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Glee S05E08: "Previously Unaired Christmas"


The thing about "finally" airing an episode that was supposedly filmed last season, took place in the timeline of last season, and was banned by the network until now is that Glee's continuity, character development, and self-awareness are so muddled and cray-cray that honestly, without the Jane Lynch public service announcement, I probably wouldn't have noticed. Scratch that—I'd have noticed, but I would have chalked it up to Glee being Glee rather than some conscious effort on the show's part to... what exactly? The desperation to be seen as edgy was thicker than eggnog, which in turn distracted from the supposed sweetness of Tina pity-awarding Becky the angel decoration or Unique and Marley going out of their way to convince Kitty to be Mary in the school's living nativity for reasons that were never entirely explained. The whole episode reeked of attention-seeking (you know, more than the usual Glee episode) and seemed to be screaming, "LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME!" at every jingle-bell-laden turn. 

There were some high points—Santana as Slutty-Sassy Mrs. Claus was amazing. She was the internal monologue come to life of seasonal holiday help everywhere. Bless her. 

Okay, there was one high point. 


Perhaps the flashback-but-not aspect of the episode did more harm than good? We already knew that Marley and Jake would break up. We already knew that Santana would move to New York full-time. We already knew that Klaine would get back together. These weren't particularly compelling storylines the first time around, and revisiting them and tossing in some dance numbers of questionable taste doesn't make them any more interesting. 


Glee has been very open about the rebuilding that's had to take place in the wake of Cory Monteith's death. Ryan Murphy has said that he already had Glee's big series finale planned, and that finale can no longer happen. There's been talk of shifting the show to New York full-time, but that's still, as far as we know, just talk. I was surprised by how soon the show returned following its perfect "The Quarterback," but now, with a new return date of Tuesday, February 25, it seems that Glee may've simply rescheduled its alone time for a later date. It also tentatively explains the decision to air an episode that randomly takes place in the middle of last season, even though last season had a Christmas episode of its very own. 

The holidays are stupid amounts of fun and awesome, but they can also be sad. It would have been almost impossible to do a zany, weird, sometimes-tasteless Christmas episode in Season 5 without acknowledging the loss New Directions endured just a few months prior to it, but you can't have Rachel and gang struggling through their first holiday season without Finn in one scene and then have Unique birth a baby Jesus in the next without it being terrible. Also, I imagine that forcing the cast and crew to display what are probably very real, personal feelings during this time to display them on camera for our entertainment would've been a particularly awful kind of cruel. 

Placing an episode firmly in last season's timeline was also a handy way of pumping the brakes on Season 5 to buy some time to figure out where it now needs to go.


So, I get it. "Previously Unaired Christmas" happened because of reasons, and as far as the saccharine Becky and Kitty storylines go, well, that's what Christmas TV is for—gross over-caring tales—and as a fan of The Christmas Cottage, I'm really not sure that I have the right to complain about it except that having Sue acknowledge the special treatment Becky gets, and that said special treatment is wrong, and THEN having Becky receive it and presenting it as a positive kind of didn't make any sense. Whatever. 

Oh, and the nativity stuff, too—in what American public high school is an administration-sponsored living nativity making it to fruition? 



MUSICAL NOTES

– Glee Christmas playlist time: meh. 

– LOL @ Jane Lynch's stockings.

– That was the actual Chipmunks song recording, wasn't it? HOW DARE YOU, GLEE. HOW DARE YOU. 

– I think Kitty and I had the same facial expression during "Love Child."

– Sexy Claus and Kurt were kind of amazing  until the whole robbing-the-loft-blind part. 

– FEBRUARY?!? February.


What did you think of "Previously Unaired Christmas"?


