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+.


One more thing: Quinn and Sam actually went and helped the needy, istead of doing the TV special. So, not all the kids didn't care about the needy, Quinn and Sam did. If they didn't care, then why would they have gone?


usually, I don't agree with your reviews, but this one is spot on.
it's sad, actually, glee has an amazing cast and so much potential to be ground breaking and different, but not like this. zero plot (and I know this was a special christmas episode but still, it's also a television show and therefore should have a story to tell), no interest in character development, and the continuity problem has been mentioned a thousand times. it's frustrating!I wanna watch glee for fun, singing, dancing AND its characters and their stories. so I'm hoping for 2012, I know you can do better glee:)
p.s.: sorry for any mistakes, English is not my first language


I actually liked this episode. I loved the songs, and I liked the Black and White TV special that they did. It was also cute in some parts.


Unfortunately, I agree with those who feel you missed the point. I find this show often absolutely stupid. In this case, it was meant to be that way. It seems clearly intended to be a standalone episode where all of the plot lines are frozen while we get a bunch of Christmas tunes. This also seems to be why the two Jewish characters play along...and they didn't forget she was Jewish. They actually allude to it in the ep.
So I can't fault the show for that. And I thought the black and white public access special was funny in how stupid it was. It was clearly meant, again, to be stupid. But many of the songs sucked. And it was disgusting on so many levels for the beatific Glee teens to be singing a song about starving Africans to a group of homeless people with their own problems. Had I not been sitting alone, I would have punched anyone close enough to me, I was that appalled. Is the Irish guy supposed to be mildly retarded? Cause that's how he's coming off. What happened to all the supporting players? They just seem to disappear unless they are specifically part of the plot. I can't see how this show can go another season. It's just terrible now.


No continuity in this episode! What happened to Rachel and Mercedes hating each other after West Side Story. Now, they're just best friends again? I don't understand!


I agreed last night that the episode was crap, and for a lot of the same reasons that people have sounded off about here. Glee is always inconsistent, and they usually follow up the high of one great episode with something not as entertaining or put together. The first two minutes of the episode were great, only to be followed by an additional 58 minutes of silliness. This show is supposed to be fun, but that episode wasn't fun or funny in the least. I think they RM&Co. could've kept their mockery of old Christmas specials and given their fans some good stuff to talk about during the hiatus.


You are so right this episode is REALLY Bad ! thanks for the review !


Glee has a become a show where they do good musical numbers but that's it. It's not character compelling or strong story material, which is a shame because a lot of teenagers could be influenced by this show. Great music, not great story.
I know you say it's a Christmas episode and we shouldn't judge so hard, but other shows have succesfully done the christmas episode incorporating it to the storyline and remaining true to the characters. So it's not mistaken to expect more from a show that has good writers and good actors.


I didn't think it was THAT bad. Sure it wasn't the best, and it did kind of fall back into the how bad it can be, but during the whole "Christmas TV Special", I was laughing my ass off. I was also happy to see more of Damian (Rory). He ACTUALLY HAD LINES...AND A SONG!! The only REALLY annoying part of the episode was Artie being a controlling jerk and Rachel just being, well, Rachel.


If you didn't like this episode, you completely missed the POINT of the episode. A super cheesy holiday special with a message. It wasn't meant to advance the plot or show character development. The point was to be ridiculous and heartwarming and it was. It was perfect.

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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.