Let’s jump back into the present for our next review on the Christmas Challenge, shall we? It’s hard to find Christmas episodes of recent shows I haven’t reviewed before, and while this one was reviewed by KT back in the day, I did not watch this episode live and haven’t read her review since it was first posted. Either way, I’m coming at this with fresh eyes.
I’m not really a fan of Glee, mainly because of its bad storylines and writing. Don’t get me wrong. They do a good job with the music — these kids can sing — but around the music the show is lacking substance. And this Christmas episode is no exception.
Of course, there’s still the “tension” between Finn and Rachel, who are two characters I care little about. The fact that Rachel’s gift to Finn is a song shows more about her selfishness than her goodwill toward him, even if she is Jewish and making Christmas wishes come true. Then there’s Sue, who’s trying to steal the holiday. Grinch storylines can be great, but this one was just so contrived it was annoying to watch.
In fact, the entire episode seemed contrived. It’s like they chose which songs they wanted to sing and then built and episode around them. In fact, that’s probably what they did.
The only highlight of the episode surrounded Britney. At this point in Glee‘s history, I believe the writers had just realized the gem they had in Brittany and Heather Morris, which means there’s no surprise that the episode focused on her. But what interested me was not Brittany’s silly statements regarding Santa (who basically was kind-of like God in her eyes). Instead, it was the moment between Brittany and Coach Beiste, where the coach told her that the gift Santa had to give her was patience. This was a moving scene, and it reminded me of when KT mentioned that though the show has its failures, it does know how to do important moments and messages. Artie’s device at the end of the episode was just icing on the cake.
Recommendation: Brittany aside, it’s not really an episode I’d recommend for regular viewing. Instead, just buy the soundtrack.