Gleeks, don’t get too attached to your current favorites, because Ryan Murphy plans to age them out when they grow too old for “Glee.”
Creator Ryan Murphy wants to keep “Glee” a show about fictional high school, where students graduate and are replaced with new faces every year.
As Murphy explains (via The Herald Sun), “There’s nothing more depressing than a high schooler with a bald spot.” (Ouch!)
Murphy has proposed 2012 as a time frame for cast exits. I’m thinking Cory Monteith and Mark Salling are prime candidates for axing, as they play high school students despite being in their late 20s. Looks like Matthew Morrison, Jayma Mays, Jane Lynch, and Dot Jones have nothing to worry about.
Too Old For “Glee?” Unpalatable Alternatives
On the one hand, it seems a bit harsh in this youth-obsessed culture to put actors out to pasture when they grow too old. This is why so many former child stars grow to be dysfunctional adults.
On the other hand, aging characters out keeps “Glee” at least somewhat realistic. How many high school shows have jumped the shark when the cast went to college? “90210?” “Dawson’s Creek?” And don’t get me started on “Saved By the Bell: The College Years.”
How realistic is it that every major cast member ends up at the same college? Andrea turned down Yale to go to California University on “90120,” and Topenga turned down Yale to go be with Cory on “Boy Meets World.” Really?? And Dawson dropping out of USC was another Jump-the-Shark moment.
Of course, another equally unpalatable alternative is to just keep these characters in high school indefinitely. On cartoon shows, it’s possible to keep these characters young. Those “South Park” kids will probably always be in elementary school, as will Bart and Lisa Simpson. Yet on a show like “Glee,” it just doesn’t make sense to have 30-year-old actors playing high school students.
A third option would be to go the Disney Channel route and cancel shows after three seasons. Teen stars like Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, and Selena Gomez know that Disney is just a platform, and they can’t remain in the box forever. Yet I don’t think Ryan Murphy would want to cancel such a successful show as “Glee.”
Too Old for “Glee?” Better Alternatives
I really like Murphy’s idea of graduating cast members who grow too old for high school roles. Sure, I will miss them on “Glee,” but there are other ways to bring my favorites back, either by bringing someone back as a teacher’s aide, or creating spin-offs on a few of the graduated characters.
And other cast members may find even greater success once they leave “Glee.” Kevin McHale might like to try a role where he can actually dance. Amber Riley would do well in a “Dreamgirls” revival-type production. Dianna Agron seems to be making her way into films. And Lea Michele found success on Broadway long before she was on “Glee.”
As much as I would miss this current cast, aging out the cast members would remind us that there is life outside of high school.
Glee creator to let go of stars when they get too old, The Herald Sun