SDCC 2012 – Glee Panel Recap & Gallery

Glee Featured

Glee returned to San Diego Comic Con this year in a smaller room, and with a smaller turnout than it has in years past. Whereas it’s first two years it filled Ballroom 20 (4400 people), and last year managed to crowd into Hall H (6600 people, though it must be admitted, many in the room were there for Doctor Who, not Glee), this year it barely managed to fill up 3/4 of the Hilton Bayfront’s Indigo Ballroom (which holds a meager 2100 people). It’s popularity is clearly waning, but Fox brought out the big guns anyway and our panel featured the following: Brad Falchuk (Co-Creator, Executive Producer, and Writer), Ian Brennan (Co-Creator, Executive Producer, and Writer), Dante Di Loreto (Executive Producer), and cast members Lea Michele (Rachel Berry), Cory Monteith (Finn Hudson), Naya Rivera (Santana Lopez), Kevin McHale (Artie Abrams), Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina Cohen-Chang) and Darren Criss (Blaine Anderson). Moderated by TV Line’s Michael Ausiello, the panel began with a fan made clip showing some of the accomplishments of the show in the last 3 years, before moving on to the q&a summarized below.

  • McHale says they’re all feeling very re energized after their summer off. And tan. Because Michele at least is looking very brown these days. 
  • Michele says she was very mad when she read the breakup scene between Finn and Rachel in the script for the Season 3 finale, Goodbye. “He wouldn’t do that to her, and she wouldn’t let him go” she proclaims adamantly.
  • Brennan adds that no one else knew the breakup was happening. Michele and Monteith were the only two members of the cast who had those pages of the script. 
  • Monteith admits filming the scene was hard, while Michele adds that her face was very swollen and blotchy after a day spent crying. But apparently after all that she decided Finn was doing the right thing for Rachel. Maybe if I could watch the scene more than the once I was able to force myself to sit through it I’d understand? Doubtful.
  • According to Falchuk the scene was meant to be about the couples relationship moving from a high school relationship to a more adult one. If adult relationships are about being as awful to your partner as Finn was to Rachel in that scene, I’d like to go back to High School now.
  • When the series returns in the fall, it’ll be starting as usual with the beginning of the school year for these students. Rachel will be starting at NYADA, as McKinley resumes its normal schedule.
  • Rachel’s challenge at the beginning of the season will be accepting that she is no longer the only star in a small pond, but one of many talented people all vying for attention.
  • Kurt will begin the season in Lima, but as we all now know, he’ll be heading to NYC pretty quickly to pursue a position with Vogue.com.
  • As some leaked set photos have shown, Santana will begin the season cheerleading. In what capacity is unclear, though it’s to be assumed that she took up residence in Nashville or Kentucky, or wherever that school Brittany applied to for her was.
  • When asked by Monteith if the crowd thinks he should shave his head for a  ‘Finn in the military’ storyline there is an emphatic “NO” shouted by the crowd.
  • Glee's Kevin McHaleMichele then posits that the first thing that needs to go is Criss’ hiatus-beard. Criss says he’s been having a very good time during his vacation, and then jokes he “got it from the Game of Thrones panel.’ McHale’s fist pumping indicates he is clearly a fan of the show.
  • According to Falchuk, Finn’s path at the beginning of the series remains unclear. None of the other characters are really aware of where he is or what he’s doing. Really? His step-brother, step-father, and mother don’t know where he is?
  • As for McKinley, New Directions are back to being the underdogs. The Nationals win will lose its lustre, and they’re back to struggling to have enough kids to fill the choir room in time for Sectionals. Because we haven’t done that story before.
  • Ausiello then says he thinks Artie will be the “big man on campus” to which McHale responds is “is that happening?” He is apparently prepared to duke it out though, proclaiming that he will “roll over everybody’s feet” with Artie’s wheelchair. Because yes, crippling your cohorts who you need to even get through a competition is a good idea before a singing and dancing competition. I’d actually love to see that, now that I think about it.
  • Clarifying who is returning, Falchuk confirmed that Chord Overstreet was being made a series regular, and they were in talks to bring two of The Glee Projects Season 1 winners, Samuel Larsen and Alex Newell back in some capacity. Beyond that, he reiterates that every series regular would be back in some capacity. Though he does not clarifying what that capacity would be for many of the graduates whose future on the show is unclear.
  • Rivera seems unable to speculate about the future of Brittany and Santana’s relationship should Santana make the expected move to NYC that most see in her future, but is grateful for the fans the couple has brought her in these three years
  • Ushkowitz makes me feel like we missed some scenes between Tina and Mike when she states she thinks they’re trying to do a long distance relationship thing, and we’ll see where that goes. Considering the couple never actually discussed their relationship, it’s just as easy to speculate that they’re breaking up as we’ve since been informed that Sam and Mercedes are doing. Both couples had equal screen time devoted to this topic – in other words, none.
  • Ausiello immediately turns to Criss and asks, “Darren, seriously, what’s with the beard?” Hiatus beards are very common (you try shaving multiple times a day, every day), and this joke is getting old.
  • Glee's Darren CrissCriss is equally unsure of Kurt and Blaine’s future, though at least these two talked it out and are meant to be trying to do a long distance relationship. It’s clear, however, that as an actor, Criss is just looking for a bit of a challenge to shake up his story.
