Jane Lynch on Glee Cast Shake-Up: 'It's Realistic'

Glee Jane LynchTimes they are a-changing at Glee‘s fictitious William McKinley High School, but Jane Lynch is facing it with the calm of Sue Sylvester teaching Intro to Cheerleading.

Asked about last week’s revelation that original castmembers Heather Morris (who plays Brittany), Mark Salling (Puck), Amber Riley (Mercedes) and Harry Shum, Jr. (Mike) won’t be returning to the Fox musical dramedy as series regulars, Lynch remains philosophical.

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“That’s the nature of portraying a realistic view of high school: Kids graduate. They move on,” explains the multiple Emmy nominee, who’s busy promoting her new series Hollywood Game Night (premiering July 11 at 10/9c on NBC). “I like that we’re following some of the kids to New York where they’re trying to make it as actors and actresses. But the show will evolve, and when a show evolves that means you have to let some people go, and let some storylines go, so that you can pursue new ones.”

And what new storylines might be in store for Lynch’s irascible cheerleading coach, who ended Season 4 getting banned from the McKinley campus after saying she accidentally fired a gun at school (a lie that protected her favorite student Becky, who has Down Syndrome and was the real culprit in the accidental shooting)? Lynch says she has yet to see any Season 5 scripts, but knows she’ll “figure in the plot somehow, since I am coming back. But how will I be allowed back? Your guess is as good as mine.”

Could Lynch envision a scenario where Sue winds up in New York City, along with Rachel, Kurt and Santana? “It doesn’t matter what I envision — it’s what they come up with,” she explains. “And they’ve come up with some really interesting things for me [in the past]. I wouldn’t be surprised. It wouldn’t shock me. But I certainly haven’t heard anything about it.”

One thing Lynch says she is sure of is that she can stick with both Glee and Hollywood Game Night if the latter becomes a hit for NBC: “It’ll take a little logistical juggling — but we’ll make it work.”

Excited to see what’s in store for Sue in Season 5? Stoked about Lynch’s new game show? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Eric says:

    Realistic view of high school? Now that is funniest thing I have ever heard! She is delusional if she thinks that Glee is even remotely realistic.

    • a says:

      Yeah Glee and “realistic” don’t belong in the same sentence

    • scooby says:

      If Sue had physically abused kids the way she has lately (shoving them across hallways, etc) and made some of the threats she has, she’d realistically be in jail. Making Sue nice when the plot needs her to be and mean (well, psycho crazy as opposed to mean these days) when it needs her to be is what needs to go away. I can handle keeping the new characters around if we got our Sue Sylvester back. She should’ve been a perennial lock for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy. It is for that I direct my ire toward Ryan Murphy.

    • Ben says:

      Lynch said it’s realistic that some actors are let go as a show evolves; she didn’t say Glee is a realistic portrayal of high school.

      • dan says:

        Ummm, yes she did. Reread the opening sentence of paragraph three.

        • Anon says:

          I think you have to re-read it! She says that it’s realistic to have kids graduate and only way to keep it going is to introduce new characters, I’m sure you won’t want to see Rachel Barry still in senior year when she’s 30 something lol be realistic.

          • Reality.Bites says:

            “That’s the nature of portraying a realistic view of high school” – that’s what she said, Anon. You rewriting it just makes you a liar, it doesn’t change what she actually said.

            That said, some aspects of Glee are realistic and some aren’t. Glee has been pretty realistic about having people graduate at the proper time.

  2. Teddie says:

    Yep change can be good – Blaine and Sam aren’t originals, but the new characters are boring as hell, Alex and Melissa are terrible actors, Bkake is too boring for worlds and the other 2 are poor imitations.

    • gleeinny says:

      Change can be good but glee failed at change with season 4 focusing on Blam and the noobs.

    • Kate says:

      Blaine was never any good and Sam was ruined last season.

      • Lydia says:

        I refuse to believe season 4 Sam is of any relation to the previous Sam. Kid must have been body-snatched or something.

    • Matt says:

      Alex is crap, but Melissa has to work with whatever they throw at her. She’s cute and I like her character. Change is really good, and if I recall, Blaine, Sam, Kurt, Tina, the asian dancer guy, Emma, etc., weren’t THE MOST INTERESTING THING IN THE WORLD when they were introduced and had storylines. The newbies aren’t perfect, but aren’t awful neither.

      • boring actress says:

        Kurt and Emma are two very interesting characters with flaws, mannerism, quirks and issues. But Tina, Sam etc were to be supporting character. These newbies are being pushed as leads. And sorry but Melissa should be doing something to make her character interesting and she is not.

