This afternoon, Little Diva wanted to watch the Glee movie. We watched it for a little bit, and in between enjoying the performances, it occurred to me that the show was going to look very different next season. At some point I blurted out to Little Diva (who is very comfortable–almost too comfortable–with death), “That boy [referring to Cory Monteith/Finn] died.” She asked me if he got really sick, and I told her no, he had done something really really stupid that he shouldn’t have done. She didn’t ask what that stupid thing was, and I’m pretty sure if she had, I would not have told her; because of all of the things I have explained to my four-year old, heroin use is not something I want to add to that list. I also realized during the course of all this that I’m not sure I’m really ready to watch next season of Glee.
I’m not dreading Glee because I’m afraid of the episode dealing with Finn’s death. As I mentioned previously, Little Diva has no problem with death. Heck, she thinks practically everything will kill you, and it doesn’t bother her one bit. Pretty much every Disney movie involves someone dying (usually a parent). She’s dealt with the death of her favorite pet and (last month) her grandfather. She’s handled it all really well (too well). No, I’m not worried one bit about her watching the “Finn is dead” episode and having to talk about death. She doesn’t even understand what drugs are, so I’m not even really worried about that aspect.
I’m also not dreading Glee because I liked Finn so much. It’s quite the opposite in fact. He was one of my least favorite characters. His singing was, I thought, only mediocre for a lead, and his personality was especially flawed even for this show. Every time he started to sing, Pop Culture Dad and I would start to moan and complain. This was only compounded if Finn was singing next to Blaine [Darren Criss originally auditioned for the role of Finn]. In fact, my dislike of Finn is exactly why I’m not ready for the next season of Glee.
Look, I’m not one to revere the dead. I think it is absolutely stupid to talk about someone and treat him/her as though s/he was a saint or good person when alive, just because s/he is dead. We don’t talk about Hitler or Saddam Hussein with glowing overtones, so why should we apply a different standard when the person who died is your aunt or teacher? Same goes for celebrities. Being dead doesn’t automatically make you a better person or erase your flaws–whether that be true personality flaws, addictions, or just mediocre singing and bad acting.
I understand addiction is a disease, and that merely being addicted doesn’t make Cory Monteith a bad person. The whole thing is sad and tragic, really. But I don’t excuse his death either. Regardless of the disease-nature of addiction, it is still a choice to invite that addiction in your life. I have some cousins whose mom was an extreme alcoholic. I can count on one hand the number of times I have seen them drink anything–that’s one hand for all four of them. Why? Because they know that addiction is an extreme possibility for them with family history, and they don’t even want to take a chance. When addiction is in your nature, it is up to you to do things to guard yourself against becoming a victim to it. But this isn’t really about his addiction.
Really, I would just feel like a major a-hole watching an episode paying tribute to Finn, all the while thinking, “Meh. I don’t really care.” I don’t like feeling that way. I don’t really want to invite feeling that way. After seeing an article tonight about Lea Michele dedicating Glee‘s Teen Choice award to Cory Monteith, I kind of just rolled my eyes. He didn’t die in a car accident. He died in a hotel room alone after mixing a cocktail of many cocktails and lotsa heroin. I’m not saying we can’t be sad over a tragedy (and it is tragic); but c’mon now. Let’s not canonize the dude.
Hm…. Yeah. Looks like I’m still not ready.
|Credit: Miranda Penn Turin/FOX|