Kurt & Blaine – Let It Snow
Sophy says: This is one of my favourite performances in all of Glee, and not just because I’m a Klaine shipper – although I do become more and more and more of a Klaine shipper with every passing episode, I can’t deny. But I think I would have been head-in-handsing all over this stuff regardless, because it was just so clever and so beautifully executed and so hilarious and sweet and black and white and gay and all the good things?
I mean look at those caps above. Just look at them and tell me you don’t feel better about yourself and the world. I dare you.
I loved how the whole piece was just brimming with repressed gay googly-eyes, along the lines of “Oh, it’s the 50s, so we just happen to be singing about keeping each other warm with our mouths and stuff, but really, we’re “best friends and holiday roommates,” honest to goodness we are.” So adorable. I also thought it was one of the most brilliantly executed routines the show has given us. I think Darren and Chris’ voices blend beautifully, and whilst the choreography was snappy, the dancing itself was very relaxed – both of them seemed completely physically loose and natural, very at home, it you will. It was sort of like the whole routine was sort of just happening to them, rather than having a ‘Here’s something we prepared earlier’ vibe. No stress, no drama, just a little effortless sparkle, because basically the two of them together are living, breathing Christmas lights.
And Kurt’s little kick on ‘And I’ve brought some corn for poppin”? Blaine’s smile at the camera right after? The way they looked out the window and saw us and came to the door all bashful-eager apologies and introductions? These are a few of my –
More on that later
Anyway. Completely witty and completely wonderful. And so perfect for Kurt and Blaine – I guess the writers loved ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ as much as I did, because this definitely felt like a throwback to that performance. And I wouldn’t mind being thrown back to that more often to be honest. I love Blaine so much more when he’s never ever singing Pink again.
Rin says: Whenever I’m watching Glee I’m always choosing categories in the back of my mind, (unless you’re 308 and there was too much amazing to have any coherent thoughts..) and when this song started I definitely got the ‘OMFG BEST SONG’ vibe. These two always sound amazing together, to the point where I can even listen to Perfect nowadays and not want to stuff my ears full of clay.
And yes, it was a total ode to Baby It’s Cold Outside with their prancing about. Except this time they’re together and even more adorable and dancing around their own ~home. It was gorgeous.
You know what else is awesome? That Blaine pretty much didn’t have to put on a show to be lame and cheesy because he already is all the time. It was wonderful.
Sophy says: SEE THAT’S THE THING. Being this lame and adorable was effortless for Blaine, because it’s so close to the person he actually is on a day-to-day basis. And I feel like you could say the same for Rachel Berry, and I think that might be why I adore it when they perform together. They are both intrinsically, unashamedly ironic human beings. In the sense of being made of irony because they are entirely without irony. It’s a paradox that makes perfect sense in my head.
Rachel & Mercedes – My Favorite Things
Sophy says: Pretty much from the moment I was introduced to Rachel Berry it has been a dream of mine to see her sing ‘My Favourite Things’ in black and white.
She did not disappoint. No. She went and fucking added white gloves into the mix. Because she is fucking amazing.
AND WOULD YOU JUST LOOK AT THE WAY SHE IS CLUTCHING MERCEDES AND KURT TO HER CHEST? JUST. CLUTCHING AND CLUTCHING?
Honestly, after ‘Let It Snow’ I didn’t think they could possibly make this whole high camp 1950s TV special deal any better. IT’S LIKE I FORGOT THAT RACHEL BERRY EXISTS?
I swear when she and Mercedes came in the door I literally wanted to jump up and down (I couldn’t, I was on a plane, I am small, but it still would have been awkward.)
Perhaps I should have clutched like Rachel. Or swung my fist adorably like Mercedes. I DON’T KNOW, SO MANY OPTIONS.
