Monday, July 15, 2013


"Glee" star Cory Monteith, who played Finn Hudson, died on Saturday, July 13, while staying at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in Vancouver, Canada. He was a very young 31.

I've been a fairly faithful follower of "Glee" since its inception. The show has been unabashedly liberal from the beginning, tackling all manner of social issues ranging from sex to sexual orientation, to larger themes about difference, individuality, fitting in, and making something of oneself through a combination of talent and raw effort. At times hokey, often overly preachy, "Glee" has nonetheless distinguished itself as one of the wittiest, funniest comedies on TV. Think of it as an extended musical/sitcom with a rotating cast.

Monteith's Finn Hudson was a natural leader and solid performer, but was also haunted by a lack of direction. In the most recent season, Finn finds himself struggling to figure out what he wants to study in college, and he settles on studying to be a teacher. With Monteith's death, that storyline has been closed. I wonder how his tragic passing will be written into the show, if it's written in at all. Different shows handle this sort of situation differently.

I recall that "Sesame Street," of all shows, faced the brute fact of death head-on in late 1983 when Will Lee, the actor who played the gruff but genial Mr. Hooper, passed away. The show took Lee's death as an opportunity to meditate, for a moment, on the permanence of death and the permissibility of grief, and some of the human (i.e., non-muppet) cast members became emotional in that episode. I can only hope that "Glee" remains just as unflinching in the face of Monteith's passing, and finds a tasteful, perceptive way to address the loss of a cherished character and real-life person. Monteith was a well-loved cast member; I'm sure that it won't take much acting ability for fellow cast members to express their sadness over the death of Finn/Cory.

RIP, Mr. Monteith. "Glee" is diminished without you, but I trust the show will go on. You'd have wanted that.



John from Daejeon said...

Don't know where you heard the opposite, but heroin and booze are what the coroner's office in B.C. said did him in.

Kevin Kim said...

Yeah, I've seen the updates. The initial report said his death had "nothing to do with" drugs, but that claim was, unfortunately, premature. I guess he never shook his addiction, despite the rehab. Too bad.