Glee Review: Ho, No, No

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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.

Gift Giving

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?

What did you think of the black-and-white TV special?


Editor Rating: 1.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 2.7 / 5.0 (443 Votes)

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


dee I'm sorry but I beg to differ with you. It was the most nothingness boring empty failure of an attempt at story telling about xmas. Last s2 episode was dumb as can be but it had a story-yeah, Britt believing in Santa asking Santa yatta,yatta,yatta.
The worst part was the schmaltz of the black and white special for an eternity of which was only 30mins with absolutely nothing but insanely stupid babble about nothing but mocking a day in time of past shows. The episode was not even funny in the least. It was an absolute waste of an hour of my time. I could have gone xmas shopping and got it all done that night but no I had to watch my show. I think there is a great number of fans who are greatly disappointed in that episode. IMO we had good reason.


Honestly I enjoyed the episode...the moral of the episode was simple, instead of being selfish and self-serving on Christmas help and serve your community by giving your time and volunteering...that's what the Christmas Spirit is all about :) Why dump on the show when all it told you was to be decent to one was much better than last yrs glee Christmas


I have to agree with one of the comments (In my Best Comic Book Collector Guy Voice from ANOTHER Hit Fox show,"The Simpsons") Last nights Attempt by Fox to Dazzle us with a Supposed "Good Glee Christmas Show" was a Failure of an attempt and by far THE WORST EPISODE EVER! It was just a Rehash of Last year. Brittany asking Santa for Artie to walk. Rachel and (Finn is it?) breaking up (again?) Brittany believing in Santa, Sue acting like the Grinch. Yep, Same plot as Last years,, and they say this is a SEASON 3 episode?? Come On Fox, We are NOT stupid!! You Rehashed last years Episode and threw it at us like Pre-Chewed Gum!


It's the holidays...clearly the episode was meant to be just a holiday episode! So I am personally not mad that there wasn't a move forward in the plot...thats almost always saved for after the new year anyway!


this was an OK episode. i mean it is all christmas and no other recognitions. i mean i for one am jewish. when i saw it, i frowned because i knew it would be all christmas cheer. i must say there was some moments when i felt connected to the world again. it was probably the worst episode they have created. plus the whole black and white thing was messed up.


It was an hour-long commercial for that album. No more need be said.


1) If being Jewish prevented people from doing anything "Christmas-y", Barbara Streisand would have never released her very popular Christmas album, and "White Christmas" (by Jewish composer Irving Berlin) would not have been written. It's not a conflict for Jewish people to appreciate Christmas. 2) There were little gems in this mess. The Cheerios dance number with the ribbons rocked. Finn & Puck were well suited to Springsteen's version of "Santa." And, "River" w/Rachel was really nice. BUT...does anyone else dislike how only one verse of a song is repeated ad naseum? Why don't they sing any of the other ones, especially in "Raindrops on Roses?" There's at least 3 different verses to that song. I thought when they get the rights to cover a song, they get to do the ENTIRE song. Not just one part. Weird... 3) The episode wasn't perfect. Singing "Do They Know It's Christmas" like they're belting out "Joy to the World" was just weird. Listen to those lyrics. It's not meant to be sung in that manner. I wasn't sure if this was part of the parody as well. Maybe it was unintentional... 4) Laughed the loudest at how Finn & Puck were dressed as Luke & Han. Honestly, Cory Monteith is not appreciated for his comic reactions as Finn. The expressions on his face throughout this episode were priceless, and probably mirrored ours in the audience.


It seems there is just no pleasing anyone here. I am sure if the writers of Glee skipped over the holidays or re-ran the episode from last year someone who have complained about ignoring the holiday or the current talent that is on the show for some reason or another. There is just no pleasing anyone. There were bits and pieces of the show that I like, rest of it well it is what it is. As I said before if someone hear can do a better job then those who are currently writing for the show then perhaps they should give it a try. If the show gets worse I would say we only have ourselves to blame. What is that they say he who focuses on the negative aspects of anything brings more of the same negativity into his experience. I think that every show on television should stop trying to be successful year after year. Because no matter what you do with the characters or what you focus on in an episode someone will always be offended or disgusted or sickened by ones efforts to entertain. It is sad to see that this world is full of people who are never truly satisfied with anything. Why bother even posting good comments there going to be trashed anyway. What is the point.


So sorry for the insult to you and yours. I feel the writer or writers for this episode were on crack or some hallucinogens. Writing mind boggling stuff they thought was funny. Marty Noxon is a well known talented writer who has a very good track record but not this one. She came from Mad Men set in the 60's Ad business with sexy sectretaries who the men take advantage of. Not my interest for entertainment but they win lots of awards. I thought Sam, quinn and Rory were supposed to be the ones filled with the true spirit of xmas. This episode was filled with a lot of parodies mocking the style and tempo of the day. I feel the whole episode was mocking or using some form of it in every aspect of the show. The songs chosen to sing. The emphasis on greed. They could have with these talented writers brought out something fresh and new not insulting with mockery. It would have been better if they had done just a variety hour of songs and skits.


I agree 100%! That was the worst episode ever. Also, I'm from Ireland and Rory's character is pretty offensive to us, especially when Sam asked him to help him with his Sean Connery accent - Sean Connery is Scottish. Besides that they make it seem like Rory lives on a farm in the 1700's. Overall that episode was an embarrassment.

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Glee Season 3 Episode 9 Quotes

Holy crap. I'm dating Kim Kardashian.


Finn: All I want for Christmas is you.
Rachel: All I want for Christmas is you, too. And five things on that list.