Glee Renewed For Two More Seasons, Fuck Me In The Ear

Despite near-consistent suckage for the entire fourth season, it was announced today that Glee will be returning for two additional seasons! Even lackluster ratings won’t stop Fox from charging full-speed ahead with everybody’s favorite musical potato-mashing program. On the downside, the show kinda sucks. On the upside, this offers two more years for Rachel Berry to use her Metro-North pass and for Santana Lopez to take the train to tuna-town if you know what I mean.

Ryan Murphy is considering mixing things up for Season Five and setting the whole goshdarn thing in New York City… or not? Says Murphy:

“I think what we’re going to do, and I have to wait until that moment to announce, but what we’re going to do with the show is very different. Not everybody will go to New York, because I think that’s really unrealistic. I really like this season, and I liked going back and forth, but I would really like at one point for a huge chunk of them to stay in one location, which we’ll probably do next year. We just started to talk about that.

I loved going back and forth, and I think we’ll always have one foot in both, but I would like a big chunk to follow one particular story that we’re getting ready to launch at the end of this year. It’s going to be a big cliffhanger.”

When asked about the upcoming graduation of Blaine, Tina, Artie and Brittany, Ryan Murphy advised us not to bank on a teary graduation episode because “we’re doing some weird shit on the show, just wait.” WHAT THE WEIRD SHIT HASN’T ALREADY STARTED? THEN WHAT THE HELL HAVE I BEEN WATCHING? Furthermore, Ry-Ry added “I don’t want to do what we’ve done every year, I want to do something different.” Well, that’s a new idea.

what can i say, we're just two white guys with lots of brilliant ideas

what can i say, we’re just two white guys with lots of brilliant ideas

Lea Michele had already given some lip to the future back in March:

“I’ve heard of one formula for next year that is very exciting. I have an idea of what it is. It’s new and different than what we’ve done this year. You’ll still get to see both locations [– at McKinley and in New York –] because I’m still going to be on the show and so are the kids that are in high school. But who knows what the whole year will be or what the show will morph into throughout the year. It will be very exciting — and I’m not going anywhere!”

Fox’s decision to sign the show on for another two seasons is curious — with this season’s rapid decline in the ratings, you’d think they’d wanna protect themselves from continually steep movements in that direction. But Glee performs well within the 18-39 demo and sells a lot of iTunes singles, though neither of those metrics are performing as well as they used to. Ratings are down 50% from their best season (Season Two), and don’t appear to be picking up.

i made this chart using info from wikipedia

i made this chart using info from wikipedia

Personally, I feel the show lost its charm when it became abundantly clear that almost every external factor in the entire universe mattered more than the characters, stories and lively musical numbers we’d fallen in love with. The most obvious example of this is the prioritization of iTunes sales over making good television, but for me personally it was the inclusion of Glee Project winners that really knocked Glee off its pedestal. (The iTunes thing actually doesn’t bother me at all, but I know that’s an unpopular opinion.) The Glee Project never performed well in the ratings, attracting some passive viewers but mostly a passionate audience of Glee diehards who took Glee seriously enough to wish they themselves were on the program and were therefore willing to endure endless portions of gratuitous Glee back-pats piled on top of traditional reality show nonsense.

Part of Glee‘s magic was that it had found these actors and actresses who were just starting out, who’d been on a few shows or performed on Broadway but just hadn’t had their big break yet. Lea Michele was already famous on Broadway and Glee was obviously a perfect fit, but I already knew Lea, so for me it was performers like Naya Rivera and Amber Riley that really caught my attention.

oh hello world, we're beautiful and talented

oh hello world, we’re beautiful and talented, would you like to meet us

But when the cast began getting swarmed by nobodies who never contributed in any meaningful way to the show’s plot, cast, or music I felt, as a viewer, kinda… cheated? Like, having this additional media property on Oxygen is more important to y’all then telling a story or developing the characters we care about? Both Rory and Joe seemed to exist only to appease the minuscule cult fan base they’d cultivated on the reality show and their presence in the Gleeiverse was distracting and almost insulting. Although the parallel seems too convenient to be accurate, The L Word made similar missteps as its fourth season began: sidelining continuing stories in favor of piling on heaps of temporary, thrice-removed-from-the-main-cast characters and prioritizing the promotion and integration of OurChart over the quality of the show on the actual television. I’d actually argue that Unique is the only good thing to come out of The Glee Project because her character, while thus far totally handled poorly, at least filled a void. But the three skinny straight white boys all up in my eyeballs? NEXT.



I imagine hiring unknowns is key to keeping costs down, however. When the show debuted in 2009, it was reported that episodes cost upwards of $3 million each to produce, 50 percent more than the average prime-time drama. The demanding musical numbers mean each episode takes 10 days to shoot, which is 25 percent longer than the norm. Ryan Murphy told The New York Times even then that Glee intended to earn back its money by selling “several soundtracks a year.”

