Sam, we hardly knew ya (Fox)
Although it's nice that Blaine's now a regular, he doesn't go to McKinley. And let's face it, Mike Chang doesn't really do anything. We were just getting to know Sam, and we were happy with what we were seeing, so here are five reasons it was (yet another) bad decision on Ryan Murphy & Co.'s part:
(1) Mercedes Was Finally Getting a Love Interest/Storyline
We love Mercedes and all her diva-fueled shenanigans, but the whole "I'm sassy and I hate everyone" shtick was getting old, especially when we're aware of her dramatic chops (see "Grilled Cheesus"). Mercedes had become another talking head, insulting Rachel once or twice every episode and belting out the big note at the end of every song. So the most obvious reason Sam should stay on the show? Mercedes. She deserves it, and we were far more excited about that relationship than any other on the show. Also, Sam deserves to date someone other than Santana, who was using him, and the awful, insufferable Quinn Fabray.
(2) Sam Was One of the Only Male Characters With Any Depth
Mercedes and a few other female characters are pretty one-note, but it's mostly the guys that have nothing to do. Remember when Finn had a personality and how he freaked out when he found out Quinn's baby was Puck's and he was seriously uncomfortable with Kurt's sexuality? There was potential there. Then there wasn't. Remember when Puck yelled at Mr. Schue, revealing his belief that no one cared about him? Now he's just Token Hottie. Remember when Artie had dreams of walking? That lasted about one episode.
But Sam had a lot of things going on besides his relationship with Mercedes. There was his realistic storyline about the recession affecting his family. He had to take care of his siblings, and he lived in a motel, and he was too embarrassed to tell the glee club. He also wasn't cool with being used by Santana, he had insecurities about his body, and...
(3) He Was Genuinely Funny
And not exactly ha-ha funny -- he was weird funny, which is sometimes the best kind. He was a male version of Brittany: attractive and seemingly normal, but actually really strange once he opened his (quite large) mouth. Remember his impressions of James Earl Jones and Sean Connery that made Santana incredibly uncomfortable? Or his obsession with "Avatar"? Sam was a good-looking jock that all the gals were after, but he was also a socially awkward nerd and wasn't ashamed about it, which made him even funnier (and all the more endearing).
(4) He's the Reason 'Trouty Mouth' Happened
It was a season of painfully bad musical moments -- see the "Stop! In the Name of Love/Free Your Mind" mash-up and Schue and Holly Holliday's "Kiss" cover for starters. But "Trouty Mouth" was the shining beacon of hope that "Glee" had realized it had been taking itself too seriously; Santana's original song highlighted how funny (and seriously random) the show could be. And how else would we get the lyric "If you tried hard enough you could suck a baby's head," other than Sam's mere presence on the show?
(5) He Can Sing!
There was no more annoying song in the world than Justin Bieber's "Baby," but Sam made it somehow sweet. Auto-Tune makes Finn's voice somewhat bearable, Mike Chang doesn't sing at all, and Kurt only does whiny ballads at this point. But Chord Overstreet has pipes that were just beginning to be put to good use. It was good to see him in the spotlight when he sang "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" with Quinn at Sectionals earlier this season, but it was short-lived. Maybe we can get one more song out of him if/when he guest stars.
Watch Sam make Justin Bieber listenable in this "Glee" clip:
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Calling all Gleeks: Will you miss Sam? Or are you glad he's gone? Let us know in the comments.
- Chord Overstreet
- Mike Chang