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Glee: Mash Off

Smear campaigns and insults cause karmic retribution for teachers and students alike this week on Glee.

So Sue Me for Slander

When I first watched the Burt Hummel Baboon Heart ad I did literally laugh out loud. It was so outrageous it managed to be wacky even for Glee, even for Sue, and that’s saying something for a show that once had one of its main characters contemplating becoming a human cannonball. Unfortunately, this level of satire is completely out of place in the rest of the episode, which is quite serious for Glee, and which only gets more so as the fight between Finn and Santana intensifies. Sue’s campaign antics might be well-received if they were simply played for laughs, but they’re jarringly over-the-top when mixed with the other plots. Sue used to be my favourite character on Glee, but she doesn’t mix well with subjects such as suicide and political campaigns. I don’t think it’s too late to get the writing for her back on track, but they better not continue the way they’re going.

And the Cradle Will Rock...

If it weren’t for Puck being so sweet about Beth, I would have skimmed over this tiresome plotline until it was done and dusted, but somehow I can’t help rooting for him to end up parenting Beth. It’s kind of amusing watching his crush on Shelby, but I do want her off my screen. It’s probably since she’s tied up in one of the worst Glee plots ever – Quinn’s plan to get Beth back, as if she ever had her in the first place. Quinn isn’t deranged, but this plot makes her seem so, especially contrast with good father Puck. What’s more, Shelby’s response to finding out about Quinn’s plan is far too subdued, as if baby stealing only warrants a stern talking-to. Look, Shelby’s had her baby plot, she’s had heartfelt moment with Rachel, can she leave now please?


While I do appreciate that Santana is a self-proclaimed bitch and she has a lot of anger inside her, I didn’t think the constant Fat Finn insults were that believable, it was too obvious a set-up for her to get outed. Some of the animosity was quite fun to watch, but I’d have felt a lot better if we had gotten some backstory on Santana’s home life to explain her vindictiveness. I was genuinely surprised by the political opponent’s ad, which was quite in line with the kind of thing Sue had been making, but it all felt rather unreal. I don’t know if it’s because I’m British, but I can’t imagine anything like those ads ever being put on TV. Santana’s reaction was genuine enough though, I’m just frustrated we didn’t get to see the full fall out of what happened.


- Sue’s ‘Burt baboon heart’ ad – completely ridiculous and watched as a standalone clip, possibly the funniest TV segment Sue has done. Aside from Sneaky Gays... I especially loved the flashes of ‘Socialism’ and ‘Inflation’.

- During Hot For Teacher the way Blaine said “I think the clock is slow man” was exactly the same as when he spoke during Raise Your Glass...

- Poor Myspace. E-hug! I’m sure it’s popular in Upper Volta or somewhere.

- World War Glee would be just about the only war I’d ever be in favour of. I picture musical shock waves ala Scott Pilgrim VS The World, Artie battering rams, and Brittany cannons.

- Puck coming onto Shelby. It should be grim, but it’s not, and that’s mainly because Mark Salling looks like he’s 30 not 18!

- Kurt suggesting the Spice Girls. Please please please please please? Actually the Troubletones could do that just fine.

- Blaine clearly thought Finn was talking about giving the solo to him, but he didn’t bat an eyelid when it turned out to be Rory and even encouraged him.

- Brittany: “Stop the violeeeence” – cute!

- Mercedes’ ‘Amore’ t-shirt was gorgeous, and very her!

Didn’t Love

- What, why is there an orang-utan in the baboon heart ad? Oh, never mind!

- Married to a donkey? Ok that’s just too stupid. Quite apart from Burt having a human wife (what does Carol think about all this?), the text that flashes up “Fact: There is no evidence that Burt Hummel is not married to a donkey” is surely enough cause to sue. I thought you could sue for just about anything in the USA?

- Kurt’s speech. I thought he was just going to talk about bullying. Fine! But dodgeball... come again? Use softer balls maybe, but seriously, banning dodgeball? I wonder if Rachel will regret standing down if Kurt carries on with a stupid campaign like that.

- I found the the Fat Finn jokes funny in a nasty way to begin with, but by the time Santana launched into her final diatribe, it was just pathetic. I guess she got her karmic payback pretty quickly.

- Sue slamming Porcelain, err Kurt for wanting a salad bar in the cafeteria when she was the one who went on a healthy eating tot-banning spree.

