Here's Why GLEE Should Just End With The Tribute Episode

I didn’t watch many episodes of GLEE last year because of the change in the schedule. Still, I felt an investment in knowing what happened to the characters I had come to appreciate. I was also pleased GLEE made it this long – I still feel bad about “My So Called Life” and “Popular” ending too soon.

It was sad that Cory Monteith died so young, but I’ll be honest – when it happened, I couldn’t help but think of all the regular everyday people who die in their 20′s and 30′s. Monteith created a lovely character, but my sadness was for the death of a young man, not the loss of his talent. I didn’t overthink it, but I did wonder about the future of the show.

I just watched the tribute episode to Finn Hudson/Cory Monteith and I think it’s an excellent time to just end it. Because as Sue says “there’s no lesson, no happy ending.” The show was smart to avoid a moral lesson on drug use, but it just wasn’t possible in that format. It was right to say “Finn was a good guy, one of the best among us and we are incredibly sad that he died.” I don’t think there was any way for GLEE to handle this that would be appropriate or storyline directed or plot driven. Or even “right.” It just was.

The show is over. The show was about the love story of Finn and Rachel. In real life, “Rachel” would mourn and hopefully, move on to a happy life. But that’s not the show we have been watching. The other love story was the creation of the Hudson-Hummel family. That’s happened, too. They were brothers & it seems evident that Kurt considers Carol his mother so they too will mourn and move on albeit in a different path. Otherwise, the friends graduated or will graduate and move on to new paths.

When I was in high school, someone I knew died every year from 7th  grade to 12th grade. It was never a close friend, but it always hit me – the fragility of life. And when I was 37, my dear friend died at the age of 41. I still ache over that loss – he was too young and too good to die. Life moves on, but that story is over.

I’m not going to dissect the show, who got what song and who wasn’t there. But I truly think it ended when Will wept. At that moment – for this first time in my life – I wondered how the teachers at West Mifflin High School coped with the loss of a student year after year. I don’t know what the feels like, but I’m glad GLEE did touch on that a bit.

The characters’ lives (if they were real) may or may not turn out fine. The actors (who are real people) will hopefully cope with the loss of their friend and coworker and go on to be okay, but that’s sadly fodder for tabloids not a television show. Inevitably, someone will rise to fame and others will not. Cory Monteith was not destined to rise to great fame and while that doesn’t take away from the loss, it doesn’t really change the outcome of the REAL future of the show – the lives of the young actors. Since you asked, my money is on Chris Colfer as an overall star, Darren Criss and Naya Rivera as singers and Jenna Ushkowitz and Lea Michele returning to Broadway. Kevin McHale *should* go somewhere because he’s in the top three singers of the show, but who knows.

I know quite a few people think using “Seasons of Love” for the death of a heterosexual white quarterback who OD’d is sacrilege, but I thought it was lovely and it invoked the sensibility of Broadway which has always made the show stand out.

Goodbye Glee.

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