ANNOUNCING: NEW BEGINNINGS and NEW NEW DIRECTIONS
(A rewrite and expansion of A New Beginning)
With the next few weeks I will begin publishing an almost complete rewrite of this story which was first published over a year ago, but was never finished.
First, let me give you some background explanation. Two and a half years ago when I started writing Glee fanfic, I was a very angry Glee fan. To me, the best part of glee, on top of all of the compelling characters, was the glee club itself. But, in the middle of season 5 the writers, in a knee-jerk reaction to the death of Cory Monteith, decided to take Glee in a completely different direction, ending the glee club in Lima storyline and writing anyone not in New York out completely, and in the process made it not feel like Glee anymore.
When RIB created Glee they didn’t plan ahead and put everyone in the same grade. As a result, everyone was set to graduate at the end of season 3. They realized this at the beginning of season 3 and Artie, Tina, Blaine, and Sam abruptly got demoted a grade, even though they had always been shown in the same classes as the others, and Blaine had been introduced the year before as an older mentor / love interest for Kurt. They also introduced several new characters at McKinley: Sugar Motta, Rory Flanigan, and Joe Hart. In addition, they also established Harmony and Wade “Unique” Adams as guest stars, clearly positioning them to transfer to McKinley the following fall. Unfortunately none of these really captured the hearts and interest of most fans. They filled out the glee club roster, but it didn’t change the fact that the most popular characters were graduating, even though the actors were still under contract for another year.
Legend has it that RIB had plans for a spin-off of Glee (Glee: New York, Glee: The College Years, or something to that effect) where they wanted to explore the lives of the alumni after graduation. But due to costs, slipping ratings, and the fact that those types of shows just weren’t that successful most of the time, Fox rejected the idea. So they were left with a bunch of characters that didn’t fit into the show format anymore.
So, starting with season 4, Glee was split in half and became two distinct parts of the same show. The most popular characters Rachel, Kurt, and Santana ventured out into the world of New York and pursued their dreams, and plans were made to write the other alumni in where they could.
The underclassmen, meanwhile, stayed in Lima and began another school year. Artie,Tina, Sam, and Blaine became the senior members of the club, joined by Brittany, who it was revealed in the end of season 3 was failing her classes and didn’t graduate, so she came back as a second year Senior. As expected, Unique transferred to McKinley, but Harmony did not. But, the character of Rory – my personal favorite of the season 3 newbies – was written out for some reason.
Several new characters were also introduced in Lima: Marley Rose, an insecure wallflower who wanted to sing songs on the radio; Jake Puckerman, Noah Puckerman’s younger black half brother; Kitty Wilde, a mean head cheerleader type who was a cross between Quinn and Santana (but there was more to her character than originally seen); and Ryder Lynn, a relatable ‘regular Joe’ type who was also dyslexic. All of these were recruited into the New Directions within the first few episodes.
Also returning were Sugar and Joe, but neither got any significant storylines and disappeared for entire episodes with no explanation, unless they were needed to fill up the choir room or for a performance.
The other alumni: Mercedes, Mike, and Quinn, were written into either storyline where ever they could make them fit, and the New Yorkers returned to Lima a few times each.
Finn, meanwhile, washed out of the army and continued to feel lost. After briefly checking with Rachel and Kurt in New York, he came back to Lima a few episodes into the season and Artie convinced him to help direct the fall musical. Mr. Schue saw a lot of himself in Finn, and how directing gave him his confidence and sense of purpose back so he recruited him to run glee club while he went to Washington to advocate for arts in education. In the process, Finn discovered that he wanted to be a teacher. He started college locally and was going to work alongside Schue to get college credit for it. Eventually, once Rachel achieved all of her dreams she was supposed to return home in the series finale in a full circle kind-of thing and tie the whole thing up in a nice little bow.
Unfortunately the tragic and untimely death of Cory put a damper on that. Cory had experienced issues with substance abuse off and on for his adult lifetime. During the final weeks of the filming of season four these demons reared their ugly heads again, and Ryan told Cory to check into rehab and get better. As a result Finn was written out of the final two episodes of season four, but his sudden disappearance was never explained. Cory’s stint in rehab seemed to have been a success and he was back with the cast for the season five photo shoot in June. Three weeks later just weeks before they were ready to begin shooting season five, Cory was found dead in his hotel room of a heroin overdose. His time in rehab had reduced his tolerance for the drug and the dose he had been using before was now toxic to him.