But yes, as far as I’m concerned everything about this was perfect, right down to the fact that Mercedes was a little less of a natural at the corny retro vibe than the other three, because, well, she would be. And you know, I’ve heard some people saying it’s ridiculous that she’s there, because she’s not friends with Kurt and Rachel anymore and she was never friends with Blaine or something etcetera. Well a) this is a choreographed piece, and it’s up to Artie who’s in it. And b) She is friends with Rachel and Kurt and Blaine. This is Glee okay? We’re never going to get long subtle arcs building deep and nuanced friendships unless it’s Faberry, okay?
But really, a lot of the time these kids just sing it out and you kind of have to go with it. I went with it. I fully buy that Mercedes’ relationship with the New Directions has been mended by a combination of song and a mutual leap of faith. And you know, the fact that the relationship between has been damaged, is precisely why I love that she’s at the door with Rachel. It seems like the kids have already worked out their differences, but I feel like I needed this Kurt/Rachel/Mercedes rebonding time as a viewer.
Meanwhile can I say again how everything about Lea Michele was perfect? From the way she looked dead at the camera with her very best startled expression, to her adorable ‘Hello’ to television, to the the amazing cheesy goodness of her “We’re not prepared! We’re not prepared!” Lea really nailed Rachel really nailing the self-conscious repetition, faux-humility and unbridled camera-gazing. It was amazing to watch.
Also there was something especially adorable about the way Blaine sang the line about liking snow on his eyelashes. I don’t even know.
Rin says: Just. The whole intro to this song was FREAKING AMAZING and HILARIOUS. “We’re not prepared, we’re not prepared!” and then, “Well there is a little something that we’ve been working on.” So perfect.
And then when she just segways perfectly from speech into song. Glorious.
THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING THAT RACHEL BERRY CANNOT DO. And I’m still really really REALLY angry that Lea Michele didn’t get nominated for a Golden Globe. Those fuckers. She better get nominated for an Emmy.. but I doubt it. If Zooey gets nominated for an Emmy and Lea doesn’t, then I don’t even know.
This song was perfect, and I LOVED Mercedes in it too. She was hilarious, and it’s very rare that Mercedes/Amber gets to do comedy that isn’t throwing insults or ‘hell, no!’ So I was really happy to see Amber get a chance to do something that Mercedes usually never does. PLUS, I THINK SHE’S STOPPED BEING A BITCH. SO, WIN/WIN???
Also, her final fist pump had me GASPING FOR AIR. It’s just, the best, ever. Just looking at the cap brings a to my face.
Sophy says: YES. You see this is what I’ve wanted for Amber for some time now: a real challenge. We already know what she does sassy and strong brilliantly, now I want to see what else she can do. And I’m talking in terms of Mercedes’ performances, but also in terms of Amber’s – and that’s where I think her first real romance on the show will be so great to watch. I have a feeling Sam will get us to see the softer side of Mercedes, and I’ll be right here, waiting, with my corn for poppin’.
“Can I be honest with you, Stumbles, Gelfling, young Burt Reynolds?”
Sophy says: Okay so ‘Wheels, Porcelain, Other Gay’ was awesome enough, and such a great throwback to ‘Other Asian’ in season one… but then she had to follow it up with Stumbles, Gelfling, young Burt Reynolds… and I couldn’t.
Blaine’s face was comedy gold. His bewildered/hurt expression and then the little smile when he decides he’s actually getting a compliment? I had to cover my mouth with my hand for fear of embarrassing myself with too much giggle in a confined space.
Rin says: I CANNOT WITH HOW CUTE IT IS WATCHING HIM PROCESS IT.
I JUST. He’s so pleased
Also another thing I absolutely died at was this:
“Last Christmas was super sad. Kurt was at another school, Coach Sylvester trashed everything, and Artie got a pair of magic legs that broke the next day.”
A PAIR OF MAGIC LEGS THAT BROKE THE NEXT DAY.
I JUST. I CAN’T.
Tina has never made me laugh so hard before. And the best thing about it is that as soon as she said that, this popped into my head.
