By JAMILA RIZVI
It seems a bit silly to be crying because of course I didn’t know Cory Monteith.
But having watched him perform in hit TV series Glee for four seasons, giggled quietly at his goofy dance moves, and sung along with his rendition of Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing more times than I care to admit: I feel like I do.
There is an outpouring of grief on social media sites tonight for the loss of a young man who most of the mourners have never met. Monteith played Glee’s leading man Finn, a teenage football star turned singer/dancer whose tumultuous relationship with leading lady, Rachael, has no doubt been the stuff of infinite snap chat conversations amongst the show’s teenage fans the world over.
And while it can be easy to smirk and scoff at these die-hard fans’ dramatic pronouncements on Twitter and Facebook – the truth is that the cult of celebrity leaves nobody untouched. The result being that we can feel uncommonly connected to a person we do not know, to whom our only exposure has been through a TV screen, where they are in fact, pretending to be someone else.
I suppose that’s why the tears have fallen freely tonight. I am genuinely saddened to hear of this young man’s passing because I was attached to the character he played and the spirit he brought to what is both a remarkable role and a remarkable television series.
Being a musical theatre devotee, the Broadway inspired style of Glee had me hooked from the beginning. Any television show that can mash together Katrina and the Waves with Beyonce and then follow it up with an even better combination of Usher and Bon Jovi, deserves some attention.
What kept me coming back to Glee was the very emotion that its name evokes because the show is joyful to watch. The vocal gymnastics are gobsmacking, the choreography is clever and the talent of the young stars is outstanding, yes. But it’s the pure and unadulterated joy that the actors bring to their roles and most particularly to the music they perform, that makes the show special.