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Glee Review: You're a Sweet One, Sue the Grinch

by at . Comments

You'd pretty much have to be a Grinch to dislike this week's episode of Glee.

And not any kind of camouflaged, Sue-like Grinch, either. But the true kind, the kind that detests anything remotely hopeful and happy related to this holiday.

Indeed, I was afraid the show would pour on the sap to an unbearable level on "A Very Glee Christmas." But it kept things both light and sweet throughout the hour, using the belief of Brittany to represent the child-like innocence we all strive for around this time of year.

Presenting a Present

It also used a handful of hilarious references and moments, my favorite being the requests each New Directions member made of Santa Claus. Among the best:

Lauren requesting the foxy Puckerman, and sweet potato fries; Tina inquiring about the whereabouts of Asian Santa; Mike asking for Channing Tatum to "stop being in stuff."

On the heels of a game-changing episode that shook up all relationships on the show, we didn't get a lot of follow-up, which is likely disappointing to many because this is the final new installment until Super Bowl Sunday.

But the Rachel/Finn scenes did ring true, at least, as it's easy to see why the latter is so hurt by Rachel's actions. Does he not have anything negative to say to Puck, however, who was also involved in the cheating with both Quinn and Rachel?

I also must comment again on the issue of bullying. Glee dedicated multiple episodes, and sent Kurt to a different group, all because he was threatened and insulted at school.

But the football players openly throw slushees at the singers, and a teacher threw a frickin shoe in their direction... and there are no repercussions? Feels like a double standard and a lack of consistent storytelling to me.

Still, it's almost Christmas. If Sue can get into the spirit, I can save my criticisms for another time. Overall, this was a fun, sentimental episode. Beiste gave a great speech as Santa, Becky was prominently involved in mischief and Will considered getting Sue a robot dog or a soul as a present. What else can one ask for?

One final question, though, before I turn this over to readers and ask for their take on "A Very Glee Christmas." Does the device Artie used at the end truly exist?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (139 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Mark, You say that Rachel was being infantile because she was complaining about not having a solo that was never promised to her. I'd just like to point out that she WAS promised the solo. Mr Shue planned to have her singing until Emma pointed out that it was the same formula as last years sectionals, and that was when he changed things. (The fact that any teacher would change a song list/singers that close to the competition is ridiculous, so I actually agreed with Rachel being annoyed about it, though I agree that the tape thing took it way too far! And as a side note, it was still the same formula, just with different singers....so if he thought he was 'changing things up' he wasn't.) On to the latest episode - Best, and most apt line, given recent epsisodes, was Rachel's - 'I can't believe that that teacher let those students speak to us like that.' However, it was nice to have a Rachel-bullying free episode. The Brittany storyline was absolutely adorable, she's a complete sweetheart, and her and Artie together may be the sweetest thing ever. All her lines were absolute magic, and the fact that everyone worked so hard to keep her believing in Santa was brilliant. Sue having a change of heart was lovely, and Artie getting to walk again was so touching (maybe not realistic, but when has Glee ever been that concerned with being realistic lol). The Coach is fantastic, a much better character than Ken Tanaka ever was, and it's a pleasure to watch her on-screen. The songs were great, I liked all of them, but the best one for me was when the whole glee club sang in the staffroom. It was so great to see them singing together (given the complete mess that were the songs at Sectionals) and it was beautiful. I still think that Rachel should not have to be continually apologising to Finn, mainly because I believe they both have things to apologise for, and he was hideous in the last episode. I still maintain that he needs to get off his high horse, but that's another story. That was probably the only thing that bothered me in this episode. I dont care that they broke up for real, because he's a complete tool. When he stops whining, and being so hypocritical, then maybe I'll be able to stand him again. Till then... (Just for the record, the scene between Rachel and Finn was very well done - I think they both did an excellent job acting that scene.) Overall, this was a huge step up from last week. Sure, there wasn't a lot of plot or character development, but it was a sweet episode and miles better than last week. It even left me excited for when the show returns again! Considering how much I loathed 'Special Education' this was a big thing for me.

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I watch Glee because of Rachel. I loved and sympathized with her character from the pilot on. If they graduate her, I can't imagine the show being the same anymore. That said, I maintain that she caused everyone jumping on her in "Special Education" (except, please note, Santana was downright evil driven by her own egotistical nihilistic agenda). In a management seminar I attended, a section on interviewing touched on problem idiosyncrasies, the message of which was that people know when they have a problem -- like, for instance, if someone is a non-stop talker (the kind that even start repeating themselves), it's Ok to straight out tell them to shut up (in politer words) because they've been told to shut up all their lives and long ago stopped taking it personally. Remember Rachel's singing and dancing lessons (and supposedly winning her first dance competition when she was one-and-a-half)? I kind of think Rachel falls into the category of idiosyncratic personalities that others have had to stand up for themselves against since she was one-and-a-half! Also, on nobody besides Puck speaking up when Santana says everyone just pretends to like her ... it kind of rang true that most people wouldn't speak up -- in part to stay out of it, but in part because they haven't even thought about what their feelings are for Rachel, in this instance, as she isn't really a hang-with friend of any of them. What I would like to see as a fan of Rachel is an episode that shows she still has her mojo where her ability to run, control, and influence the Glee Club is concerned (as she has so often in the past). Somebody commented that Rachel needs to have a friend like the others seem to -- and I agree. It seemed when Quinn and Mercedes went with her to spy on Vocal Adrenaline, that friendship was forming ... but guess not.

