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Scott D. Pierce
Scott D. Pierce writes about television for the Salt Lake Tribune. Vice president of the Television Critics Associationn, he's covered TV in Utah since 1990.

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In this undated image released by Fox, cast members, from left, Kevin McHale, Chris Colfer, Jenna Ushkowitz, Amber Riley, Cory Monteith and Lea Michele perform during a scene from "Glee." Monteith, who shot to fame in the hit TV series "Glee" but was beset by addiction struggles so fierce that he once said he was lucky to be alive, was found dead in a Vancouver hotel room, police said. He was 31. (AP Photo/Fox, Adam Rose)
'Glee' leads into Monteith tribute with underage drinking scene

"Glee" is bidding farewell to both the late Cory Monteith and the character he played, Finn Hudson, in this week's episode (Thursday, 8 p.m., Fox/Ch. 13) -- and I'm concerned.

The episode hasn't been screened for critics, but, given the show's history, there's plenty of reason to doubt that the writers can pull this off. They haven't demonstrated this kind of talent. And they have delivered some appalling mixed messages.

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In the most recent episode of "Glee," the show's underage viewers were treated to underage drinking by several of the characters.

The writers, apparently forgetting that Rachel (Lea Michele), Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Santana (Naya Rivera) graduated from high school less than a year ago (on the show's timeline), showed them celebrating Rachel landing a role on Broadway by drinking champagne. And, yes, the legal drinking age in New York is 21.

This week, "Glee" is going to pay tribute to Monteith, who died after he overdosed on heroin and alcohol. Reportedly, that included two bottles of champagne.

The obliviousness of the "Glee" writers isn't surprising. They've lurched from episode to episode, with wild swings in characters and storylines. They've completely forgotten (or ignored) some of those swings.

Um, Kurt's father, Burt (Mike O'Malley) was elected to Congress, which has been dropped as a plot point without explanation.

But, seriously, you have underage characters drinking just before your big tribute to Monteith? That's pretty much unbelievable and unforgivable.

So, yeah, there's reason to be concerned about how "Glee" is going to pull this off.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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