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So. Many. Time. Errors. In this episode. Ruined it for me...
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All of them were great - except for Previously Unaired Christmas - but I picked Extraordinary Merry Christmas. It had that amazing scene between Finn and Rachel with the star, which is really sad now, and Kurt and Blaine had the cutest duet. Also all of the songs were good!
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If this was supposedly aired last season... then WHERE'S FINN?????
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Wow, I feel like I'm the only one who think that the episode was one big mess. I didn't find the Kitty-Marley-Unique stuff funny at all, because I didn't see the point of the storyline... Maybe because this was a filler episode that had nothing to do with the season 4-5 story we know. The only part of the episode I found funny was some of the Sue-Becky scenes (but oh my god I just HATED the scene where Becky basically wanted to mouth-rape Tina and Sam. The writers must really hate her character.) and I also thought the scenes with Kurt and the santa was funny. It was relaxing to see Kurt take a brake from all the Klaine stuff. I feel like this was a terrible midseason finale. (this WAS the midseason finale, right?!)
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I didn't like it either. I didn't care for Kurt and Santa because it felt like Kurt was cheating even though I know it was supposed to be a year ago and so Kurt was single it just had an odd vibe to it. The only part I liked was Santana as Mrs. Clause, it was awkward in a funny sort of way. The rest of the episode was just awkward without the funny. :/
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I mostly agree with you, not for the part about Kurt, I thought they had zero chemistry... Santa was just too hot for Kurt!
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Thye could have shown the yule log for an hour and it would have been better that season 4's glee actually. This one was fun yet total filler in this never ending school year.
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Maybe they needed to pinpoint when Becky stopped being horrible all the time? It was just so random.
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I've always wondered at what point did Marley stopped wearing that hat.

Anyway I don't remember anything about the actual christmas episode... and if this was considered to be an alternative version, then all my fears of retconning and inconsistencies are unfounded. Even if it wasn't, it took place on a different day than the previous one, so the only plotholes are Brittany and Finn, which are the reason they shouldn't have done it in the first place...

I felt this episode to be completely useless by the way. Boring, lazily written.
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Seems like everyone loves Extraordinary Merry Christmas. WHY????? It was utter garbage, one of the strongest candidates for worst Glee episode ever. It says a lot that this one wasn't much better. Glee doesn't have a good record with Christmas episodes, only A Very Glee Christmas was any good, and it wasn't a classic.
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The "Extraordinary Glee Xmas" was hands down the best. We all know Glee is pretty whacked out silly a lot and this ep. was in the "too much for me" category. I forget how the timeline went in 2012 but had Finn already visited or not? I take it's no since of course he wasn't in it but I almost thought he had surprised them up there before Xmas. Santana was definitely a highlight although on an external note I'd like more meat on her bones. :P


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Honestly thought this episode was offensive in a variety of ways.
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I'm sorry but that baby Jesus, nope nope nope. A human head on the body of a doll. so many levels of creepy.
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Each of Glee's episode usually has 35 minutes of pure agony, but it does gives us 7 minutes which is quite memorable. Like Santana's Mrs. Claus, or Kitty's snark, Unique's giving birth. And those 7 minutes are only reason I watch the whole damn episode.
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The first third of this episode was so boring I almost wanted to turn it off. It was maybe even as bad as some of the early episodes like the terrible “Acafellas”. But then it turned around and the rest of the episode was of normal Glee quality – I laughed at several points.

