|What do Chewbacca, Judy Garland, homeless people, African pigs, and young Burt Reynolds have in common?
|What do Chewbacca, Judy Garland, homeless people, African pigs, and young Burt Reynolds have in common?
|It seems like everyone and their mothers have an opinion on the Glee Christmas special (imagine that, people voicing their opinions about Glee), so here’s mine – I didn’t think it was that bad. Sure, this wasn’t the strongest episode of the show by a long shot. Was the story coherent? No. Were the songs decent? No. So, it’s not any different from a typical Glee episode, but with Christmas motifs and a touch more preachy than usual.
At the end of the day, this was meant to be a cheesy fluffy holiday special and I got a few laughs out of it. That’s good enough for me.
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|We begin the episode with a little Mariah to kick off the festivities: ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’, sang by our vocal powerhouse Mercedes. The singing was solid as expected, while the choreography was a bit busy with everyone doing too many Christmassy activities in the background. It was weird to see Mercedes and Sam flirt awkwardly with each other during the song, acting as if she doesn’t have a bofo already. Remember the boyfriend whom we always hear about, but we rarely get to see? Yeah, me neither.
Overall, I give this performance a grade of four Christmas tree ornaments out of five.
|Before we proceed, let’s address the big elephant in the room since the show refused to do so…
RACHEL IS JEWISH! WHY IS SHE CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS!? OMFG BLASPHEMY! GLEE, WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM WITH JEWISH PEOPLE!? WHY DO YOU HATE HANUKKAH SO MUCH!? THIS EPISODE IS BORDERLINE ANTI-SEMITIC!!!
|In all seriousness, I know some people are freaking out about Rachel and Puck participating in the Christmas festivities, even though they’re supposed to be rockin’ another holiday tradition. But I thought it was totally harmless. There’s no definitive line in the sand that dictates only one group of people can enjoy Christmas, y’know?
Anyway, Kurt invites you to put on some face cream and chillax about the Christmas / Hanukkah debacle. Just go enjoy the holiday spirit~~~
|Sue: Everyone knows Christmas is a time for forgiveness. So, I have decided to forgive you for having no talent, and ruining the American songbook one mash-up at a time. I’ve also forgiven you for forcing me to run in and promptly lose a humiliating state-wide election.
Artie: We accept…your…forgiveness?
Sue invites the Glee club to perform a ~*charity concert*~ at a homeless shelter, which is only the second least glamorous location to perform a song. I believe the Gap store is still the reigning champion in that category.
|Sue also came up with nicknames for Artie (“Stumbles”), Kurt (“Gelfling”) and Blaine (“Young Burt Reynolds”). The latter seemed quite fond of his new moniker, as evident by his little self-satisfied smile. Hee. Cute.|
|Blaine was all kinds of precious in this holiday special, pulling goofy little expressions in the background and generally acting adorable.|
|Rory pulls off a dreary rendition of ‘Blue Christmas’ which was really…*flat*. It’s the type of song more fitting for a background soundtrack or a montage segment. Instead, we got three whole minutes of Rory just standing there, looking pouty and mildly miserable. Definitely the weakest performance in the episode. I give it a grade of one Irish accent out of five.|
|Some of the other characters even looked like they were struggling to stay awake during the performance, which I don’t think was intentional. I believe they may have muted Finn’s snoring in the editing room though.|
|Mr. Schue is like, “Rory, stop embarrassing yourself and go back to smiling mutely in the background for the next batch of episodes.”
BTW, do they even *MAKE* vests in that horrid tablecloth print!? I can tolerate looking at a few ugly Christmas sweaters, but this is a whole different beast.
|We find out what happened to the superleg they got Artie as a Christmas present last season, which apparently broke the very next day.
Hold on…there’s continuity…on Glee!? What da fuck.
|Artie is in charge of directing and producing a Christmas special for television broadcast! He gets his inspirations from some obscure Star Wars and Judy Garland references, which is totally random, but also kinda fun.|
|This is an actual transcript from the show:
Sam: It’s hard, isn’t it?
YAY FOR TAKING CONVERSATIONS OUT OF CONTEXT. And I’m so not going to provide you any since it’s much funnier this way.
|Rachel sings a beautiful ballad, wash rinse repeat. Her performance of “River” was fine. I give her a grade of three green dresses out of five. By the way, I really like that colour on her. Lea Michele looks marvellous here.|
|Artie is being a complete douchebag as usual, telling Rachel that he won’t include her in the television special unless she sings more joyous songs for the occasion. I’m totally not digging the direction they’re taking his character, supposedly in the aspiring director / show producer route, since it’s making him so damn unlikable. Artie, stop acting like such a pretentious know-it-all twat and go back to being the sweet well-meaning kid in the wheelchair.|
|Sam decides to stir up some random draaaaama by disagreeing with Artie’s sentiments. He believes it’s important to highlight both the joy and sorrow of the holiday season. Artie is like “Sorry Sam, the phrase is MERRY CHRISTMAS, not MOROSE CHRISTMAS.” And then Sam is like “Screw you Artie! I’m gonna pull a Chord Overstreet and quit this show!”|
|There’s even more draaaaama when Sam tries to get Rory to quit the show with him, but that backstabbing little shit is like “Sorry bruh, I kinda want to be on television. Besides, I can use the extra screentime. I’m already marginalized enough on this show as it is.”|
|Amidst all the draaaaama, I love this reaction shot of Blaine looking generally bored and pretty much not giving a shit about Sam’s hissy fit.|
|Holy fuck, another performance already!? The song-scene ratio is unusually high in this episode. They’re churning out the music like Glee is some kind of well-oiled machine for producing as many songs to sell on iTunes as possible. Oh wait.
