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'Glee' Review: An earnest, flawed tribute to the life (not the death) of Cory Monteith

How do you grieve? Emphasis on the you, not so much the how. There is no one and right way to grieve, and any form of it is going to be messy, awkward, and painful. Glee’s tribute to Cory Monteith — who died in July at the age of 31 from a drug overdose — told a story that marked the passing of the character he played, the good-hearted, comically dim high-school jock Finn Hudson. It was an exploration of grief — and a “self-serving spectacle of our own sadness” to quote the always tactful Sue Sylvester — that was, not surprisingly, messy, awkward and painful. As catharsis for fans of Glee and Monteith, “The Quarterback” was much like Finn himself: Earnest, flawed, a little irritating, winning.

The most conspicuous and debatable choice made by Glee creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk was to deny the audience an explanation for what caused Finn’s death. Speaking through some opening narration by Finn’s glee-club cohort and stepbrother Kurt (Chris Colfer), we were told this information didn’t matter, with a tone that made it sound like it was inappropriate for us to even want to know: “Everyone wants to talk about how he died, but who cares?” It played like a passive-aggressive scold to those who only want to dote on Monteith’s death (and yeah, those people are jerks…), not — to again quote Kurt — “how he lived” (… but like we knew him?). READ FULL STORY

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