‘The Price of Glee’ Is Old News

Review of the new Discovery+ three part documentary


“By 2020 all of them would be famous. And three of them would be dead.” You have to be living under a rock to be unaware that three of the main cast members of Glee – a popular show about teen misfits who share a passion for the performing arts – have been found deceased in the years following the growth of the show’s popularity. The new Discovery+ documentary attempts to take a deep dive into the events leading up to these deaths and wishes to answer the burning question, “Was Glee the cause?”

With Glee being my guilty pleasure show, a documentary about the deaths of three of its actors naturally caught my attention. I was eager to see all of the details play out over the three forty-five minute episodes. Once the show was available to stream, I started my free trial on Discovery+ and began watching. 

Although I was hopeful this show would give new information surrounding the untimely deaths, I was disappointed to hear the same stories we have all been hearing since Cory Monteith, who played Finn Hudson, died in 2013. 

It was the same news about Monteith’s drug and alcohol addictions at a young age and how they eventually came back when he relapsed after rising to fame. The show did let audiences hear from many of Monteith’s friends including former roommate Justin Neill as well as Stephen Kramer Glickman – known for his role as Gustavo Rocque on the show Big Time Rush. 

In the second and third episodes they begin to talk about the deaths of Mark Salling and Naya Rivera. Similar to the death of Monteith, the show did not really give any new information and watching felt like a waste of time. 

After doing some research I found that many of the Glee cast denounces the documentary. Kevin McHale and Jenna Ushkowitz, known for their roles on the show as Artie Abrams and Tina Cohen-Chang respectively, talk about the documentary on their podcast “And That’s What You REALLY Missed.” McHale has also shared various tweets about the documentary. 

In the third episode, the documentary does bring to light that it wasn’t just the starring actors who have died, but also many members from the crew. There have been multiple deaths by suicide and heart attack throughout the run of the show and the years following. I think that this information is very interesting and important for the audience to be aware of; however, the documentary did not spend nearly enough time discussing these tragedies. 

All in all, I think this entire documentary was overkill, hyping up old news and only brushing over the information that I believe needed more attention. I personally do not believe the price of glee was worth the time it took to watch, so I urge readers not to waste their time with it either.