Glee Season 3-09 ‘Extraordinary Merry Christmas’ Recap

There is something about the way Glee can go weird like no other show. Surely, by now we’ve accepted that Glee is the most indulgent show on TV; indulging as it does in some of the flightiest of fantasies on a whim, without the least bit of logic or narrative momentum.

That’s why the show can get away with something as bizarre and indulgent as a black and white holiday special.

This week, Mr. Schue (Matthew Morrison) has a big surprise for the newly re-formed New Directions. Having been impressed with the glee clubbers performance of West Side Story, the operator of the local PBS station wants the kids to put on a holiday special and he wants Artie (Kevin McHale) to direct it.

Artie dives in with a visionary concept that combines the legendary Star Wars Christmas Special and Judy Garland’s slightly soused Christmas special from the 1950’s. The whole thing will be in black & white and feature nothing but happy songs.

The holiday special happens to bump up against Sue Sylvester’s (Jane Lynch) rare good; she wants New Directions to sing to the homeless. With Glee you have to accept a certain amount of random moments when characters depart from their established attitudes and morph into what the plot requires.

In this case, the plot requires Sue to not only attempt a completely selfless gesture, feeding the homeless at Christmas, or as she once referred to them, ‘Urban Campers,’ but also tolerate her mortal enemy, New Directions, and welcome them into her good deed with their good cheer and music that she hates so very much.

It’s strange, but if a show so often departs from believable character motivations it becomes strangely consistent. The next episode could turn Rachel into a lesbian or a Martian and because this is Glee and NOTHING these characters do matter dramatically, we’d simply have to accept it. Inconsistency has become consistency for Glee.

The special is certainly… special. I don’t mean that to be pejorative per se. The special is bizarre yet entertaining. I really enjoyed Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Blaine’s (Darren Criss) spoof of 50’s and 60’s Christmas special hosts; especially their banter about being ‘bachelors’ and ‘roommates.’

Less great was Blaine, Kurt, Rachel and Mercedes’ (Amber Riley) take on “My Favorite Things.” Maybe it’s because I despise the song or that I don’t understand how it’s considered a ‘Christmas’ song, or it could be my bias against any song featuring a dog bite, whatever the reason the song was dull and so was the performance.

Things perked up mightily when Brittany (Heather Morris) burst in, along with Santana (Naya Rivera) and the Cheerios, and rocked out The WaitressesChristmas Wrapping,” a great, mostly forgotten, 80’s Christmas song. Kudos to the music finders at Glee for digging up “Christmas Wrapping,” and for giving it to Heather Morris who knocked it out of the park.

Random notes:

  • Why did New Directions sing “Do They Know It’s Christmas” to homeless people? Really?
  • This week’s soundtrack:
  • All I Want for Christmas – Mercedes
  • Blue Christmas – Rory
  • I Wish I Had a River – Rachel
  • Extraordinary Merry Christmas – Blaine and Rachel
  • Let it Snow – Blaine and Kurt
  • My Favorite Things – Rachel, Mercedes, Blaine and Kurt
  • Santa Claus is Coming to Town – Finn and Puck
  • Christmas Wrapping – Brittany and the Cheerios
  • Do They Know It’s Christmas – New Directions
  • Does Santana get points for not referring to Rory as ‘Lucky Charms?’ It’s the most obvious insult and she has avoided it. I admire her restraint.
  • I cannot grasp why but Sue calling Blaine ‘Burt Reynolds’ makes me laugh but it does.
  • Put me in the group that longs to view the Star Wars Christmas Special. The clips I’ve seen on youtube are brutal but there is this twisted part of me that is far too curious to let it go.
  • Along those same lines, I long to hear Artie’s reboot of Frosty. How much did Rory’s little speech suck? I know it’s a Christmas classic but that Frosty reboot promised to be glorious. I feel cheated.

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