AND IT MADE ME LAUGH EVEN MORE. WHAT EVEN IS THIS SHOW THAT WE ALL WATCH????????
Sophy says: OH CHRIST. THAT WAS SO HILARIOUS I DON’T. I love that they can poke fun at themselves when they know they’ve been fucking stupid.
And oh my god Brittany/Artie was the worst thing apart from Puck/Lauren and Holliday.
Also, it’s a tiny thing but I absolutely loved “Who told you? Kurt?” “No!” “Yes.” The rapid-fire delivery was spectacular.
“Are you saying I’m not invited to Kurt and Blaine’s for Christmas?”
That’s exactly how we would have felt. In fact we do feel that way. Where’s our invitation, guys? What’s that? You’re fictional characters?! We’re fucking cartoons!! Grow up!!
The Glee Holiday Spectacular
Sophy says: You didn’t think we’d stop at doubling up on best song did you? No. We have to give love to all the parts of the black and white giddy Christmas wonder. I only wish it could have been longer. Really, as far as I’m concerned, a whole episode of this would be awesome.
Finn/Lightsaber is one of the funniest things ever. Honestly his dopey face when he smiled at the camera and whipped it out? AND HOW IT’S BLUE? AND JUST? AND THEN HIS STUPID DRUMMING AND HIS STUPID FACE? AND THEN THERE WAS A HARMONICA? AND THEN THERE WERE DANCING SANTA CHEERIOS AND RIBBONS? AND FATHER CHRISTMAS MIKE? AND OKAY I GOT A LITTLE BORED WHEN RORY TOLD US ABOUT JESUS COS I KNOW THE STORY ALREADY BUT THAT’S OKAY BECAUSE BRITTANA WERE BEING ALL ADORABLE WITH THEIR CLINGING AND THEIR LITTLE HATS AND THE RESTING OF THE HEAD IN THE FINAL SHOT AS WE WATCHED FROM OUTSIDE THE WINDOW?
YES I NEEDED ALL CAPS FOR ALL OF THAT?
Oh and while we’re on the subject, I’ve heard that some people are upset about Jesus muscling in on the episode, because Rachel and Puck are Jewish and Kurt’s an atheist and they don’t like religion on their TV and whatever. But here’s the thing. It’s a Christmas episode. I don’t care how many times you want to tell me that Christmas is about candy canes to you, it’s never going to make it okay to hijack what was, is, and always will be a Christian holiday. That’s not to say I disapprove of non-believers celebrating Christmas. If I did there’d be no presents under the tree for me and I would be so angry. But I think if you’re going to play with the tinsel, you should at least be able to be benign about a very brief, very pertinent Christian message getting through in the meantime.
The reason why Rachel, Puck and Kurt all listen to Rory’s story and are moved by it is not because they’re being converted via the means of bible-bashing. It’s because the message matters to them. The bit about baby Jesus and the angels and sheep and whatnot? For a lot of people, including Mercedes and Rory, it’s very real and very meaningful. For other people, it’s just wrapping. You can strip that off and throw it away. It’s what’s inside that counts.
In the immortal words of Bollo the gorilla, it’s not the peel, it’s the ‘nana.
Having said that. Whilst I didn’t mind Jesus being included, I do think it was on the nose that, in contrast, the only concession to Rachel being a Jew was a quick ‘Happy Hanukkah’ at the end. And the only concession to Puck being a Jew was… nothing.
I do believe that Puck would play along, in the halfhearted way he did, in order to be involved in the commercial, so that’s not really a problem for me. He wasn’t really featured in the episode apart from that, so I can just say to myself that he had Chinese on Christmas Day like usual and spent the rest of his time lighting candles. But Rachel… Rachel seriously got into the Christmas spirit. I mean, she was front and center with the whole yuletide storyline. And even that I don’t mind – because I do believe that Rachel would be really into the drama and excitement of it all, and besides, her boyfriend is a Christian. But the thing is, when I think of just how ludicrously easy it would have been to entwine her actual faith into the storyline, I cringe at the fact that they clearly didn’t even bother to try.