Glee Against the Music

Van Halen – Hot For Teacher performed by Puck:
Very School of Rock. It was only a matter of time before they did this. So much fun. I particularly enjoyed Puck’s facial expressions, the wobble leg dancing and the mic-swordplay. They did a good job of making a less Glee-friendly song into something that everyone would enjoy, and the transition between Puck’s Hot For Teacher video fantasy and the choir room performance was handled well. Grade B

Lady Gaga/Eddie Rabbit - You And I/You And I performed by Will and Shelby:
Hmm well it was the first time I’ve really enjoyed Gaga’s You And I, but it didn’t make much difference mixing it with Eddie Rabbit. Interesting how Nebraska has featured on both Dexter and Glee this week. Grade B

Pat Benatar/One Way or Another – Hit Me With Your Best Shot/One Way or Another performed by Finn and Santana with New Directions and The Troubletones:
This was classic Glee with classic songs that go so well together, I am going to be listening to this for a long time I’m sure. They work so well over the dodgeball game, and the slow mo dodgeballs to the face are infinitely re-watchable. Not to mention the slow-mo leaping, which reminded me a lot of Jump from Mattress all the way back in Season One. Grade A

Hall & Oates - I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)/You Make My Dreams Come True performed by the New Directions:
It was alright, but probably the worst mash-up New Directions have ever done. Great songs and they did them justice, but New Directions have set the bar pretty high for their mash-ups. The fake moustaches were weirdly endearing, maybe even a little sexy, as were the leopard print skirts and the cheesy choreography. Grade C+

Adele – Rumour Has It/Someone Like You performed by The Troubletones:
This is tough to review because I Loved it when I saw the Youtube previews, but my excitement had worn off by the time I saw it in episode. I don’t think it benefits from the context, and what came after just pissed me off. Still, the performance itself is stellar, the girls look incredible, the choreography is so sharp, Santana gives just about her best vocal performance yet, and the mash-up just works. Grade A-

Quotes for Gleeks

Santana: “Please stick a sock in it or ship yourself back to Scotland. I'm trying to apologize to Lumps the Clown.”

Santana: “Excuse me, the leader? Who died and made you queen Aretha?”

Brittany: “Rachel Berry is still on Myspace.”

Brittany: “If you honour me with being your next class president, I will make tornadoes illegal at McKinley, keeping you and your families at our school safe from their murderous rampages. Also, on Tuesdays, I pledge to go topless.”

Rachel: “I really want to be your friend again.”
Kurt: “Well maybe you should have thought of that before you walked all over me in your borderline sociopathic climb to the top.”

Santana (to Finn): “I’m sorry that you sing like you’re getting your prostate checked, and you dance like you’ve been asleep for years and someone just woke you up.”

Sue: “I'm Sue Sylvester, I have a human heart and I approve this message.”

Kurt: “Although she knows it to be untrue, my opponent Brittany stated that my face was used as a template for Hasbro’s successful line of My Little Ponies.”

Rory: “You’re skinny like all the crops failed on your family’s farm.”

Santana (to Finn): “At some point, I must’ve liked that you look like a taco addict who’s had one too many back-alley liposuctions.”

This episode was such a mixed bag. If it weren’t for two musical numbers I’d definitely give it a 2/4. I suppose it might be better re-watched back-to-back with next episode when the DVD comes out. Speaking of the next episode (two weeks to wait, Grrr), I don’t see how Santana’s current mood can remotely be expressed with I Kissed A Girl, which would’ve been more appropriate for Blaine’s Season Two flirtation with bisexuality, but I shall reserve judgement for now as the episode ended mid-plot. Two and a half out of four baboon hearts.


  1. Harry, I hate to break it to you, but Sue's ads were an allusion to a real ad made (but I think never aired) in the recent US Senate election for the California senator:


    You have to watch it all the way through to really get the full impact.

  2. I was so pleased to see a song that wasn't a musical after the last two episodes. I also LOVED the last song! Santana's got a wonderful voice but I was amazed at the acting she gave during her performance; anger, fear, insecurity. I can't wait for next week.

    One last thing, exactly what school year are they campaigning to be president of? It's a far stretch of the imagination to believe that they wouldn't elect a class president until half way through the year.

  3. I absolutely hated bitchy Santana this week, and felt that the karmic backlash she received was totally well-deserved, which is of course to say that Naya Rivera's doing an absolutely great job with the character :) Now if only they'd make her a little more sympathetic - you're absolutely right, some backstory would be great.

    Loved the political satire. First I thought it was downright ridiculous...then I remembered that's what politics is.

  4. Sad to see Shelby is following Will's example of being an absolutely awful teacher. Might be different in the US but in the UK, 18 or not, Shelby and Puck's relationship would be illegal. She's his teacher, it's a breach of trust and she'd go to jail.

    Santana is quickly becoming the main reason to watch Glee. Yes, she had Finn's retort coming: so far we've only seen Lauren Zizes take her on, but her reaction to it was superb. I felt the mash-up fitted in really well with what Finn said to her and what she secretly fears.

    Not the best episode, but better than most.


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