‘Glee’ Star Matthew Morrison Explains Why He Doesn’t Think the Show Still Has the Same Relevance

Highly acclaimed musical comedy-drama Glee aired on Fox from 2009 to 2015 and inspired millions around the world to let their “gleek” flag fly. After the series ended, Tony- and Emmy-nominated actor Matthew Morrison went on to star in Finding Neverland on Broadway before landing the central character of Trevor Kirchner in American Horror Story: 1984.

Straight off the release of his first album since the series ended, the actor stopped by Build NYC to discuss the impact of Glee and whether the show could be rebooted.

Matthew Morrison
Matthew Morrison | Arturo Holmes

Looking back at the impact of ‘Glee’

The musical series revolved around members of a competitive high school “glee club,” or show choir. It also featured their teachers, friends, families, and other school staff, including the cheerleading coach and guidance counselor.

Many episodes focused on social issues the members faced, including race and sexuality, making the series a relatable international hit. Only months before the fifth season aired, Canadian actor Cory Monteith, who portrayed the leading role of Finn Hudson, died from an overdose.

The musical series ended in March 2015 after six seasons. Glee saw extreme success, receiving 208 award nominations with 80 wins.

Additionally, the on-screen musical numbers featured in each episode were released on iTunes and studio albums through Columbia Records. This totaled over 36 million digital single sales and 11 million album sales globally throughout the first two years.

Actor, dancer, and singer Matthew Morrison starred in the series as glee club director and Spanish teacher Will Schuester. And his performance earned him nine award nominations, including for an Emmy and a Golden Globe, with three wins.

Matthew Morrison on the relevance of ‘Glee’

Five years after the show ended, the actor and singer stopped by Build NYC to discuss his new album, Disney Dreamin’ with Matthew Morrison, and the relevance of Glee.

Morrison said he recognizes that people are still discovering the series half a decade later due to online streaming. But he doesn’t think the show would have the “same relevance” if it were currently airing.

The Broadway actor explained Glee “hit at a certain moment” and was “so timely” when it premiered in 2009. Additionally, the “underdog story” and the president at the time were “so prevalent.”

Build’s Lauren Moraski agreed and added that the musical series “touched on many different issues and told so many different stories.” Morrison then revealed those aspects were “the best part” of the show for him because he saw the “Glee effect” it had on “high school bullying and being gay in high school.”

The actor also pointed out the “global impact” the series has had and how it “opened people’s eyes” to start conversations about what they saw on the show.

Although Glee has maintained some of its popularity, Morrison doesn’t think there will be a reboot because “so much tragedy” has happened with actors from the show — namely the death of Monteith, as well as Mark Salling (who played Noah “Puck” Puckerman), who died by suicide in 2018. However, Morrison believes the remaining cast members might reunite for a benefit concert to help a certain cause.

Viewers can stream Glee on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube.