There are three annual things I hate: The start of daylight savings time, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and the Glee mash-up episode. This year I get all three things at once. God, this is always the worst fucking episode.
It would be one thing if the mash-ups, where the musical director takes two songs and blends them together, were ever any good, but nine times out of 10, they totally suck. And even having a whole episode of them is a stupid gimmick that has nothing to do with the narrative arc of the show at large (and considering we actually have an over-arching plot this year, let's not fuck it up with little gimmicks). The mash-up episode is just like your mother's shitty stuffing. It comes every year at Thanksgiving, and it's always dry and gets stuck in your throat and you hate it, but you are forced to eat it and every year you scream, "Mom, this stuffing is gross. Why don't you stop making it or find a new recipe?" but she doesn't listen and there you are a year later, with the same nasty stuffing sticking in your throat. Stupid fucking mash-ups.
Before we can get to those and some of the other great things about this episode (Santana to the rescue, as always) we have to talk about something else I hate: this rendition of Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher." It's not that I have a problem with Puck's singing or playing skills (though the state of his mohawk is a constant cause for concern) it's that it takes this song into reality.
When this starts, Puck is just singing and playing in his head while in the classroom. It's a fun remake of an '80s music video. Then it cuts to him playing in the rehearsal room with Mike Chang's abs and Blaine doing ridiculous back up duty (Blaine even figures out a way to get his signature Pee-Pee Dance move in by using a mic stand as a Hot for Teacher boner). Why? Mr. Schue even says that this isn't part of the week's assignment, so why is he performing the song? Take a second and ask yourself this questions once in awhile, Glee: Why? Why is this happening? The show has decided that they can no longer have songs that exist in this fantasy musical zone and that is ruining it. If the action is just occurring in Puck's head, when we ask, "Why?" the answer is, "Because this is a musical." When you make the song part of the real story, then you have to explain why it is there, and so often, the answer is lacking. There is no reason for this song to be there, so why is it reality? Say it with me: "Why?" It sounds just like that thing that comes before Z's, which is appropriate, because that is what this show gives me. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Yes, Puck is hot for Shelby and wants her back because she is hot and raising his baby and that is the plot for this season. Shelby also wants Puck but doesn't want to admit it, because Idina Menzel auditioned once for Lifetime's Jailed for Love: The Mary Kay Latourneau Story and she knows this is bad. We all know how this is going to end: Quinn is going to find out that Shelby kissed Puck and she's going to expose her to try to get her baby back baby back baby back baby back ribs. So, let's just skip the rest of this ridiculous story line for the rest of the night, shall we?
Now to the mash-ups.
Here is a dual "You and I" which is a mash-up of the Lady Gaga hit and a song of the same name by Krystal Gale and Eddie Rabbit. Yeah, I know she had long hair, but I have no clue who he is. The thing about a mash-up is that it only works if you recognized both songs so you can say, "Oh, this is a mashup of X and Y." But no one knows the other song so they're at home asking, "Why are they singing this Gaga song all crazy? Why?" Why is this show's kryptonite.
I can't answer why. It has something to do with Shelby and Will hoping that the Troubletones (#Retch) and New Directions can get along even though they're going to be competing against each other at sectionals. They're going to have a mash-up competition where each group sings a mash up and the winner wins absolutely nothing! Yay.
I love how Mr. Schue is only tangentially relevant to the plot anymore. We had way too much of him and DJ Gwynnie P last year anyway. They have devised this whole cockamamie thing that he is Burt's campaign manager against Sue Motherfucking Sylvester to keep them both involved in something but more and more it has nothing to do with nothing. I do love Sue's campaign ads and they were a wonderful satire on how Republicans run for office. Huh, I never thought I'd get astute political commentary from Glee, but I'm glad it's there. Now we think Burt Hummel has a baboon heart and is married to a donkey. What are they going to tell us next? He's a socialist who was born in Kenya? Naw, no one would ever believe that.
What I didn't like was Sue taking Babygay Kurt into her office and giving him a lesson on how to fight dirty to win for class president. If she hates these kids so much, why is she taking time to talk to them and give them life lessons like she's some vaguely villainous but now good teacher. It's like Sue is suddenly Emma Frost. (If you got the reference, are a man, and are vaguely attractive, I will marry you right now.)
Speaking of fighting dirty, it's time for dodgeball.
Here is the only mash-up of the night that actually makes sense, but it also the second least dreadful. That said, combining Pat Benetar's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" and Blondie's sinister "One Way or Another" was an awful aural clash. Still, it makes sense that one group is singing one song and the other group is singing the other song so their dissonance actually adds to the action on screen. A good use of a mash up. Also a great use of Brittany and the back up dancers doing aerial cartwheels holding dodgeballs. Also just look at the way Santana breaks down this Debbie Harry bridge giving us total bitchy badass babe while walking towards the camera. Was there ever anything more perfect? I think I'm out of "also"s.
It seems that Santana has a bone to pick with Finn and keeps calling him fat and making fun of him and his shitty dance moves and lack of talent. Man, Santana will cut a bitch, and not with a knife, with her tongue. She will rip anyone to shreds. Even when Mercedes puts her in her place and tells her she has to be nice to everyone after the dodgeball game, she goes to Finn and apologizes in the most awesome, flattening, insult-ridden bitchery I have seen in quite a long time, and I just rewatched the reading scene from Paris Is Burning.
