Glee! 3.09 – Extraordinary Merry Christmas

Their holiday is automatically better than yours. That's the real Chewbacca there!

It’s the one where they forgot the Gays and the Jews!  Pfft, what do they have to do with Christmas anyway, right?  Since I am sans computer, we’re going without a Special Cocktail today for this Special Episode, but if you pour a generous amount of rum in some eggnog, I’ll join you.

I’m drinking through the whole thing, that way it’s just like the 60s!  Aw, cocktail culture, if only you weren’t so white and uptight, I would have loved you dearly. If not for the love of booze, then for the apps on toothpicks.

 

We open with Mercedes busting out Mariah Carrey’s “All I Want For Christmas” which first of all, Mercedes is the only person on this show that can take on Mariah and do it well, which she does, and secondly, I can’t hear this song without immediately wanting to watch “Love, Actually.”  Guys?  To me, you’re perfect.

She decorates a huge tree, the song is cut short (a theme for this episode, unfortunately) and we have Kurt tapping in the background, Sam flirting with Mercedes, Brittany and Santana hugging, and the most meta thing on the show ever.

So, Chris and Darren (and others) have been asked repeatedly to explain the scenes where a Gleek or three are standing on chairs, staring out the window – what are they looking at?! The camera shoots in from the window because they have been looking at us.  The machine has become sentient, people.

And then Rachel and Finn kiss, because the producers aren’t quite brave enough to feature all the couples this episode.  I feel for you, other couples, I really do.

Rachel hands Finn a list, which he immediately assumes is his “Things you did wrong this week” list, and he was fairly sure they agreed that those were more harmful than helpful?  No, silly boots!  Your lovely Jewish girlfriend is being respectful of your religion by giving you a helpful list of 15 items she wants, and you only have to pick 5!  Isn’t that thoughtful? (She heard you were struggling.)

Cut to flashback in the locker room where Finn laments that he has no idea what to buy her.

Artie: Socks!
Mike: A Wok!
Rory: Soil! (bless)
Blaine: Yes, socks!  Everyone keeps telling me to stop going barefoot.
Kurt: [leans over from mirror, rubbing Nivea night cream into his cheeks]

Rachel insists with a smile that Finn get with the program and buy her something, because she deserves it.  (You know how her kind can be about money. You know: divas.  What, did you think I was going somewhere else? Shame on you.)

Sue calls in Wheels, Porcelain, and Other Gay. She tells them that Christmas – aside from being a time that’s squirmy for Jews (we atheists don’t give a shit) – it’s also a time of forgiveness.  She forgives Artie for saying “preach,” Kurt for his sweater, and Blaine for… well, she’ll think of something. He reminds her of a Young Burt Reynolds, pre-Playgirl.

In that same spirit, how about they get off their duffs and join her at the homeless shelter the Friday before Christmas to give the gift of song to the homeless?  (Haven’t they suffered enough?  <– wasted Sue line, I’m just saying. It would have worked, writers.)  She’s trying to stay busy since her sister Jean died, and Sarah Palin had to cancel on their helicopter reindeer hunt because Todd got a little sand in his lady purse over her missing his ballet recital. (He’s one of the sugar plum fairies this year, that’s huge!)

They agree to it, Merry Christmas, every one!

In Glee Club, Rory has a sad because his mudder cain’t be comin’ ta the states fer this holiday toime, it’s too expensive ta travel from Oirland.  So he’d like to sing a song and dedicate it to her and the King. (Kurt: Jesus?)

Cue: Elvis’ “Blue Christmas,” a song I need for it to feel like the holidays.  (That and the John Denver & The Muppets Christmas Album. ) I think this kid has a lovely set of pipes, I do.  But it’s Elvis. And when Elvis sings it, you kinda get the impression that he’s slowly undoing the ties on some hot chick’s lacy underthings, you know?  With Rory I just get sad.

Same with Santana, who says she’s depressed now, thanks. (Methinks she’s thinking of her abuela.) Rachel encourages everyone to get happy and joyful, that’s what Christmas is all about, and she should know, she’s Jewish! Enter Will with an awesome plan!

