Zachary Jaydon Senior Editor
9.44am: The Glee panel kicks off at 10am. There will be no Micheles, Monteiths or Colfers at this event: instead we’re getting Harry Shum Jr. (Mike), Darren Criss (Blaine), Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina) and the glorious Dot Marie Jones (Coach Beiste), henceforth to be known simply as DMJ.
9.49am: On entering Hall H, we were given some Glee-themed guitar picks and a pair of 3D glasses for the preview of the 3D concert movie that will play out during the panel.
9.58am: Just a few minutes to go now. People are still streaming in through the back.
9.59am: MOOD UPDATE: Excitable trembly legs.
10.00am: The moderator for this panel will be Michael Ausiello, formerly of EW and TV Guide, now head of the excellent TV Line site.
10.05am: DMJ has just tweeted: “HERE WE COME COMICON!!!!!” Yes love, get a move on. I don’t think I can stall with inane observations for much longer.
10.06am: Ooh look, there’s a woman queueing for the restroom.
10.09am: MOOD UPDATE: Restless Warrior.
10.12am: FINALLY. Here we go!
10.14am: Out comes Ausiello and introduces an extended preview of the 3D movie, which features performances from Britney and Blaine.
10.25am: Ausiello brings out the cast: Criss, Shum Jr., DMJ (big cheers!), Ushkowitz, as well as movie director Kevin Tanchearoen, choreographer Zack Woodlee, exec producer Dante di Loreto, co-creator Ian Brennan and co-creator Brad Falchuk.
10.27am: What was it like seeing themselves in 3D? Ushkowitz: “Kind of awesome.” Shum Jr. says Criss “looks like a little kid” on there.
10.28am: Truth on Ryan Murphy’s comments that Monteith, Michele and Colfer have been axed? Falchuk: “I don’t know where that report came from. Cory, Lea, Chris are seniors, but they’re graduating. Just because they’re graduating, it doesn’t mean they’re leaving the show. If you have Lea Michele under contract, you’re not just going to let her go. Come the first episode back, you see who the seniors and juniors are.
Some of our seniors will not graduate.[Wtf does this mean? An allusion to Brittany failing? HOW ‘BOUT NO.] I can guarantee here that they are not done with the show after this season.”
:Falchuk reveals that Ushkowitz is a junior. He adds: “The opening sequence is everybody saying what they want to do when they grow up, so you see everyone’s anxieties.”
10.30am: Falchuk says the first nine episodes will focus on the run-up to Sectionals.
:Tribute episode? Falchuk: “We talked about it. If it’s going to happen, it will happen in the second half of the season. We really do want to spend some real time with the characters in the first nine, ten episodes.”
10.32am: The Chord Overstreet drama. “For reasons he’s aware of, we decided not to make him a regular but we did ask him to come back for a portion of the season. He declined the offer, which we were very disappointed by because we were writing stories for him. We had some cool ideas with him and Mercedes, but Chord decided he had opportunities elsewhere. I will say, just because he’s gone, Mercedes will have a new boyfriend she met up with this summer. He’s like ‘you deserve more, Mercedes’, lifting her up. He’s this big bubba kind of guy.”
10.33am: More Beiste this season? “We have some great stuff for her.”
:How do fans react? DMJ: “It’s been overwhelming. Fans for The Beiste are awesome.”
10.35am: When will Tina and Artie get back together? Falchuk: “Nothing’s ever done, but Tina and Mike are fine for this season.
:Falchuk: “We’re going to meet Mike’s parents. His parents will have opinions on what he should do with his life.”
:Criss: “This year has been incredibly wonderful and bizarre. I feel so weird to be on this panel. I’ve been blessed with an amazing character. It’s been eerily wonderful.”
10.38am: Criss says Blaine and Kurt have “reached the honeymoon phase. I’m a big fan of Klaine so I hope it lasts a while.” Falchuk: “They’re not breaking up. They’re solid. They have problems – you have two stars dating each other, there’s going to be some competition there.”
10.39am: New character – nemesis to Sue? Falchuk: “Not really at all.”
