Just a little something I needed to write…
I didn’t know him – and he certainly didn’t know me – but I am truly, genuinely sad that Cory Monteith died.
It’s been three months and the tribute episode of Glee Fox aired last night still deeply moved me. Not just because of the way it showcased emotion, but because I realized that when he died, something was a lost and can never be regained. A good something. A good person.
The cynics out there may say that I can’t possibly know that he was a good person, or worse, that a good person would have never become a drug addict (which is simply untrue, but a matter for another discussion.) But the viewers who mourned Monteith’s passing last night will agree: There was a goodness, a light of sorts, that transcended the fourth wall of television when Glee featured his character, Finn Hudson. He had a quality about him, a supreme likeability. He wasn’t the best singer or actor or dancer, he was unformed and unfinished, but he was irreplaceable. In a world full of talented people, his talent was the ability to unify, to lead, to connect.
He was classic in a way that verged on retro – awkward in the most charming way. He was 31, and raw and troubled as his past may have been, he always exuded something childlike.
In the business of acting some performers are credited as being “generous.” The first time I watched this tear-jerking scene of Glee, Monteith’s generosity as a performer, as a person, was so obvious to me. His eyes shift towards his real-life love, Lea Michele when she emotes; he lets her shine. He elevates her performance, just like he elevated the acting of every other character on that show. It’s a beautiful thing and it’s a true gift – an underrated one.
And that’s where Cory wins, because that is the kind of quality that makes a person win. That’s the kind of the thing that makes a star out of a man and an icon out of a star. That’s why the circumstances surrounding this person’s death cannot and should diminish the beautiful life he lived. Controversial (and – admittedly - frustrating) as the show’s decision to leave those circumstances undefined was, it made sense. The tribute episode was, like the actor and character it honored, imperfect but powerful. It shouldn’t have been any other way. Whatever he struggled with, Cory Monteith was a star. More importantly, he was a son to two people, a friend to many, and the love of someone’s life. He was taken too soon and my heart hurts for all those who loved and will continue to love him.
Image via We Love Soaps