Thursday, December 09, 2010

Grading "Glee" -- Season 02, Episode 10 -- A Very Glee Christmas

As far as Christmas-themed specials go, this one might have been the corniest I've ever seen. Maybe there's an episode of "Family Ties" that can top it, but otherwise, "A Very Glee Christmas" just about takes the cake, with a number of scenes bordering on unwatchable (although there were a few great one-liners scattered throughout). Considering the throwaway nature of the episode (in terms of plot and music) and the fact that I had absolutely no interest in hearing a preview of the soon to be best-selling Glee Christmas album, I figured I wouldn't even bother writing a review this week. But I changed my mind thanks to one performance that was too good to not write about.

"The Most Wonderful Day of the Year". D. Sure, when the characters aren't performing or rehearsing, we suspend our disbelief all the time when we watch "Glee". I'm talking about the scenes where people burst into song for the cameras and the viewing audience, like they're actors in a play or musical.

Asking me to believe that the "Glee" misfits arrange a Christmas carol singalong (complete with musicians wearing scarves and reindeer sweaters indoors and a fully decorated choir room) while hanging ornaments on a tree was something straight out of Munchkin Land. Sorry, I draw the line here.

"Merry Christmas Darling". C-. Your basic Lea Michele "impassioned" singing performance with the usual overblown staging and orchestration.

"Baby It's Cold Outside". A. The poses, the twirls, the hand gestures, Blaine's impromptu piano solo. Kurt making googly eyes throughout. The fireplace. Perfect interplay between their votes, flawless timing and delivery from start to finish. THE SEXUAL TENSION. The episode as a whole is junk, but this performance is one for the "Glee" highlight reel.

"Last Christmas". B. I'm probably overrating this because it's one of my favourite Xmas songs. Hearing it always takes me back to a certain time and place ... no, not the winter of 1984, but the winter of 2003 when I spent part of the holidays in Germany and heard it (along with the same Avril Lavigne, Xtina Aguilera, and BEP songs) on the radio several times per day. And the video is even cheesier than this episode of "Glee".

Finn tried too hard to look "conflicted" here, and the minor lyric changes and awkward looks between him and Rachel got in the way of what could have been a much stronger performance if they'd relaxed and simply sung the song instead of trying to make it "mean something" in the context of their relationship.

"Welcome Christmas". C+. This is the final song from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", and was supposed to be the big weepy conclusion to the Sue/Grinch storyline. Well, I didn't feel won over by the spirit of Christmas, probably because it was a very ordinary scene with some students performing a song for their smiling teachers. I have no clue why this was supposed to melt Sue's icy heart, so like she said on the show, "let's call it a Xmas miracle and leave it at that."

1 comment:

Sandra said...

Yes, cheesy, but I embraced the cheesiness and actually enjoyed it. Kurt and Blaine forever! Gotta go buy a reindeer sweater now...