Well this is it, Gleeks. The culmination of our Gleekuary: March To The 100th Episode extravaganza. And while I am beyond thrilled that the landmark episode is finally upon us, I'm a bit sad that our nonstop Gleeking-out is over. But, alas, all good things must come to an end.
When we decided to do this, I snagged my character and actress immediately. She has, from her first lines, been my very favorite character. She can draw blood with mere words, stop traffic with her bitchy resting face, and bring us to our knees with her sultry, powerful voice. She is, of course, Santana Lopez, played by the marvelous Naya Rivera.
Santana started her Glee
tenure as filler, with very few lines and zero solos. But as her one-liners became more prevalent and her talent more evident, the character of Santana started to pick up steam. She quickly became a fan favorite with her unapologetic "no bullshit" policy and comedic timing.
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We watched Santana evolve from a hilarious backup character, to a dazzling leading lady. Her performance of "Valerie" at Sectionals is when I remember thinking that Rachel Berry really needed to watch her back. Santana was the hotter, less annoying, equally as talented version of Rachel. Something she has never really been given credit for, but I mean, come on! Just watch!
Not only did Santana claw her way to a starring role with the New Directions, she went through myriad personal transformations, as well. We saw her rough and tumble demeanor thaw toward the other glee members. We saw her vulnerable and insecure regarding her status within the school. We saw her manipulative and conniving ways do some of the finest resident bitch work since Melrose Place.
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But we also saw her find herself. We saw her finally give into her feelings for Brittany, and take their sessions of sweet lady kisses to a full-blown relationship. And what a relationship it was. I've been watching TV for a lot of years, and there have certainly been some epic pairings that have come as a result of masterful writing and natural chemistry; but none have even come close to Brittana, in my opinion.
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Their affection and absolute adoration for one another was truly something to see. While everyone else wrote Brittany off as just another hot cheerleader who could really bust a move, but was as dumb as a box of rocks, Santana saw Brittany for the brilliant, albeit totally unique, woman that she was. And though everyone else thought Santana really should have been shortened to simply "Satan," Brittany was able to bring the warmth from Santana's icy cold soul to the surface and see the good within. They were a perfectly balanced team. And it sparked some beautiful music too, of course.
On top of being fierce, fabulous and talented beyond measure, Santana is hilarious. She undoubtedly gets the best lines in the show. Here a few of my favorites:
"The Power of Madonna," about Rachel: "Please, she's like a cat in heat. She talked about him yesterday and practically sprayed the choir room."
"The Power of Madonna," about Finn: "Everything about you screams virgin. You're about as sexy as a Cabbage Patch Kid. It's exhausting to look at you."
"Duets," Santana to Brittany: "I'm like a lizard. I need something warm beneath me or else I can't digest my food.
"Duets," to Kurt: "How can you do a duet by yourself? That's like vocal masturbation."
"Silly Love Songs," "I've kissed Finn, and can I just say... not worth a buck. I would, however, pay a hundred dollars to jiggle one of his man boobs."
"Born This Way": "Hold up, could we all just get real here for a second? I hear that Rachel has a bit of a schnoz. I mean I wouldn't know because like Medusa I try to avoid eye contact with her. But can we all just stop lying about how there aren't things we don't want to change about ourselves? I'm sure that Sam has been at the doctor's office and rifled through pamphlets on mouth reductions. I'll bet Artie's thought about getting his legs removed since he's not really using them anyway. And I'm definitely sure Tina has looked into getting an eye de-slanting."
"Comeback": "My carousel horse sweater should make me look like an institutionalized toddler, but no. I look hot and smart. I feel like Michelle Obama.
And finally, this gem that made the world a better place by its mere existence:
Santana's journey is far from over. We recently saw her score the role as Rachel's understudy in Funny Girl
, which spawned one of the more epic bitch slaps in recent memory.
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We all know Santana is a bitch, she's never made any attempt to sugar coat that. But the reason it works for her is because she's so upfront about it. And somehow, in the midst of all of the terrible things she says, you KNOW that she's just trying to express herself, and has a unique way of going about that.
It's also easy to forget that, for the first few seasons, Santana was grappling with her sexuality. Something that would make any person a wee bit prickly. But she came into her own with Brittany, and her utter and absolute love for her helped to thaw the ice princess into a far more relateable and lovable character. When her Abuela turned her back on her and banished her from her home after Santana revealed that she was gay, we felt her despair and pain. But Santana stood strong, and out of it came my favorite performance from the sultry singer.
I want to personally thank Santana, and the impossibly beautiful Naya Rivera that plays her, for keeping it real, making us laugh, being really, really ridiculously good-looking, and for always knowing that the underboob is the best hiding spot in a woman's arsenal.
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