Just judging from Thursday night’s “Glee” finale “All Or Nothing,” it’s easy to make one assumption: You’re not going to see much of Heather Morris’ Brittany S. Pierce, at least for now. The actress is pregnant, and thanks to the timing of it, she’s going to gone for most (if not all) of the fall. It’s possible that she could be back for the spring, but we don’t want to start setting fires on that subject since it’s really going to be up to her and how she feels as a new mom.
What we want to focus on instead here is who is going to be joining Morris on the “unlikely” list for season 5, but for entirely different reasons. This time, we’re talking about Vanessa Lengies. The actress, known for playing the criminally-ignored Sugar Motta, has seen her pilot “Mixology” over on ABC get picked up as a series. It’s an ensemble single-camera comedy basically chronicling a night out, and there’s a good chance here that it could actually draw bigger ratings than “Glee” at this point. It has a creative name, hip premise, and no singing (which probably appeals more to the mainstream).
We want to make it crystal clear that “Mixology” does not guarantee at all that Sugar’s off the show, that she’s getting fired, or any other crazy rumors that someone could post on the internet in ALL CAPS. It just means that she will have a lot less time to appear. One good analogy here is Mindy Kaling. “The Office” still loves her, but she’s been limited this season thanks to “The Mindy Project.” How much Lengies is kept from McKinley High will likely be determined by the “Mixology” scheduling and episode order. If she just has 13 half-hours this season, it’s possible she’ll still have a chance to turn up on “Glee”.
The saddest part about saying goodbye to Sugar is that she was originally a woman with a lot of potential as a character. She was quirky, different, and we appreciated her constant name-dropping. We just don’t get how she suddenly could sing after at first sucking at it, why nothing ever came of her and Artie, and why in the world Ryan Murphy bothered to even keep her this long when in doing so, he made us angrily question all spring where in the world she was. Sad. Oh well, congratulations to Lengies, and hopefully she will have a chance to shine on ABC.
If you want to understand more why Sugar was shut out from some episodes this spring, Darren Criss has a great interview here talking about some of the economics (both in terms of money and time) that go into making a show with such a large cast.