Air Date: Tuesday December 7, 2010 | Grade: B-
It’s Christmas at McKinley High and everyone is in the festive spirit. The only person who is bucking the trend is Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch), as she rigs the teachers’ Secret Santa exchange so everyone has to buy her a gift.
Coach Beiste (Dot Marie Jones) has Will (Matthew Morrison) and Emma (Jayma Mays) pick out their Secret Santa
Sue’s dastardly behavior gives Becky (Lauren Potter) more screen time. Santana (Naya Rivera), Quinn (Dianna Agron) and Brittany (Heather Morris) have been pretty redundant in helping Sue and this has given Becky a chance to become her assistant. In a way, I think Becky brings out a softer side of Sue but not enough to stop Sue from painting her face green, stealing presents and the Christmas tree. As in “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,” eventually Sue finds a heart but this cycle of her changing her ways is becoming too predictable. Now I expect her to do the right thing every time. I know she can’t be mean every second of the day, but in an episode where she ends up playing nice, I would prefer it if there were an actual purpose to her scheming.
Despite his breakup with Rachel (Lea Michele), Finn (Cory Monteith) is trying to maintain the holiday cheer when the other members of the glee club are ready to give up at every hurdle. Monteith is pretty good in this episode, especially in the tree-shopping scene. I feel sorry that he’s in the same place as last season—hurt by his girlfriend’s infidelity. With all the coupling among the glee club, I fully expect one couple to split up but I was thinking the Mike/Tina pairing would be the next to go.
Will (Matthew Morrison) is dealing with Emma (Jayma Mays) getting married, and being alone at Christmas. Like Finn, he’s trying to see the positive in the holiday. It’s actually a change for his character. As of late, he’s been showing some uncharacteristic behavior. Though he’s clearly upset, it’s good to see the writers showing some growth in the way he deals with things.
The glee club performs
Brittany still believes in Santa Claus and Artie (Kevin McHale) goes out of his way to stop her from finding out the truth. He even ropes Coach Beiste (Dot Marie Jones) into dressing up as Santa. Artie’s intentions are sweet and so is Beiste’s scene with Brittany but I find part of the storyline silly.
Darren Criss makes another appearance as Blaine and his performances are regularly becoming my favorites. This time Blaine duets with Kurt (Chris Colfer), resulting in a beautiful rendition of “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” They both take a backseat in this episode and appear very briefly. I understand the juggle act needed with a big cast, so this does not upset me. Kurt still remains a prominent character since transferring schools but I think his appearance feels forced. The problem the writers have now is unless they give Kurt one of the leading stories in an episode, he is slightly disconnected from the rest of the main cast. Once again, I wonder how long his attendance at Dalton Academy will last.
The best part about “A Very Glee Christmas” is the music – it really gets you in the Christmas spirit. The storylines are below par and at times a bit cringe-worthy. I find myself wondering if part of the episode is a character’s dream and I’m waiting for them to wake up at the end. There are ridiculous situations and I feel Sue is becoming a parody of herself. The last episode where she wanted to marry herself was too far-fetched. This is one character who is losing the essence of what made her funny and the character I love to hate. With the holiday break upon us, I hope the show can recapture some of what originally made it amazing.
All photos courtesy of Justin Lubin and Greg Gayne/©2010 Fox Broadcasting Co.
Originally written for The Voice of TV.