|Chord Overstreet as Sam|
A couple days ago I read the report that Chord Overstreet would not be returning to Glee as a series regular next season, and I resisted the urge to channel my immediate, inexplicable rage into a blog rant. But that was a few days ago and I’m still not over it, so here we go.
You’ve GOT to be freakin’ kidding me, Ryan Murphy. Look, it’s not like I have any personal attachment to Chord Overstreet as an actor, other than my affinity for trouty-mouth jokes and my delight over his uncanny similarities to Macaulay Culkin. I’m sure he’s lovely and deserves to be employed, but this is not why I’m mad. I’m mad because it’s ridiculous.
Chord’s character, Sam, was introduced at the beginning of the second season. There wasn’t much that was special about him – he had big lips, played football, sang a lot of mellow Jason Mraz/Bruno Mars type songs, was quite nice, and dated Quinn. Yeah – yawn. There were some missteps, too – the Justin Bieber thing was pretty awful, and so was his fleeting relationship with Santana. But then things improved. Towards the end of the season, we learned that Sam’s dad lost his job and they were homeless – a real, emotional storyline involving a character other than Kurt? “Yes!” I thought. “More, please!” And I got more – we ended the season with the promise of a romance between Sam and Mercedes, which was something I could totally get on board with considering their adorable prom date and the fact that Mercedes is a character that has been unjustly ignored on the series.
So we ended Glee‘s second season on a hopeful note for Sam – I was interested to see what would happen with his romance with Mercedes and his more serious poverty storyline. So what does Ryan Murphy do? He demotes him from a series regular to someone who might appear occasionally. Argh.
So here’s the thing, Mr. Murphy. I’m no hater. I love Glee and I have defended it time and time again. I’m no continuity nazi, and I’ve cut the show a lot of slack over the past couple years. I’m OK with the fact that Glee exists in a universe where guidance counselors can afford to buy all their clothes at Anthropologie, and Puck can be played by a 28 year-old man, and show choirs can put on elaborate, well-costumed musical numbers with absolutely no budget. I’m OK with the fact that storylines occasionally get dropped, characters sometimes get ignored, and episodes will miss the mark from time to time. I ignore all this because I think the show is good. It’s fun and whimsical and quirky. It’s ambitious, too – I understand that the kind of work and effort that goes into making a show like Glee is monumental. I appreciate that.
But this? This is just stupid. This is just bad planning and a complete lack of foresight. Soon, Glee will have to start graduating characters. If you’re going to cut characters anyway, why not graduate a few of them? Remember that guy named Matt who never spoke in season one? They cut him from the cast and said he transferred. He should have graduated. And however they plan on writing Sam out of the show, it won’t be as logical as just having the guy graduate from high school. In fact, that would have made his storyline even more dramatic, as homelessness would have been a serious obstacle in the way of achieving any sort of higher education. Instead, I can’t help but think that whatever will happen will be sloppy and second-rate.
I’m going to keep watching Glee because, like I said, I think it’s a good show. But Ryan Murphy, would it kill you to put just a little more thought into it?