The Price of Glee was a lame excuse to gossip about stars’ tragedy


the cover of The Price of Glee

It has been almost ten years since Glee star Cory Monteith passed away due to addiction; since then, two of his costars have passed as well.

As a fan of the show Glee, I was a bit surprised and concerned when I heard that The Price of Glee was going to be airing on Hulu soon. From what I heard, the show was seemingly about the deaths of three of Glee’s biggest stars, Cory Monteith (Finn Hudson), Naya Rivera (Santana Lopez), and Mark Salling (Noah Puckerman), and about the so-called “Glee Curse.”

Although the three actors were a part of the same cast, their deaths are in no way connected, and the cover and title of the show are extremely misleading. With the three actors’ photos displayed on the cover for the three-episode series, I assumed each episode would contain a documentary-type style about each death, but I was thoroughly disappointed.

The first episode focuses on Monteith’s background and life rising to stardom due to the successes of Glee, containing interviews of his former roommate, friends, and some of the crew members that worked with him. It displays his background struggling with addiction, along with his road to recovery before Glee, leading up to his unexpected relapse in 2013, which caused his tragic passing.

The episode feels very repetitive as they replay the same photos of Monteith and dwell mainly on how unexpected it all seemed, and as the second episode started, I was hoping for a new take on the matter or a new topic to emerge, but they were still recalling his death. I expected the second episode to feature some of the other struggles within the cast, but over half of it still consisted of the redundant retelling of Monteith’s story.

As they finally address the approach of his relapse, they start to make the continuation of the episode about Montieth’s costar and ex-girlfriend, Lea Michelle (Rachel Berry). 

After Monteith’s passing, Glee continued on, and through the opinion of The Price of Glee, they seem to place this blame on Michelle. As just a mere viewer, it felt quite disrespectful and unprofessional to randomly start bashing Michelle for her diva tendencies and her choice to continue the production of Glee just weeks after Monteith passed, as the episode was meant to honor him, not gossip about her.

As just a mere viewer, it felt quite disrespectful and unprofessional to randomly start bashing Michelle for her diva tendencies and her choice to continue the production of Glee just weeks after Monteith passed, as the episode was meant to honor him, not gossip about her.

That was my main issue with this docu-series: it felt as though it was meant to gossip, rather than inform like a traditional documentary. Then, they switch to a section of the episode named “It Was Always About Her,” discussing how Michelle was the star and her conflicts with her co-stars. This ultimately took away from Monteith’s story and seemed quite hypocritical as they did exactly as the section states and made it all about her.

As the second episode neared the end, they briefly mentioned Rivera and Salling, but inevitably didn’t get to their stories until the last episode, creating a rushed and unfinished feel. The misleading cover came into play here as they continued to talk about on-set drama and the overwhelming life of the Glee cast and misrepresented the show as a whole. Even though they start to discuss some of the other deaths of the crew that was less commonly known, they brush over it and continue to gossip.

Obviously, the cast, crew, and friends of those who passed know their own stories best, and I do not blame them for being a part of this show, but an intriguing factor of the series was that there was no involvement from the main cast members or even the creator of the show, Ryan Murphy. This makes the whole series seem very suspicious, and although I don’t know if they just didn’t get asked to be in the show or if they refused to, there is obviously a reason they were not a part of this production. 

Although many of the main cast openly talk about their experiences, Kevin McHale (Artie Abrams) and Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina Cohen-Chang) have created a podcast called “And That’s What You REALLY Missed,” where they are rewatching all 6 seasons of the show, and recalling their own experiences from each episode, which shows that they’re not afraid to talk about their personal issues from that part of their lives. So, if they were asked to be in The Price of Glee, there must be a reason they refused, whether it has to do with the gossipy aspect of the show, not wanting to recount their costars’ deaths or other personal reasons, it still gives me an unknown sense of mistrust in the information provided within the series due to the lack of the cast’s presence in the show.

In the last episode of the series, the show touches on Salling’s arrest leading him to his passing but only for a mere ten minutes before it moves on to another redundant interview from an entertainment reporter, someone not even involved in the production of Glee. 

To end the series, they spend the last 30 minutes discussing Rivera’s passing with interviews from her stand-in on Glee, her father, and some more crew members. They tell her story starting from childhood, how she had always wanted to be famous, and while being on Glee made her name known, it also prevented her from being asked for future roles. 

In July of 2020, Rivera had gone out on Lake Piru with her son on a pontoon, and they found her son alone on the boat later. Rivera was nowhere to be found. They recount the day of her passing, her father’s last phone call with her, and the suspected reason for her death. 

After discussing how she could have passed, the episode comes to an end, the last interview being of Monteith’s roommate showing the first thing Monteith ever gave him, and ending the episode with an old interview of Monteith.

The Price of Glee misrepresented the three stars’ stories, created more confusion and gossip within the community of Glee fans, and brushed over the tragic stories of the cast and crew, inevitably creating an uninteresting and unfocused joke of a documentary.