ellydash: (gold stars for rachel)
[personal profile] ellydash

This episode was holy glory sandwiched between massively disappointing slices of homegrown sub-mediocrity. Look, I’m not going to pretend to have any objectivity whatsoever about that television special, because the Judy Garland Christmas Show was a Major Thing for me and my dad when I was growing up, and I mean, add Star Wars and oh my god, I was a gibbering mess of joy. But pretty much everything else, with the exception of the opening number? Offensive, OOC, or just plain boring.

There was – no plot. None at all, unless “let’s put on a TV show! And then sing a song unironically to homeless kids about thanking God you’re not dying in Africa!” counts as a plot, which, even for Glee, nope. Most episodes of the show now suffer from a pretty bad case of “characterization serves the plot,” rather than the other way around, but what was really egregious and unforgivable about this one was that the characterization didn’t even serve an actual plot, just a bunch of haphazard, derivative pseudo-emotional notes. Sure, Rachel’s been blindingly selfish before, and I can even buy her giving Finn a gift list, but materialistic? Really? And Sue Sylvester is the passive-aggressive moral high ground? Sure, Sue is manipulative, mean, abusive and downright violent, but passive-aggressive she isn’t. Her scene in the choir room felt so incredibly off to me. At least Finn “I’m giving you the gift of myself” Hudson was as in-character as ever!

The tone was all over the place, too. I get that Rory reading scripture was an homage to the Peanuts special, but it didn’t work at all, and it was so jarring, especially in contrast to the zaniness that preceded it. Sam commenting that the best of Christmas is in its combination of happy things and sad things was a nice sentiment, and one of the few notes that rang true to me. My sense is that the episode as a whole was trying to do exactly that, a kind of emotional mash-up of happy things and sad things - except it failed, imo, to achieve any kind of relatable cohesion.

I did unashamedly, unreservedly love that special, though. They recreated the Judy special’s aesthetic almost exactly; the writing was pretty on point for a parody; Chris did a great job, imo, of affecting Judy’s voice and OTT persona just enough so that he still sounded like Kurt; the overacting was hilarious; Mercedes looked STUNNING; also, that eggnog joke. Kurt and Blaine’s duet was gorgeous and adorable (seriously, what is it about holiday episodes that brings out the best in their voices?), and ngl, my heart did a little shipper pitter-patter during Rachel and Mercedes’s moments during “My Favorite Things.” Throwing Star Wars into that mix makes zero sense, but it’s the kind of chaotic King’s Cup combination that actually works for Glee. I just wish the special had been the entire episode.

Other things:

- If it weren’t for the fact that Rory looks like a baby to me, and is therefore pretty much a black hole of shipping interest, I’d be all over Sam/Rory, but as it is, I’m all about seeing Rory become hero-fixated on Sam instead of Finn. Maybe they could accidentally bump hands while rooting around in the popcorn during a viewing of Alien, and Rory would blush a lot, and Sam would pretend nothing happened, but inside he'd be suddenly super nervous and maybe a little excited.

- There’s just something about Sam and Mercedes grinning at each other that instantly produces these tiny, high-pitched happy shrieks out of my throat.

- Puck, you can’t watch the Yule Log because it is DECAYING ON YOUR HEAD.

- RIB+ really missed a golden opportunity to have Rachel as Princess Leia singing an ode to Life Day Christmas, complete with blank, stoned stare and weirdly angled head.

- Yeah, the Salvation Army plug was awful.

- I seriously cannot get over the fact that the line “Well, tonight thank God it’s them instead of you” was sung in front of homeless children.

- On a semi-related note, does anyone know if there's any fic with Will in an It’s a Wonderful Life scenario? I’d say I want the show to do that next year, but they’d probably botch it horribly, and I think it’d be way more interesting if we saw the way some of the lives Will’s ~touched might actually be improved if he’d never existed.

- oh shit the episode's ending wait HAPPY HANUKKAH
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no personal business on company pond

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