  3. Michael says:

    Since freakin’ WHEN has portraying high school realistically ever been a concern of the Glee writers? Hell, even when the show was good, it wasn’t even remotely what I would consider realistic. It yo-yo’d between straw man villainy and over-the-top wish fulfillment, and that’s all well and good. It’s part of what made Glee fun once upon a time, but realistic?

    Come on. Don’t cum on my cupcake and tell me it’s icing.

  4. lisa says:

    She isn’t talking about the writing or the storylines in general. She’s talking about the idea that kids realistically graduate and move on to different things with new kids replacing them. You people get wayyyyyy to hype and technical with the hate that you have for the show. It’s television, let it go

    • Fr says:

      I got that is what she meant. But they also could have been “realistic” in extending the school year before this year it keep the original kids. People watching glee must suspend belief all the time.

      • dan says:

        Everyone is right, Glee is ridiculous, but even within that world those kids needed to move on. It’s a show about high school, either have everyone move to New York (which might not have been a bad idea), or let it go.

        Glee should have just stuck to their guns and had all the kids graduate and move on. And they should have done a better job finding better replacement kids, though I do love Quinn 2.0, Kitty. Actually, that’s the problem, they all seem like lesser versions of the originals.

        As long as I’m ranting, they should have also done this whole split the school year into two seasons back when the show focused on all of the original kids.

      • dan says:

        They made a major mistake in season three when they revealed that so many members of the Glee Club were freshman. It makes sense that Finn, Brittany, Santana and Quinn were sophomores when the show started because they were involved with school activities (football and Cheerios), but they should’ve made the rest of the originals (Rachel, Mercedes, Kurt, Tina, Artie, Puck and Mike) freshman who were new in school and joining the Glee Club. That would’ve given them an extra year in school while the writers only had to deal with graduating four of them (and with Brittany failing then only three would’ve graduated). It would’ve been easier to gradually add members (Sam, Blaine, Sugar, etc) over the years instead of adding so many newbies in season four. I watched season four and wondered why I was still watching; I had no investment in the newbies and their storylines were essentially clones of the originals. I think I’m done and most likely won’t be watching season five.

  5. Glee says:

    The only reason people keep calling this a “shake-up” is because they don’t actually watch the show. The new kids who are getting promoted to regulars were in every episode last season even they were officially guest stars. And Mercedes, Puck, and all were just in a few episodes each, which they could still be as guest stars. So it’s really just about how much they’re getting paid.

    • Sam says:

      Many were hoping the new cast stayed guest so that it would hopefully shift to NY. The actors are nice but the characters are boring and the competition format is passe.

      • Ty says:

        oh come on, this worked so well in the past.

        Saved by the Bell: The Prison Years

        • Julie says:

          Honestly I hate this comparison. SBTB was a Saturday morning show that tried to take a few characters to college while also making the move to primetime. That was NEVER going to work. Glee is already a primetime show that could easily follow its graduating characters that already have a built in audience. It’s actually the norm for high school shows to transition out of that setting (TVD, 90210, etc., heck even Dawson’s Creek didn’t stay at the creek). Glee needs to decide which set of characters they want to focus on because last season proved they can’t have both locations and do either well.

        • Kathy says:

          It could have worked for a year or 2 as much as it works now. Non care about the noobs or if they go to prom or not.

      • Kristina says:

        That’s exactly what I was hoping. Starting the show in high school was all well and good but I’m tired of watching that. I want to watch the characters I like move on, not have replacements stuck in as substitutes.

  6. Stephanie says:

    It’s also realistic that you can follow the kids into new journeys and leave the school to fall into decrepitude. Much as I love Jane and Sue, I’m more engaged by the NYC story and the veterans who are there. My favorite scenario would have been a NYC spinoff. In that fantasy, I would have gladly watched both NYC and Lima.

    Now, however, I sulk through the Lima scenes to get to the NYC scenes with Kurt, Rachel and Santana (and soon, Artie & Blaine). I’d love for Mike & Mercedes to make it that direction also. They set up Mercedes such that she could work open mic nights while trying to sell her CDs there and online and try to get gigs; Mike could decide he liked Broadway better than ballet (it would be such a loss to have lose Mike’s smooth moves).

    My only sorrow would be losing Coach Bieste, Sue, Figgins and even Emma …I’m conflicted about Will. He’s too wishy-washy and lets stuff go that he shouldn’t.

