Ever since Cory Monteith‘s tragic death from heroin overdose and alcohol consumption back in July, I think we’ve all been held in kind of a holding pattern waiting to see how Glee handles his absence. As if the event itself wasn’t overwhelming enough, Cory was in the unique position of playing a character on a show that was still in production at the time of his passing.Finn Hudson had already graduated from McKinley High, but his character was still an active part of the series, and was originally intended to come back and teach at the school for season five, from what I hear. But with his death, that obviously became impossible, and the producers had to begin thinking about how they’d address the situation.
They settled on having Finn Hudson die on the show, in a tribute episode that they’ve said will touch on addiction, and that episode airs next week. First of all, I cannot imagine filming that. It must have been torture. Being a member of that cast, much less being Lea Michele, and having to go back to the show where you met your boyfriend and worked with him every day, would indeed be ‘brutal’, just as Jane Lynch has said. But second of all, I’ve seen the promo now, and I feel like maybe Glee went a little overboard in the name of compelling television.
I get that first and foremost, they have to create something that people want to watch, but those long shots of Lea Michele crying, and Chris Colfer crying, and everyone crying are just incredibly hard to watch. These people aren’t acting, they’re mourning, and watching that happen feels like invading an extremely intimate moment and then exploiting it in the name of entertainment. The character didn’t die on the show — the man died in real life, and this episode blurs the lines between the kids on Glee and their characters in what must be an extremely confusing way.
I don’t know how I would have handled it in their place, but something about this doesn’t feel right to me, at least only seeing the preview. I hope it’s something I’m able to move past for the full-length episode. If I’m even able to watch it.