10.40am: Criss going to Broadway? “I can’t confirm that. It’s very cool that it’s even out there. Glee has a very hectic schedule. I’m not opposed to the idea.”
10.40am: Audience questions. Timeline on Criss solo album? “I don’t know. Between Glee and hypothetically Broadway, I’ll be quite busy. I would love to if I can manage to stay alive and get some rest at some point.”
10.41am: Reaction to deaf cast members in the deaf school episode? Was it uncomfortable? Loreto: “We had no idea what to expect. We learned a great deal. We learned that there are different accents in signing. It was incredibly moving on the day; everyone was so articulate and accomplished so much in a few hours.”
10.42am: Do songs inspire the story or vice versa? Falchuk: “It’s always the story first. Otherwise it would be like making a movie based around the action sequences. The song fuels the story.”
:More of the characters’ families in season three? Kurt’s lesbian aunts, Rachel’s dads? Brennan: “It’s tricky with parents. In the second episode ever, we actually wrote a scene with her dads and we cut it. We’ve talked about it forever, but I think when you’re in high school, your parents stop being the major influence in your life. You’re sort of on your own. I think soon we’ll reveal more and more.”
[Lol, this is such a non-answer]
10.44am: Bartie or Brittana? Ushkowitz: “I do like Britanna. I think it’s very interesting.”
10.45am: Surprised by feedback to Britanna? Falchuk: “We got into that storyline almost as a goof at first. But then we realized this show is so inclusive, and then there were people we weren’t representative of. This whole lesbian-bisexual female community. We’re fortunate the network wasn’t resistant of it and let us try it out, then it became something much deeper.” Brennan: “We had two incredible talents on our hands that we didn’t realize.”
10.47am: Thoughts to spinoff with Rachel, Kurt and Finn? Falchuk: “Yes. We explored that as a possibility. It was weird when Chris Colfer was saying he heard on Twitter about him not coming back, because we hadn’t talked to him about it since March. We’re leaning against a spinoff right now. I think we’re going to pass.”
: Falchuk:“If you watched the finale last season, Broadway was something we were planting as a possibility because we were exploring it.”
:Will Blaine be developed more this season? Brennan: “Yes.”
10.50am: What would their dream Broadway roles be? Ushkowitz: “I wanna be Kim in Miss Saigon.” Shum Jr.: “Singing in the Rain.” Criss: “The MC, Cabaret.” DMJ: “Ursula.”
10.51am: More Azimio? Brennan: “We switched off on him. We don’t even know if he’s coming back next year.”
10.52am: Criss says he’d like to sing a song from Aladdin on the show.
10.53am: What part of themselves do they see in their characters? Shum Jr.: “Well, I look like Mike Chang. He’s a stand-up guy, he stood up for Kurt. I hope we get to explore more of that. Outside that, the love for dance obviously.” DMJ: “In some ways I’m like Besite. I’m a big gush, but as far as the mean side, I can be, but not so much. As far as some of the stuff she’s been through in her life, I can relate to.”
10.55am: Has the original creativity been lost by the popularity of the show? Falchuk: “No.” Loreto: “The stories that are coming out are going to knock your socks off. It’s going to be the most extraordinary season.” Brennan: “The onus changes. We didn’t set out to write a phenomenon and something that’s going to change the zeitgeist for a generation.”
:Will Beiste have a relationship? Falchuk: “We’ve thought about it, we haven’t come up with anything yet. We get what people love about Beiste, which is her vulnerability. Dot is literally the mushiest people I’ve ever met. We’re really interested in exploring those parts of her as a performer.”
10.58am: Sue this season? Brennan: “Sue’s running for congress. Ken died of a heart attack.” Flachuk: “She’s taken destroying Will and the Glee club on a local level, now she’s taken it to a national level. Sue’s running on a ‘no arts’ platform.”
10.59am: Final question: Where does the inspiration for Britney’s lines come from? Brennan: “You wander through your life and think, ‘what would Britney think if she were here?’”
11.01am: That’s a wrap on the 2011 San Diego Comic Con Glee Panel!
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