Review: Glee - Mash-Up
by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 22nd 2009 1:40AM
(S01E08) In what might be one of the best episodes of Glee since the premiere, Matthew Morrison was given a true showcase. There was also no Will family drama. Hmm ... is that a coincidence? I don't think so. I clearly have more interest in what Will's doing at McKinley High with the singing and dancing then his marriage.
Mash-ups were on the top of the to-do list. Emma and Ken asked Will for a wedding song mash-up, which was easier said than done when the two songs they wanted were "I Could Have Danced All Night" from My Fair Lady and Sisqo's "The Thong Song." Fortunately, Will didn't sing the former, just the latter.
After appearing in a Princess Di wedding gown that was impractical for dancing, Emma found a Jackie Kennedy dress which was dazzling. When she danced with Will, the music flowed out of Emma. Her singing was a surprise and a delight. She even had a bit of a British accent like Eliza Doolittle. It was one of the high points of the episode.
The glee kids were dealing with typical high school angst, who's in and who's out. You were out if you got slusheed. The Slushee Wars commenced with Finn getting it in the kisser from a hockey player. That meant he and Quinn were no longer popular. It was the "new world order" and they turned to Emma for guidance. With no pamphlets covering popularity, and never having been popular, Emma's advice came down to accessories. Specifically, sunglasses.
Mash-ups were all over the place. Ken and Emma were a mash-up that didn't work, just like their songs didn't work. But what about football and glee? Finn thought it was a mash-up that couldn't work, and when push came to shove, he chose the easy route -- football.
Ultimately, though, after Kurt self-slusheed to save Finn from having to do it to him, Finn realized that he had to become a leader by choosing not to choose. He wanted both football and glee. "I don't want to choose between them anymore. It's not cool."
There were two major subplots. First, Noah and Rachel's romance based on their being Jewish and attractive. Noah's Jewish roots were hilariously outrageous, celebrating Simchas Torah by eating sweet and sour pork and watching Schindler's List. Now that's a mash-up.
But Noah and Rachel weren't going to work out because she's still pining for Finn. Fortunately, before breaking up, Rachel challenged Noah to sing a solo. Puck's tribute to a Jewish musical icon, Neil Diamond, was an unplugged "Sweet Caroline." He was terrific.
Subplot number two was Sue attracting the interest of Rod, an Ohio Ron Burgundy anchorman. Smitten Sue was a new woman; she was happy. And she needed to learn how to dance. Once more we got a chance to see Morrison in action, swing dancing to "Sing, Sing, Sing." Jane Lynch dancing was a treat. Another highpoint.
After Rod disappointed Sue -- who looked so cool in her zoot suit -- Sue reverted to her true, bitter self. She turned on Quinn, cut her from Cheerios, and threatened Will with a tale about adopting a kitty, sneaking into his home at night and punching him out.
I loved that this episode had no Teri and the faux pregnancy. Will's "Gene Kelly charm" was on display everywhere -- he also did "Bust A Move" and "The Thong Song" -- as well as dancing with Emma and Sue.
In the end, he even got the Slushee in the face ... and everywhere else. Yum.
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