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October 2013

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Glee’s Cory Montieth Tribute — A Moving Masterpiece

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I stopped watching Glee a few seasons back. That’s not because the show lost its quality, I just simply grew out of it. But when Ryan Murphy announced a tribute episode devoted to Cory Montieth’s passing, I had to tune in. Though I didn’t know him personally, I felt connected to his story. I watch the Glee pilot, and I remember following Montieth’s career as he went from anonymity to fame with his humility intact.

The task of addressing a character’s death when they have also passed-on in real life seemed insurmountable. How can you address real-life events without exploiting them? How can you pull at the heart-strings of the audience without seeming like a vulture who has capitalized on someone else’s tragedy? Somehow — Ryan Murphy found a way. The episode was beautiful. There was no talk of how Finn Hudson died, which was a smart move. This was meant to be a celebration of life, and a moment to grieve, not a discussion of death. And in a move I never thought possible, there were moments of humor sprinkled throughout. Every song was more moving than the next, but Lea Michele quite obviously moved me the most. She was heartbroken and beautiful, singing, ‘Make You Feel My Love.’ As for the critics who have complained that Murphy dodged the opportunity to address the perils of drug use, this wasn’t the time. There might be a time, but this wasn’t it. I want to remember Cory for how he lived, and the art he produced during his short time on earth. Not how he died. Watch Lea Michele’s performance below.