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Glee Round Table: "Merry Extraordinary Christmas"

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Warning: this could get ugly.

Two TV Fanatic staff members - Matt Richenthal and Chris O'Hara - have opposing takes on this week's Glee Christmas episode. The former thought it was essentially an hour-long promotion for the show's latest CD, lacking plot, logic and direction. The latter... thought otherwise.

Read through both sides in the following edition of the Glee Round Table and then sound off with your opinion.

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What was your favorite song from the episode?
Matt: There certainly were many to choose from. I'll say "Let It Snow" because I enjoy the track so much anyway, and I also got a kick out of Kurt and Blaine's choreography.

Chris: One of my favorite Christmas songs of all time: “All I Want for Christmas.” I almost chose Rory’s “Blue Christmas” because it evoked one of my favorite quotes of the night from Santana: “God that song was so depressing I may actually be dead right now!

Glee RT New

Harder to believe: That a Jewish Rachel would get THAT into Christmas or the kids could only help at the homeless shelter that one night?
Matt: The former, and here is why: did anyone else catch the "Happy Hanukah" at the very end? As the camera was panning away from the merry Gleeks? I am 100% sure that was a voiceover thrown in at the end because someone realized, right before editing wrapped, that they forgot Rachel was Jewish and tried to cover. That's just beyond lame. She's the main character on the show!

Full disclosure: I'm Jewish. I grew up with stockings. Jews are clearly allowed to celebrate Christmas, but not to that extreme; or not at least without one simple throwaway line earlier that at least acknowledged the writers were aware of her religion.

Chris: I think the issue was that Sue had promised a performance by the New Directions on said night, not so much that it was the only night they could volunteer. That being said, Rachel as the girl who cried Christian was not totally beyond her annoying abilities but by abandoning her heritage she short changed herself out of three more gifts. Why settle for five things off her list when she could have had eight to coincide with each night of Hanukkah?

Was Artie's PBS special a great gift or a lump of coal?
Matt: I was at a loss for words during it. It was one of the most ridiculous things I've ever seen on television, considering how long it went on for and how pointless it was in the scheme of... anything. Oh, and no way that set cost under $800.

Chris: I really enjoyed the special, from its laugh track-laden lines to Finn’s slightly askew light saber. Kurt and his best friend/holiday roommate put on quite a unique show in their bachelor chalet.

Will Sam and Quinn get back together?
Matt: I really hope not. Quinn needs to be on her own for a long while. Girl has to learn to love herself before anyone else can try to do it.

Chris: I think Trouty Mouth will snog Pouty Lips before the season is out for sure. Sam seems to have a calming effect on Quinn and after Rory helps him perfect his Sean Connery impression, she will be putty in his hands.

Give the first half of the season a grade.
Matt: C. There are times when I have hope that actual character arcs will play out - such as the class Presidency race and Santana's sexuality - and then there are episodes such as this that air as if those and other storylines never took place. I just want some structure to the season. Is that too much to ask?

Chris: I gotta give the first half an A with a gold star for sure. I’ve loved how the show’s focus has moved onto other characters, while still permitting it’s big stars like Sue to shine.

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I have been preaching what Matt said for the past 4 months. I don't know what show the other guy has been watching for this season,but clearly not the one with the ups and downs of this one. And thank you again for the futile cry for character and plot development and sticking to the plot lines.

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I want more Blaine and rachel singing and less klaine singing

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@soso14886 I don't think you're speaking for those disappointed when you say we were expecting a "serious, realistic episode".
I certainly wasn't. All I personally wanted was a WELL written, funny, consistent with previous Glee (series 1 and sporadic great episodes that have been sprinkled since but don't appear frequently) quality one. It didn't deliver.
Glad some people enjoyed it though, suppose it justifies airing it if at least some people enjoyed it. Personally I wouldn't have bothered though.

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I feel like I'm in the minority who actually enjoyed the episode. The dancing, the singing, the black-and-white, it was sweet and cuddly and so christmassy. I guess the difference between my enjoyment and others' seemingly bereavement is that they expect more from Glee, in terms of being somewhat serious, realistic, hell even pragmatic. I don't expect any of these things when I eagerly wait for Tuesday evenings and tune into Glee, I expect to be entertained, I expect that for one solid hour my brain will be allowed to stop functioning and I will giggle at stupidity, bob my head to some nice tunes, and listen to some good music (and stare at Darren Criss, among others, unabashed). That's about all I've ever expected and wanted from Glee. I see TV as an escape from the seriousness of the real world, Glee embodies everything I want in a TV show - mind numbing relaxation. Sure it probably rarely makes sense, the story arcs and character reactions are sometimes insane, but that's all part of Glee's charm. It's weird, off-beat, and a bunch of misfits making awesome music. What's not to enjoy? Just an opinion that you are all, of course, free to disagree with.

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I wish they would have put Santa Baby in the episode. It is so good. Naya just does a scene like no other. I wished they would have left out the majority of the black and white special. Left it to 5 mins. That would be enough. Put in this scene and song. More of the club, some Wemma interaction.

