Devoted Glee fans know Harry Shum Jr. as the show’s go-to dancing machine, Mike Chang. When the show’s fourth season returns with new episodes on Jan. 24, Shum hopes we’ll also get to know more about his character’s post-McKinley life in Chicago. Or possibly Lima.
“There’s still room to explore Mike and Tina and why they broke up,” Shum says. “They haven’t really talked about that. And also we haven’t really seen what Mike Chang has been doing. They’ve explored a lot of the other characters — like Puckerman going to L.A. They’ve explored the New York life, and Santana, where’s she’s been. I’d like to see whether he stays in Joffrey Ballet or he goes to New York — or if he fails miserably and comes back. Because the truth of the matter is it happens to a lot of people who go to college and have to come back home for a little bit.”
From the sneak peek at tomorrow night’s “Sadie Hawkins” episode, looks like he’s got some work to do if he hopes to reclaim Tina’s heart.
Despite Mike’s relative drop-in status so far this season, Shum says he’s glad Glee mastermind Ryan Murphy allowed his core characters to graduate and move on on a realistic timeline.
“You couldn’t keep everyone in one city,” Shum says. “It’s just unrealistic to keep everyone in one place, so I’m glad that he did that. I think there’s more room to explore with characters that went to L.A — or my character who went to Chicago. Hopefully they do explore that a little more.”
And he hopes that threading the originals in with the second-generation of New Directions members allows diehard Gleeks to embrace the newbies without fearing for the fates of their favorites.
“We’ve been on the air for four seasons, so people have grown to love whatever character they like the most,” Shum says. “Some people really love Kurt. Some people love Puckerman. Some people love Corey’s character. I think it allows that audience to feel like they can keep going and not just have to figure out new characters — which I think have been great. All of the new characters fell into the show really well.”
Especially since many of the previously unknown actors who play them earned their spot on the show in true New Directions fashion.
“A lot of them come from The Glee Project, which is what the show is really about,” says Shum. “It’s all about the underdogs getting a voice.”
New episodes of Glee return Thursday, Jan. 24 at 9/8CT on FOX.
Photo credit: ©2011 Fox Broadcasting Co. Danielle Levitt/FOX