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+.


I liked it. I don't like episodes that randomly create new couples, change someone's sexual orientation or have Sue do something stupid.
I liked this because it was mostly about the music and the songs were great. No doubt they were hoping to win new fans and not burden veteran watchers with new problems.
With the series as a whole I have some problems now?
Is Shelby gone for good or not?
Will we ever see the other eight members of the TroubleTones again?
Does Rory have to leave in two more episodes?
I think Artie should not be taking the Santana thing so easily. Doesn't he sense that Britney has been lured away by her?


I mentioned in a prior posting that I read a very interesting point the show could have and should have taken IMO for this episode. Since the ND are just back together and it is the first xmas for Wemma, Sue is alone for the first time, Sam and Rory are alone and miles away from family, Quinn and Puck are separated from Beth it seemed like a wonderful idea that Wemma host a family style xmas party for the fore mentioned. The TT are sad and disappointed they disbanded and had to rejoin ND. ND are a full house again with need to share duties of the club, Sue needs to feel a part of something, Quinn although getting better needs to know she has others to turn to who won't look the other way, Puck to join in and help the rest of the ND see that he and Quinn need their friends companionship, and Wemma need to be a part of the show again not wall decorations. Will to be the teacher/ mentor/ and advisor not criticizer of his class. Have a meaningful and funfilled gathering then go to the shelter to help the needy with a turkey to sing. Marty Noxon the writer came to Glee from Mad Men which is set in the 1960's. Wow, IMO her writing is still set in that time period. For Glee the only way one might enjoy that kind of humor as was the Black and White special would be if one was exposed to Charlie Brown xmases or Star Wars stuff. Not all people have been. But I was exposed to the golden oldies of the fifties shows enjoyed them in fact and I still did NOT enjoy that kind of humor. As said before with Glee it's kind of like SNL skits parodies with a sarcastic flair. Most of the time I love Glee's quirky/corniness but this just sucked. I tried to erase the disappointment I felt to accept the nonsense for what it was and try to enjoy that crap. But it is difficult to do when all you want to do is turn the channel, snooze, do emails, answer missed phone calls, write a term paper for the reason for the cause of famine, or go shopping, play WI. Anything to get that whatever that was out of your mind before you go blind. Glee was a good show once season 1 had a message to each episode and that would have been great to have at the end of this xmas episode post Wemma party- a message that it is better to give than receive. Sam knew what was important since he lived through a year's worth of hardship. But half of the episode was on the empty nonsense of the special- total bore. If this is what Marty Noxon has to offer in writing then I'll pay attention to future episodes with her name on it and just DVR it to peruse if it is worth watching. I doubt it will be by this effort. I'm totally unimpressed. The cast did amazingly well with the script that was given to them. Rachel as obnoxious as she could get. Artie as an unlikable cad director. Bits and pieces of screen time to the rest of the cast. Was not balanced and a waste of screen time to the others while busy filming the B/W part that took half of the episode. I'm still pissed that I was dumb enough to sit and watch with bated breath for something worthy of watching be on the TV. I finally changed the channel and watched a really good show. This was the first time I've ever felt that way about Glee. Sure, there have been a spot or two here and there in an episode two or three times in two and a half years of watching Glee-my most favorite show ever. I felt like I wasn't loyal to the show at first then I thought screw this. Glee has been so addicting and is hard to keep away so I'll keep watching and hope the rest of season 3 is ready to pave the way fora successful season 3.


Glee totally sux! I watched most of itcuz nothing else was on. Singing about africa to homeless people is a sick disgusting bad joke. I am sick of the selfish little girls and Clueless, stupid little boys.. It amazes me they are Always up for awards, so many better shows out there!


One more thing. Correct me if I am wrong but, isn't a Glee Club all about music and fun? I for one would rather see a show on television that encourages young people to express themselves and develop their gifts and talents. Yes there is a story in Glee but, it really is all about the music and not being afraid to be who you are no matter what your circumstances in life. Everyone has a gift, if watching Glee has helped anyone to realize their own potential then it has done a good thing.
It is always a surprise to me when a show or a celebrity is doing well instead of celebrating the result of hard work, and further encouraging its success we choose to find a reason to pick it a part and send everyone working on it home.


It eas such an AWFUL episode!I almost sotpped watching but last years was so good I kept hope.HORRIBLE episode


I actually really enjoyed the black-and-white TV special! Kurt and Rachel were hillarious. Yeah, there wasn't much plot but I wasn't bored, not for a second. I wish Santana would get a scene though (still no Britanna kiss!:), but I guess she did had a lot of them in the past few episodes. I really don't think this was a bad episode! I would give it 3 starts and a half!


Everyone in the world is a critic, and most of the critics here have nothing positive to say. The critics always think they can do a better job. No one is perfect. Plots character development are you serious? Television has always had two purposes to inform and entertain. I for one think that Glee does a good job at both informing and entertaining. It is just a television show, the people working the show are having the time of their lives is that such a bad thing? Why can't people just have fun for once?
If you don't like the show write something better see if you can sell it to a network and get people to watch it, but wait that might be a lot of work. Maybe your better off just changing the channel.


Self-indulgent bullshit. That's what Glee has become. Still, viewers will keep coming back until the majority realize it's as unbearable as House is now.


Sorry one more thing ! What did everyone think of "Let It Snow" ?? I can't really decide on one hand I kinda wanted it to be more like "Baby Its Cold Outside" which is one of my favourites, but on the other I liked the new spin on it with a bit faster pace. I'm torn but you gotta love Klaine/Blurt duets!! :)


I dont know it had its moments and the songs were good, but agreed you just sat there thinking ok when is the real glee going to start and suddenly the credits were rolling. What's worse is that they didn't need a christmas episode, they had one last year. If you are going to make another to sing some christmas songs, have a good story going along with it. I did like all the references to past christmas specials (Rachel "All I want is my fair share" any body else catch that from the Charlie Brown Christmas haha) and i did actually laugh at a few of the joke through the episode, especially when Kurt introduced Blaine as his best friend and holiday roommate at the door. Overall not the greatest but not bad!

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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.