Glee Review: Ho, No, No
I don't mean to be a Scrooge, but wow. That was bad. Like, really, really bad. Like so bad that I wonder if Ryan Murphy and company watched last week's Community and then figured they'd create an episode that mocked their own show even more.
Because, seriously people, "Extraordinary Merry Christmas" was a stocking stuffed with everything that can sometimes be wrong with this show.
Here, Rachel, I know you're Jewish and that's been referenced numerous times in the past, but it's Christmas! We're allowed to ignore continuity as long as we sing songs and end on a Hallmark-inspired message!
There was no attempt at a plot whatsoever. There was no building on any storylines. This could have basically been plopped down anywhere in any season. One song started the show, another picked up the moment we returned from a commercial break, a bunch more were crammed into a black-and-white local TV station special that dragged on... and on... and on... and, is it even over yet?
Look, if characters pretending to appear in a Judy Garland/Star Wars-themed holiday show, speaking to a fake studio audience, randomly breaking into song after song after song and telling very bad jokes is your thing, hey, no judgment here. It's the holiday season. I wish nothing but good spirits and good will to all.
But I was just staring at the screen, slack-jawed, amazed this was actually happening. It just kept going and going and going... only for the crew to show up at Sue's homeless shelter (did anyone doubt that would happen?) after the program ended. Why couldn't that have been the plan all along? Who cares about logic??!? It's Christmas! Go buy the Glee Christmas CD, available now, as Fox told us the moment the credits rolled.
I hate to be a cynic, but this was not an episode of a television show. It was a concert. It was an hour-long commercial for that album. It's great all its proceeds go to charity, but just tell me ahead of time where to donate and I'll be glad to do so. There are plenty of ways to give back without randomly dedicating an entire episode of a season to a cause.
It just piled on the holiday covers, one after another, stopping only for Rachel to be the world's most selfish girlfriend, until she finally realized - here's an original concept! - that Christmas is a time for giving and thinking about others. Farewell, earrings and iPod. Hello, predictable Hallmark ending.
I just fail to understand why the show makes ZERO attempt to build a season-long arc. There were even elements in place here. Wasn't Santana's struggle with her sexuality a big deal just a couple episodes ago? Why not continue with that idea, give us a look at her accepting family, or even better, how she's dealing with her intolerant grandmother? Want to send a Christmas message? There you go: Grandma comes around to her gay granddaughter because she realizes what's important. I'm down with holiday sappiness, I just can't comprehend why the writers don't come up with examples of it that focus on characters and plot, as opposed to singing merrily about everything.
I mean, we spent 20 minutes on a PBS special that was intentionally unfunny and which took place because the kids cared more about fame than about assisting the needy. It wasn't enough that they actually made this decision; but the show made us sit through every minute of it, scarcely showing the consequences of their actions. Guilt? A battle between how to best help one's self versus how to help others? Nah, we'll just have them show up at the shelter with a turkey and everything will be fine!
It's Christmas, right? Might as well use this as excuse for Glee to be even more erratic than ever because viewers will just be glad to hear a bunch of songs that remind them of Santa.
Best Christmas ever, Sam? Come on. Don't insult us, writers. This was an example of the worst Glee can be. Saccharine, disjointed, full of itself, music-based. Needless to say, it was not one of my favorite things.
P.S. Aren't Rachel and Puck Jewish?
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