Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Glee: Extraodinary Merry Christmas recap/review


So, this episode of Glee was weird, wasn't it?

And by weird I mean, not that great. I'm no grinch, but to me nearly everything about this episode was contrived (more than a television programme usually is). 

I found it preachy, and it seemed more like a placeholder than an actual part of this series. Nothing happened, no stories were moved forward, it was just an indulgent episode that gave the cast the chance to sing lots of Christmas songs and talk about the true meaning of Christmas.

That's what this episode was all about - the fact that Christmas should be about love and kindness and family and friends over presents. You couldn't go 20 seconds without banging your head against the fact that Glee was trying to teach us about how we should all stop being so commercial. I find that a bit rich, considering Glee once released an album containing just a handful of songs (the Madonna ones) to make as much cash as possible. 

I don't watch Glee so I can be preached at, and I consider myself intelligent enough to not have to be smacked round the head to understand what Christmas is all about, and I don't even celebrate it.

Two other people who don't celebrate it are Rachel and Puck, who completely forgot this episode that they are in fact Jewish. I don't even know what to say about this.

Another thing I found weird was the television programme within the television programme. It wasn't the device itself that was strange, just the creepy 1950s style holiday special. Did television really used to be like that? The thought is quite disturbing.

It was, however, quite funny. I liked Kurt and Blaine's description of what they were to each other (best friends and holiday roommates), and the cutesy, slightly risque jokes and the cheesy delivery of lines really did make me chuckle. This sequence was the best part of the episode, even though I found it weird. I may have mentioned that already.

While most of the glee club represented the commercial side of Christmas, Sam and (of all people) Sue were busy representing what Christmas should truly be about. And in case you didn't hear them telling other characters (and by extension the viewers) multiple times, there was a lovely extended scene in a soup kitchen, with lots of homeless looking people and cute kids, just to make sure you really understood.

And of course, what would an episode about the true meaning of Christmas be without everyone coming to their senses and singing a song to make up for their earlier selfishness? That song was Do They Know It's Christmas? I didn't really like it, because it's a song with a lot of history behind it, and one that really needs the context of its time to be understood properly. Like when I heard it on the album, I felt the cast didn't really feel the song, and it felt, as I said at the beginning of this review, contrived.

So, to sum up, in case you didn't realise - and for that to have happened you'd have had to watch the episode with your closed and on mute - Christmas is about love, and happiness, and giving. GOT THAT?

So, that's what you missed on Glee. Nothing.

The music:
Lots and lots of Christmas songs, plus My Favourite Things from The Sound of Music.


I loved River, even though it's a bit depressing. It's a great song though. Rory doing Blue Christmas was also depressing but it was sweet too. 

Extraodinary Merry Christmas is no less annoying when you watch Blaine and Rachel act it out than when you hear it on the album. Also, extraordinary doesn't have that many syllables, otherwise you might as well separate it into two words and say you're having an extra ordinary Christmas.

Christmas Wrapping and Santa Claus is Coming to Town didn't have a point, but then, neither did the Christmas special. 

What Glee did well this week:
I'm loathe to put anything here, since I was overwhelmed by the message of the episode. But probably the show within a show, and particularly Let It Snow, which was cute. Also, even though he was only in it for a few seconds, Chewbacca rocked too.

One thing that wasn't so great wasn't actually in the episode, and that was a problem. There's been a still floating around of Blaine giving Kurt a little box as a Christmas present, and that scene was cut. Guess we'll have to wait for the DVD extras. 

Next week:
There's no Glee. We'll have to wait until January, when Sam joins the synchronised swimming team, Finn considers joining the army, and Mr Schue wants to join in holy matrimony with Miss Pillsbury. Plus, there's a Grease routine.

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