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I've always thought thatquinn and Rachel must have done something to make RM unhappy with them. Because their characters s2 were written to be alter-ego. Way out of character IMO. I'm a different sort who has been interested in Santana's story but I'm over it already. And want it done. Let others shine now. But agree with you about San needs to atone for her condescending hateful attitude toward especially Rachel when Rachel gives up the spotlight and willing to share it with S and Mercedes. Mercedes called her a kiss ass I didn't care for that hateful remark in front of all the ND. If she had an emotional outburst to share with Mr Shue about another student especially, Rachel then she should have shared with Shue in private about her feeling that favortism was always used by him and she resented it. Rachel has always been written to be the heavy in an episode such as this xmas 1 where she reverted back to her selfish and self serving ways with no regard for anyone but her and her needs and wants. But last episode she was so very un selfish and giving to Merc and San-her tormentor for years. I just don't get it the lop sided story telling to fit the script of the week with Rachel as the goat so to speak.
As for Rachel Berry clothes Kurt has taught her how to dress. But have you noticed, S2 was different from s1, s3 is even different from s2. The costume department is touching all the idiosyncrasies of our Miss Rachel. Her out left field moments. The skirts are down to her ankles. OMG.
No, I didn't like this episode at all.

Rachelstjames

i love the show, but im starting to hate how the writers just screw rachel over, she doesnt get solos, she does a mistake everyone is all over her, but Santana bullies her and jumos ship, but is welcomed(by rachel)with open arms back
I hate how she seems to have lost that rachel berry shine, sh doesnt wear animal sweaters or her socks anymore.
i liked the episode but i would like to see mercedes and santana suffering a bit, also Quin wont get back togehter with Sam because this is now the Mercedes show, where santana mercedes and Kurt are praised, whilst Blaine, Quinn and Rachel suffer

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I've got to get this off my chest. Ever since the review of the episode came out and practically ripped the episode a new one, I've been considering all the points on here.
1. Why wouldn't Rachel act the way she did with Christmas? Think of her character: she's going to want the presents and the bling, and Christmas was a convenient excuse for her to get them. Yes, she's Jewish, but she's also admittedly high maintenance and wants to be the center of attention. To me, her part in the episode made perfect sense.
2. It was a Christmas special! That black-and-white, cheesy as all heck program was supposed to be ridiculous! They never said it would be the next 'Christmas Carol' or that it was supposed to be all serious and stuff. Artie even said it was to be fun and light-hearted. It was meant to make you roll your eyes and chuckle with it; that's what makes it fun. That's just my opinion. I'm sure there are dozens of ways to take in that episode, but that's how I viewed it. A+ for Glee, but please stop taking out Klaine scenes for more Finchel! From what I've read about it, we missed out on a really cute scene with the two D:

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I agree with you Blu and some with you Suzy Q. All I want for Christmas was absolutely wonderful the best of the episode for 2 mins then after 10 mins I changed the channel. I can't blame it on sleep deprevation or anything but pure boredom. Yes, this season has improved greatly with many story arcs that enclude many lesser used cast. Most of the episodes have been good to great til this one. I understand there will be many more shockers in the next half of the season. Hope they will be good.
The xmas episode Rachel has always been the "butt" of the joke so to speak as being clueless/ selfish/over indulgent/ thoughtless/hurtful etc. The one character who never seems to keep a lesson learned from 1 episode to the next. She is always the 1 to be the heavy because of her me me me me attitude depending on the script for the week. So, as in self overly excited for xmas presents at the expense of Finn's bank account just for 5 more presents while being the only one overly jubilant for xmas. I just have a problem with Rachel always being that butt-joke. They do seem to forego the Jewish heritage this season. I just can't say anything nice about the xmas episode. So there. I'm done talking about that. As for the round table I have to agree with Matt as a whole. The season gets a B- with 3 excellent episodes I truely loved the rest were good or OK.
I'm just like you Blu I'm addicted to Glee and watch it faithfully no matter what. The cast and crew are the hardest and most talented of members of any show in Hollywood. I respect them for their efforts. The show has taken a different turn since season 1( my favorite) and Ryan Murphy has said so recently. Not as satirical anymore as it is more story driven with complex issues and much more drama. This is not the show that I prefer but this is Glee and whatever they produce I'll keep following. To my dismay the xmas episode was a flop. I seems the next half of this season will be shocker filled. Hope it will be as enjoyable as the first half.

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From a purely materialistic P.O.V., I agree that Rachel would never celebrate Christmas when she could cash in on the eight days of Hanukkah instead. She could EASILY persuade Finn to honor her traditions while she just gave him one gift. Then they could both learn that their celebrations are not about receiving stuff. Hey...did I just outline a better episode? I am puzzled though as to why reviewer Matt thinks there have been no character arcs so far this season. What show is he watching? Let's see - Rachel's ambition torpedoed both her *and* Kirk's chances of being admitted to NYADA, and put the club's sectionals in jeopardy. Santana's & Merecedes' jealousy & diva attitudes were not rewarded (as they shouldn't be). Quinn is working through her confusion over how to grow up. Mike dealing w/Asian expectations, Artie finding his groove, Puck maturing & realizing what is right for his daughter...there are so many character developments that I see this season, and it's only half over. Maybe the question should be for Matt - what does character development look like to you? I see plenty of it every week, and it's not supposed to take place all in one episode.

Glee Season 3 Episode 9 Quotes

Holy crap. I'm dating Kim Kardashian.

Finn

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