The best thing about the episode was, no doubt, the “Love Child” performance. Amazing. In my top 5 glee musical numbers ever! And Unique’s facial expressions were soo perfect.
I found Kitty’s reaction to it extremely weird though. Was it seriously because of Unique’s skin colour she disliked it. I didn’t really understand. But if that were the case, I don’t get why everyone was so tolerant about it (Kitty’s reaction that is) – cheering even; did I miss something?
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  • Okay, I just realized it was probably the lyrics she took offence to. (I seldom pay attention to the meaning of lyrics in foreign language songs ...) But even so, why would that make her want to play Mary?
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Sorry to spam the comment section discussing with myself, but I just realized it couldn’t have been solely because of the lyrics since she looked disapproving way before the song had started. So if someone understood this better than me, please explain!
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Just the choice of song was tacky. The virgin Mary singing "Love Child"? Which may or may not have been implying that Jesus was the child in question? Then it went down hill from there. They were doing it on purpose so that Kitty would be offended enough to volunteer to take the part so as to "fix" it. This was similar to the episode where Finn and Rachel sang a love song while dressed as a priest and a nun so as to lose a competition on purpose so one of the other teams could win. Personally, I found it rather offensive (even if in fun) so I fast forwarded past it. I shudder to think what they took out.
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So far Extraordinary Merry Christmas was the only Christmas episode of theirs I really loved. At the time, I was pretty "meh" about their first Christmas special so it's kind of sad I now look at that time as the "good old days" of Glee. This episode wasn't as bad as Glee, Actually which was a horrible waste of a good idea but it wasn't much better. Sexy Mrs. Claus Santana was definitely the highlight of the episode and as much as I love Ryan Murphy using a Popular-alum, I was pretty disgusted by shirtless Santa and Kurt, they had so little chemistry it dipped into the negatives. The McKinley plots were fast-forward worthy as usual but even though those saccharine sweet plots are Christmas special staples, it's hard to take them seriously when that's what Glee does every week in the same self-important tone. The Becky resolution was pretty laughable and I'm just sick of her becoming such a big part of this season when they have no clue how to appropriately handle her character.
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Everything is not the same, without Finn and Quinn.
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This episode was not filmed last year and it was never banned. They had to make all of that up. A Christmas episode couldn't fit into the current timeline. It's currently spring in Lima; they are all about to graduate. The only way to have a Christmas episode was to air a "lost episode" If you don't believe it, then where is Finn and Brittany? And how is Sam's hair long?
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You do realize that no one was trying to make us believe this was actually a lost episode right? That was just their excuse to squeeze in a Christmas episode.
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this was such a horrible episode... such a long fall from grace, that first one where Artie got his Transformer stand-up machine made me shed a couple tears, even last season's was relatively good.. but this was clearly filmed this year in an attempt to have a Christmas episode because the show's writers screwed up making the school year last two seasons because Finn and Brittany were nowhere to be found. and none of the storylines were at all likeable, even though the whole Marley/Kitty insult in the classroom (well, you were a smaller bra size than me!) and the Sexy Santa and Slutty Santana Claus parts were funny, the rest was just utter crap. and seriously, they actually get away with putting a Chipmunk version on the episode? it would be one thing for it to be chalked up to them being drunk off they AAAYASS but them actually released it as a single is another. worst Christmas episode ever.
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Well, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that writers didn't screw up by leaving Finn out of the episode, what with the actor not being available

http://www.tv.com/shows/glee/community/post/glee-star-cory-monteith-is-dead-at-age-31-137378536451/

just in case you missed the news
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I'm well aware, I said they screwed up by having the school year last two seasons instead of one which means they couldn't do another Christmas episode.. and it's apparent this is a newly filmed episode because of the absence of Finn and Brittany.
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It was garbage. The premise was a lie and the storyline didn't even try to hide it very well. I found it chaotic and disjointed. And no, I didn't find it funny. Unfortunately, it's only consistency was that it's in keeping with the downward spiral of the overall show.
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Glee does BoneyM! Love it! The rest of the episode? meh...
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I think people take Glee way too seriously. Understandable, since it usually does too, but this episode just abandoned continuity and was actually hilarious for the first time in awhile. If you were offended, then congrats, that's exactly what Glee was going for. The whole NYC plot was great and the Love Child performance was probably the most funny one in the show if you don't clutch your pearls so hard.
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Oh and Props to Sexy Santa ;) Dude basically stole the show with those shmexy abs :P
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Glee is just taking a step back, they have lost their balance and they are just trying to find their footing again. Christmas this year must be a hard time for the cast just give em' some time and it will be good again :)
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If you watched "Popular" (Ryan Murphy's amazing teen show) you know that the Santa Hunk was played by Bryce Johnson, AKA Josh Ford and he's just as hot now as he was in 1999.
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Aaahhhhh, all I could figure out was that one episode of Gilmore girls when Lorelei went on a date with him. It's been too long since I've seen popular.
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Does anyone know who the actor who played Santa Thief was? Thanks
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i think the actor's name is Bryce Johnson...you should check it, but I'm quite sure he's the one.

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"...pumping the breaks..."

That would be "brakes."

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Staff
Eek, how embarrassing. Fixed!
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Glee has lost the plot. I feel like all of Ryan Murphy's genius is being channeled into AHS & there's just nothing left. Although, watching super abusive horny Becky sometimes makes me FEEL like I'm watching a horror story...
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I feel like Glee has officially jumped the shark with this episode. They clearly did not know what to do with this Christmas season and threw something together that was offensive (I know that some of it was intentional, but still...) and really not that funny.

