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+.


Gozalin you made my day. 40 mins watching mud. LMAO I called it watching paint dry. It was beyond a snoozefest. Someone said on a forum it was so painful to watch they wanted to stab themself. For me it was that-PAINFUL!!! I was embarrassed for the cast to be in front of the camera.


It's hard to describe this episode without swearing, man it was horrible, it was worse than xmen3 and so so so boring, I'd rather spend 40 minutes watching mud.


I totally agree with John D., this was the WORST episode EVER, it was absolutely boring and offending and very poorly written. I watch episodes on my phone while I travel on the 1 hour bus to my work, and it felt even longer this time.


I enjoyed it I took it for what it was a fun silly episode filled with Christmas songs, not all Jewish people are horrified just by hearing stories of jesus, Any episode that features plenty of Klaine time is alright with me. I didn't like how selfish Rachel was about the Christmas list but I am glad she learn't from it in the end. Look forward to the rest of the series next year I think season 3 has been much better than two and the Christmas episode shouldn't be seen as part of the season just a one off special.


This episode wasn't entertaining, despite being packed full of music. It was just a playlist, and not a very well-considered one. The present for Rachel was beyond ridiculous, bordering on stupid. A pig, for your girlfriend who is not only vegan but Jewish? And don't get me started on why neither Rachel nor Puck seemed to remember Hannukah. The black and white "special" was meant to be a parody, but it was a parody of something godawful in the first place; so it ended up being hackneyed and completely unfunny. It was literally painful to watch, a bad joke that ran on and on for fifteen minutes when two minutes would have sufficed. And the Mercedes line about the "End Times", WTF was that? Seriously. Then the alternate reality Sue subplot with her wanting to feed the homeless... which could have been the nice Christmas message, but ended up being horribly ruined: it was beyond disturbing to watch the Glee kids smiling as they sang cheerfully to the HOMELESS about the poor in Africa. Worst choice of songs EVER. What's the final message? Being homeless in America isn't so bad when you consider Africa's misery? Good lord! Glee is often quirky or outright insane. But this was THE single worst Glee episode of it's entire run. It was completely offensive.


I'm one of the biggest gleeks and even I couldn't stomach this episode. It was so corny and yes I know glee is often corny but it's usually the good corny this was just baaaad! I love the music because I love Christmas music I just think maybe instead of doing an episode centered on Xmas they should really do a variety Christmas show and just have performances and fun skits or something. Also I have to say stop giving Artie creative control over anything because he becomes the biggest D-bag in the world!


weren't the glee club not allowed to do anything on tv? i remeber in like season 1 when they did that bed commercial they were going to get in trouble for it... i guess this is another continuity problem. i felt so awkward for Rachel and Puck when Rory was reading about the birth of Christ. They were Jewish before this episode,right? lol


Wait a second Matt. Not only are you hating on every Dexter review, you're doing the same for Glee? Whoa, you're just a bucket of joy, aren't ya?


Also, why does everyone (even the fans...) overlook the song "Christmas Eve With You"? This episode was in need of a Will-Emma duet, and that song would have fit so perfectly with this episode!! Why don't people point this out? Why does Wemma not have enough screentime? Why don't people seem to care about Wemma not having enough screentime? Why aren't we continuing from Emma's OCD attack from her parents? I would have taken out that pointless, idiotic black-and-white film in favor of that duet and other storylines that should have continued from previous episodes!! It's even worse that Marti Noxon of Buffy fame wrote this episode! She should know better! What a disappointment?


I'm glad that reviews are coming in like this one because yours is not the only one. Hope that Glee and to whom it may concerns!!! get the message that this episode has demonstrated a lack of quality of good entertainment that once was Glee.

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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.