thing about Finn that I liked (will always like) is that his ultimate goal was trying to be a good person. He had his flaws: his temper and a desire for popularity. I think, however, unlike some characters Finn continuously struggled with trying to be a good person. He placed expectations on himself that weren’t unrealistic. He didn’t know his purpose in life. Finn’s story, within the show, was a coming of age story. It mirrored parts of my own “coming of age.” I just understood Finn and what he wanted to do. He wanted to be happy. He wanted to make his Mom proud. He wanted to be a good friend. Did he always succeed? No. Sometimes he failed. Sometimes he let those unimportant things get in the way.
You know what he did try to do? He tried to make those things right. He tried to defend his friends. He tried to think of the future. He wanted his Mom’s happiness first. He tried to become a true leader. That? That, in the end, is something I admire.
He wasn’t the smartest or the most talented character on the show.
Finn Hudson brought a lot of sweetness and heart to Glee.
And, ultimately, that’s what makes him my favorite character.
NEXT ON THE GLEE REWATCH PROJECT: I continue my 100th episode celebration. I don’t know what I’ll do next but I will continue the party.
Follow Me: @GleeRewatch for the latest updates. If you want there is always my personal account if you want to hear my daily dose of random babbling! I also write for PopMythology. I no longer write for PopWrapped. If you want my glee-caps or to see anything else I write then check out 4YE (4 Your Excitement) where I am a Senior Editor. I’ll be writing glee-caps there. Here’s the first one for “Frenemies.” Keep an eye out for future Glee content.
Credits: Glee Wikia