Chris Colfer and Darren Criss
Despite the show's title, it's a little tough to feel happy and excited about Glee this season. Following the sudden death of Cory Monteith this past July, many of the headlines about the series have been about the death of his character, beloved quarterback and New Directions member-turned-substitute director Finn Hudson, and how the series will move forward without one of its most important characters. For Gleeks across the country and around the world, the thought of watching Glee without Finn is a sad one. However, like any good musical, the show must go on, especially when that show is known for delivering heart, humor and those feel-good moments. Glee returns for its fifth season Thursday (9/8c, Fox), and although there's something missing from the new season, there are plenty of other reasons to tune in for Season 5:
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1. Will Klaine get engaged? Sure, there have been plenty of Glee nuptials (and almost nuptials) already thanks to Finn and Rachel, Will and Emma, Sam and Brittany, and Coach Sue and ... Coach Sue. But ever since Kurt (Chris Colfer), and fans, first laid eyes on that spiffy navy blue Dalton blazer back in Season 2, he and Blaine (Darren Criss) have become one of the most beloved couples on the show (an impressive feat considering the sheer number of romantic pairings). The final moments of the Season 4 finale showed Blaine secretly holding a ring, and the two look awfully lovey-dovey in the photo above. After their traumatic breakup last season, hopefully the only place for Klaine to go up this season is up and ... to the altar?!
2. Is this the beginning of Rachel's Broadway career? Last season ended on a particularly happy note after Rachel's evil teacher Cassandra (Kate Hudson) suddenly turned into a kind-hearted human being and after she got a callback for Funny Girl. The new season will see Rachel (Lea Michele) audition once again for the seminal role once played by Barbra Streisand. And considering how well we've seen Rachel do Babs before, she's a shoo-in, right? OK, not exactly, since realistically Rachel is just one fish in a ginormous pond of ridiculously talented people, but even if she doesn't get the gig, here's hoping this is a sign of more golden opportunities to come as Rachel gets closer to finishing NYADA and starting her career.
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3. Sue is back! Obviously, McKinley High couldn't keep away its most determined and ferocious teacher for too long, but after Sue (Jane Lynch) claimed responsibility for the gunshot fired on campus last spring, we (foolishly) thought it would take more than five episodes for her to return. Not only is Sue once again striking fear into the hearts of Cheerios everywhere, but she's also now the principal of McKinley. Poor Mr. Schue (Matthew Morrison)! Thankfully, Sue will be reunited with one of her best sparring partners, Coach Roz (NeNe Leakes), who returns this season.
4. Beatles mania! Tribute episodes have always been some of Glee's brightest hours (Madonna, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Whitney Houston, to name a few) but the two-part homage to the Fab Four promises to be one of Glee's biggest spectacles yet. The show has released special re-creations of the band's famous album covers in celebration of the tribute and, judging from this Season 5 promo, the Glee costume designer spared no expense when it came time to dress the New Direction kids in their Sgt. Pepper's finest. And let's not forget that beautiful, tearful Beatles rendition Kurt performed in Season 2. Glee has done The Beatles right in the past, and there's no doubt they will honor one of the biggest musical acts in history accordingly.
New Glee promo: New Directions take on The Beatles' "All You Need Is Love"
5. New guest stars! Glee will be getting visits from not one, but two famous faces this fall when Demi Lovato and Adam Lambert guest-star. Lovato, who is pulling double duty on Glee and X Factor, will be playing a new friend of Rachel and a possible new love interest for Santana (Naya Rivera). After seeing Santana spend a good chunk of last season pining for Brittany (Heather Morris) — while Brittany was dating Santana's ex nonetheless — we're excited to see her move on. If Lovato's character is half as feisty as Lovato is on The X Factor, she'll be the perfect pairing for the passionate Lima Heights Adjacent native. Although far less is known about who Lambert will be playing, it's nice to see the American Idol runner-up pop up four years after co-creator Ryan Murphy first mentioned him as a possible guest star. His killer voice and impressive theatrics throughout his run on Idol in Season 8 prove he's a great fit for the over-the-top series.
6. Graduation! Oh, yes, we just dropped the g-word. Since Season 4 ended after New Directions competed in Regionals, which means last year's glee club seniors (Artie, Tina, Blaine, Sam, just to name a few) still have a ways to go before they walk across that McKinley High stage. When the series returns, Glee will once again cover special moments like prom as the New Direction elders move closer to G-day. Graduation 1.0 may have been stressful because of the large amount of uncertainty surrounding it back in Season 3, but now fans can revel a bit more in seeing which paths the kids choose — especially those that choose paths leading to New York!
Glee premieres Thursday at 9/8c on Fox. What are you most excited to see this season?