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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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Has anyone here given thought to the idea that Christ or Jesus, which ever you prefer was actually Jewish, his parents were as well. As he grew up he observed the laws and customs of his Jewish ancestors.
Becoming Christian has a lot more to do with following an man whose main philosophy was treat others as you would be treated. Christmas is not about gift giving it is more about treating everyone with love and respect.
I wish people would stop trashing Christmas.

Amygirl

Yeah, Glee totally messed up with the Rachel being obsessed with Christmas thing. They could have fixed it with a dumb one liner, but it wasn't even brought up until the end where it was TOTALLY out of place.

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..."SATIRICAL ELEMENTS"...

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The Glee Xmas 2011 show was a decent effort that accomplished less than it hoped for because the SATIRICAL were just too STALE. It could have been saved by: 1)showing more "earnest amateurishness" in the B/W section performances [remember Mattress World?]; 2)editing down to single verses of all songs in the PBS special; 3)restoring Santana's Santa Baby number, also shortened; 4)stop re-hashing the "Rachel is a self-centered b****h with zero insight into her own behavior" then "oh, yeah, now I get it" plots. How lazy is that, writers??? The talented cast (and Matt M. as director) was let down. Music great as always, Adam Anders is brilliant.

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I'd give the show a D this season. I liked that they were having many story arcs and letting all of the characters have some time -- but I think a lot of the storylines have been rather poor (I sort of think that Murphy thinks, or that there's a writers' consensus, that drama is always about evil, which would mean every character has to become evil ... at least for their story arc). I don't think that connects with current high school experiences (that the norm includes a student sleeping with a teacher or a student trying to damage an infant's health in order to have a teacher found to be an unfit mother, or a teacher running for Congress, or the school completely ignopring all the Santana and Brittany bullying ... or on and on. In the first year especially, much of the drama was about New Directions trying to be good, trying to compete, trying to win their niche in the school. Instead, they've also made the star of the show semi-schizophrenic in anything evil they can stick to her an episode at a time (again, as I've said, because I think Murphy wants to prove he can break Michelle's career as well as make it). What a waste of a good premise this show has become this season!

Blu

Whoops.
2. More unbelievable. I'd have to say Rachel. Not because she went at Xmas with gusto (she goes at everything with gusto) but because she seemed to have forgotten (again) that she was Jewish. I hate that. I'm not Jewish and yet watching her go Christmas crazy offended me. Because it's the second Christmas in a row that the writers blatantly seemd to disregard Hannukah. I mean they play up the fact that she and Puck are Jewish any other time, but when it counts the most they couldn't even put a Menorah in the background...they managed to slip in a Happy Hannukah as an afterthought at the end when the camera was panning out and she was being drowned out by...duh..duh..duh Christmas music. I found it annoying to watch.What's the deal there? I mean I would have no problem with her having fun with Christmas, I know some Jewish people who celebrate both, I just wish it wasn't at the expense of her own religion. 3.Hmm the special...I didn't get it. I was starting to wonder if my sleep deprivation was catching up to me and I was in some horrible dream sequence...or (despite my being drug free) an acid trip. Seriously. what was that? 4.Why?! Why would that even be an option?! Quinn channeled her inner Glenn Close a la Fatal Attraction a bit too much for my liking. I wouldn't wish Quinn on my worst enemy. She needs to be single and deal with herself, work on herself. She has issues and she's never been good in relationships...all of her partners have suffered. Why wish that on anyone.Plus...I like Samcedes. Why can't we have a couple get together and stick together?! What's with all this flip flop business?! Why do they keep reverting back to past loves...find somebody new! Or stay single! Or play the field with non glee members! It's highschool afterall.I mean Quinn and Finn and then quinn and puck and then Quinn and Sam and then Quinn and Finn again and then Quinn back to Puck... Finn and quin, and then Finn and Rachel, and then Finn and Santana, and Finn and Rachel and Finn and Quinn, and Finn and Rachel...Come on!!! I'd like to see Mercedes and Sam make it work....and make it last. They are a cute couple, an unorthodox couple, but out of the lot of them they are probably one of the few couples that probably would genuinely care about one another w/o all the drama. (Also kudos to Mike and Tina who just seem normal and drama free...I would say Klaine but man those two seem too happy sometimes). 5. B- I'm a Glee fan, once I latch onto a show I usually stick to it so I'll be a Glee fan until the bitter end, but it's been lacking since season 1. It truly has. I'm being generous here, but because they attempted at fleshing out characters (especially some of the ones that lack screentime like Mike), because they attempted long story archs, because the brought Sam back and gave us hints at Mercedes, and because we got to see underused singers like Santana and mercedes finally step from out of Rachel's shadow...I'll give the season a B-. Roundtable wise...I'd have to say Team Matt.

Blu

1.Fave Song: Will have to be All I Want For Christmas. Mercedes did a fantastic job with it, it's been great that she's been getting more time to shine vocally. I loved the song, I loved the scene for the most part, and I loved the fact that in those two minutes I was still hopeful and positively gleeful that the episode would be spectacular.Sure, I lost the feeling seconds later but for those two minutes it was glorious... 2.

Aquariuz

I agreed with Chris. The christmas special is ridiculously funny and entertaining. I love Rachel's and Kurt's acting skills. As for favorite song, I'm with you again Chris! "All I Want For Christmas" is just awesome. (I actually like Mercedes) For grade, I'll give it an A- since Glee has been giving us Glee-ish things since the start of the season.
p.s.: If someday Matt decides to stop watching Glee, I hope you continue writing reviews for Glee, Chris :D I actually love your pieces in Season 2 and on "Hold On To Sixteen" episode.

Jcrv

Glee has great actors, nices settings and killer performances. The only problem is the stories. They're making the same mistake as Heroes, getting to confortable with their status quo and not making their characters evolve.

Danforcella

The special was the worst thing I've seen on television since I put myself through the first episode of Whitney this past September. My Name Is Earl did a similar thing a few years back, where they spoofed 50s tv with black and white cameras, a laugh-track, the whole nine. The difference was that the actors and writers are funny so they made it work in a comedic sense. Nothing about this attempt was funny, unless you wanted to laugh at the mere fact that they were doing it. As in, is this really happening? Are 8 million people watching this train wreck right now? Kinda funny.

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.