If we had our way, every episode of Glee would feature plenty of storylines and songs for every single character — but then each episode would probably end up about 8 hours long.
Since the episodes aren’t quite that epic (time-wise) yet, some characters inevitably end up getting lots of time in the spotlight, while others get pushed to the back (much like those sweaters with shoulder pads that you hide in the back of your closet — ‘fess up!).
So we’ve ranked the characters in order of who’s been getting the most screentime and the most solos in recent episodes — and who’s been forgotten. We also include whether we think each character should be getting more, less, or the same amount of screentime than they already are. And no, these weren’t easy decisions to make, but no one said life was easy.
12. Puck — LEAST SCREEN TIME
Amount of Screentime Deserved: A lot more! (since he couldn’t possibly be on the show any less)
Why: Spotting Puck (Mark Salling) in an episode is becoming about as rare and thrilling an activity as, say, spotting a bald eagle in the wild (and come to think of it, Puck and a bald eagle have similar hairstyles). We’re not sure what Mark Salling did lately to piss off the producers, but he must have done something, since the poor guy hasn’t had a song or a major storyline in what feels like forever (and yes, we’re doing our best to block out that ill-conceived romance with Shelby [Idina Menzel]). Thankfully, he’ll play a pivotal role in Season 3, Episode 18: “Choke,” and it’s about freakin’ time.
Amount of Screentime Deserved: More
Why: Somehow, Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) has disappeared from this show faster than trans-fats have disappeared from snack foods (and Tina hasn’t been shown to cause heart disease). For lack of a better word, we loved her performance of “L-O-V-E” with Mike (Harry Shum Jr.) in Season 3, Episode 13: “Heart,” but she hasn’t had much else to do lately. We’re glad to hear she’ll be getting more of a storyline later this season, since we were this close to filing a missing persons report about her.
Amount of Screentime Deserved: So much more! (Why would you even ask that?!)
Why: We’re confused as to why Brittany (Heather Morris) has been getting so little screentime lately, since even the tiniest Brittany scenes blow us away, like that adorable moment when she gave Santana (Naya Rivera) that playlist on Valentine’s Day. Brit still manages to get at least one amazing line per episode, even though she hasn’t had much to do since running for president. Maybe she’s been spending too much time taking Lord Tubbington to drug rehab programs for his ecstasy problem?
Amount of Screentime Deserved: A little more — but better scenes, please!
Why: Mr. Schue (Matthew Morrison) has had a decent amount of scenes lately, but they’ve been kind of strange: whether he’s proving to be incompetent at Spanish, or giving that speech about cheating on a test which sort of trivialized Karofsky’s (Max Adler) whole situation. Luckily, we’ve gotten some amazing Wemma moments, and we have our fingers crossed that Schue’s new career direction will provide some interesting drama. But no more sombreros, okay, Will?
Amount of Screentime Deserved: Slightly less
Why: We wouldn’t change much about Sue (Jane Lynch) right now. We love her sinister side, though it was nice to see her tone it down in “On My Way,” too. On top of that, the mystery of her baby daddy’s identity is killing us. (Please let it be Boreanaz, please let it be Boreanaz...) The show is smart to not make Sue the focal point of episodes and to keep her less cartoonish - not that we mind Sue going off the rails every now and then, mind you!
Amount of Screentime Deserved: More
Why: Santana has had scenes that are both emotionally gut-wrenching (with her grandma) and refreshingly romantic (when kissing Brit), and she had one of our favorite songs of the year (“Smooth Criminal”). In other words, there’s nothing she can’t do. So why aren’t we getting more of her? Santana is a little like bacon, in that she makes everything better.
Amount of Screentime Deserved: The same (but mix up the storyline)
Why: For someone who made us proud by once proclaiming that she didn’t need to consume all her time with worrying about getting a man, Mercedes’s (Amber Riley) only real storyline right now (post-Troubletones) is, well, choosing a man. And we’re not complaining about the time being devoted to Samcedes, since those two are great together, but we sorta wish they would just get together already so we could see them both happy. That, and we’d like about a thousand more Mercedes songs per episode. (Not too much to ask, right?)
Amount of Screentime Deserved: Less
Why: We love this guy’s voice, but saying that Blaine’s (Darren Criss) had a lot of solos this season is like saying that Queen Elizabeth owns a lot of hats — it’s an understatement. We’re excited to learn more about his family life and backstory in Season 3, Episode 15: "Big Brother," but it wouldn’t hurt for the show to share the wealth a bit.
Amount of Screentime Deserved: Who wouldn’t want more Quinn?
Why: After not doing much in Season 2, Quinn (Dianna Agron) is back in a major way. Now that “skank Quinn” is (thankfully) behind us, we’ve enjoyed seeing her back in the God Squad, getting close with Rachel, and planning for Yale (and we wouldn’t mind seeing her dating one of these days). Sure, that car crash was a pretty big bummer, but it should certainly be interesting to see what’s in store. Let’s just hope she keeps away from the Manic Panic.
Amount of Screentime Deserved: Less — but especially less Finchel time
Why: The trials and tribulations of Finchel have taken up a *lot* of screentime lately, which is fine, but we don’t want Finn (Cory Monteith) to just be defined by this relationship. That’s why we’re glad to see him have his own stuff going on, between planning his future and dealing with the news about his dad. And we love Finn, but a little less Finn would allow more time for the other guys, meaning Puck would no longer be the Invisible Man.
Amount of Screentime Deserved: The same
Why: There’s no doubt that Kurt (Chris Colfer) has been getting plenty of juicy storylines lately, but they happen to be the more interesting and memorable ones on the show. We’re loving the reemergence of his relationship with Karofsky, as almost all of our favorite moments from “On My Way” had Kurt in them. In fact, Kurt might have gotten the number one slot on this list if he hadn’t been getting the shaft on solos in that episode. Still, “Love Shack” was so great the week before that it helped us survive the Great Kurt Song Drought of “On My Way.”
1. Rachel — MOST SCREEN TIME
Amount of Screentime Deserved: Less
Why: Whether you’re crazy about Rachel (Lea Michele) or you find her best in small doses, there’s no denying that lately Glee has been all Rachel, all the time. We love Rachel, and she still cranks out the mind-blowing performances (case in point: “Without You”), but between NYADA, the proposal, and meeting her dads, we’d kinda like to start seeing other people. We swear, Rachel: It’s not you, it’s us! (Okay, maybe it’s a little bit you.)