I’m very impressed with the way Glee is working the show’s story to both retain a strong focus on Finn as one of the top leads and to accommodate Cory Monteith in the filming of his two movies this August and September.
Cory is of central importance to the show: Finn has always been one of the main characters & Cory one of the main stars, and he was one of just three Glee actors whose contract the network made certain to lock down eight months ago (Lea and Chris were the other two). And yet, as vital as his role is to the story, everyone is making things happen so that Cory can also expand his craft by playing lead, central roles in two independent films, All the Wrong Reasons filming now in Halifax, and McCanick, filming in Philadelphia in September.
To make this work, Finn’s story is being woven into the plot as a big mystery — something that will lead to a major, very strong story for Finn when he returns (per Ian Brennan’s comments at the FOX TCA All Star Party on July 23). Allowing the main stars the freedom to broaden their careers while still being integral, essential parts of Glee is a fantastic way to keep the talented, passionate, committed actors who anchor the show happy to remain part of the series and to give it their all, just as as they give their new projects their all. They’ve done this with others of the cast, too, in the past.
I have tons of respect for Glee for doing this; it shows they really do want to be a place where talented actors can act while also growing and branching out in the jobs they love. I’ll miss (like crazy and to the point of pain!) seeing Finn in the opening episodes of the season, but knowing that his absence is allowing Cory to remain a part of the show while also taking on new & exciting challenges, and knowing that it will be amazingly integrated into an epic story for Finn, more than makes up for how much I’ll miss seeing him at first. And where there’s Finn, one way or another, there’s Finchel. What will come will be awesome, while what Cory does in the present is awesome. It’s all very, very good.