Imagine the love of your life has just died in a most unexpected and tragic way. The two of you met and fell in love while at work. And now you're expected to go back to work -- back to the same place with so many memories, a place that could now be excruciating for you. This is the dilemma faced by Lea Michele, who will not only go back to work on Glee, where she spent so many years singing and acting with her boyfriend Cory Monteith, but will have millions of people intently watching and parsing her every line of dialogue, searching for parallels between her character, Rachel, and her real self. I simply can't fathom the pressure of it. But Lea sounds amazingly strong.
Glee will only be postponed for one week -- a decision that Lea herself was behind, according to TVLine.com. In an interview with Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy, he reveals that it was a struggle to decide what to do, but eventually Lea felt that the show must go on. He said:
We just decided that it would probably be the best for everybody to get back together and be working and have grief counselors on set for two weeks, which we’re going to do. But, ultimately, we made no decisions without consulting Lea. [Executive producer] Brad Falchuk and I talked to Lea and really asked her what she wanted to do. We laid out every possible option. And she was very adamant that she thought it was best for the cast and crew to get back together sooner [rather] than later so that mortgages could be paid and people could take care of their families ... Lea is obviously very grief-stricken but she’s also one of the strongest people I know. She wants people to be better and get back to work.
Wow, it really is amazing that Lea is selflessly thinking about others during this time -- people who work on the show who need to pay their bills and support their families. She knows how difficult it is to find a hit show that offers steady work.
On the other hand, I wonder how this will be for her emotionally in the long run. People do need time to shut down, and grieve, and feel all of their emotions. Going straight back to work gives you a distraction that could easily allow you to bury your feelings and not deal with them.
On the other hand, Lea wants to be with the "family" who knew him so well and grieve collectively. Going back to work can be a huge comfort to her.
Ryan also says that Cory's character of Finn Hudson will die, an episode he is carefully writing now, and I think that's the way to go. Nothing else would make sense. Life can be full of song and dance -- but it is also inevitably filled with pain, death, and sorrow. There's no reason a TV show shouldn't acknowledge that.
May Lea and everyone else on Glee find comfort in each other.
Do you think Glee should have continued? Have you ever gone right back to work after a tragedy?
Image via FOX