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I remember when I first started watching Glee.
My mom told me about this show that revolved around the antics of a crew of outcast teens who were members of a glee club. She told me she knew it was something I would like and highly recommended that I watch. And watch I did.
The show took a little while to find its footing. And honestly, at first, I wasn't sold. But after rewatching the pilot and following episodes a few times, I was hooked. It was mostly due to Sue Sylvester's sass that I become a Gleek. But then there was this scene where the main teacher and glee club coach forced the star quarterback into the club by planting drugs in his locker. Mr. Schuester was going to have Finn Hudson in that choir room come hell or high water.
This is also the moment that my feelings toward Finn/Cory started to change. When I first saw him, I thought: "Why? Why is this mildly talented kid getting the opportunity of a lifetime? He's not a great singer; his dance moves make mine look like I took lessons from Beyonce; and he's just all-around kind of blah."
But, that's exactly the point, isn't it?
Cory Monteith was not the most technically talented guy out there. Hell, he wasn't even the most talented guy on Glee.
But what he DID have, and had in spades, was heart. He wore it on his sleeve and he put every ounce of his heart, soul and effort into everything he did. He wooed the nation and we all fell in love slowly.
When Finn's character showed up in the school hallway dressed from head-to-toe in a Gaga outfit as a show of solidarity to his fellow-glee clubbers and soon-to-be-brother-in-law, Kurt Hummel; it was game over. I was a Finn convert.
I think the reason that the world fell in love with Finn was that he was REAL. He was dating the gorgeous head cheerleader when we were first introduced to him; but after joining the glee club, his affections started to wane for the superficial Quinn and develop for the supremely talented Rachel. And yet, even though he knew those feelings were there, he grappled with the same things that every other teenager does: What are people going to say about me if I follow my heart? What will my "badass" best friend think if I dump the immaculate Quinn and start dating the frumpy Rachel? Will I be shunned from the popular crowd if I go against the grain? Will I get a slushy in the face?
The show wasn't just an unbelievable fairy tale in that everything magically worked out. These kids, and especially Finn, went through hell and back before they found their happy ending. And, eventually, they all grew and evolved to the point where they straight up did not care about what anyone else thought; a sure-fire sign of maturity.
Was Finn perfect? Far from it. He was insecure and a little ditzy. But his heart was almost always in the right place. There were times that I wanted to kill him, like when he called Kurt's decor choices for their shared bedroom "faggy." Or when he made the kissing booth and decided he was God's gift to women. But those moments were far less frequent than the ones where he moved me to tears. Sometimes when a song comes on that is particularly Finn-heavy it's like a gut-punch. For some reason, "The Scientist" and "We've Got Tonight" are the ones that really tend to make my eyes watery.
When Finn told Rachel that "We are endgame," I felt my heart break a little. He was a man who knew what he wanted, and wasn't afraid to fight for it. He was so earnest and loyal; by the time this episode aired I was Team Finn all the way. And when I woke up that terrible Saturday morning last year to the news of his death, I sat in my mother-in-law's kitchen and cried.
I excused myself to have a moment of privacy and ugly cried until I could barely breathe. What a tragic waste of a brilliant talent and a beautiful soul. Once again, in the battle of people vs. drugs, drugs won. It made me so irrationally irate that there was a point when I broke out into hysterical laughter. What was I doing sobbing over a dude I'd never met? Why was I so effected by the death of this stranger that I had never laid eyes on without the filter of a television screen? And then it hit me: Because Cory was just THAT good.
Cory, I hope you realize in death as you may never have in life just how loved and adored you were, and still are by Gleeks round the world. Our mission at PopWrapped
is to ensure that this bright young actor is remembered forever. For his talent, for his charity, for his silliness, for his honor, for his loyalty, for his heart and generosity; and, mostly, for sharing all of that beauty with us.
Cory Monteith: May 11, 1982-July 13, 2013. Forever in our hearts.
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