Is it just me, or does Glee just keep getting better? No soaring anthems or emotional ballads? No problem. This week’s break-dancing, jiving, hip-hoppy show — albeit laced with a couple of soft standards and a swing number — was a lively lift, as the high school hallway Slushee wars caught our beloved Gleeks by surprise, but did not daunt them.
If the episode proved one thing, it’s that Sue was right: High school kids are divided into cliques, if not a rigid caste system, and with the glee club siphoning off some footballers, something had to give.
It was nice to forgo almost all pregnancy talk this week and focus on Glee’s tangled romantic relationships, with Rachel even briefly making out with Puck and Emma donning gorgeous wedding gowns (especially the second one) not for preposterous groom Ken or for herself, but for Will, to dazzle him during rehearsals for her wedding dance.
It also was great hearing two new cast members get their first big musical solos, from Emma’s I Could Have Danced All Night in Will’s willing arms to Puck’s improbable Sweet Caroline which, lord help me, sounded pretty good. (I was prepared to hate this song from Neil Diamond’s early schmaltzy phase.) And Will, of course, got to strut his white-boy rapping and dancing stuff again, and quite nicely, not to mention dancing with Emma and even Sue.
Of course, the show ended with the somber note that Glee is taking time off. After eight consecutive weeks of shows, seven of them new, it’s waiting until Nov. 11, I understand, for another new one. But this week’s Mash-up is worth watching again and again, and I plan to do so.
As for all of the big Glee news of late, in case you’ve missed it:
While the cast won’t appear in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, thanks to churlish NBC, they’ll get an even better gig: performing the Star Spangled Banner at Game 3 of the World Series on Halloween night in Philadephia.
Also, Glee gets the cover of Entertainment Weekly this week.
Also, Joss Whedon is going to direct an episode of Glee’s “back nine” shows for spring.
Also, Glee got the rights to create an episode with all Madonna songs. (I vote for Like a Prayer, whose fervent choral vocals are right up Glee’s alley.)
Also, Glee’s music on iTunes is selling phenomenally well, perhaps offsetting some of the series’ high production costs. And of course, the first soundtrack album of songs is right around the corner, Nov. 3.
Also, American Idol runnerup Adam Lambert–currently cavorting with nude femme models in an absurd photo spread–is reportedly up for a Glee guest spot next spring, when Idol will be Glee’s lead-in.
And, of course, the cast may be sent out on a concert tour, also around that time.
Is Glee taking over the world? No, not yet. It’s fourth in its time slot against some heavy competition. But it fares well in the 18-49 demographic, and it has momentum — not to mention an especially devoted fan base. (To all you backlashers: Get a life and find something to champion, not tear down.)
So there you have it: Glee is going strong creatively, commercially and every which way you can mash-up our pop culture. Now let’s savor those eight shows on DVR or old-school half-inch tape over the next three weeks, and then: On to Sectionals!