On a more positive note, since this isn’t the Rophy says no category, god. I also absolutely loved the credits for the commercial. “Mike Chang and Tina Cohen-Chang no relation!” made me laugh and laugh. And ARTIE’S FACE WHEN HE TURNED AROUND. OMG IT WAS SO LOLS.
Rin says: This whole thing was made exceptionally special for all the Rachel Berry it offered. There wasn’t a single thing she did during the segment that I wasn’t in awe over. Just the way she moved, and reacted and over-dramatised everything was sublime. And again I’m forced to be angry at Lea Michele getting snubbed for a Globe. SERIOUSLY.
I agree with Finn/Lightsaber being hilarious. His stupid face the entire time was gold, and completely Finn — and just, the way he waved the lightsaber around because he had no idea what to do with it. Christ.
The black and white was lovely too. It reminded me of when they did Vogue, and weren’t those some good times? EVERYBODY ALWAYS LOOKS BETTER IN BLACK AND WHITE
Sophy says: Lea Michele should get a golden globe nomination every year. No wait, every episode. No wait every face.
Not the best scene, but not the worst either.
Sophy says: Okay, I’m not a Finchel girl. I don’t think I will ever be a Finchel girl. But I still couldn’t help being pleasantly surprised by this scene. I cringed, you guys, when he said he’d gotten her a star. Because it’s so fucking done. As in I literally think I’ve seen it done sometime in the recent past and although I can’t put my finger on which show it was, I do know I wanted to punch it in the face. So I was ready to punch this in the face too.
But then they went and surprised me, with the little switcheroo. I know it’s kind of lols that Finn named the star after himself, and that he used the phrase “looking down on you”. If you’re a Finn hater you can have a field day with both those things and I will always support your right to do so. But the thought behind the lols was terribly sweet and sort of sad.
There is one thing I can confidently say I like about Rachel and Finn’s relationship and that is that he believes in her and the big future she has coming to her. And him saying there was already a star named Rachel Berry and she shone brighter than any of the others? I can’t. It’s syrup, but it’s syrup on pancakes with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. You can’t say no to that.
And then there’s the sad part. Now if I’m wrong about this I’ll be bummed, because I really, really like this scene if it’s what I think it is. And what I think it is is the presaging of the end for Finn and Rachel. Because I got this little pang in my chest when Finn acknowledged that they’d be apart soon – that his role in her life would change from every day smoochy-happy tinsel-wrappy boyfriend, to long-lost observer, loving everything she will be from afar.
And just. That’s the way it has to end for these two. However sweet they may at times have been, to me they’ve always very clearly been a relationship with an expiration date. And I think there’s such a poignancy in that. So much so that when the end of high school comes and they squeeze each other’s hands and let go for the last time? I might actually start shipping it.
I am a perverse creature.
Rin says: You know, I was actually caught COMPLETELY off-guard with this scene. And it was at the ‘I named a star after you!’ bit — because as many times as we’ve seen this and heard about people doing this.. none of it has happened to RACHEL BERRY before. And what is the absolute first thing we ever learned about Rachel? She’s a fucking star, and metaphors are important. So I completely felt the weight of this moment, because I felt it for Rachel. And Rachel Berry is the fucking best, okay?
And then I’m in two minds about Finn naming the star after himself. Because on one-hand it’s sweet that he tried to do something a little different, and on the other hand… he named a star after himself SERIOUSLY FINN HUDSON. ONLY YOU WOULD NAME A STAR AFTER YOURSELF The douche.
But I totally get what you’re saying Sophy. Because it really did feel like it was the beginning of the end of Finchel. And I agree that if they go down the very bitter sweet path, I might find myself actually caring for them like I remember doing so in season 1.
Plus you know, he ended up getting the expensive earrings after selling his letterman jacket on eBay. The guy cares, okay?
