'Glee's Possible Move to New York Would Do Wonders for the Struggling Show
It's been a tough year for Glee fans, with the death of one of the show's most important characters, Finn Hudson. This was a huge, tragic shake up for everyone involved in the show, but it might not be for the worst. It's no secret that the show has been seriously lagging in its later seasons, and the ratings show it. So Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan are taking this huge blow to the show's structure to reevaluate just where the show will go in its final seasons. One possibility: moving Glee to New York City.
According to TVLine, that's just one of several possibilities that sources say the show creators are considering, including a move for Kurt to Russia. And so far, that seems like the best option for the show. Glee's production wouldn't have to move to New York, but it would have to decide which characters stay and which go — which wouldn't be the worst idea for the show.
Glee's cardinal sin has always been excess. It's a huge, multi-star ensemble cast trying to stuff too many plotlines into each episode. It needs to be stripped down, and moving the show to New York is the best way to do it.
The show tried to pass on some of the narrative heft to a new class with Jake, Marley, Ryder, Unique and Kitty. But that's an incredibly difficult task for any show, and especially difficult for a show like Glee, which had drifted away from the unique, sharp wit shown in its first two seasons. Most shows that have attempted that feat have either become bloated on their own ridiculousness (Degrassi: The Next Generation) or have stayed successful by imploding the show in the previous season and starting fresh (Skins and Murphy's own American Horror Story).
So far, Glee isn't handling the transition well. It's still hanging onto beloved characters like Rachel, Kurt, and Santana, but the show has barely introduced its audience to its newest crop, much less given them a reason to care about those characters. The newer characters hardly even seem to have personalities of their own — they seem more like hollow echoes of the glee club members that preceded them.
And while going to New York means that the show will probably have to leave its adult characters back in Lima, they seem to have outgrown the show long ago. While Jane Lynch is a powerhouse of comedic insults, we've seen just so many shades of Sue Sylvester that every new storyline she has seems like deja vu. And without any real struggles in his personal life, Will Schuester has become just the weird, middle-aged guy whose only friends are in high school.
With Finn gone, Glee is going to need to rely more on other characters, and the glee club's newest class is too weak to fill his place. Finn and Rachel were the pillars that held up the show, and without Finn, Glee needs to focus on Rachel now more than ever. With Rachel, the show can answer the most compelling questions that haunt both her and the show itself: What happens when your plans arrive at a dead end? What happens when your entire world is turned upside down? What do you do, and how do you move on?
But it can't answer those questions while dragging a bunch of high school plotlines about teenage love triangles behind it. Instead of existing as a high school musical/after school special, Glee needs to grow up.
Its cast and its characters have experienced the death of someone they loved, and there's no way any of them can stay the same. New York represents hope for many of Glee's characters, a new beginning where they can move on from tragedy. The show has re-trod over every possible plotline and relationship in Lima. It's time for something new. It's time for Glee to graduate high school.