  7. A says:

    Glee is nowhere near being a REALISTIC high school!! That seriously made me laugh. I understand what she was trying to say but still…

  8. Cherry says:

    They need to get rid of Darren Criss as Blaine.
    They really do, Chris Colfer’s character Kurt has been entirely dependant on Blaine and it’s really diminished all the good work they did with the first 2 and a half seasons of him.

    • D says:

      Blaine was introduced in early season 2. But I fail to see how this has anything to do with the article.

      • anyone but blaine says:

        I agree Kurt and glee need to dump Blaine once and for all. That would be realistic cause Kurt can do so mcuh better.

        • Ty says:

          I’d rather Kurt leave the show and keep blaine but let him wear non slicked back hair like he normally does.

          • Steph says:

            They can’t do that because Darren has a pretty noticable bald spot. I know that seems mean, but he’s supposed to be a teenager and that just wouldn’t work.

          • Ty says:

            I never knew, he still looks MUCH better with his hair his normal way though and not slicked back and around. He just needs to get on some finpecia so his hair will fill back in, he does not need to go bald, he can salvage his hair since he has not lost it all.

    • Timmah says:

      I don’t want to see them get rid of him. I think he’s one of the best singers/entertainers on the show. Maybe just get rid of his puppy dog obsession with Kurt.

      • A says:

        Less singing in each episode and complete detachment from Kurt forever is what might make his character a lot better.

    • Lydia says:

      Not that I disagree with you, but this comment has nothing to do with the article and just makes you seem petty.

  9. Geo says:

    Jane Lynch is right: people move on. And since Ryan Murphy and company have made the godawful decision to keep trying to force-feed us the horrible, terrible, no-good, very-bad “Marley and the Muppet Babies,” a whole lot more viewers will be “moving on” from Glee.

    • DK says:

      Comments like these are becoming incredibly tedious. Whilst the majority (well… loud minority, rather) of the fandom seems to despise the newbies, thinking that this view is held by all of Glee’s audience is incredibly incorrect. Study the ratings for last season and you’ll very quickly see that there is absolutely no correlation between ratings and the characters featured in that episode. Episodes featuring only the McKinley characters, in fact, all followed the exact same ratings trend as the rest of the season; starting at around 5/6 million (there abouts), then dropping about a million within the first half hour. The same amount of the general audience still tuned in and still stuck around for the entire hour. If you don’t like the new characters, that’s all well and good (I’m not particularly a fan of them, either), but don’t presume that everyone else feels the same.

      • dan says:

        But overall the ratings for season four dropped from season three. The newbies didn’t retain the old viewers and they didn’t interest enough new viewers to neutralize the impact of so many viewers leaving when the original actors became recurring characters.

        • Eddie says:

          Well, s**t happens. TV shows’ audiences decrease. Nobody has a crazy cult following of characters. Get over it. Hollywood still earns a s**tload of money and still won’t care about the insane fans and their twitter threads.

      • Trent says:

        Fox was very clever in never actually advertising that some episodes would be Lima only. Promos always had Lea and the NYC side front and center and it wasn’t until you actually tuned in that you noticed that part was missing. My niece tuned in more than a few times only to leave after fifteen or so minutes when Rachel (her favorite character) was nowhere to be found. Only those who participate in the online fandom knew what each episode would contain ahead of time.

        • Kelly says:

          Lea was the only one to interview for the episode that had the 500th song in it and she wasn’t in that song. Chris did interviews for the 5th episode he wasn’t even in. The promos always included Lea and Chris. The hiatus promo was heavy with Lea and made it seem we would start to see her audition process in the first episode back. Very bait and switch.

      • bored in Lima says:

        How do you know the it is the minority? Many seem to keep watching in hopes they will get to character they like. So maybe the general audience is doing that too. I have kept watching shows after their decline before. Maybe more people are jsut speaking out now.

      • Eddie says:

        THANK YOU! :)

    • Marco says:

      Actually people have been ‘moving on’ since RM thought it was a good idea to cram Blaine down our throats. It wasn’t.

  10. Boiler says:

    Except for perhaps lisa you all need to get a life and stay away from any Glee boards. Do you really think all of the old cast were good actors.

    • Timmah says:

      Yes, better actors and better performers as well.

    • A says:

      While I think the older cast were better overall than the new cast, they definitely weren’t all great actors. Amber, Harry, Heather, Damien, Samuel. They are definitely not the greatest of actors especially when compared to other older cast members.