Best ‘Brittany is random’ Moment
Sophy says: AMAZING. I actually really, really, really enjoyed this number and I can’t quite figure out why. Heather’s voice isn’t that impressive, and I can’t say it’s a song I’d want to put on my ipod… but somehow the performance was just fabulously surreal and it really worked for me.
Plus I could watch this all day:
Rin says: The whole time this routine was going on I was just thinking about how impressed I am with the girls learning how to do the ribbon work. I can hardly imagine any of that is easy to learn, so major props to them. It especially looked awesome in black and white, because it’s all about the movement and synchronisation when you can’t hide behind the pretty colours.
And Heather makes the most hilarious faces.
Sophy says: If this is anything like working with a shawl in flamenco, it’s bloody hard to do this well and with such a large group. Kudos, Santa-cheerios!
Rophy Says No!
“Holy crap, I’m dating Kim Kardashian.”
Sophy says: No, you’re not, Finn. Shut up.
It doesn’t matter how many presents Rachel asks for, or how much sudden interest she may have in spray tans. She is not and will never be Kim Kardashian.
The end thank you.
Okay not the end. I’m going to say a wider no to Rachel’s characterization in this episode. I’m not going to say I got really angry about it, because the episode was too cute for me to be too angry about anything much. But she was out of character. I may be mistaken, but I don’t remember Rachel ever being particularly materialistic – at least not to the extent that it’s frankly nauseating and therefore somewhat hilarious. Rachel is ridiculous about a lot of things, but I would never have thought of “bling” as being one of them – least of all trying to extract it from Finn, who she knows doesn’t have a lot of money. The thing is that there are countless other ways she could have gone over the top in this episode, and the fact that they settled for making her Kim Kardashian, just screams “I AM A LAZY WRITER WHO DOESN’T CARE.”
I mean, it’s all good, I won’t let it touch my feelings for Rachel. I know it’s a one-time glitch. But the bottom line is that characters shouldn’t be abused in service of the plot – and certainly not in service of a lame-ass cliche of a plot about realizing how presents suck and you just want to help the homeless at Christmas.
I love this episode. I do. But 95% of that is down the charm of the actors and the flawless way they pulled off the commercial. The plot is a different matter. If I could, I would rewrite pretty much the whole episode, because as it is it is just lop-sided and sloppy, in terms of plot and characterization. I mean, I’m the biggest Rachel fan around, and I’m not a Finchel hater, but even I felt like the whole episode was weighted too heavily towards them. It was like Rachel and Finn were the turkey and the rest of the kids were just stuffing. And that sucks.
And yes, I’ve since found out that what it came down to was that the episode was way overlong and oodles of Christmassy shippy goodness had to be cut. Whatever. One of the major challenges of writing for TV is being able to construct your story to fit an allotted time-frame. “They edited me” is not an excuse. And in fact, knowing that Kurt was supposed to receive a romantic gift from Blaine, that Will and Emma were supposed to share a moment, that Santana was supposed to sing Santa Baby in a shopping mall, no doubt complete with fantasy sequence costume changes and general glorious slinkiness…
It just adds insult to injury to know how close we came to all that awesomeness only to have it snatched away.
And you know, it wasn’t just the plot that was Rachel-heavy. The song distribution was lop-sided too. Mercedes got two musical moments, so did Blaine. And I really don’t feel that it was necessary to have Rachel do a solo on top of her duet and her part in the commercial – and I say that as someone who has been frothing at the mouth all season waiting for a fucking Rachel solo. And as a huge fan of Joni Mitchell.