The local PBS station lost their license to the Yule Log show, so how about the Gleeks put on a Christmas Special to save the Colonel’s Vermont Inn? Or, erm, the school play with the dancing and Schroder on piano?  Wait, wrong one, George Bailey is going to not commit suicide now! Crud…the Mighty Ducks take home the gold?  I CAN’T REMEMBER, IT’S JUST GOING TO BE GREAT, OKAY?

Even better, Artie is going to direct!  Um, excuse me, Mr. Schue, but directing TV is for losers.  Who do you think he is, Eric Stoltz? (Side note, Matthew Morrison directed this episode. Ha!) Artie’s going to need to think on this.  Why? So they can jam in random stuff and cut important Britanna/Klaine scenes, that’s why.

Rory has another sad at Sam’s locker.  Sam offers to help him out, because he understands Rory’s pain.  He’s been homeless, you guys.  He gets it.  He is now the magical black man of the show (which is why he and Mercedes are going to hook up again before he pushes a broom off into the sky.) Rory couldn’t be happier, as Brittany and her family are off to Santa Fey, leaving him all alone with Lord Tubbington (fic writers? Get on that NOW. And link me.) Sam lays some ho-yay on him by asking him home for the holidays with him and help “keep him awake” on the long drive.  Nice.

The PBS manager has a meeting with Artie, super excited to have a minority running the show.  (He’s Albanian, isn’t he?) Artie will do this if two things happen, or it’s a no:

1. There needs to be Star Wars, because everyone knows that the original Star Wars Christmas is the Troll 2 of holiday specials. (They spent all their money on the upcoming set and Chewbacca.)

2. It’s going to be shot in black and white.

Done!

Rachel, in a lovely green dress with the lovliest bodice,  sings a horribly depressing Christmas song by Joni Mitchell, making everyone want to lay on some train tracks and end it all.  Happy Holidays! (She has a beautiful voice.  It’s not a holly, jolly song, and she got onto Rory for his lack of cheer, like, five minutes ago.)

Also,  Mr. Schuester, are you totally cool with your student singing “he loved me so naughty?”  Because I have a vivid imagination. At least Kurt and Blaine are sitting together for once.  Artie is not down with this sound.  Um, he asked for a merry Christmas, not a morose Christmas.

Rachel is pissed, what, he has a vision of something else?  CUE THE MOST AWESOME THING EVER.

“We begin in the Swiss Alps in the village of Gstaad in the perfectly appointed living room of Kurt Hummel and Blaine Anderson’s chic, swank chalet. […] Kurt and Blaine, the perfect hosts, have invited their friends to drop in for an evening of Noel Coward-esque banter and fun happy cheer-filled songs.”

He tells Rachel that if she wants an invite, she better pick a number more up-tempo.  DRUNKEN THOUGHTS FOR MORE ON THIS. (I’m just drinking, I don’t need a bingo game.)

Also, they’re going to get Rory to play Itchy the Christmas Elf so he can read a reboot of Frosty the Snowman where he doesn’t die, but falls in love with Uhuru and becomes the most un-Vulcan of them all.  Wait…

Sam is just plain pissed.  He didn’t leave Bo Duke and speechless mother in another state just so they can have a happy holiday. Christmas is supposed to be SAD. GUYS HE WAS HOMELESS. Artie isn’t okay with that, so Sam storms off to find other people as sad as him – it’s the reason for the season!!

“I’m going to ring a bell for the Salvation Army so I can spit in Klaine and Britanna’s faces!”  [Um, what the hell, writers?]

Finn finds Rachel at the lockers.  She immediately is all grabby hands with wanting a gift (god, her type, right?  You know what I mean.  People of her persuasion?  Sopranos?) and Finn pulls out a card with a pig on it, and she immediately recoils, because she’s Jewish and keeps Kosher. Also, she’s a vegan.

