Naya Rivera used to be a powerhouse and her legacy as Santana Lopez on Glee will survive.

In Season 3 Episode 11 of Fox’s Glee (Jackson), Santana Lopez walks right into a room stuffed with Warblers, a rival show-choir workforce, on my own in a black hat and a swimsuit get dressed to incite a confession for Slushee-ing her buddy and teammate. She’s challenged to a show-choir duel of ‘Smooth Criminal’ (Michael Jackson) carried out to cellos, a palpable, rising stress rises between the 2 singers that crescendos to the confession and a Slushee at Santana’s face.

This efficiency is among the Glee Cast’s most sensible streamed tracks on Spotify. So are two others: ‘Valerie’ (Amy Winehouse) and ‘If I Die Young‘ (The Band Perry) led by way of Santana Lopez, performed by way of Naya Rivera who, as of 8 July 2020, is not more. She is survived by way of her husband and a son elderly 4.

Naya Rivera in Glee. Image from Twitter

Naya Rivera used to be a powerhouse and her legacy as Santana Lopez on Glee will survive. Her efficiency as Santana, a robust, Black, Puerto Rican lesbian lady used to be a breath of unpolluted air in a display that misplaced itself in its plots and its quest to exhibit Lea Michele’s wafer-thin Rachel Berry personality in a favorable mild. So much has been written concerning the problematic and uncomfortable portions of Glee, from its party of bullies (on-screen and stale) and normalisation of sketchy student-teacher romance arcs to creating mild of date rape. Through all of this, Santana Lopez now not handiest grounded the display and made it a drama we will be able to have interaction with, however arguably carried the display within the ultimate seasons.

Glee, to me, is a display of significant importance. I’d watch it as a highschool scholar after faculty on Star World and it was my protected area. I used to be deeply invested in The New Directions, the choir that the display follows. Rachel Berry, a self-absorbed alpha personality fixated on a Broadway occupation, in Season 1 talks of being “part of something special [that] would make her special”. The display choir workforce would pass directly to win the National Show Choir Championships in Season 3, overcoming vital hurdles alongside the way in which. As any person in class a couple of years more youthful than the characters, I longed to be part of a staff and to have any person have my again the similar manner those children had each and every others’.

Glee made a promise of acceptance and unity between youngsters who have been poles aside on the subject of financial background, skills, instructional ease, and most significantly (then), reputation. It used to be additionally the primary time I’d noticed sure queer illustration on TV, in a PG-13 display.

At age 13, this display used to be a global except for my faculty, with restricted extra-curricular actions and drab brown uniforms. At age 15, when imminent board assessments intended that I’d given up on TV privileges, I keep in mind secretly streaming the latter seasons of Glee from shady web sites. The display introduced bucketfuls of song, a way of pleasure and belonging at a time when those have been in brief provide. I feel I additionally entered faculty searching for this type of staff that turns into a group in the way in which Glee promised used to be conceivable.

Remembering Naya Riveras character Santana Lopez who was the heart and soul of Glee

Still of Naya Rivera in Glee. Image from Twitter

Santana’s arc began off as a two-dimensional well-liked bully, a part of The Unholy Trinity comprising her, Brittany Pierce and Quinn Fabray, all cheerleaders. She’s portrayed as radically fair (learn: imply) and identifies as a b*tch without a regrets; she enjoys her reputation and her energy. The Unholy Trinity auditions for and infiltrates The New Directions on orders in their cheerleading trainer Sue Sylvester, the antagonist of the collection who needs her spies within the new membership. Over time she starts to experience Glee and warms as much as the speculation of being a part of it.

Santana is a fighter, she is prepared to rise up for herself and her buddies. When a break-off Glee membership paperwork to protest The New Directions’ favouritism of Rachel Berry, Santana defects instantly. Over the seasons she temporarily becomes the loyal Glee membership member who’s frank along with her lecturers and friends. She is continuously manipulative in a bid to have issues her manner or to assist her buddies, which is the primary time she’s noticed as greater than a vampy personality.

Santana is a born performer and over the seasons they turn out how she’s similarly as just right as Rachel Berry, who has had performing and voice coaching since she used to be little. Santana even will get the section as Rachel’s understudy in a Broadway manufacturing of Funny Girl. Santana is a dreamer. She quits her faculty cheerleading scholarship to observe her desires in New York, a dream her oldsters residing within the tough neighbourhoods of Lima, Ohio cannot digest instantly.

Santana’s arcs are the rawest and rewarding portions of the display. Santana is driven to simply accept her sexuality and her love for Brittany whilst being outed publicly by way of a member of The New Directions (a mistake the display does not name to consideration). She chooses to come back to phrases along with her love for Brittany, her easiest buddy, and teammate, with this intimate efficiency of Songbird by way of Fleetwood Mac.

Remembering Naya Riveras character Santana Lopez who was the heart and soul of Glee

Santana and Brittany’s love is a template of what a just right and wholesome romance can also be

Santana and Brittany’s love is a template of what a just right and wholesome romance can also be: mushy, being concerned, and respectful. Season 6 is a party in their courting in spite of arguably being the worst season of the display. Santana fights with Santana’s non secular abuela (grandmother) to simply accept their courting and chooses to chop her off for the sake of her marriage. Santana and Brittany pass state strains to get married and nudge their easiest buddies to make the leap. Santana assists in keeping Sue Sylvester on her ft all the display, and by way of the top of the collection, Sue is reformed and kinder for it; she additionally items them a honeymoon.

Santana is the underdog that we must be rooting for, in spite of her icy external and vicious tongue. She is supportive to the buddies she fights with, she is the icon for running ladies not like her extra privileged classmates, she is the voice of reason why between herself and a hare-brained Brittany. From combating on my own, accepting her anger and frustration, letting other folks in and rising right into a 3-dimensional personality, Santana Lopez will likely be remembered as the center of Glee. 

Her Broadway audition of Don’t Rain On My Parade for Funny Girl, Four seasons after Rachel carried out it for The New Directions, is a great reminder of the place she comes from and what floor she’s coated on her personal steam. In her memoir, Naya Rivera talks of her and Lea Michele (who performed Rachel Berry) as each being “strong-willed and competitive” in actual existence, too. It offers me hope that like Santana Lopez, Naya discovered herself, her love and happiness. Her haunting rendition of “If I Die Young” in co-star Cory Monteith’s tribute episode echoes true to many fanatics.

Her voice could also be misplaced, however may not be forgotten. 

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