Cory Monteith Death: Should 'Glee' Go On Without Him?

As a longtime Glee fan, I still haven't totally accepted that star Cory Monteith passed away over the weekend. The 31-year-old was taken before his time and had so much ahead: a life with his beautiful and adoring girlfriend, a solid career in the entertainment industry, and more than we could ever know. 

The celebrity's unexpected death came in the middle of shooting for Glee season five, and it's unclear how the already struggling show will handle the tragic death of one of its main characters.


"We are deeply saddened by this tragic news," the show wrote in a statement early Sunday morning. "Cory was an exceptional talent and an even more exceptional person. He was a true joy to work with and we will all miss him tremendously. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones."

When I heard about Monteith's death, I couldn't believe the news. My first instinct was to assume it was a hoax, as there are a lot of fools out there who take pleasure in creating celebrity death hoaxes online. When it became clear that the reports were correct and his death was confirmed, I thought of his significant other and fellow castmate Lea Michele, who has yet to comment publicly about the tragedy. Is she going to be OK? Many people assumed those two would get married someday. Co-star Matthew Morrison vowed to sing at their wedding. Now she has to start over again, and there's a good chance she will never love anyone else the way she loved Monteith.

All of that aside, it's tough to say what should become of Glee after the death of main character Finn, who went through the ringer last season upon getting chewed out by Mr. Schuester and hitting rock bottom. He and Rachel Berry were always supposed to end up together, even after breaking up due to distance and general growing apart. Finn's character was starting to pick himself up and make a real life for himself. It's hard to imagine that the other characters will be able to do the same without him.

Glee viewership has consistently dropped for a long time, and though the series was renewed for six seasons, I don't think it should go beyond five, not with a tragedy like this hanging over its head. Yes, it's important to move on, and life does go on, but the program has been in trouble for a while, and not only will the show suffer without Monteith's talent and presence, but feel all around empty. The series is now overshadowed by tragedy, and I don't think it can survive this.

For more on Cory Monteith and Glee, follow me on Twitter: @LauraDonovanUA