5 Things You Need to Know Before the 'Glee' Premiere

5. New Directions is Always the Underdog

Since the very first episode, the glee club has been under siege from all sides.

At the start of the show's pilot, McKinley High's glee club is a motley crew of five with no director. Nostalgic for his days as a high school singing star, Spanish teacher Mr. Schuester steps in to restore the club to its glory days as an award-winning show choir, dubbing the new group New Directions.

After overhearing football star Finn belt out REO Speedwagon in a locker room shower (where all stars are made), Mr. Schuester recruits him for New Directions, which starts to actually resemble a glee club after finding its leading man. But Schu's wife tries to convince him the drop the group (too much of a time commitment), which he nearly does before walking in on their rehearsal of "Don't Stop Believing." With that performance, a glee club—and a hit series—were born.



Over the course of the season, Finn's friend Puck and two more guys join New Directions. Cheerios coach Sue, livid that glee is siphoning her cheer team's budget, sets off to destroy the club by planting members of her squad in the group as sabotage. So Cheerios Quinn, Santana, and Brittany bring the membership count high enough for the group to compete at Sectionals. The unlikely group of nerds, jocks, popular kids, and weirdos end up bonding to overcome cheating competitors, Sue's undermining, and a series of other obstacles to win the competition.

New Directions channels Madonna, studies theatricality through Lady Gaga, and eventually hits the stage at Regionals. But no amount of Journey could compete with rival Vocal Adrenaline's epic staging of "Bohemian Rhapsody," and the Little Glee Club That Could, doesn't. The group comes in third. Season two kicks off with the choir reeling from their loss, but also determined to make it, somehow, to New York for Nationals (cue "Empire State of Mind").

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Kevin Fallon is a reporter for the Daily Beast. He's a former entertainment editor at TheWeek.com and former writer and producer for The Atlantic's entertainment channel.

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