Fall means many things. It means rain in Atlanta, Christmas trees are going up at Wal-Mart and Glee is smushing perfectly good songs together into weird and ill-placed mash ups. Season Three has been no picnic. Tonally it is all over the place and Sue sylvester is wearing on my nerves. And while I am in favor of any storyline that involves Puck (Mark Salling) being sexy I don’t see where this Bermuda Triangle of fail concerning Puck, Shelby and Quinn with poor Baby Beth stuck in the middle is headed. Won’t someone think of the children?
“Mash-off” pits the rival glee clubs against one another in a friendly sing-off that Schue (Matthew Morrison) and Shelby (Idina Menzel) hope will restore the peace. But this little project is anything but friendly. The contest hasn’t even begun before Santana (Naya Rivera) starts hurling insults at Finn (Cory Monteith). Her motives are not entirely clear here and frankly she’s acting like a crazy person. I think the intent was to trash talk New Directions until they ran away whimpering but hurling fat jokes at someone who is neither fat nor has any body issues to begin with is just stupid. Even the other Troubletones thought it was lame. Who are those other girls anyway? Do they have names? Finn reacts as you would expect and hurls a few lame insults back at her that fall pretty flat. Santana is quick to remind us that her childhood was an experiment in neglect and terror and his insults can’t harm her. His next idea is even more confusing. Dodge ball? Really? Violence is always the answer when singing doesn’t work right?
The dodge ball match was a slaughter with the TroubleTones coming out on top, and ending in an all out assault on poor Rory (Damian McGinty) who ends up bloodied and whimpering on the gym floor. Imagine the stories he will tell his friends back home after his time in America is over. It is a horrible activity for school that I had blocked from my memory because I was never very good at it. When you are over six foot tall in the 9th grade you end up with a lot of exposed skin for the red ball to connect with but this isn’t about me. The spectacle gives Kurt (Chris Colfer) and idea for a worthy cause to base his campaign for senior class president on so I guess some good came out of it.
This race for president is perplexing to me. Shouldn’t this issue have been resolved like the first month of school and not a week before the holiday break? And who is that weird guy with the epic mullet? He gives me nightmares and I hope he vanishes into the sea of letter-jacket wearing extras soon. Rachel (Lea Michele) surprised no one but Kurt by dropping out of the race after she has a moment of clarity while discussing college with Shelby and thus begins the transition from bitchy Rachel to adorable Rachel for the second half of the season. Kurt has this president thing in the bag.
Let’s not forget the race for Congress between Sue (Jane Lynch) and Burt Hummel (Mike O’Malley) that serves no purpose other than providing a nice clean exit strategy for Burt and Carol at the end of this season. I realize Glee doesn’t exactly operate on any realm of reality but this subplot isn’t worthy of Saved By The Bell much less a flashy network show like Glee. Let’s hope it is resolved before the Christmas break. I don’t want to spend 2012 watching Sue and Burt debate anything. Mr. Belding for Congress!
Back to the angry lesbian. Teenagers are evil spiteful basement dwellers so when Finn called Santana out publicly for not coming out I wasn’t surprised. That doesn’t mean I agree with it. Outing someone is never cool and I hope that they make that point clearly and not send the message that it is a valid weapon in the war we call high school. Finn certainly seemed clueless about the impact of his statement and I can’t really hate on Santana for slapping him. I can’t really hate on Finn either because he doesn’t have a spiteful bone in his body. It was a mistake and one that will have repercussions. Kudos for Mr Schue, Burt and Sue coming to her aid when the mysterious other candidate uses the info against Sue in a campaign ad. Compassionate Sue always comes out of left field and surprises me. I wish she’d hang around more.
Also getting called out this week was Quinn (Dianna Agron) who is only slightly less evil and vindictive than Santana. I’m glad Puck came clean to Shelby about their plot to take back Baby Beth even if his motives were a bit creepy. This is another subplot that needs to be wrapped up post haste. Glee seems to be on a mission to make us hate all the girls at once this year. The only one not being horrible is Brittany (Heather Morris) but I’m sure I can find some reason to get mad at her if I think about it long enough.
The music was actually pretty good this week which is a nice change. I wasn’t nuts about Puck’s Van Halen tribute “Hot For Teacher” and I didn’t like Schue and Shelby’s “You and I” mash up until the second listen. As a child of the 80s I was really diggin the Pat Benatar/Blondie “Hit Me With Your Best Shot/One Way Or Another” and Hall and Oates “I Can’t Go For That/Dreams“. Who doesn’t love Hall & Oates? And who doesn’t love Puck, Finn, Artie and Rory with pornstache? The double dose of Adele at the end with “Rumor Has It/Someone Like You” was well done and expected given that you can’t turn around these days without Adele providing the soundtrack. I did think the transition from Santana running from Sue’s office in tears immediately to the stage to sing was a bit weird. Someone needs to have a chat with the editor. And would someone PLEASE give Blaine some pants that fit! I am tired of looking at his ankles.
Glee is on break for Turkey Day and won’t be back for two weeks. But when it does return we have a fine, fresh fierce Katy Perry cover to look forward to, and you’ll like it.