In the first Glee-related decision in a long time that I feel I can 100% stand behind, the series’ creator Ryan Murphy has decided that the show’s sixth season will be its last. While this might come as a crushing blow to the fans, my personal opinion is that the show peaked in its first season and has been on a gentle downgrade in quality ever since. I really loved how fun and emotional and cutting edge Glee felt when it first premiered, but I don’t think they were ever able to recapture that magic beyond the first season and a half or so, and the ratings have agreed.
And then of course, there’s the tragic death of Cory Monteith to contend with. The show was renewed for its fifth and sixth seasons in April 2013, before Cory’s overdose from a mixed toxicity of heroin and alcohol in July, and that tragedy blindsided the entire cast and crew and forced Ryan to reconsider his previous plans for the plot line. The final season, whenever that came, was originally planned as a showcase for Rachel Berry and Finn Hudson’s relationship, and to push through without that element doesn’t make much sense in his absence. Here’s how Ryan explained it in a recent interview:
“The final year of the show, which will be next year, was designed around Rachel and Cory/Finn’s story. I always knew that, I always knew how it would end. I knew what the last shot was, he was in it. I knew what the last line was, she said it to him. So when a tragedy like that happens you sort of have to pause and figure out what you want to do, so we’re figuring that out now.”
The tribute episode to Cory Monteith / Finn Hudson (the fact that Ryan and Lea Michele both consider those two separate, equally important people is still such a big issue for me) aired last week and gave the show its best ratings of the season, which is a huge draw in an industry so transparently driven by money, but even they have to admit that they can only ride that wave for so long.
I think it’s the right thing to do to end the series after next season, both for the show, for financial reasons, and out of respect for Cory’s memory. I’m relieved they’re finally making that choice.
(Image: Huffington Post)