In that same 2009 Times article, Murphy notes that producers have “already been approached about a “Glee” tour with the cast, a film and a Broadway show” and, furthermore, that there’s “even talk” of “Glee on Ice.”

Now that’s a Season Five I’d gladly tune in for.


all signs point in this direction

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3211 articles for us.


  1. The only good things about this are A) Santana and B) your reviews. I don’t even watch Glee anymore, but I still read along!

  2. “Not everybody will go to New York, because I think that’s really unrealistic.”

    But everything that’s happened up until now HAS been realistic?

  3. Season 2 Episode 11 is probably a statistical outlier, how far outside the standard deviation is it

  4. That ratings chart confused me for a second, with that insane spike in the middle of season 2, then I remembered that time they aired an episode after the Superbowl. That was fun but also a very late night.

    Even though Glee sucks, I can’t quit it while Rachel and Santana are still characters. I just tune out everything else and only pay attention when they’re on screen. It’s worked, so far.

    • Although, if Dianna is on I’m watching. I accept my hypocritical nature.
      But I wish all the girls could get away and do things that match their skill level.

  5. I love glee this season. Im 13, and that is the age they go for. the thing they need to do is change it back to tuesday because American idol and The x factors rating is what is killing it. Maybe they will, i hope…
    fuck you negitive people

    • for future reference, “fuck you” in response to well-argued criticisms is not a good way to support your point.

        • Dude, I totally swore that much when I was 13. I just didn’t have an Internet to do it on!

      • We’re not negative people. We are an older and more mentally mature crowd who has a social awareness that extends way beyond the hallways and cafeteria of middle school.

  6. Now that I have detached myself from the Glee/Brittana fandom and all the misery that came along with it, I am SO EXCITED for the next couple seasons. I want it to be AWFUL and UNREALISTIC and I’m going to enjoy every minute of it. I think life will be a little less entertaining when Glee is all over.

  7. I thought April Fool’s Day already passed??? WHYYYY??
    I personally think Glee has branched off into too many WTF-roads for it make sense or have continuity again.

    Quoting Daenerys Targaryen, “If I look back, I am lost.”
    Glee’s version would be, “If I look back or up front, I am still lost.”

  8. The one thing I like about Glee is that it led me to all of you

    I love you all

    And I hate having to be grateful to Glee for something

  9. I am at a point where I loath Glee. Originally I found this show inspiring and hilarious but it all went downhill after season 2. One- they can’t handle Brittana properly to save their lives. Season gave them the most justice, and season 3 was just horrible with silent Brittany. (Also I must say if Glee doesn’t resolve Grandma’s abuela disowning her I will be pissed for life.)

    Two- What is subtlety? Don’t ask the Glee writers.

    Three- What are consistent storylines? Again don’t ask the writers.

    Love the cast, detest the show. After this season I refuse to watch.

  10. Given the levels of real-ness (reality?) on this show, I’m gonna share my (rather optimistic) predictions for the show next season:
    The show will take place in grand part in New York with focus on those living in Bushwick and frequent visits from Quinn and Blaine and Britney moving up there as well to Pursue Their Dreams and having a lot of Drama with Kurt and Santana because that’s bound to happen.
    But mainly, focus on Rachel, Santana, and Quinn.
    Naturally this would happen after the mysterious disappearance of Ryan Murphy. And Mr. Potato Head.
    McKinley High…the next class will graduate and as soon as they walk off campus they will turn back around to give it one last look, but it will already have disappeared into nothingness. Like a dream.

  11. I just can’t imagine the stories they’re going to come up with to fill up all these episodes. Like, I can’t wait for the episode where they go to space to get mooncheese because Finn the Cheesy Tater Tot needs a blood transfusion and they get marooned so Blaine has to sing “Rocket Man” to magically summon this week’s special guest star, Sir Elton John, to fly them back to earth on his rainbow piano.

    Hire me, Ryan Murphy.

  12. So I saw the words ‘The L Word’ in the text and by my brain’s weird associative reasoning, thought that the pics of teen jesus and the leprechaun man were in fact photos of Whitney Mixter and some fairly adorable lesbian… Then I came to my senses and my vagina crawled away in shame.

  13. Larsen (dread guy) is half-Mexican, so he’s not quite so white. Just pointing that out.
    I sort of hate Glee for a number of reasons. Rachel Berry was everything I despised in high school…and middle school…and elementary school…and Finn, too, so maybe because of that I’ve never really attached to the show.
    Santana, though…and now Quinn/Santana…I’m all over that. I also adored Brittany circa Britney/Brittany.

