Cory Monteith

Cory Monteith, star of the hit TV show Glee, has left a huge hole in the hearts of his family, friends, and colleagues after passing away in mid-July. In dealing with the death of Cory Monteith, Glee has a very sensitive situation on its hands. Cynically, some believe his death will mean a huge ratings boost for the show, while others think it’s best if the producers don’t address it at all.

ABC News writer Alex Alvarez says, “So here’s how they can deal with Monteith’s surprising death. Don’t.” The producers believe Cory’s return to the show, which was scheduled to begin production next week, would have already drawn fans because it would have been his first appearance since leaving rehab. Alvarez makes the point that the show isn’t responsible for helping fans grieve, and if they decide to deal with Monteith’s death by having his character, Finn Hudson, also die, it risks being insensitive to cast mates.

Ultimately, says Alvarez, the show isn’t sophisticated enough to do it tastefully. A recent episode touched on school shootings, and it divided critics and the audience with its heavy handedness and “issue of the week” approach to a problem that was making headlines just months after the events at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

According to some sources, the show’s writers have been attending emergency meetings to discuss how to handle Monteith’s death in the show. Finn Hudson was supposed to play a large part in the early episodes of season five, but production has now been delayed so the show can be reworked. It could push the new season’s premiere from September into November.

Monteith’s fans may wish to honor him with public memorials or in social media, but Finn Hudson isn’t the one to be mourned. It’s always a difficult when a young star dies — many of Glee’s fans are just kids themselves, and separating the actor from the character can be difficult. Tie in the fact that Monteith’s fiancee was his Glee costar Lea Michele, and the lines are blurred even more. No matter how much fans enjoyed Monteith’s work, they are grieving in a different way to the actor’s family and friends.

It will certainly be interesting to catch the buzz about Glee production in the weeks following Monteith’s funeral. Whatever the show does, it won’t please everyone.

What do you think is the best way for Glee to handle his death? Should it somehow be written in to the story line or should the show move on without Finn Hudson, and honor Cory with a photo or video montage at the end of an episode instead? Is the show obligated to give fans of Cory Monteith, Glee star, closure?