Impromptu singing at a car wash? A boy band performance at a PTA meeting? A restraining order delivered by Josh Groban himself? What’s not to love about Glee’s third episode? Appropriately entitled “Acafellas,” this episode centered upon Will’s attempt to revive his musical performance career by starting an acapella boy band. Joining him in the world of dated pop music and cheesy dance moves were football coach Ken Tanaka, Sheets ‘n Things employee Howard, the thumbless shop teacher, glee club star Finn, cougar-chasing jock Puck, and Josh Groban-obsessed Sandy Ryerson. In other developments, Sue Sylvester’s cheerleader spies attempted to derail the glee club by convincing them they needed to hire a well known (and ruthless) choreographer, Will had a heart to heart with his father about parenthood and pursuing his dreams, and Mercedes pursued a platonic relationship with uber-gay (unbeknownst to her) Kurt.
I thought this episode raised Glee back to the heights it reached in the pilot, which I’m relieved about since the second episode fell a bit flat. Some of my favorite moments:
- The shop teacher’s freak shop accident, in which his over the counter cough medicine addiction caused him to cut off his thumbs. “I’ll never hitchhike across Europe…” And loved the irony that the guys gave him a cake with two hands giving the “thumbs up” signal.
- The male teachers’ pow wow about their feelings: Ken lives at the YMCA and only has one pair of long pants, Sandy’s only creative outlet is writing Desperate Housewives fan fiction, Howard is afraid of his vacuum cleaner, Will (“apparently”) doesn’t know how to dance, and Henri doesn’t have thumbs. This exchange, of course, ended in the awkwardness of them singing “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” to Henri, which in turn inspired them to start Acafellas.
- The Acafellas’ “white hot New Jack Swing” practice session (and the “this is how we do it” scene transition).
- Sue Sylvester’s casual mention that when she was in Special Forces, she was “on the strike team in Panama when we extracted Noriega… We took out the shepherd, and then we went after the sheep.” I love that she was using war analogies in her quest to disband glee club.
- The Acafellas’ sports bar performance of “Poison.” It was hilarious fun, even if they don’t do a very good job making it seem like a live performance. Why do they have to use a studio recording – can’t they just film them singing it live?
- Sandy’s proclamation about Josh Groban: “He is an angel sent from heaven to deliver platinum records unto us.” As it turns out, this was a sign that he is super-obsessed with Josh, and considers him a pen pal, etc., etc.
- Another performance by Vocal Adrenaline (“Mercy” by Duffy), with So You Think You Can Dance’s Lauren front and center.
- Teenager Puck’s attraction to older women and his strategy of using his pool cleaning business to meet them was creepy and very inappropriate, but also amusing. Apparently cougars are the it joke on television this fall, since the topic is showing up on shows ranging from Glee to Cougartown, and several in between.
- Mercedes’ car wash solo was my single most favorite moment of the episode. I loved the spontaneity and all-out drama of it, as the show suddenly turned into a Beyonce-style music video, complete with cheerleader background dancers, an SUV on a stage with fog and flashing lights, lots of breaking glass, and Mercedes having her moment in the spotlight with all sorts of vocal acrobatics: “I bust the windows out your car…” I’d love to see more moments like this on the show.
- Acafellas’ performance of Color Me Badd’s “I Wanna Sex You Up” – Sure, in reality, a performance of this sexually charged song would be highly inappropriate at a PTA meeting, but like last week’s “Push It” at the school pep rally, I am willing to suspend my disbelief for the sake of entertainment.
- It was nice to see Victor Garber as Will’s supportive father. Hope to see him, and Will’s mom, more in subsequent episodes.
And the not so right notes of the episode:
- I wasn’t crazy about the subplot involving the glee club kids trying to hire Dakota to be their choreographer. His insults were so over the top, and no one ever explained where they would find $8,000 to pay him. Other than Mercedes’ standout moment, the teen-centric in this episode paled in comparison to those involving the grown ups.
- Josh Groban’s cameo was just as bad as most celebrity appearances on fictional tv shows. His pleading with Sandy to stop calling him and leave him alone was poorly acted and a bit over the top, even for this show.
- I also wasn’t amused by the scene in which Josh Groban hit on Will’s very drunk mom. It was the third scene of the episode where we saw her highly intoxicated, and by that time the joke was pretty much played out.
What were your favorite scenes in this episode? Are you loving Glee more and more with each episode like I am?