      • not lead material says:

        I agree the not all the originals were great actors but they brought sometime to the table . Amber could sing and did comedy ok. Harry and Heather could dance. The new ones are at best average and unlike Amber or Harry, Melissa who is boring all around is being pushed as a lead character not just a supporting character like what was the role of Amber and Harry.

        • A says:

          Yeah that’s why I said overall I thought they were better than the newbies and my comment was specifically referring to their acting skills. But yes, I agree most of them did have something extra that made up for their short-comings. For example, Heather’s acting skills aren’t great at all IMO, however, Glee would never be the same without her and I looked past all that and enjoyed her for what she added to the show—comedy!

          • Hank says:

            Brittany was funny for a split second when she was background and had a line or two. Once they tried to give her more focus it was ruined. Same with Blaine, Sam, Tina. Some of them just are not cutout for any real storyline and she be supporting characters.

      • Beans says:

        I think that Amber, Harry, Dianna and even Mark beat out Melissa, Jake, Alex by a bull dozer. Chord has his moments of really good acting. Darren is fine too. But, I don’t care for them to be the main characters. Marley is just so bland.
        Rachel, whether or not you liked her character, was colorful and made the scenes light up. Santana and Kurt are just the same. That is why New York City with those 3 was going to be a wonderful new look, stories and music for Glee to explore. But, when 25% of each episode is NY and it is mostly drama, how can you see much of a wonderful change in any of those 3 characters.

        I’d rather ride the waves of growing pains with a spin off than watching dull childish storylines at McKinley. Season 5 is something going to be hard to stomach with these changes. We’ll see how the premiere goes. But, if it is done anything like season 5 was, then Bubye Glee.

        • A says:

          I agree with you. Rachel and Santana are probably the best things on this show. Kurt is okay to me but he gets on my nerves and can be really annoying sometimes. However, he’s definitely better than the newbies. When the newbies first came on, I was open to it and willing to see if they’d grow on me, but after a full season they weren’t successful. They are just plain boring. I did like Kitty though but they definitely failed in the development of her character.
          I’m still gonna stick with the show till the end because I’ve invested a lot of time in it and even if I have to sit through the Lima parts, it’s worth it to see the NYC parts for me. Although, I do remember hearing that at some point this season they do plan on sticking to one location. Plus maybe there is something to look forward to since why else would they be renewing it for two seasons if they didn’t have any good plans for the show. Maybe I’m crazy, but I still have a bit of hope for it to get better.

          • glee in NY says:

            My only hope is that it shift to 75% NY and 25% Lima. There is so much potenial in NY . Let Rachel keep anchoring this show as she has done so well and give Santana and Kurt some muli-episode arcs and stop trying to make everyone a lead character. Blaine, Sam,Marley, Ryder, Jake just don’t cut it.

      • Ty says:

        How DARE you suggest Harry was not a great actor. Did you notice the subtlety in the way his clothes gently caressed him as he moved around? That is a freaking STAR right there, peter otoole move over.

    • Pam says:

      Who made you King of the internet? Because I didn’t vote for you!

    • Me says:

      Yes Lisa. Go away!

  11. Mark says:

    Realistic and Glee don’t belong in the same paragraph. Neither do “Glee” and “good” unless it’s “good god, Glee is terrible”

    • Beck says:

      Yes Yes Yes.

    • Beck says:

      I loved Puck even though Mark was over the top with his character. JaKe is his redux and Jacob is nowhere as badboy and colorful as Mark made Puck. I am just going to go through withdrawals without these memorable colorful and magical characters. The new ones are in black and white and haven’t colored my world, so I’m blah and so is Glee.

  12. VMism says:

    This is still on?

    • B. says:

      Considering that you’re reading an article about it, and that TV Line posts about it regularly, I’d say that there’s a pretty high chance that it is.

  13. Fernanda says:

    As a Gleek, I say about Jane Lynch is right, maybe the “realistic” is just a funny comment but this is a real thing about actors who played teens in high school series. Some stay others will say goodbye.

  14. Boiler says:

    Some of you will miss Brittany and the lack of Santana. In the first year neither of these two did a lot and Brittany was supposed to be a short timer.Guess what I am saying is give the new folks a chance and don’t compare styles to the older ones. I like the new folks but the writers need to focus more.

    • glum says:

      We have given them an entire season and they have not worked. They were front and center and the actors did nothing to make the character interesting. The writer just gave them issues to try to make them work. On top of that the group scenes lacked any real fun even though they gave them a song to “bond” over and over again. Plus the whole format of the competitions doesn’t work any more.