Finn gets in the deepest read of all. As Santana walks away, he shouts down the hall and says the reason she is so mean to everyone else is because she is mean to herself because she's a closeted lesbian. Oh snap! It was just like last night when Camille Grammer told Taylor Armstrong her husband beats her. It was just like a switch went off in Finn and he went there and cut Santana down to size with the truth.
OK, now I'm all for telling the truth and outing people, so I have to say that I agree with Finn. Santana is being a little cowardly by not coming out. There, I said it. I love her to pieces and I know she is taking things slowly and doing her own thing, but she needs to come out. Period. Nothing good can come out of the closet. Nothing. It is an awful place that destroys lives and makes you into an evil bitch like Santana (maybe the reason I love her so much is that every gay person has a little bit of the closet in them always and loves that cruelty). She got what she had coming.
This is the worst mash up of the night. Not only did the songs not go together musically or thematically, but they didn't add anything at all to the story. This combination of Hall & Oates "I Can't Go For That" and "You Make My Dreams Come True." Is just an abomination. It is the New Directions at their worst. The outfits are hokey, the dance is silly, and the music has absolutely no emotion in it. It is essentially a fake mustache brought to life.
It also reminds me how completely superfluous Rory the new Irish guy is. He's the new Sam. He's just around doing some things, getting beat up, having some weird tension with Finn, but not at all a part of the real story. That's what you get for being a reality star in an actors' world.
Since this song gives us nothing to talk about, it's as good a time as any to talk about the class presidential election. They have a big debate and Brittany offers to go topless every Tuesday (See You Next Tuesday, Brit!) and some hockey guy offers to hate teachers. Then Babygay Kurt gets up there and says he wants to address the real issues of the day, like obesity at the school and the terrors of dodgeball. What kind of gay is he? Does he not know that Dodgeball Leagues are like a gay thing now? He's going to feel stupid when he gets to New York and joins up.
It's a very moving speech, but Kurt should know that Sue is right. American voters do not care about the real issues. So he can feel all morally superior (which is Kurt's favorite way to feel) but he's not going to win the election. Also, he shouldn't be morally superior because he wore a fucking Sherlock Holmes costume to school on an average old Thursday just cause. I mean, I get that BG Kurt is supposed to be fashiony, but he would never be caught dead in that outfit. Turn it down a notch, everyone.
After Kurt's speech, Rachel Berry gets up there and tells everyone she is withdrawing from the race and they should vote for Kurt. This was a strangely selfless thing for Rachel to do, and I'm glad that she finally thought about something other than herself. Oh wait, she just wants Kurt to win so that he'll have some extracurriculars so that she'll have a friend at NYADA next year. Oh, Rachel, selfish as always. Still, a sweet gesture.
Can we get to the finale of the evening now? Good.
This mash up of Adele's "Rumor Has It" and "Someone Like You" is absolute perfection. This is why I watch Glee. It is just brilliant from Mercedes first belting to the snaps on the beat to the choreography with the girls walking in a circle and making little whispers to Santana bringing tears to my eyes singing "Someone Like You" as if it was the last song she'll ever sing in her damn life. Now go watch the whole number, its' worth it. Just watch it over and over again all damn day. Just don't stop watching it.
I'm sorry, but I would pay real money to see the Troubletones (#Vomit) and the New Directions are just lame. There, I said it. Shelby totally wins this round.
The best is that both songs fit into what Santana is going through. There's the drama with the rumors and her longing to love someone who may or may not want her (Brittany). This is just perfect. But this doesn't mean you can use mash-ups in the future, Glee.
I also loved Santana's slap at the end. She just flew off that stage and came right for Finn Hudson and it was amazing. What I hated was how we got there.
See, Sue MF Sylvester, pretending like she's Emma Frost again, calls Santana into her office to explain that in an attempt to get Sue to lose her run for Congress an opponent we never heard of is going to out Santana as a lesbian in a new commercial. Apparently the candidate's daughter (or niece or something?) overheard Finn calling Santana a lesbian in the hallway and told the candidate and now there is this commercial. And now Burt Hummell, who has no connection to her at all, Mr. Schue who is no longer her voice coach, and Sue MF Sylvester who hates everyone, is explaining this to her and showing her the ad which they got an advanced copy of. This makes not one lick of sense. Not even an iota. This wouldn't even make sense if I were dreaming while dosed on LSD. It is just complete and utter nonsense.
Why couldn't we hear about this opponent before? Why couldn't we see the daughter in the hallway overhearing? Why couldn't we have been given a bit of a clue that this was going to go down? But no, nothing. They just pulled this whole major plot device entirely out of their asses. It still had a little bit of turd stuck to it like a smear of Nutella on a cracker. It was just shitty.
But I'm glad that we got there, because what happened next was amazing. It made me rethink my position on outing a little bit (you guys know I love an outing). It just made me think that when you shove someone out of the closet, it has a deep emotional impact on them and their lives and it doesn't do anything to stop the rage and anger that builds up naturally in the closet. It just unleashes it in the wrong direction and in an awful way. It shows that the world is always out to get you.
Yes, I feel for Santana, but I still love an outing. I think in the end, this is going to be the best for her, even though she doesn't see it at the time. And it's going to make for some great television, something better than a damn mash-up, and I can't wait to see how it plays out. As for the mash-ups, you can have them, and my mother's shitty stuffing too.