The Gleecap: “Extraordinary Merry Christmas”

December 14, 2011

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The Gleecap is a brand new column dedicated to recap and review the zany antics that occur in each episode of the television show Glee. Blog posts will be released each Wednesday following an episode. Beware, there will be spoilers.

Story Overview

Guys, strap your seat belts on because this is going to be a long one.

Just kidding.

Rachel acts as a spoiled, demanding girlfriend who wants a list of gifts from Finn. Rory, homesick for his family, rooms with Sam to get the spirit of Christmas back.

Sue, moved about her first Christmas without her sister, invites the New Directions kids to sing at a homeless shelter. They agree, but the local TV station solicits New Directions into singing for their very own Christmas special at the very same time! What will they choose?!

The Christmas special. Quinn and Sam work at the shelter the entire time when New Directions comes in last minute to serenade some admittedly happy children with song.

Characters

Rachel – Nothing overly surprising here. She was being overly demanding and then, suddenly, she had a massive change of heart. I do, however, need to commend her beautifully campy performance during the Glee Christmas Special. Her crazy Kirsten Wiig eyes during every song captured her insanity and that nostalgic 50’s feeling.

Sue – Her complete 180 degree Christmas attitude makes sense to me. She’s a good person at heart, and the sudden hole in her life without Jean would drive her to help out the homeless. She wasn’t all jokes; she was serious about helping the less fortunate. It was sweet.

Quinn – She’s still not psycho! It truly is a Christmas miracle! And she was actively helping out mankind, and demonstrated moral superiority over all the other New Directions members who couldn’t make it.

"And the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day..." | Courtesy FoxTV

Songs

“All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey: A lovely song for Mercedes’ voice; she’s probably the best person for the song anyways. Nice vocal balance and it accomplished what it needed to do. Her seducing Sam was quite the sight.

“Blue Christmas” by Elvis Presley: Finally, we have a song that excellently suits Rory’s voice. His past few performances were just “nice.” A classic song filled to the brim with crooning, albeit sad crooning, made him singing finally worth it.

“River” by Joni Mitchell: What was the purpose of this song other than to get Rachel to sing? It was depressing, it was vocally uninspiring, and it isn’t even well-known enough to be nostalgic. An episode with nine songs can afford to cut something like this.

“Extraordinary Merry Christmas” by Glee Cast: Usually when New Directions whips out an original song, it’s for a really special reason. The song was nice, although Blaine was auto-tuned to oblivion, but it didn’t hit the same par that their original songs have reached.

“Let It Snow” by Frank Sinatra: The camp, the context, the Klaine, and sheer amount of corn made this a really fun performance. The song is a sweet classic, and the two of them did it justice.

“My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music: Rachel was killing me this entire performance. Heck with the singing, her leering, mad-house eyes eclipsed everything else in this song. Even though the vocals, including Mercedes, were nicely done as well.

“Santa Claus is Coming to Town” by Bruce Springsteen: Speaking of eyes, my friend Allison rightfully spent the entire song saying “open your eye, Finn,” since one of his eyelids was glued shut the entire time. The song was fun, but altogether okay. The song isn’t vocally demanding and thus, it was perfect for the duo.

“Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses: I don’t care what anyone says, that was not Brittany singing. The tepid voice we’ve gotten to hear through Tik Tok, Run the World (Girls), and the Britney episode was not present here. Regardless, the song was mediocre.

“Do They Know It’s Christmas? (Feed the World)” by Band Aid: Another song that was really enjoyable and performed well, but lost much of its luster because it was the ninth song of the episode. I was too vocally burnt out to appreciate much beyond the shots of adorable children.

One Liners

“All I want for Christmas is you, and five things on my Christmas list.” – Rachel Berry, the Jewish character.

“I’m dating Kim Kardashian.” – Finn Hudson

“I made plans to shoot reindeer on a helicopter with Sarah Palin.” – Sue Sylvester.

“This is my best friend and holiday roommate.” – Kurt Hummel, introducing Blaine to a conservative Ohio audience.

Overall Score

This episode was essentially a Christmas album promotion. It is impossible to showcase nine songs and have any kind of plot progression whatsoever. It doesn’t help when only half the songs felt worthy of taking up that much airspace.

On the upside, the episode was very fun to watch. The entire “Glee Christmas Special” part of the episode was hysterical, courtesy of the sheer volumes of camp and self-awareness stuffed into it. Even though Rachel stole the show, Blaine and Kurt’s camp should not be ignored either. I just can’t get over Rachel’s wink whilst giving Blaine, shockingly, a bow-tie.

For the sake of pure enjoyment, this episode gets a good grade, despite story shortcomings.

“Extraordinary Merry Christmas:” B+