Rachel and Blaine take centre stage at performing ‘Extraordinary Merry Christmas’, which is your typical bubblegum pop tune. I guess it was upbeat and sounded pleasant enough. I give them a grade of three Glee-original songs out of five.
|Sue reminds the Glee Club that they already have a prior commitment at the homeless shelter, which conflicts with the timing of the television special.
Sue: I just wanted to confirm with you that we’re on for Friday night.
|Sue wasn’t even being that mean or pushy, but Artie suddenly launches into an angry tirade about what a horrible person she is, along with all the bad writing in the last Glee Christmas special. In the end, the kids decide that they’d much rather film the television show than perform at a homeless shelter.|
|…except for Quinn, who randomly has this ~*SILENT EPIPHANY*~ that’s explored to the extent of this two-second reaction shot. She also decides to quit the production…in an off-camera scene or something.|
|The television special is filmed entirely in black and white. It’s produced in a manner very reminiscent of those vintage holiday specials several decades ago, filled with a canned audience laugh track and some incredibly cheesy mugging for the cameras.|
|The TV special got off to a great start with a delightful duet of ‘Let It Snow’ between Kurt and Blaine. ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ will always be my favourite duet between these two, but this was a pretty close second. It was a smooth performance and I found both of them very charming together. I give them a grade of five holiday roommates out of five!|
|A few grinches seemed to think Glee has ~*lost its way*~ because this segment is not in tune with the show’s key demographic. But I kinda resent the sentiment that young people nowadays cannot appreciate something if it’s not *current* or *immediately relevant*. Even if they might not know the historical or cultural context in full, I’d like to think the kiddos can still watch this with some understanding of the intended humour.|
|Even if said humour was a bit clunky sometimes. The whole bizarre Star Wars tie-in was just a little too ~*meta*~ for my tastes.|
|AHHHHH BURN THE FUCKING BOW TIE!!! There are four types of clothing in Glee that I want to burn in the eternal infernos of hell:
1.) Will’s vests
|I’m seriously considering changing ‘Recap Everything’ to ‘Recap Everything Except Excessive Music Intended to Cash In Holiday Sales’. But let’s knock off the song scorecard for these songs one by one:
‘My Favorite Things’: 4 Oprah’s favourite things out of 5
Rachel, Mercedes, Kurt, and Blaine all sounded swell in this little ditty. The four of them mesh really well together.
|‘Santa Claus Is Coming to Town’: 2 lightsabers out of 5
Sorry, I did not dig this one at all. It felt a little too *karaoke* for me. (Look at me, using ‘karaoke’ in a sentence like I’m an American Idol judge. I’m about as qualified at criticizing music as they are too.)
|‘Christmas Wrapping’: 5 ribbon batons out of 5
What more can you ask for in a performance than seksi chix waving ribbon batons with Santa Mike Chang bouncing merrily in the background? This one was just pure fun~
|Rory: And dere ware in tha same country, shahpads abidingby tha field, kiping woch ovar thar chrysanthemum. And lo, CHRIST THE LORD!
The TV special ends bizarrely with Rory reciting…something. I can’t comprehend what he was saying through that thiiiiick Irish accent. In all honesty, I can only understand about 50% of what Rory says at any time, and that’s me on a good day.
|Meanwhile, in a very blonde soup kitchen, here are the kids who were too cool for cheesy television specials!|
|Sam: Care to explain or elaborate on why you didn’t participate in the television special with the other kids?
|Instead of the Glee club shunning the homeless in this holiday special, the whole gang shows up at the shelter after they finished filming the show. I’m kinda glad they didn’t make the group decide that it’s either one option or the other, because I was seriously dreading they’d play the whole “We’ll give up our chance to show up on TV just to feed the homeless people some soup” angle.|
|AWESOME MOHAWK HAT IS AWESOME.|
|I love how Glee thinks they can just have a few extras sit down in wheelchairs and automatically this turns into a homeless shelter.|
|Also, this might be the cleanest, happiest, and best looking group of homeless people I’ve ever seen. I almost thought some of these women were hiding their designer handbags and wads of cash underneath the table.|
|The final group song is “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” with kkklassy lyrics such as:
The greatest gift they’ll get this year is life.
Where nothing ever grows
No rain or rivers flow
Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?
I kid you not. I give them a grade of zero cringey Christmas songs out of five.
|As soon as they get to the line “THERE WON’T BE SNOW IN AFRICA~~~”, the show immediately cuts to a shot of a smiling black child. *cringe* How subtle, Glee.|
|There’s a subplot involving Rachel asking for impossibly expensive Christmas gifts, while Finn gives her crap presents in return.
Finn: OMG RACHEL I bought you a star!!! But it’s named after me, because you are already such a star baby!
|AND THEN FINN PULLED OUT AN ENGAGEMENT RING AND PROPOSES TO RACHEL ON THE SPOT!!! THAT WAS HER REAL CHRISTMAS PRESENT ALL ALONG!!!|
|Just kidding. He only got her a regular pair of plane Jane earrings. But now you know how Rachel feels~~~|
|Rachel and Finn decide to give away all their Christmas presents because they’re so *generous*. Rachel, are you sure it’s not because Finn got you such crappy gifts that donating them is the only way you can dispose of it without hurting his feelings?|
|Meanwhile, Rory propositions Sam on Valentine’s Day…
Rory: Sam, I was wondering if you’d like to be my Valentine’s Day sponsor as well. I mean, you did such a good job at being a Christmas sponsor. I figure you’d have no problem helping me nab a snog or two by February.
I AM SHIPPING THEM SO HARD THAT IT HURTS. This seriously has potential to be the greatest love affair in the history of the show.
1.) Rory continues to be an adorable Irish miracle elf. HATERS TO THE LEFT.