No, no, see, it’s a pig he bought in her name for other people, they’re going to fatten it up and kill it!  MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERY ONE! I laughed every time they called it a “sow pig.” A sow means it’s a lady pig; it’s not a breed. She’s offended, he just wanted to be enough, and she WANTS THINGS, GOD.

 Back in Glee, Blaine opens up with “Extraordinary Christmas” – an original song written just for this episode.  I liked it. I also liked that Rachel, the Hebrew, was in silver and blue for this Christmas number. I also liked that they cut to Kurt smiling happily as Blaine sang, “hold me tight and kiss me slow.”  Nice. And…where is that scene? Brittany and Santana hug and are cute for the split second shot devoted to them. (Come on. Where are their moments?!) Artie loves the number and wants it in the show.

Sue comes in, happy they’re working so hard on her Night of Homelessness.  Um, about that… See, they have a chance to do TV?  So…  Sorry. Sue is disappointed, Artie says she has no leg to stand on, Sue is still pissed and sad.  Whatever.  FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT!

IT IS SHOW TIME.

Guys? I found this whole thing hilarious.  So many send ups of so many holiday specials, and I laughed even harder at the second viewing.  I love how preposterous so many things are, like they were having a joke at audiences of old.  “Oh, you thought those bachelors were just fun guys living together, waiting for the right ladies?  WRONG.  Totally doing it.  Ha, ha!”

But it opens with Star Wars titles, (In a chalet, far, far away…)  everyone is featured and named, and the creepy smile that Artie gives as he rolls closer to the camera cracked me up to no end. Also loved the disclaimer for Mike Chang and Tina Cohen-Chang (no relation.)

And it’s sponsored by “Breadstix: Because where else are you going to go?” Feel free to use that, Glee, just give me credit.

Blaine, sitting at the window in classy black and white, starts singing “Let It Snow.” Kurt, in a fabulous 60s suit looking every bit the dapper Dick Van Dyke in silhouette, joins in with some gorgeous harmonies.  They sound amazing together.  Amazing.  And argyle socks! Tap dancing! Their beautiful home! THE GAY CHALET. All of the over the top mugging was funny to me, it was so silly and ridiculous, as those shows were.

Every time they acted shocked by the cameras being there, I laughed.  Kurt introduces himself, and then introduces Blaine his… um…best friend?  Holiday roommate! (Oh, Van Johnson. Did you ever come out?) I love their bachelor chalet and their nod to how ridiculous it’s been over the years to not let two people have a place together without all of the explanations.  Did the long-winded explanations really set middle America’s mind at ease?

Kurt goes to check on his Ebay bid for Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry as Blaine offers the crowd “libations.”  Could they be more obvious that these shows have been GAY?  Paul Lynde as a divorced father, REALLY?  (If you don’t know who Paul Lynde is, get yourself educated.  He’s the BEST, and one of my personal heroes.) But oh noes, the internets are down, Kurt didn’t get to make his bid!

Audience: AWWW.

Enter Mercedes and Rachel at the front door, there to spread a little holiday cheer!  They act bewildered to be on camera (Rachel totally mugging for the spotlight) and share their holiday gifts with the fellas.  Kurt gets…Elizabeth Taylor’s jewels!  Oh, truly it is a Christmas Miracle! (Mercedes says out of the side of her mouth that it’s more like a Christmas Mark up…canned laughter!)

Kids of today?  This is the kind of shit we older people had to deal with for our holiday specials.

Rachel gives Blaine a gift, and she says in a fabulous Kristen Chenoweth impression, “It’s a bow tie with little Christmas trees on it!”  Blaine couldn’t be more delighted. But wait, there’s more! Candy-cane striped capris! Ahahaha.

Kurt says, filled with holiday cheer, “Jewels and short pants and bowties and good friends…. it’s truly an ideal evening!” They convince the girls to sing “A Few Of My Favorite Things” at their white, ornate baby grand piano. (SERIOUSLY. PEOPLE BOUGHT LIBERACE AS STRAIGHT.)

