Merry Christmas Special


I did not grow up watching all those stop-motion animation Christmas television movie specials that are actually horrible but no-one wants to say so because they grew up with them and have thus assigned a huge amount of sentimental value. ALSO, my family has never been big on Christmas movies. I think I’ve seen It’s A Wonderful Life once, ever. Likewise Miracle on 34th Street until last night when channel flipping landed me on AMC. White Christmas is a different story because it’s an early-fifties era musical and that was basically my childhood. But I digress. Point is, I don’t watch real Christmas specials.

Unluckily for me, television series really like to make their own special holiday episodes.

Luckily for all of us, this gives me review fodder.

So, without further ado, a quick review of four of this year’s Christmas Special Episodes.

Human Target: “The Other Side of the Mall”

Dear Human Target,

If you’re going to do a Christmas episode, maybe don’t revolve the whole thing around how much the main character hates Christmas. It kind of ruins things. It’s bad enough to do a holiday-themed episode. You could at least make an effort to get into the spirit a little. Funny as it is to send the team down light-vomited suburban holiday lane to the tune of “Where are we?” “Hell.”, the whole thing just ends up lame. Also, semi-metal rock n’ roll riff Christmas carols? You have ruined ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen Forever’…and it wasn’t that good to begin with. Thanks for that.

Love,
Melted Brain

Best quotes: “Wow. You’re an excellent whistler.” and “You are what we in the custodial arts like to call…a douche.”

Glee: “A Very Glee Christmas”

My expectations for this episode were really low, so I guess you could say they’ve been fulfilled. Basically, I found the lack of inspiration embarrassing. Least original Christmas special ever. And all the more disappointing because Glee is capable of doing better when it actually tries. But not this year. Glee seems to be having some major writing problems this year and is getting worse by the episode and I could go on, but that’s not really the point right now. So, let me break this review down into pros and cons…and I’ll try to come up with an even number of each, because it’s only fair:

GOOD:
1) Brittany still believes in Santa Claus: Touche, Glee. If there is anything to make me at least accept a Christmassy Christmas special filled with Christmassy Christmas spirit…Brittany believing in Santa and the whole club teaming up to make her time magical is it. AWWWWWWWW.
2) Coach Beiste: This was actually just a good episode thing in general. I’m really pleased she’s becoming incorporated into the show in general. Dot Jones is a much better element than Coach Tanaka (Peter Gallagher) ever was. And the Arty-slash-Brittany gift? AWWWWWWWW.
3) Baby It’s Cold Outside: On behalf of fangirls everywhere, thank you. I don’t care that the script had to take a completely ridiculous and unnecessary side trip. I will bet you any amount of money this is the most popular part of the episode. (But I still feel the need to remark: Chris Colfer singing the low part in a duet with another dude is frickin’ weird.)

UNDECIDED:
Island of Misfit Toys: Great echo back to the early days…but so saccharine I wanted to cry.

BAD:
1) The Jew Problem: Puck decorating a Christmas tree? JEWFAIL. Rachel singing not just one, but two Christmas numbers? JEWFAIL. The fact that the Glee Club has two Jews very obsessed with being Jewish could have been a jumping off point for making a Christmas episode with some actual valuable social commentary the like of which Glee supposedly is still capable of. But NO. No. Instead let’s just ignore that. Because Christmas is too commercially dominant for us to do anything else. I mean, it’s not as if there are any Jews in showbiz or anything.
2) The Sue plot: I am embarrassed by how lame this was. Sue as the Grinch. Really. Wow. Let’s talk about low-hanging fruit from the obvious tree.
3) The end: And of course, how else could this episode possibly have ended but with a hair joke. Wow. Merry fucking Christmas to you too, Glee. Motherfuckers.

Best quotes: “This year, Glee Club’s going full-Santa *CRAZYEYES*” and Schue’s ideas for Sue-mas gifts (1 – robot dog, 2 – a soul)

Leverage: “The Ho Ho Ho Job”

Honestly, I don’t have a whole lot to say about this episode. It just wasn’t that noteworthy. It was an average episode of Leverage, but with Santa. And not even very much Santa. Yes, yes, Parker’s obsession with Christmas was kind of cute fun. But that was about it. Christmas in the mall. Wa. Hoo.

Eureka: “O Little Town”

The whole “telling a tale of Christmas past” is a bit heavy-handed. BUT, Eureka is beyond tongue-in-cheek enough to handle it. The episode works because it’s a totally standard episode of Eureka…it just happens to take place during Christmas. We get Taggart back, which is awesome. There is nothing funnier than a gangly Australian trying to explain Santa Claus with science. Except for maybe  an ENORMOUS ROLLING CHRISTMAS BALL ORNAMENT. (YESSS.) The can of Christmas cheer was excessively creepy, but the episode ended on not just the right key, but the right note exactly. Kids who go “That’s way too sappy…but good story” is the perfect sappy holiday touch that doesn’t make the audience want to die. And, final note: I usually don’t approve of changing of credits/opener to incorporate holiday decor, but Sheriff Carter in an elf/Santa/whatever-that-was costume? Admittedly pretty hysterical

Best quotes: “Tell me about it. I had to ice my hot toddies.”

 

 

Merry Christmas from Melted Brain.

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