Obviously everyone who knew and loved Cory and Finn were in shock. A private memorial service for him was held on the Paramount lot. The cast and crew delayed the beginning of shooting of season five for a month while they took time to mourn. A number of things were considered, but ultimately it was decided that the Finn character should be killed off and a new episode would be written about his death. In the meantime the two episode Beatles tribute, which was already written and in pre production was filmed.
Then the new episode, entitled The Quarterback, was written and filmed. Most of the original cast came back for it. Instead of delving into a plot about the circumstances of his passing, they chose to focus on paying tribute to him in song and story. In fact the circumstances of his death were not touched on at all, other than that it was sudden. That episode was moving and powerful and drew tears from anyone who saw it, and the tears shed by the cast on screen were real. Joaquin Seido, the Director of Photography said it was the hardest thing he had ever had to shoot. Virtually every scene was filmed in one take because the cast and crew had a hard time keeping it together. The tears they shed were for Cory not just Finn.
After that episode the cast and crew took a break and the show took its first hiatus early while they began rewriting the rest of the episodes in pre production. The first half of season five had its good and bad moments, but you can really tell what episodes were written after Cory passed away, because it was painfully apparent that the writers had given up.
Apparently, just before the filming of the nationals episode, the season 4 newbies (Melissa, Blake, Alex, Jacob, and Becca) were called into Ryan’s office and informed that after episode 13, the show was switching to an all New York format and that even though they were series regulars that season, their services were no longer required. Ouch!
When the news of this broke Ian Brennan was asked in an interview weather we might see any of the newbies in New York and he said that since Kitty and Artie were still together long distance that we might see her once before the end of the season. Reportedly Becca was told something similar, because she said in an interview that she might be back one more time. Of course that didn’t happen and each week they mocked us by listing the newbies in the credits each week.
On the show itself, even though the New Directions performed one of the most impressive set lists in the history of the show, they came in second at Nationals, and Sue made due on her threat and cancelled Glee Club. Inexplicably, after only a half hearted attempt to salvage it, with help from April Rhodes and Holly Holiday, Schue gave up and brought back the alumni to say goodbye before moving everyone else to New York or elsewhere.
I was furious, but held out hope until I saw Transitioning where they made Artie into a player and had him apparently forget about Kitty. I was angry not only about how they characterized Artie, but also that they didn’t even give us a proper breakup scene or explanation for ending an otherwise healthy relationship. In response I wrote a one shot story called In My Arms Again (Somewhere, Somehow). It got decent reviews and the early leaked info indicated that season 6 would also be all New York, or at least not Lima.
I began writing Glee: A New Beginning to be an alternate season 5b/6 to give my favorite characters a happy ending. I eventually got inspired to do other stories and this one fell by the wayside and was eventually abandoned. In the time since then my writing has improved and what I want this sorry to be has significantly evolved, so rather than continue from where I left off, I am doing a complete rewrite. Most of what was in the old version will still be there, but in a better form and structure. This story, while still centering on Kitty and Artie, is going to be much more of an ensemble piece. It’s also being broken into two separate stories:
New Beginnings overlaps season 5 B and tells the story of how Artie and Kitty get back together and get glee club back. In this version Marley, Ryder, Jake, and Unique don’t transfer out and I will also be introducing the McCarthy twins from season 6, and possibly one other newbie, and bring back a few other familiar faces.
NEW New Directions overlaps season 6 and brings back the energy and urgency of season 1, along with the weekly lessons. Glee Club is back, but only on a trial basis. If they win or place at Nationals then the club is back permanently. If not, it’s gone for good. This season will feature all of the season 4 and remainder of the season 6 newbies, with the exception of Myron. The two sets of newbies will band together to form the new glee club with a common goal. Unlike season 4 on the show only a few of the alumni will appear (Artie, Mercedes, and Mike are planned) but only where the story calls for them. I really want the two sets of newbies to stand on their own. Rachel and the remaining alumni will be mentioned from time to time, but we will assume that they are off in New York and elsewhere pursuing their dreams.
Both stories will be incorporated into The Wildebrams Saga as parts 2 and 3. Watch my website WildeAbrams dot com for more information coming soon.
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