Happy Holidays, Gleeks!
As stated last year, the Glee Christmas special has become a holiday tradition of the show. Ever since the second season, they have aired a Christmas themed episode. Ever since the first season, they have, at least, released one song of Christmas themed.
(Yes this is true. “Last Christmas” was released Christmas 2009.)
Now as I’ve mentioned in talking about episodes past, Glee Christmas specials don’t really fit with continuity of anything. They’re usually after Sectionals. Maybe a plot thread or two of the overall season arc with appear such as Marley’s eating disorder in “Glee, Actually” (season four episode ten).
For the most part though, they’re pretty harmless. And they don’t fuck up continuity too bad.
So what about an episode that is totally and one hundred percent separate of Glee’s continuity (such as it is)? Well let’s look at “Previously Unaired Christmas” (season five episode 8) and talk shall we?
I’m not really sure how to feel about “Previously Unaired Christmas.” I mean it’s pretty much kind of a blatant way to stick to tradition and sell albums.
There was a whole thing about whether or not Glee would continue it’s tradition of releasing a Christmas album and the like. Now they did release something but it was a six song extended play or EP. Again it’s something I don’t mind because I like Christmas music.
Although at the time when I found out the song list for the episode I did question why on Earth “Love Child” was included on it.
We’ll get to that later.
Now, it’s important to know that “Previously Unaired Christmas,” or as Jane Lynch calls it: “Rough Trade Santa”, is not in continuity with the show. Since season five continues that school year that never goddamn ends, the season four episode “Glee, Actually” is the one that will be considered in continuity.
So basically anything we learn in this episode, fuck it all because clearly the writers did.
We have an episode that is not in continuity. Period. So, for once, the writers of the show don’t have to worry about following this magical thing that the fans continuously bitch about with this name.
Actually they can make it a little wild since the episode was deemed “too inappropriate” for television. Which makes me laugh because need I remind you of the soft core porn version of “Oops…I Did It Again” brought to us by Rachel Berry and NYADA in season four, episode two “Britney 2.0.”
(I would like to point out that I’m not trying to be mean here. I actually am coming around somewhat to Rachel’s character this season and I always have had respect for Lea Michele. It’s the whole Brody’s hands over Rachel’s crotch that kind of surprises me.)
That was given the okay by the censors. I don’t even know anymore guys.
So was it horribly inappropriate?!
The only thing that stuck out to me that was inappropriate and offensive was the whole Santa tying up Kurt in some sort of weird seduction thing so he can rob them blind. It just felt uncomfortable to witness as a viewer and was a really skeevy move. Also it looked really…awkward and painful. You can also draw several horrible connotations from what happened.
Since the episode is again, not in continuity, I’m going to pretend it never happened.
But honestly that was the only thing that offended me as a viewer.
The rest of the episode was…there.
Don’t get me wrong, I found some of the parts flat out hilarious.
For instance, Santana Claus a.k.a. if Santa got a trophy wife.
Context is needed first.
See for some reason, Santana is spending Christmas in New York in order to avoid Brittany because they broke up. Rachel gets her, Kurt, and Santana jobs as elves.
They take the job. You know the drill, Santa turns out to be a drunk and a douchebag. Santana bails because she is too awesome for this shit. Kurt and Rachel call her and convince her to come back to play Mrs. Claus after Santa pukes and craps himself.
(Yes I did giggle at the line. I am aware that I am secretly five.)
So Santana comes back to play Mrs. Claus. It’s just as hilarious, inappropriate, and awesome as you think it is. I haven’t laughed as hard in awhile at Glee as I watched in fascinated, amused horror at Santana around small children.
It was great.
Then Cody Claus with amazing abs had to be a giant douche.
I mean we pretty much all knew that he was going to rob them blind. Subtle he is not. He also robs the mall and the Salvation Army bucket in addition to Santana, Rachel, and Kurt.
Yep. That’s some Grade A douchebag that we will never see again.
So ultimately they get jobs as living, singing mannequins in a department store window. It’s actually a better job than the elves thing.
Also can I say what a rip off it was that Santana, Kurt, and Rachel sang the “Chipmunk Song”? Because it really was SUCH A RIP OFF! You just took some of your best voices and made them all high pitched and squeaky! You seriously couldn’t have done a better song? I mean even an extra one or something? Although whoever said “tickle me” at the end made me nearly choke on my water.
Here’s the better of the two solely set in New York songs.
In Lima, there are two things going on: an annual, but not really because we haven’t mentioned in years, Christmas tree decorating contest and a living nativity after one got trashed.
Now let’s not go into the fact that technically you’re not supposed to have one at a public school. Because this is Glee and it takes your laws and laughs in your face.
So the Nativity is going to be a singing one for reasons. Tina, Unique, and Marley all want the role and in name of Christmas spirit decide to audition together. They sing a song called “Mary’s Boy Child.” I never heard of it before. It’s kind of jaunty, island-y tune so it’s not bad.
