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'Glee': Ryan Murphy says characters will graduate by 2012, but should any of them stick around?

GLEE-The-College-Years

GLEE-The-College-YearsWith all the rehearsing for Sectionals and frequent trips to Breadstix, it’s easy to forget that the kids of McKinley High School are actually students, who should be graduating in a couple years (well, in Brittany’s case, that date is TBD). Ryan Murphy has begun to address Glee’s future by revealing plans to routinely add new students to the mix (what is this, Menudo?), rather than prolong current characters’ high school existence. “Every year we’re going to populate a new group,” Murphy told Australia’s Herald Sun. “There’s nothing more depressing than a high schooler with a bald spot.”

True, rival group The Hipsters didn’t exactly give an inspired performance on Tuesday night, but can you imagine Glee without its current stars?

“I think you have to be true to the fact that here is a group of people who come and go in these teachers’ lives – they graduate and they’re gone,” Murphy said. “When some of them finish their run at high school it will be very teary episodes.” It’s no secret that graduation poses a challenge for television series; The OC, Gilmore Girls, One Tree Hill, and Gossip Girl have all had varied success transitioning to life beyond prom nights and basketball games (One Tree Hill skipped five years into the future, while Gossip Girl relies on its NYC locale to allow its characters to “attend” college while plotting a good old-fashioned take down). According to Murphy, these changes won’t happen until 2012, but is there any way some of the current Glee stars could stay in the picture? What if Santana became Head Coach of the Cheerios (only after Sue Sylvester was elected the first female President of the United States), and Puck continued his pool cleaning business only to marry a wealthy cougar (the return of April Rhodes!). Other characters are more complicated: Rachel has to leave Ohio, if only to secure multiple Tony wins by the time she’s 25 (which leaves no time for working at Dairy Queen after graduation), and Kurt probably belongs where his fashion sense will be more appreciated, and his Michael Kors will be protected.

But what about a post-high school Glee that follows our favorite characters? Yes, the cheesy goodness of Saved by the Bell: The College Years paled in comparison to the original (no Jesse, Lisa, or Mr. Belding, for starters), but it still gave you the same feeling you were looking for (with only half the calories). As one astute PopWatcher pointed out, high school show choir is only the beginning for the kids of New Directions. Why not send some of them to college where they can join a co-ed a cappella group or theater company? And if some kids aren’t continuing their education, but plan on sticking around town (i.e. Puck and his burgeoning pool cleaning business), GoogleMaps just showed me that Lima, Ohio is home to the University of Northwestern Ohio – and I hear the dorms are pretty nice? Problem solved! Impromptu sing offs all day long.

What do you think, PopWatchers: Will graduation day mark the end of Glee as you know it? Can you get behind the possibility of new characters, or are you in favor of still following Rachel, Finn, et al., through graduation and beyond?

Read more on Glee:
Latest Glee recap: Performance Anxiety
Glee exclusive video: Chris Colfer and Darren Criss duet on ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside,’ Lea Michele sings ‘Merry Christmas, Darling’
Katie Couric to guest star on Glee

Originally posted December 3 2010 — 4:45 PM EST

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