Those plucky Buckeye kids in New Directions won the show-choir sectionals again on Glee this week. Well done (although I am a little surprised the judges permitted them to sing three times as many songs as the other groups. That's like giving Prince Fielder three times as many swings in the Home Run Derby.)

It was great to see Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) and Mike (Harry Shum Jr.) front and center on the first and best number, a frisky cover of the Jackson 5's "ABC."

You remember Mike and Tina, don't you? No? Well, it's been awhile.

That's one of Glee's most frustrating flaws: a good portion of the cast might as well be on milk cartons; characters are introduced and then never heard from again.

Take Sugar (Vanessa Lengies). Her brutally candid rich girl persona seemed so promising. But when was the last time she had a line? Now you see her only in crowd scenes, desperately trying to steal camera time by mugging madly.

Or Rory (Damian McGinty), our Irish exchange student. Sure, he got splashy song-filled initiation - did anyone else find Rory's trilling of "(It's Not Easy) Being Green" borderline racist? - but we haven't heard any of his lilting brogue since then.

How about Sam (Chord Overstreet)? They brought him back this week, even though a mannequin could have handled his role during his first run on the show.

He picked up right where he left off - vowing to resume his romance with Mercedes (Amber Riley) and make her forget her bruiser of a boyfriend.

Wait, Mercedes has a boyfriend? Where has he been? And remind me again who Mercedes is.

Here's a tip for the producers of Glee: Get your whole cast invested in every episode in the time-honored TV fashion that series such as The Closer, CSI, The Mentalist, and others employ.

You'll see there's always a scene where the supporting cast is filling in the chief on some developments in a case. They do it Huey, Dewey and Louie style.

"We found the gun down by the canal," says one. "It's registered to Vinnie's uncle, Bobby Ganoosh," says the next. "Yeah, here's where it gets interesting, boss. Bobby skipped town two weeks ago," ventures the third. "He's in the wind," pipes up the last.

Of course, it's hokey, Glee, but it's better than having half your cast wandering around each week, lonely as lip-synching clouds.

Shrinky dink. Can someone explain the symbolism of mite-size NFL coaches to me?

You can't watch a football game this season without being subjected to multiple beer commercials featuring thumb-size versions of Jim Mora, Mike Ditka, Herm Edwards and the like storming around, waving their tiny little arms.

I'm just not seeing the link to the product. Do little people keep beer frosty? Or is it supposed to instill a Paul Bunyan-scale thirst in viewers?

"Ha! I always knew I could drink Ditka under the table!" Glug glug glug.

How many horns are up? As long as I'm using up my football lifelines, what is it about Fox announcer Joe Buck that annoys me so much?

It goes beyond the air of smug self-satisfaction, his seeming conviction that his broadcasts will be studied and celebrated by scholars for centuries to come.

It's not the condescension he heaps on the fans, the players, his announcing partner, and on the multitude of Fox prime-time promos he dutifully recites each game.

There is just something deeply offensive about him. Any ideas?

Where's Shaggy? You know what they always say about the plots on Law & Order - that they're "torn from the headlines."

This week, the headlines tore back when Law & Order: SVU set up a tent city in downtown Manhattan to shoot an episode recreating the Occupy Wall Street movement.

According to the New York Daily News, more than 100 real protesters showed up, shutting down production.

"This is not the case of imitation is a form of flattery. This is insulting," said a man who identified himself as Scooby.

Contact staff writer David Hiltbrand at 215-854-4552, dhiltbrand@phillynews.com, or @daveondemand_tv on Twitter. Read his blog, "Dave on Demand," at www.philly.com/dod.