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MATT ZOLLER SEITZ: GLEE has a Judy Garland Christmas

Press Play By Matt Zoller Seitz | Press Play December 15, 2011 at 1:46AM

All together now, readers: If you hate Glee so much, Matt, why do you keep watching it? I don’t know, folks. At the risk of sounding like a masochistic romantic who’s stuck in a tortuous relationship — Dear diary, I can’t TAKE this anymore, it’s horrible and it’s KILLING me … but OH MY GOD IF YOU COULD HAVE SEEN THE GIFT SHE BOUGHT ME! — I have to go on the record about last night’s Glee Christmas special. It was brilliant. OK, actually, I should qualify that — the middle section was brilliant. The wraparound stuff was the Glee usual: silly, pandering and dull. During the final number — “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” set in a soup kitchen that no doubt was populated by the children of “Glee” cast and crew — even the actors seemed bored, except for Jane Lynch, whose Coach Sylvester was acknowledging the first anniversary of her sister’s death. (Tear cup.) But OH MY GOD IF YOU COULD HAVE SEEN THAT MIDDLE SECTION, DIARY! Presented in black-and-white, it perfectly re-created the set, the tone and even the camera moves of The Judy Garland Show Christmas special from 1963, but with a cultural flash forward/flashback quality, presenting a patchwork quilt vision of America that wouldn’t have gotten past the network censors four decades ago.
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In a clever, charming black-and-white interlude, the show reminds us what it's capable of.
In a clever, charming black-and-white interlude, the show reminds us what it's capable of.

All together now, readers: If you hate Glee so much, Matt, why do you keep watching it? I don’t know, folks. At the risk of sounding like a masochistic romantic who’s stuck in a tortuous relationship — Dear diary, I can’t TAKE this anymore, it’s horrible and it’s KILLING me … but OH MY GOD IF YOU COULD HAVE SEEN THE GIFT SHE BOUGHT ME! — I have to go on the record about last night’s Glee Christmas special. It was brilliant.

OK, actually, I should qualify that — the middle section was brilliant. The wraparound stuff was the Glee usual: silly, pandering and dull. During the final number — “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” set in a soup kitchen that no doubt was populated by the children of “Glee” cast and crew — even the actors seemed bored, except for Jane Lynch, whose Coach Sylvester was acknowledging the first anniversary of her sister’s death. (Tear cup.) But OH MY GOD IF YOU COULD HAVE SEEN THAT MIDDLE SECTION, DIARY! Presented in black-and-white, it perfectly re-created the set, the tone and even the camera moves of The Judy Garland Show Christmas special from 1963, but with a cultural flash forward/flashback quality, presenting a patchwork quilt vision of America that wouldn’t have gotten past the network censors four decades ago.

You can read the rest of Matt's recap here at Salon.

Matt Zoller Seitz is the publisher of Press Play and TV critic at Salon.

This article is related to: Judy Garland, Matthew Zoller Seitz, Glee


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