Friday, October 23, 2009

What I’m Watching: Glee

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.


Greg Boyd said...

While I agree with much of what you said, this episode was still pretty good. The first half hour was excellent. Renditions of "Bust a Move" and "Sweet Caroline" were terrific. I kind of liked seeing Sue's softer side (plus, seeing Lynch and Morrison dance was cool). It did fall apart in the second half. I hate the fact that this show always feels the need to wrap things up in a neat bow at the end of every episode.

Heading into this episode, I was ready to give up on "Glee". But it did just enough this week to keep me watching. Grade B

Movies with Abe said...

I did enjoy "Sweet Caroline" - I forgot about that.

Don't give up just yet. This show is only getting started, and just imagine where it could go with a few seasons of experience. I'm not planning to give up on it anytime soon, and I think it's worth sticking around at least to episode 14, when it should become clear if this show has what it takes to go the distance after its initial 13-episode order.

Richter Scale said...

Abe, I actually like the more extravagant elements of this show, like the dance numbers and I thought the Slushee joke felt a lot like High School, and it works. I feel this show has its fans split in two. Those who like the more over-the-top, goofy plots and those that like it more when it's grounded in reality. Personally, I stand in the middle. I look at the musical numbers (outside of rehearsals) as the imagination and emotions of the characters, expressed in song. It's like a musical. These are singers, and it's the way they express themselves. And, I like seeing Sue's softer side. It makes her less one-note and bewcause of that, she'll be a lot more fun.

Also, no Terri this week. I was happy about that (since her storyline was starting to get annoying, and Will is treated like an idiot whenever Terri's around). I'm sticking with the show, and hopefully, it will last a while.

By the way, I heard somewhere that the cast of Glee is singing the National Anthem at the World Series. That should be amazing!!!

Greg Boyd said...

Yeah, no Terri was certainly a good thing.