Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Glee: Episode 8 (Mashup)

I know I'm not the only one watching this: Glee - the only thing on American television that combines music, dancing, and drama.

Eventually, I might get back to the older episodes - maybe when the DVD comes out - but for now, let's discuss episode 8 - "Mashup"!


There were a number of stories weaving in and out - Finn and Quinn have found that their popularity has vanished since joining Glee Club. Rachel and Puck begin an ill-advised dalliance. Sue finds love. Emma and Ken and Mr. Shue continue their romantic triangle of doom.

The songs (mostly) did not comment on the action.

My biggest problem with Glee so far is that it spends way too much time with Mr. Shue and his mid-life crisis and his nagging wife. Now, to be fair, his wife is hilarious and her chardonnay-swilling sister even more so but I don't need to see them every week. And I also don't need two tons of Mr. Shue story every week. The show I want to watch is about a Glee Club and the kids in said club. Glee is currently giving me a show at a Glee Club teacher - a minor but significant difference.

Part of the problem is with Matthew Morrison, who is a fine singer but a rather dull lead actor. If he was just the teacher in the background, coming to the spotlight every few episodes that would be fine - the Acafellas were a particularly hilarious invention, for example - but every episode?! Enough! Let the kids take center stage.

"Bust a Move" is a typical example of Mr. Shue overload.




The highlight of the clip for me is Kurt getting annoyed at the dancing and stalking off to stand near Artie. Kurt! *high fives* Artie jamming on bass is also adorable.

"Bust a Move" is a fun song but leads the narrative nowhere, provides no character building, and is totally a gratuitous item number from a guy we see way too much of.

Mr. Shue aside, we do get some nice character moments in this week's episode.


Little Emma is still waiting for Mr. Shue to rescue her and did anyone else find it uncomfortable for Mr. Shue to be singing "The Thong Song" to her?! "Thighs like a truck"? "What What," indeed. If she has anything to jiggle around that thong I'd be extremely surprised.

What's funny is that I still like her character - she may be pining away for her true love but she's not going to let her life stop because of it. She's settling with her eyes wide open.


Quinn and Finn's diminished popularity will do some interesting things for their characters. Finn is earnest and dense... Quinn not so much. Her loss of status will seriously affect her character in ways we can't imagine and will hopefully lead to either more Burt Bacharach or more Motown.

I was impressed with Finn's dopey weak-willedness. It's certainly doesn't make him more appealing but is an honest choice to go with for his character. For all that he talks about leadership, he lets himself get manipulated into situations pretty easily.

Even in this episode, we see my man Kurt take the lead by bullying himself to save Finn's reputation when Finn balked at the last minute.


Can we talk about Puck for a second?

Here are the money quotes for the episode - both to Rachel:

"Are you questioning my bad-assness? Have you seen my guns?"

"I'm a stud and I can't even hold onto a chick like you? No offense."

Puck is a glorious invention and I want to see more of him - from his debut as the cougar chaser in Acafellas to his current incarnation as the Neil Diamond singing loverboy, Puck is kind of a jerk and I love it.

There is a moment, following the above picture, where we see Rachel washing his hair in the school bathroom sink and it's extremely cute. Even if tonight's episode was the extent of Puck's shallow depths, I want more! More guns, more quotes about being a stud, and more Neil Diamond.



Sue was also back with a bang - not so much as the genius episode last week - we do get some classic Sue's Corner:

"Why can't people marry dogs?"

And a love affair conducted over a game of Battleship.

There was a "swingers" plot aside that I hoped would lead to a misunderstanding about swing dancing versus the other kind of swinging but, alas, Sue in a zoot suit had to suffice - and Jane Lynch looks mighty fine in her red zoot suit!

Lastly, how about Ken hitting back at Glee Club and Mr. Shue - I kind of loved it. This love triangle is getting pretty juicy - now if only they could reunite the Acafellas!

My verdict for episode 8: The songs leave much to be desired but the stories are good. Please give us more of the kids and much, much less of Mr. Shue.



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