CRITIC'S CUT: GLEE's Getting Crowded; Which Characters to Cut, Which to Keep
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Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Glee has become an eye-roll, a voice-crack, a televised wagging finger - and largely to its own doing. The current season, which has split its ridiculously sized cast into two completely different storylines, has reached a disjointed juncture: too many characters, not enough screen time.
What's worse: FOX had picked up Ryan Murphy's now-preachy musical dramedy for two more seasons. The only way for it to redeem itself, in any fashion, is to start trimming the roll call. And cut down on the auto-tune.
Below are five characters who need to stay for the show's sake, and five to cut for the audience's.
Characters to Keep
Rachel Berry (Lea Michele)
Rachel Berry Made Glee - correction: Lea Michele Made GLEE. Some may find her insufferable, but without Rachel's continuous dramatic breakdowns, voice, and disgustingly self-assured ways, Glee would be insufferable. The writers' decision to move Berry to New York, away from her Lima roots, and to the Broadway stage, allowed the show to become, somehow, fresh again.
Kurt (Chris Colfer)
Kurt's a two-sided scarf-wearing coin. He may be the embodiment of triumph in today's society, primarily thanks to Colfer, but at the same time, he's the embodiment of a big 'ol stereotype, as are many of GLEE's characters - despite the fact that it continuously pushes the idea of breaking boundaries. However, Glee admittedly wouldn't be Glee without Kurt and his affliction for ascots and vibrato. Plus, with Kurt gone, there'd be no Isabelle Wright.
Isabelle Wright/Klempt (Sarah Jessica Parker)
Parker's performance only underscores the fact that the New York story branch wildly overpowers the limping Lima side. Her addition to the series, while a blatant grasp for ratings, was a welcome one. She's outshone the other major season four guest star, Kate Hudson, and most of the regular cast as well. If GLEE's going to commit to Manhattan, it can't do it without Carrie Bradshaw.
SantAna Lopez (Naya Rivera)
Like Kurt, Santana's a fiery stereotype - but Rivera rises above the shoddy writing with her vocals. She's got the spark and snark that keeps Glee witty - and is a welcome addition to Kurt and Rachel's loft, no matter how improbable her packing up, picking up, and moving in really is. Come on.
Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith)
Finn taking over the New Directions was one of the best decisions GLEE's writers ever made. Not only did it give Finn a sense of purpose now that he's, well, alone, but it also got Will Schuester and his grease-head out of the halls of McKinley. Finn is undoubtedly a staple of Glee - and if the showrunners are planning on keeping the show at least partially posted in Lima, Finn needs to be a major part of it.