  • The writers are really excited about taking on the new dynamic of another setting for the show, as Rachel, and (presumably) eventually Kurt, Santana, and Finn take to New York City and begin to develop their characters as adults in the real world. Fans continue to ponder how the writers will be able to tackle a split narrative when they failed so miserably to handle the single McKinley narrative in Season 3.
  • Beyond discussing the Britney Spears themed episode which will be the second episode of Season 4, Falchuk remains tight lipped about what other music fans can expect to hear. Michele’s been hankering to sing Robyn, while McHale says he’s gotten to do pretty much everything he’s requested. Criss thinks the new challenge is trying to pick what songs the writers will choose, “Call Me Maybe” being a surefire in his opinion. Michele confesses she’d been pushing for a Celine Dion song for years, and when handed the “Nationals” script Murphy told her he’d finally given her her song, but when Michele opened the script it was the wrong song. He’d chosen “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now,” when she’d wanted to sing “To Love You More.”
  • The writers don’t feel like they’ve cut anything that they wish they could go back and include. Though Falchuk admits he’s written the same scene between Rachel and Quinn several times, and it gets cut every time. Michele says every time she and Dianna Agron film a scene together they are convinced it’s going to be cut from the show.
  • Halfway through the panel and someone (McHale) finally asks Falchuk to move his microphone closer to his mouth because it’s impossible to hear him.
  • Then after someone asked that Rachel’s Jewishness not be used as a joke all the time, Criss decides to joke that he’s going to be playing a Rabbi this coming season, hence the beard. 
  • When pressed to find a favorite moment related to the show, Michele decides the Glee Live tour (she specifically mentions London) was a highlight. That even though they were so tired, and away from families, it was a great time.
  • Glee's Lea Michele and Cory MonteithMonteith’s most embarrassing moment on the show so far was during the filming of “The Rocky Horror Glee Show” episode. There was a miscommunication, and one of the times he was meant to be catching Michele as she fell backwards as Rachel, he didn’t, and she hit the ground really hard. “Thanks for bringing that up,” Monteith quips.
  • There will eventually be a Will and Emma wedding, but the exact timing has not been determined.
  • A Faberry fan gets up to ask the panel with a question about Rachel exploring her sexuality with Quinn. It’s clear the panel think the question a bit ridiculous, but Michele humors the fan by saying “Never say never with Glee.” She does have a point there.
  • Obligatory fan moment of saying hi to Criss, only to ask a question of Michele. Every year you think it’ll end, but there’s always one. Still, she’s dressed as Merryweather, the fairy from Sleeping Beauty, who Michele recognizes, and Criss names, so at least it was a cute moment in the end.
  • Michele thinks she and Criss should explore the idea of doing a cabaret together, outside of Glee. Apparently it’s unwise (or wise, depending on your viewpoint, so I’m going with very wise) to allow them anywhere near a piano together. Michele confesses she didn’t even greet Criss that morning after not having seen him for awhile. She merely walked up and declared that she had another song for them to sing.
  • Rivera is still working hard on her first solo album. The first single, which McHale declares is “awesome,” is a dance pop piece called “My Heart.” Cue fangirls the world over making wild speculations about how it is really about Brittana considering their first on screen kiss was in the Season 3 episode “Heart.”
  • Glee's Cory Monteith, Naya Rivera and Kevin McHaleAs for what advice Season 3 Santana would give to Season 1 Santana, “Stay away from Finn,” is Rivera’s guess. Monteith mouths quietly, “That’s pretty good.”
  • And now it’s the point where Di Loreto makes his presence known by giving an answer to the question as to why Kurt and Blaine were the only couple not to show any type of affection during the triumphant arrival montage to “Tongue Tied” near the end of the “Nationals” episode. He states that there were so many extras, and so much going on, that there was no offense meant, and they didn’t mean to exclude the couple, but they just “accidentally” forgot to add them. This would hold a lot more weight had I not known someone personally who was on set when Prom was filmed this year, and saw how much trouble they went to to get shots of dozens of extras kissing. And that episode was pretty tight, there were clearly a ton of people on set to wrangle, and they managed to make sure to get the shots they needed of random people kissing.
  • This of course spurns a much bigger discussion of the shows unequal representation of the straight and gay couples, that just proves to show that the writers either don’t get it, or don’t care. Brennan thinking that they should be rewarded and given a pass because the show has accomplished so much already in regards queer issues. Of course, past actions don’t excuse anything they might do moving forward. And if they’re neglecting those characters so that Rachel and Finn can kiss for the 37th time this season, or can discuss what chairs to have at their non existent wedding, then it’s important that people call them on it. It’s too bad they feel the need to defend themselves, instead of having just gone with Di Loreto’s eventual conclusion to the topic that television is ever evolving and they try and take on as many suggestions from fans that they can.
  • Falchuk then proves he doesn’t know anything about his characters when he talks about how Kurt hates PDA. 
  • Brennan has been pitching a story for Artie’s parents since the beginning of the series. He wants Artie’s mother to be a hoarder, with very narrow tracks through the piles of junk she’s collected in their home. McHale is all for Katey Segal, who has spoken previously about her desire to take on the role.
  • Ushkowitz hopes the topic of unfair representation for minorities in television and film is discussed more fully after having been addressed with her character early in Season 3.
And that’s our panel!