Glee: Season 1, Episode 8 “Mash-Up” (C+)
The show seems to be getting further and further away from its original hook, which was singing incorporated only into rehearsals and performances rather than just à la carte and whenever any character feels the need to burst into heart-wrenching song and dance. There were a few too many instances this episode where it felt extremely forced, and while it gave the lovely Jayma Mays an unexpected chance to sing her heart out, it just didn’t feel right. Trying to give Sue Sylvester too many emotions, having her fall in love and actually turn to Will for dancing lessons, were all similar missteps which just don’t add up. The episode’s main thread featured a character that until this point had only been seen rarely and negatively, as the secret father of Quinn’s baby: Puck. It turns out that Puck is Jewish, and he’s interested in Rachel for that very reason. While the mention of his family’s tradition of watching “Schindler’s List” on Simchas Torah and his Judaism-inspired musical rendition were humorous, the whole plotline just felt a bit odd. The obsession with slushies being thrown in the losers’ faces was pretty overwhelming as well. The fact that they all ended up fearfully and protectively wearing raincoats was pretty funny, as was Kurt taking one for the team. The glee club’s need to shower Will with their slushies at the end was something the episode probably could have done without, because at a certain point it just becomes too much. It worked well enough for a while to have everyone looking afraid as the camera panned down the hallway from the viewpoint of a cup, but then it got tired. And somehow all this slushiness didn’t leave room for any of the fabulous underscore – it’s a real shame.