Much of Glee is about redeeming fictional Lima and places like it. That seems weird, because so much shitty stuff happens there, but look, Ryan Murphy is a guy who left small town wherever to have the life he has. That he wants to tell a story where someone leaves, gets successful and is willing and able to go back (Rachel — he’s talked about this often in interviews), is arguably about redeeming place and addressing the wounds of exile.
To redeem Lima, New York City has to stop being a solution. It has to be a place like any other — good, bad, miraculous, terrifying. In a show that is about queerness as both an orientation and a perception of otherness applied to non-queer (in the orientation sense) characters, New York must fail on screen at some point. It must become not a harsh mother, but a fickle and disinterested one.
Bolding mine because small conservative towns are not only either the places you get stuck or the places you escape, and that is possibly the least talked about aspect of Glee that profoundly resonates with me.