    • Thanks for pointing out Larsen’s multiethnic identity! I don’t know how he feels about it, but I know it makes a difference to me to not always be lumped into the white-white category.

      However, even if he were of entirely European descent: I don’t think dismissing him as boring because of his race is quite right… I think we just need to remember that it’s Ryan’s and the writer’s treatment of the characters as boring that makes them so.

  14. I often compare Ryan Murphy to Ilene Chaikin because they create shit shows but we can’t look away because well hot lesbians (or lesbian in ryans case) among other reasons. So that was awesome when you compared glee to the l word.

  15. Next season, on Glee! The former members of the New Directions realize that WMHS was purgatory, Will Scheuster the devil, and that the previous four years of their lives didn’t really exist. Newly awakened to the truth, they gear up with an all-to-easy-to-legally-obtain arsenal and head off on a quest to find Morpheous and/or Sarah Connor in order to restore the world to its former, pre-musical glory.

    Queue gritty action, flashbacks to ND-induced fever dreams, and a Samuel L Jackson cameo. No singing allowed.

  16. I’m curious why you continue to recap this show. I’ve been reading the recaps because I admire your writing and I was also a fan once, but Glee’s way of handling sexual orientation is stereotypical at best, and insulting all of the time. You’re time, talent, and energy shouldn’t be wasted on this show. I’m not trying to be negatively critical. I just personally wish you would recap shows that handle sexual orientation and identity with more tact.

    • Agreed, I find Glee personally offensive at least once every episode — but, I love Riese’s writing always … too bad there are literally zero shows that feature queer people that get it right.

    • Riese, I would never even think to guess why you still recap the show, I assume because you still want to? Anyhow– I appreciate that you do.

      Liz– do you have any suggestions for other show? Maybe I can knock my Glee addiction with a healthy substitution.

  17. Can Autostraddle writers win comment awards? Because the title and byline of this article deserve one. Fuck me in the ear indeed.

  18. Two more seasons? I STILL refuse to watch this show. This could also be because I mostly become irate during musicals (save for Evil Dead and the Phantom of the Opera, thus far), and I don’t like being reminded of how annoying I was as a teenager by paying attention to shows about them.

    I imagine the next two seasons (post graduation) will be like Saved By The Bell: The College Years, but with more singing and dancing.

    If they threw in an ode to Jessie Spano being addicted to caffeine pills, but substituted meth, THEN I’d be interested it watching.

    Of course a former roommate and I used to get drunk and yell at episodes of the Ghost Whisperer after long days at work, so maybe there is an appeal I’m just missing because I loathe musicals (for the record: MOST of the time).

  19. ‘I’d like to thank Teen Jesus, who I have prayed to every night for additional seasons of this occasional hellscape.”

    Crying I am laughing so hard.

  20. I haven’t watched Glee since last season, however I will continue to youtube Santana’s scenes for as long as Naya Rivera has a face.

  21. I’m at least glad they canceled The Glee Project, which I found painful to watch because it seemed like the worst job interview ever. Imagine applying for a job as an insurance claims adjuster and being told you have to live in a house with 15 other job applicants to compete for the position in an elimination-style contest. Fuck that noise.

  22. I actually think a lot of the glee project actors are relatively talented (better singers/dancers than actors, but not bad). Even teen Jesus has given some solid performances. The real issue is that the new characters are so poorly written it’s impossible to care about them. The writers pick a single trait – biracial! Dyslexic! Trans*! – and think that this is sufficient characterization. Real people are so much more complex then that, and these characters feel very artificial. That, combined with the increasingly offensive and inconsistent plot lines is what made me stop watching a few months ago. I could deal with the show being silly and occasionally problematic, but this season is just too much.

  23. Ryan Murphy has been behind some really great shows throughout his career, but he has checked out of Glee and has moved on to focus on his other, more interesting shows – mainly American Horror Story. The last 2 seasons of Glee have been bad, and I had to stop watching once the new kids came in with their mediocre musical numbers and boring drama. But, Glee makes a lot of iTunes money and the tweens like it.

    Cable tv is where 90% of the quality shows are nowadays, so I think I’ll continue to skip the Glee time slot until it’s cancelled at the end of these 2 new seasons.

  24. Yall are the best support group. Before I found you, I was lost, as all of my friends had stopped watching the show but refused to talk about it at all. At least those of you here who don’t watch it still will listen to us kvetch, us poor souls like me who haven’t escaped yet. Is there a secret you know that will break my continuing delusion that Glee will one day not suck again?

    Probably not replaying the songs and episodes I loved would help– but they were so good!! (I have “I Dreamed a Dream” stuck in my head now from this week’s recap… not a bad thing…)

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