They sound nice, especially when the four of them harmonize (like, they REALLY sound lovely) but they repeat the same verses over and over and over and I found that bizarre and frustrating as a viewer.  And there is no way that set cost the amount Artie was told to bring it under.  $800? That love seat alone was a few grand – I love mid-century style, this I know. But they sound really nice.

Hey, fellas, where’s that holiday dinner we were promised?  Kurt is the Lucy and oopsie doodles, forgot to turn on the oven!  Well, there goes Christmas.  Way to go.  WAH WAH!  Blaine is all apologies, they’ll fix this…right after a message from their sponsors! [commercial break.]

Kurt Hummel gets off a dirty joke as the show comes back on: “and then I said to Justin Timberlake, ‘That’s not eggnog!'”  Kurt? Chris? Whoever?  I love you.  But gosh, the snow is really coming down!  I hope their friends can all make it…

Kurt deadpans to the camera, “That’s right. Global Climate Change is no laughing matter.” Mercedes kills me with her line, delivered in all seriousness, “I think these are the end times.”  The look Kurt gives her is priceless.

But there are bells jingling, who can that be?  Why, it’s Puck and Finn, dressed as Han Solo and Luke Skywalker! [Seriously. That’s how cheesy the Star Wars special was.  How ALL the specials were.] Puck cracks me up with his inability to act, emphasizing the wrong words.

Rachel laments, “Well, with the climate change and end times [oh my god, hahaha], I just don’t think Santa’s coming.”  Well, how about Luke and Han bust out some Bruce Springsteen’s “Santa Claus is Coming to Town?” which is a holiday song I hate?  Puck starts singing about Hanukkah Harry because HE IS JEWISH, Blaine is all, “screw this!” and jumps on the back of the sofa for sexy wiggles and then busts out some bluesy harmonica as Kurt gives him a loving but “Boy, get a load of this guy!” eye roll.

Rachel keeps her hands in front of Mercedes, clapping, and Brittany, Santana and the Cheerios come in and sing ten seconds of one of my favorite holiday songs, “Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses.  They spin ribbons, Mike is Santa, and Han and Luke lounge by the fireplace, because this is CRAZY.

I doubled checked, I didn’t drink too much spiked egg nog, this is the show. I LOVE IT.

Rory comes out as Itchy the Elf, ready to read the reboot of Frosty, the Michael Bay version, where he morphs into an Ice Truck and plows into all of the Jews and non-believers of the world in a fiery explosion of holiday cheer.  His tag line?  “Merry Christmas, Mother Fuckers.” (Cool guys don’t look at explosions…)

Except that is not how sweet Rory rolls, he is going to go all Linus up in here, sans blue blankie.  Rachel tight lips, “are you sure?” and yep, he is.  He busts out the Linus Van Pelt “In your face, non believers!” speech, but without the lisp, and throws Jesus right up in that holiday special’s face. Suck it Muslims and Atheists!  This ain’t fa you.

…at least they used him?  And we fade to snow fall and a special feeling in our hearts, the whole point to this Christmas Special stuff in the first place.  (Go top off your enhanced nog.  I’m on #4.)

At the homeless shelter (remember that?) Quinn and Sam are proving that they are better than everyone else by dishing up food to people.  They have a moment where Quinn is actually nice and reflects and grows, and let’s not forget you wrote that, writers! Let Quinn Fabray have a non-awful arc, okay? Sam bestows his approval on her, helps her swing, drives Miss Daisy, and slips away into every Stephen King novel ever.

…he has a multi-ep arc?  Huh.  Well, they’ll probably kill him off or make him a janitor soon enough.

Sue gives a mild PSA that when times are tough people give less, so there’s less food to pass out to everyone when JUST IN THE NICK OF TIME, the Gleeks turn up with all the prop food (actual food) to spread around and maybe, just maybe, spread a little holiday cheer?  A FIVE SIX SEVEN EIGHT!

They sing “Do They Know It’s Christmas Time” which … no, they don’t, because they’re Africans who are mostly not Christian.  So…  But the thought is nice, just as it was when the song came out, and the producers of the show are giving all of the funds raised to the Band Aid Trust Charity, which is very nice.