I know that there was a timeline issues with this season being a continuation of last season so it isn't Christmas time for the characters. I think the viewers would have been alright without there being a Christmas episode this year for that reason. There WAS a Christmas episode last season that actually followed the timeline and so it really did feel like the writers had a free for all and said anything could happen because if the view doesn't like it they can just use last seasons episode instead.
There really wasn't much about this particular episode that I liked. The chipmonks song was really funny, but it was so obvious that they were lip singing that it kind of ruined it.

I felt like I had way too many WTH moments for the episode to be enjoyable and instead cringed for most of the episode.
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This was the worst.
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What a truly awful episode. It was boring and full of good (?) intentions (yay to the comeback of the virginity glorification) and I don't get why Kitty deserved the part of Mary more than Unique? I did not care for any of the songs and the Chipmunk one was horrible. We could have done without the episode.
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Lmao @ Santana as Mrs. Claus. I'm pretty sure that was the funniest scene ever on the show, at least IMO.
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sooo they still haven't figured out that holiday episodes suckkkkkk
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Not that great, but it should help both Becky and Kitty get along with others in Christmas. Kitty looked great in Mary. "Love Child" was kind of off-topic.

I liked the part when Blaine got cut off in the beginning from singing "Joy To The World" for a few seconds, that was so funny. But I'm glad the Klaine engagement was officially cut off and I hope the Brittana engagement will never form at all.

I liked the part on the scene where they should "Santana Claus", cool!

I might predict that Brittany, Quinn, Sugar, Emma and Joe will return in these episodes: 100th, Nationals and Graduation. I might predict that these sophomores will be forced to graduate at the same time as time as seniors.

But right after the graduation episodes, these characters will officially get axed:

Mike, Puck, Brittany, Quinn, Sugar, Kitty, Joe, Jake, and Ryder.

I'm on a hiatus right now, but this is the big winter break going to be revealed: Sochi Winter Olympics 2014.

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And also, 12 months ago, weren't they all still at High School?

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Nope
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Dafuq did I just watch???
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There's only one word that can sum up how i felt watching this: WTF!!!???
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Was it actually filmed last year? I've heard it wasn't. Wouldn't Finn have been in it if it was?
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Also I can understand why it was unaired - terrible!!!!
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What on earth did I just watch?!
At least this one had plenty of Santana, and in a sexy Mrs Claus outfit no less. WOW!
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Oh boy! That was a doozy. This episode is definitely going into the FTW/WTF column this week, under BOTH categories. I'm going to need a few hours to recover from THAT!
I love GLEE and will continue to do so until the end of Season 6.
That said... what in the hell was that?!?!?! What were the writers on? Acid?
And whose bright idea was it to make it a flashback episode like it was happening a year ago? We all now it was filmed a few weeks ago, so "locked away in the Fox vault for year" was kinda stupid.
This episode had some nice moments, like the final musical number; and a lot of cringe worthy moments; and two or three actually funny moments: the football team's tree and the 4-20 club tree, those we hilarious; Santana as Mrs. Claus, was funny as hell and typical Santana.
I love Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, but I felt exactly like the kids watching Kurt, Rachel and Santana perform it.
The Love Child musical number had me feeling exactly the way Kitty looked; I know it was supposed to be ridiculous and offensive on purpose, but still.
I had high hopes for this episode, but aside from the very last musical number, this episode DID NOT feel a lot like Christmas.
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Thank you.
Thank you for reading my mind.
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I don't know if the writers were on anything, but if they were they should take more of it, as it was the funniest episode of the season.

As for the the flashback, seasons 4 & 5 cover the same school year so ignoring this episode the Glee club is somewhere between Regional's and National's , so maybe around March\April time. So to do a Christmas episode they have to find a way to jump back from March to December, having the episode "locked away for a year" is just a way to get around the calender problems. Also if you play along with the idea then this episode didn't really happen because it "had to" be replaced with last year's Christmas episode, it gave the writers freedom to do anything they liked because what ever happened in this episode was overwritten by last year's episode.

The Love Child number was fantasticly ridiculous and over the top, but Chipmunk Kirk wanting his hula-hoop; now that was disturbing.
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Oops, OK got a title wrong; it's Here Comes Santa Claus, not Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.
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