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I love Rachel and watch the show for her. Lea is incredible. I hate the way she is treated. Don't care for Finchel. Finn is such a boring character. Dumb and weak. I hope Rachel meets her real match soon. And stands up to the stupid arrogant girls Quinn and Santana.

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Too much old school Xmas music and not enough New School. "Last Christmas" was the only new school.

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firstly,this was a great episode filled with christmas spirit.
secondly, you don't have to be a virgin to beleive in Santa.
and finally rachel is not being bullied, being shouted at for being a selfish spotlight hogging brat who is constantly belittling everyone's talent in favour of her own is not the same as being smashed into a locker for being attracted to guys, the implication that it might be is ignorant.

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for meing in the middle if no where ohio they seem to have a lot of jews in the glee club. i know this was a christmas but being jewish myself i got really annoyed by the lack of diversity in the music choice. im not saying that there had to be a hannukkah song (although that would have been nice considering it is hannukkah right now) but a reference would have been nice. i would have liked to hear more winter songs than christmas songs. being a jew im usually sick of christmas songs about a week after thanksgiving and last night i kinda just wanted to turn off the tv and just not watch the episode

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The point about Rachel being bullied really bothered me the last episode, and I agree, they are being very inconsistent in that sense. I felt like the story line was silly, it was only there so they could pump out enough song to make a Glee Christmas album. How come there was no mention of Rachel or Puck celebrating Hanukkah? She breifly mentions it, but seriously, they always mention that the two are Jewish, and they have Rachel sing "Merry Christmas darling"?

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kurt got bullied by one person...rachel gets bullied by everyone. kurts bullied for being gay and rachels bullied for acknowledging her talent! I think it's the same. they are both open about what they believe in and shouldn't get bullied for it. and I do think that finn was stupid for breaking up with her! like I said in the last episode review, he SLEPT with santana when they were broke up...and she KISSED puck whilst they were together. Rachel was outright truthful to him when puck lied...when quinn and puck lied together about them. so really...I don't see how finn still counts puck as a best friend!

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This episode was heartbreaking for me, mostly for personal reasons, and I guess this means I'm over Glee. I was hoping this would still be the show that I followed and loved, so original, about giving the spotlight to these unbelievably talented misfits... And that everyone has something special, even if you can't see it. Now, it's 90210 OHIO with great singing. Or worse, because at least that show has some continuity... I was not so upset that Finchel stayed broken up, because seriously he is a lousy boyfriend. He kissed Rachel while he was dating Quinn. More than once. Than, we they were finally together he dumps her to go out with Brittanny and Santana. He never sticks out for her. When Santana started to make fun of his body she called her out and later told Finn he was the hottest guy on school. When Santana made fun of her outfit, his answer was maybe she has a point. He lied to her about sleeping with Santana for all that time and while Santana was making her miserable he didn't said a word. I mean... What the hell was that about? I really was not a Rachel fan but the way they are constantly bullying her is just making me sick. In fact, for a show that put so much effort into stopping gay bullying that fact that no teacher steps out to help Rachel, Mr. Shu, in fact is more than glad to join the bandwagon is quite disappointing. Is not like I'm asking them to be really nice, all the time. But the way things are make no sense. I miss Mercedes and Tina's storylines. I miss knowing more about Artie. (Think about the characters we have actually been introduced to the parents) I miss what used to be Quinn, what it used to be Santana (not this heartless bitch one-liner excuse for Santana), I miss when Mr. Shu was an educator, when Rachel was not used as a punching bag and when Finn was not such a pathetic person, or at least was not such self-righteous, egotistical and popularity driven. As someone have previously mentioned, Glee became a long music video... Without necessarily any plot or character development... Just a whole lot of songs that not always have something to do with the "plot". What I like: the songs. Blaine and Kurt were beyond cute together, I love that duet. I there is something really special in Lea's voice that almost made me cry at Merry Christmas, Darling. All the Christmas songs were beautifully sang and I didn't mind Quinn and Ken talking, I actually prefer that to them singing. What I didn't like: Finn messing with Rachel's head... Once again. The lack of character development... Once again. They didn't have to sing about it, but there are two Jewish characters. A mention would satisfy me. The whole REWALK thing... My little sister is in a wheelchair and she is not suited for REWALK. And watching that was... A little more than I could take. One, because it didn't picture someone that could live fully with this obstacle that is not to walk. I had loved Beastie's analogy of being too tall. Sometimes even Santa can't change life and you have to make the most of it. Second, Rewalk is only doing clinical trials and it costs over 100,000 dollars, it's not something that is just given away without any type of rehabilitation or guidance. That was irresponsible. I'm not saying I'm over Glee for good, Lord knows I might change my mind. But right now, If I just want the songs, it's easier just buying them on iTunes. The sadness of seeing a good show fall apart is not worth it.

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Bullying is bullying no matter the reason. You can't pick and choose which situations are "worse" than others. Nobody deserves to be bullied simply because you don't like their attitude. If you don't like them, don't talk to them! Ignore them, don't bully them. Rachel IS bullied just as bad as Kurt is. Both of them are attacked because of who they are. How many high school kids to do you know that can change their personality at the push of a button? I sure don't know any...

Glee Season 2 Episode 10 Quotes

Brittany: Remember: even the smallest envelope is heavy for an elf.

Last year I left my stocking up over Christmas vacation and an entire family of mice starting living in it. Their Christmas gift to each other was rabies.

Brittany