    • Kathy says:

      The new cast was got the whole season and they are still v boring. You can’t compare their first season to Brittany and Santayana cause they were main character so we know how boring they are already. Frankly Brittan only good season was her first one while she was background

    • Nina says:

      A season has passed and none of the new characters is as well liked as Santana and Brittany were after the first season. That’s kind of the point. Naya and Heather had charisma and were well received in spite of the lack of material they were given. These new kids have been front and center all season and no one cares.

    • Lori says:

      I think a entire season is more than enough of a chance. If the new kids couldn’t interest me after 22 episodes that’s not likely to change.

  15. Jason says:

    Uh this show really really really sucks. It lost its fake mojo after season 1. Fox , use your brains , cancel this crap and extend 24 to a full season.

  16. Laura J says:

    I have an idea instead of everybody bitching and complaining about what a horrible show glee is. Why not, NOT TUNE in this season!!! And shut up!!!

    • Anne says:

      Why don’t YOU stop telling people what to do? Or stop reading comments if you aren’t mature enough to handle critism of something you like. People are entitled to their opinions and comment sections are where they can express them. Expecting otherwise is childish.

  17. Lori says:

    Since when has Glee been a realistic anything. Glee is far from realistic so they should have just kept the best actors/singers to tell their stories and skipped the introduction of the very boring 2nd generation.

  18. Lisa says:

    How is the cast change news? The kids being let go may have still been listed as regulars but they were barely on last season and that is one of the problems with the show! The execs at FOX and the producers don’t like that the ratings have fallen but they refuse to accept the fact that their vision is WRONG! The newbies are pale imitations of the original kids, the plots at McKinley are just redundant and the celebrity guest stars are not necessary! They should get rid of McKinley and move the show with the original kids to LA and NYC – or even just NYC. I only watch for Rachel, the hope of Finchel scenes, Kurt, Santana, Puck and the scenes in NYC though I always enjoy all the original kids. The scenes and the kids at McKinley are a snooze and not worth my time! I am sick of Schue and Emma, tired of Sue’s nastiness and any scene with the crass and so not funny Roz Washington has me reaching for the fast forward button!

    • Boiler says:

      Lisa I agree with you on Schue. I think they need to tone down Sue a lot cause I think she could be funny. Yea Roz needs to go too. Maybe in Lima they focus on the kids with Finn as their leader or even Mercedes

      • glee in NY says:

        Who wants to see Mercedes or Finn stuck as a teacher asst in Lima? The whole white board assessment and competition scenario is passe and boring. The New New Direction are not underdogs and the new characters are bland and the actors have little to no charisma or chemistry with each other. So even though moving it all to NY is a departure from the set up it would still be better cause at least you have fun characters and capable actors/singer there.

    • Me says:

      *Crazy fan alert*

  19. Babybop says:

    I don’t watch the show anymore, but I think it’s good that they’re doing this. I always found it strange in shows when the kids stayed in high school forever. It’s good to show characters moving on past high school and starting their lives instead of being stuck in the past.

    • bored in Lima says:

      You obviously don’t watch. The new characters are what is keeping this show in the past with rehashed storylines. While many people want them to move on an show us more of Rachel, Kurt and company in NY.

      • Beck says:

        Fox and Glee feel that is what it should be- a glee club filled with misfits. Like it started out as. But, the show changed into more than that. It was about those characters and their lives. I, for one, would rather watch Glee tell the story about the first original characters lives and how they grow into adults. I could careless about high school and teen stories. Besides, they’ve already been told. Triangle love story. Bad boy goes good and fawns over good girl. Tired of all the LGTB topics. There is more to teen life than that. All the adults are oafs and oddities. Give poor advice and live their lives to not be examples of good adults. The songs are not sung to have the lyrics be a part of the story or fill the emotions felt in a scene. They are just songs sung by the New Directions. Finn was supposed to have his own developing story, not as a new Will to sit and watch the club sing. Rachel supposed to learn something in school, not to worry over an unwanted pregnancy or care about her hooker boyfriend. Glee has turned of track, IMO. Trying too hard to be drama and comedy. That combination with the writing of s4 just went into left field. Realism is something that Glee never claimed to follow, but what was on s4 was just crap.

        I can’t believe that Glee has lost its way to maintain its teen stories but with characters and writing so idiotic and mundane it is something I choose to abandon now. A hard decision to make to unfollow Glee. I love some of those characters but I cannot sit and watch such junk anymore. Those who like it, power to you. But, Glee lost a loyal fan from the Pilot.