It was a heck of a Glee-full Christmas last night, power packed with plenty of holiday music for every Christmas music fan. Matthew Morrison's (Mr. Shue) Glee directorial debut was a holiday "special" about the making of a holiday special. Plot lines-a-plenty, I'm reviewing the music today because it truly was a holiday treat, disguised in a retro, Star Wars themed, weird, but politically correct world of Artie's holiday TV special.
My girl Mercedes got the show off on a bang, like only she can, with a Mariah holiday anthem, "All I Want for Christmas is You." Man, this girl is good. Too good, and she covered the Carey instant classic with just about the same amount of range and passion as the original. Was it predictable? Yes, but who cares, because I loved the high energy and cheer this song provided for the beginning of the episode.
Rory, the new kid, (and Glee Project winner Damian McGinty) crooning "Blue Christmas" with a smooth and tender soul, way past his teen-aged years. I enjoyed his celtic, folksy spin on this blues-y great. Channeling a boy in a foreign country, without his family at Christmas set up a Sam/Rory buddy story line based upon their mutual hard luck. Sam invites Rory to spend Christmas with his family.
When Artie is tapped to produce the local PBS station's Christmas special for under $800.00, he auditions the Glee club for musical numbers. Rachel belts out a Joanie Mitchell tune, "River", complete with sparkling Christmas trees and lots of falling snow. I felt like I was thrown back to the days of a celebrity variety show, with musical guests performing Christmas songs. Rachel was stunning, as usual, but safe and minimally memorable. Too bad, because there are so many great choices for a power house like Leah Michelle.
Rachel and Blaine perform for the Glee Club, "Extraordinary Merry Christmas". Anything with Blaine singing and count me in, but this was unexciting and just ok but I don't hate it. I LOVE both of them, and I will still download this song in the spirit of the season. But the real Christmas gold came from Artie's Christmas TV special.
Opening in black and white, Kurt and Blaine's bachelor chalet provided the perfect backdrop for the duet, and yes, My Download Pick Of The Week, "Let it Snow" . I loved the whole big band feel with the perfect blend of Kurt's mezzo soprano and Blaine's dreamy Dean Martin-esque pipes. These two have scored another holiday classic that rivals last year's, "Baby It's Cold Outside". And the dance number? Sensational and entertaining.
When did Roger's and Hammerstein's "Favorite Things" become a Christmas carol? This double team group number with Rachel, Mercedes, Kurt and Blaine was pleasant and festive but seemed a bit out of place to the Christmas music die hard. Musically this number solidifies the talent that this cast has and their star power.
Next, a ridiculously dressed Finn and Puck, as Luke Skywalker and Hans Solo, enter this pseudo soiree and perform my second favorite of the night, "Santa Claus is Coming to Town". This Springsteen version of the song is great, even if they didn't change it up at all, but I'm not sure the Star Wars thing worked. It was awkward and pointless, and I'm not sure of the significance, yet Finn and Puck jamming with their instruments made me forget about their costumes momentarily.
The Cheerios and Brittnay rocked some sexy, Santa's helper's costumes with "Christmas Wrapping" and some rhythmic ribbons for effect. Great fun this was, and those girls made me smile and Brittnay was singing LEAD!!! I did not loose the power of the message of Rory's Christmas reading, and thank you to the creators of Glee for helping us to remember the peace that true Christmas story brings us.
The show wrapped with the Glee club showing up, unannounced at Sue's homeless shelter dinner for families, and made amends for canceling on her to film the PBS special. They performed the famous, celebrity packed recording "Do They Know it's Christmas". Inspirational and carried by the entire cast of Glee, I enjoyed the unity this song stands for. I even saw a tender moment where Sue Sylvester's Grinchy heart was touched by the kids from the glee club, sharing their passion to benefit others.
I'll admit it, I'm a sucker for a cute, sappy, Christmas story. Couple that with some great Christmas classics and my heart is filled with all the joy of the season. This episode did just that for me, and I have all the merry music to remember it by.