There’s a little girl holding a monkey picking her nose in the beginning that distracts me, but Mike and Tina are adorable together! And Puck and Tina sing, have we ever had that before? And Mercedes is in the Bono role!  Santana busts out some lovely harmonies!  The song is problematic, but who cares, no one did back in the 80s, and the gang sounds wonderful, and Sue is happy.

WE GOT OUR CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!

Wait, there’s another miracle brewing…  Rachel and Finn have a moment where she tells Finn she’s been a horrible, greedy… (you know. Diva.) and she has named her lady pig Barbra, and it’s Kosher (oh my god, no it isn’t.  It cannot be by definition!) and she’s sorry for being awful about Christmas.  She doesn’t know all of the rules, what with not being Christian and all.

But Finn wants her to have something to remember this Christmas, so he named a star.

“After me?”

“No. After me!  Merry Christmas!” It’s actually really cute, as he says there already IS a star named Rachel Berry. AWWWWWW! And this way, no matter where she is, she can look up and know that he is looking down on her.  Condescendingly.  (I’m teasing.) Also, he Gift of the Magi’s her with some diamond earrings.  But Jim, she cut off and sold her ears to pay for new drumsticks for you! *horrible realization of the bitterness of irony*

She decides to not keep the earrings, but Christ, woman, he went to Jared’s! Now that she got what she wanted, she doesn’t want it after all.  Merry Christmas!

Sam and Rory are ringing bells for Hate and Intolerance, and Rory says how the bells remind him of his family.  Because his brother got lost all the time, so his dad brained him with a bell.  Good times, good memories.  He thanks Sam for being amazing (okay?) and that he sure would like Sam to sponsor him on Valentine’s Day so he can get a proper snog.  (Would you boys kiss, for goodness sakes?  Ha.)  Sam agrees, if only Rory will help him with his Sean Connery accent.

“Boot…he’s Scottish, an’ I’m Oirish?”

SURPRISE SNOWBALL TO THE DICK! Why, it’s Finn and Rachel bringing a little slushy, icy cheer.  They took the earrings back for cash, and stick it in Hate’s Belly.  Sam thanks her, but Rachel keeps shouting, “What?” because she cut off her ears.

All of a sudden, there’s a line of people ready to put money in the bucket, and Rachel is honest for the first time all episode as I caught her saying, “Happy Hanukkah!” to the crowd.  FINALLY.

Drunken Thoughts: I am guessing that the whole “gay code” thing of the holiday special is either going to offend people, make them laugh with the joke, or pass right over younger generation’s heads.  See, kids, back in the day, gay people weren’t allowed to be gay.  At all.  They were “Funny Uncles” and “Life-Long Bachelors.” There was no such thing as a gay lady, just unattractive ladies that couldn’t get a man.

My take, and boy, I’ve been wrong in the past on things (See: Santana being outed) but I really REALLY believe the point of this episode was to show how ABSURD that was.  Because it was.  I think the whole point of all of Kurt’s comments (the jewelry, the baking, etc.) was to point out how stupid older generations were for not getting it, or choosing to not see it just so they could be comfortable.

And I think it serves as a reminder to people now that they have things pretty good, all things considered.  Older generations didn’t have the luxury of a tv show with kids being openly gay and themselves.

Just my two cents.  Also, their dancing! The GORGEOUS harmonies, Chris Colfer, stop teasing me when I can’t have you.  I thought it was a funny send up of all of the tropes in every single damn holiday special ever, including last year’s glee.  Tongue in cheek is a flavor I enjoy. BUT FEEL FREE TO COME ARGUE WITH ME.

After all, no new episodes until January 19th. (And I’ll have been to NYC by then to see How To Succeed, hopefully getting an interview with Darren Criss on that performance!)

OH! AND DEAR WRITERS/PRODUCERS/POWERS THAT BE: release the deleted scenes.  TRUST ME, we’ll buy them.  Seriously.  TRUST ME.

And HAPPY HOLIDAYS, from my atheist house to yours, and to whatever you choose to believe in/ignore.  :)