And yet I couldn’t give that performance best song. And that’s not because Lea didn’t do an amazing job, because she did. She did Joni justice in a way that no other cast member would have been able to. But the thing is that the song didn’t fit her character at all. Let’s face it, an in-character Rachel would never have shown up with something so introspective and morose – she would have been on the same page as Artie about the jingle bells angle from the get-go. And then on a thematic level, there is nothing happening in Rachel’s life right now that remotely reflects what she’s singing about. And I mean, I really don’t need the lyrics to match up literally, because I actually find that gross and corny. But I do tend to rate the performances most highly when the vibe of them jives with the character’s situation. Here, the sorrow of the piece was so at odds with Rachel as a person that it was actually jarring to watch. And in fact, when Rachel sang “I wish I had a river I could skate away on” and the camera cut to Quinn, looking on all melancholy, I immediately thought ‘She’s the one who should be singing this song’. And okay, I’m under no illusions about Dianna’s ability as a vocalist compared to Lea’s – I’m sure she wouldn’t have been able to pull it off half as well on a technical level, because it is a tough song to sing. But even if it had been a smaller, more pared-down version of River that she was singing… I think I would have loved it more.
So basically I would have had Quinn sing River. Or I would have had Santana audition with her rendition of Santa Baby. Yes, still bitter as hell that they didn’t get that in there. The mp3 is nice and all but I need a visual!
I would have kept the Blaine/Rachel duet, by the way, because as mentioned, they are snowflake/eyelashes for me. But god in heaven I would have had them sing a different song, because Extraordinary Very Merry Christmas or whatever the fuck it was called just about made my ears cry tears of blood.
And on that subject, I would most definitely have swapped the final song for something a little less patronizing and conceited and generally repulsive.
Rin says: Fuck you Finn Hudson.
This was a million times worse than outing Santana.
Sophy says: Do you want everybody to hate us?
Head In Hands
Mercedes – All I Want For Christmas
Sophy says: Gorgeous. This was such a wonderful start to the episode. I loved how we came straight in with the song, no preamble needed.
And I think it was another great instance of the rift between Mercedes and the New Directions being healed via song. Because okay, there’s some serious sweetness with Sam, but I really felt that she was singing this love song to all of them. As in she was basically saying ‘I get it now: you guys matter to me the most.’ At least that’s how I’m going to fanwank it.
And just the adorableness going on in this. I will never. Santana and her halo (take 1), Kurt and his candy cane, Faberry and Brittana with their tinsel-frolicking, Mike bursting through the wrapping paper, Sam and his adoring smiles at Mercedes, Rachel winding herself up, Mercedes dangling the mistletoe…
HOW CAN I NOT PUT MY HEAD IN MY HANDS AT ALL OF THIS?
Rin says: I loved this opening number so much because no matter where you looked, cute was going on.
And those fluffy Cheerio headband things?
Also I have another to point out…
At the start of the song they were a respectable distance apart. BY THE END???
Oh Faberry. May you gravitate towards each other, always.
ALSO IT CAN OFFICIALLY BE CALLED TRADITION NOW.
It just wouldn’t be Christmas if they weren’t instinctively edging Finn out.
Also, the way things are angled there it kind of looks like Quinn has tied a bow around Rachel. She’s saving her for later. Always.
And meanwhile, the little clap has officially become a Pezberry thing, you guys:
We will always, always, always. Bring the Turkey.
Sophy says: Feeling kind of nervous about Artie being in Most Rophy again. But it can’t be denied. Rophy/Turkey, always.
Rin says: Well.. it’s not so much Artie as it is the concept of Turkey in general.
Where there’s a Turkey, there’s a way.
Quinn Glory Shot
Let’s all bask in the multiple outfits glory…
Sophy says: Look at her, Rachel-gazing. And also that first cap is so beautiful and elegant and Dianna that I can’t.
Rin says: She’s so seasonal. It’s beautiful
Also yeah. That first cap? I will never get over it. It might be one of my favourite Quinns ever.. and WE DIDN’T EVEN GET TO SEE MUCH OF IT. =;=;=;
Sophy says: In my head there was a cut scene and in that cut scene she was wearing that outfit and also exchanging gifts with Rachel.
And also throwing rocks at the Finn Hudson star.