The costumes though are…interesting.
I don’t even know what to think about the costumes. Unique’s should have been different though. Actually all of them should have been different.
Kitty, as a Christian, looks on in a bit of horror. Oh don’t worry Kitty it’ll get…simultaneously worse and better.
Before we get to there because I want to end strong, let’s go to the tree decorating thing.
For one, I love this song sequence with everyone decorating their Christmas trees for the competition. It’s really cute and kind of fun. Also everyone singing sounds very good.
I also, for serious, have been hoping Glee would cover this sequence at least once.
So Sue is shocked that the club has actually done something right for a change because the tree looks great. Since Becky half-assed her tree, the club wins the Christmas angel. But Becky is really bummed about not getting it so Tina and Sam decided to give it to her and make the Baby Jesus in the nativity.
Alright so how do we get to Baby Jesus Becky?
Oh…we get there through “Love Child.” See Marley originally gets the role of Mary in the nativity, however, after seeing how much Kitty wants it she wants her to have it. Kitty though doesn’t think she is worthy to have the role because she knows that she doesn’t have a good enough heart.
Honestly? That scene is very sweet and a bit wrenching. Especially if you’ve grown to like Kitty over the course of season four like me. It’s a little out of character for her to show her vulnerability so suddenly given the time frame here which is Christmas 2012. But hey. It was actually a genuine scene.
Right so Marley wants Kitty to have the part. Except Kitty won’t take it. So they decide to offend her so much that she HAS to take the role with a false musical nativity.
And the results are “Love Child.”
I am of two minds of this performance.
The small part of my brain that was raised Catholic and had to contend with nuns all my life was slightly offended.
The larger part of my brain that is a lapsed Catholic, liberal, and thinks that this is everything that FoxNews hates being presented on my screen in fabulous glory absolutely loved it. It was the most campy thing I have ever seen in my life. It was pretty fabulous.
I still watch it in parts of horror and hysterical laughter.
Because sometimes you just need to give into the insanity.
So naturally Kitty is offended enough that she demands the part. And she gets it.
The living nativity goes off without a hitch and Christmas is saved!!!
And we never have to think about this episode again. Why? Because it’s not in continuity.
So let’s look at the past to figure out where this episode falls in the present.
The whole episode is batshit insane. It’s pretty much the writers throwing everything at the wall and hoping to find something that sticks.
However, there were some nice Christmas throwbacks and warm fuzzies for the holiday season.
Tina and Sam telling Becky that she won the competition and giving her the angel is very nice. It’s kind of flipped from Becky and Sue helping Marley and Millie Rose last season in “Glee, Actually” by giving them all their presents and a Christmas tree. The gestures both are sweet and from the heart.
“A Very Glee Christmas” (season two episode ten) gets a nod in this episode. In “A Very Glee Christmas,” a lot of the Gleeks take Brittany, who still believes in Santa, to see Mall Santa. What follows are all of New Directions sitting on Santa’s lap and being hilarious. It’s flipped in this episode with Santana Claus kind doing the same with the kids who come see her.
The batshit insanity of “Love Child” is like the batshit insanity that is the fifteen glorious minutes of black and white Christmas special in “Extraordinary Merry Christmas” (season three episode nine). They both were the highlights of their individual episodes.
So where does “Previously Unaired Christmas” fall on the scale of best to worst?
While not as good as “A Very Glee Christmas” and “Glee, Actually” which both are well written with appropriate amounts of seasonal cheer and season continuity, I can’t say that “Previously Unaired Christmas” is as bad as “Extraordinary Merry Christmas.”
Why? Well “Extraordinary Merry Christmas,” with those fifteen glorious minutes of black and white footage aside, is a mess. Everyone is selfish. It’s a bit mean and spiteful. The script was horribly written. It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth for the most part.
“Previously Unaired Christmas” was meant to be a mess. It was meant to be stupid and not in continuity. It was meant to be weird and over the top. It was just meant to be some stupid fun.
Did it succeed? In parts, yes it did. In those part that succeed, I laughed as hard as I have laughed all season and that should be discounted. In other part, mainly what Cody did to Kurt, it fell flat.
Honestly though I can understand why people would love it or hate it. Just remember that the episode holds NO CONTINUITY in the show while you watch. “Glee, Actually” is the one in continuity.
So with that, I bid you Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas my fellow Gleeks!
NEXT ON THE GLEE REWATCH PROJECT: I count down the Best Glee Episodes of 2013.
Follow Me: @GleeRewatch for the latest updates. If you want there is always my personal account if you want to hear my daily dose of random babbling! Also I am a Managing Editor for PopWrapped. and write glee-caps for the site. Here are my recaps for “A Katy or A Gaga,” “The End Of Twerk,” “Movin’ Out,” “Puppet Master,” and “Previously Unaired Christmas.”
Credits: Glee Wikia