First, a round of applause to the wardrobe and set designers of ‘Glee.’ From the opening scene with Will’s festive sweater vest, Emma’s reindeer pin, and the first of many glorious Christmas trees, the atmosphere was set. WMHS looked like Santa’s elves (slaves?) had vomited tinsel all over it, and the place couldn’t have looked cheerier.
This was another theme episode, which the show has caught a lot of backlash for this season. But before you get all Scrooge McGrinchypants about it, I invite you to recall the light in Brittany’s eyes when she saw Santa in her living room. If a theme brings such sparkling smiles to your TV screen, how can it be bad?
If a blissful Cheerio isn’t enough for you, how about some story? The arcs were simple, but there was definitely plot woven in between the songs this week.
My favorite was Artie’s mission to keep Brittany’s belief in Santa alive. What’s amazing is that he convinced more than half of New Directions to carry out his plan. First he had them visit a very “tan” Santa at the mall so they could ask for ChapStick, stretch-mark solutions, and the death of Channing Tatum’s career.
But then Brit asked Santa to make Artie walk. And Santa said he’d do it. Really, Mall Santa?
So Artie arranged for Coach Beiste to visit Brittany as Santa and explain to her that his magic can’t fix everything. This sent me … I mean Brittany, into a deep depression. But her woes were short-lived because Santa, by way of Beiste, turned out to leave a walking device so that Artie could walk after all. Christmas wins!
Kurt only had one real scene this week, but it was a sweet one. Blaine claimed to need Kurt’s help rehearsing for an upcoming performance. The two proceeded to fling – that’s my new word for flirting while singing – their way through an adorably choreographed “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” Hello, Dalton, why don’t you have mistletoe hanging in that study lounge? That would have been delicious and not at all inappropriate for a school setting.
Watch ‘A Very ‘Glee’ Christmas’ on xfinityTV.com
After last week’s blow-up, I thought Finn and Rachel were already broken up. But now it’s official – for-realsies – the two are splitsville. Rachel tried to weasel forgiveness out of Finn, since it’s Christmas and all. They even sang it out Wham!-style at a Christmas tree farm, but not even ‘80s pop could help Finn get over being cheated on (again).
Let’s not forget a towering, green Sue Sylvester being towed through the halls of WMHS on a giant wagon by faithful reindog Becky. After her plan to rig the faculty Secret Santa was foiled by Schue, Sue decked herself out in head-to-toe Grinch attire and attempted to steal Christmas from New Directions. But even being ransacked couldn’t keep the glee club down. Their last-ditch performance of “Welcome Christmas” proved so powerful that even Sue’s heart grew three sizes. I’m not ashamed to say my heart was warmed as well at the sight of Sue and Schue wishing each other a Merry Christmas at the close of the show.
Best Musical Number: You could practically smell gingerbread in the air when the whole gang sang “The Most Wonderful Day of the Year” (a fave from Rudolph) as they decorated the choir room and their motley Christmas tree.
Runner-up: Sue and Becky’s thievery was exquisitely highlighted by the playful, smooth tones of k.d. lang singing “You’re a Mean One, Sue the Grinch.”
Best Sui-ism: “It’s offensive. You’re wearing a Santa Claus hat, and yet you’re handing me no gifts. I need gifts.”
Best Britney Line: “Even the smallest envelope is heavy for an elf.”
Runner-up: “Was her name Ricki Lake?”
Best Non-Slushy Item Thrown at the Glee Kids: A teacher flung her shoe in protest when New Directions went caroling for donations. Classy.
And What Killed the Spirit:
Worst Musical Number: Rachel always sounds great, but her “Merry Christmas, Darling” dragged the mood of the show way down.
Worst Christmas Lesson: I was going to be super cross with Sue for teaching Becky that stealing Christmas was okay if you dressed up in funny costumes to do it. Thank goodness they both saw the light in the end.
Most Misty-eyed Moment: I could practically feel Brittany’s little heart crumbling when Santa Beiste had to tell her to be patient.
What did you think of ‘A Very Glee Christmas’? Was it like a toasty glass of cocoa or like being knocked over the head with a peppermint stick?