For its 100th episode, a certain series is offering a story expectedly filled with “Glee.”
Familiar faces will be back to celebrate the FOX musical comedy-drama’s milestone, to be shown in two parts starting Tuesday, March 18. Gwyneth Paltrow and Kristin Chenoweth reprise their recurring guest roles, and former cast regulars not seen on the show as often lately — including latest “Dancing With the Stars” winner Amber Riley, Mark Salling, Dianna Agron and Heather Morris — also return as the now-dismantled New Directions glee club is recalled by its members.
“It’s crazy,” muses co-star Chris Colfer to Zap2it about reaching the 100th story of the show that counts creators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan among its executive producers. “In some ways, it feels like it’s only the 10th episode, but in other ways, it feels like it’s the 1,000th episode. I’m kind of surprised that we’ve hit 100.”
Indeed, Colfer — Emmy-nominated twice as Kurt Hummel — maintains that with the musical and dramatic demands of “Glee,” he and such peers as Lea Michele, Matthew Morrison and Jane Lynch have “always been in the eye of the storm, so we’ve never been able to have a great perspective of it all. A hundred episodes means, what, something like 3,000 songs? I think by the time the show ends next season, we will have done every single song in existence.”
Remixes of fan-chosen tunes previously performed on “Glee” are woven throughout the 100th tale. Colfer is pleased that “pretty much anyone who’s ever been a part of the show has come back,” though it’s also a bittersweet occasion with the absence of the late Cory Monteith, who played Finn Hudson.
Colfer reflects that Kurt’s personal growth on “Glee,” and his own, have “probably ruined every other job I’ll ever have. This was really the first job I had in film or TV, and for it to be so significant, I’ve been completely spoiled. I still get a thousand letters a week from kids out there who have been affected by Kurt’s story.”
That story has expanded with Kurt’s move to New York, though his Ohio home base never will be totally in his rearview mirror.
“His family is in Ohio,” Colfer notes, “so I know he won’t completely abandon it, but he’s kind of living it up in New York. He’s working for Vogue, which is where I had always joked I wanted to see him, but I never thought it was going to be a possibility. Much like the actor who’s playing him, he’s getting to stretch his muscles.”
Still, certain aspects always will be part of Kurt, as Colfer hopes they will be for himself.
“I’ve always thought singing is one of the best tools an actor can use to get an emotion across, because you just can feel the hurt or longing or happiness. I’ll have to figure out what tools to use in whatever my next gig is.”
A winner of a Golden Globe Award, two People’s Choice Awards and two Teen Choice Awards for “Glee,” Colfer hasn’t put much thought into the show wrapping up – not yet, anyway – with its forthcoming Season 6.
“I think that to the outside world, [the remaining] season and a half isn’t that much,” he says, “but there’s so much work that our show requires, that still seems very much like an eternity for us. That still means at least 200 to 300 more musical numbers and lots and lots of 80-hour weeks, so it doesn’t seem like it’s ending too soon for anyone on the set.”