As creator Ryan Murphy evaluates the state of Glee and decides what changes to make for Season 4, he says one thing has become clear: This show just has too many main characters!
The solution? It’s time to cut back. Ryan tells Gold Derby in a new podcast interview that next season will be more “streamlined” than the last.
“One of the things that I wanted to do this year is cut down on the number of characters that we had,” Ryan says. “I think that that show grew into sort of a gargantuan, and one day I went into the choir room, and I think there were 18 people in there. I was like, Okay, we’ve got to streamline the storytelling a little bit here.”
He says the change is harkening back to the days of Glee Season 1. “I think, if people remember, we really followed like four of them and the other people were just flavors and ingredients that sort of complemented those stories.”
Fewer characters means more time to focus on the core group of favorite, but it will also mean less screentime for many familiar faces. Some of the characters might be fading even more into the background.
So what other changes can we expect to see when the show returns? Those crucial decisions are being made right at this very moment. “We’re working on the first couple of scripts now,” Ryan tells Gold Derby.
One of the biggest changes in Season 4 is the decision to split the show between “New York, where Rachel went off to at the end,” and “Ohio, with the new kids coming up.” Ryan didn’t name specifics about the “new kids,” but we’ve heard already from spoilers that Glee is adding Puck’s (Mark Salling) little brother and a new high school girl into the mix.
Also on deck for Season 4, the show will address the unanswered questions still lingering after the Season 3 finale. Two questions Ryan mentioned in particular are: “Who’s going to go to New York and who’s staying?” and “Which long-standing couples are breaking up and starting anew?
We know already that Rachel (Lea Michele) is in NYC, and Santana (Naya Rivera) may decide to move there as well. Kurt (Chris Colfer), too, if early spoilers are any indication.
As for those big breakups, Season 4 should reveal if Finn (Cory Monteith) and Rachel’s shocking breakup will stick — as well as the fates of Klaine and Santana, who technically could still break up, especially if Kurt and Santana decided to move to New York City.
So what will their post-high school journey look like, anyway? Ryan says, “I want to know how many of them, who left the school, are getting their dreams. Have their dreams changed? And in some cases they have.” Still, he’s very confident that fans will be pleased with the direction that Season 4 is heading. “For the most part, I think people will find it really good. I’m happy with it. I feel like it’s re-invigorated the show and the form.”