09 December, 2011

COMMUNITY 3.10: Regional Holiday Music

"Merry Christmas, everyone. Glee club just became history club." -- Jeff Winger

The show's Christmas episode is also its last for a while, as NBC has placed it on the bench for the foreseeable future as it tries to restructure its Thursday lineup. The show will return eventually, as it is going to film its full 22 episode season, and I wouldn't be shocked to see it picked up for another season since Sony will practically give the show away for free to NBC just to make syndication numbers.

The episode begins with Jeff helping to dissolve the school's glee club via ASCAP's legal intervention due to copyright infringement. That forces the club's instructor to try to get the study group to fill in as replacements. What follows is a manic episode that goes to crazy town, filled with wild singing and sluttery.

First of all, let me just cite my source for the song titles in this review. I got them from Alan Sepinwall, at this link (his review is much better than mine).

Second, the story is essentially secondary to the musical numbers, even though each one is brought about by the narrative element, which is essentially that every one of the study group members is somehow put under the spell of glee club. I suspect the instructor was slipping them all Ecstasy but what do I know. Here are the musical numbers as they appeared.

Songs Performed
"Glee," by Abed and Mr. Rad
This one threw me off at first. Then I really got into it. Confession... I love comedic musical stuff, like anything by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and this number filled that need well. And unlike all those horrid songs on that awful show GLEE (sorry, Ali Adler, I still love you), this one is awesome and short, and original.

"Jahovah's Secret Witness" by Abed and Troy
Only COMMUNITY can pull this kind of thing off and not make it suuuuuuuuck like MISFITS season 3. Troy and Abed's rap about becoming a secret Christmas assassin is like the best YouTube video ever with autotune. Goddamn this show is too good for mankind. We don't deserve this level of awesomeness. CANCEL IT! WE ARE NOT WORTHY!

"Baby Boomer Santa" by Troy, Abed, and Pierce
Abed and Troy ambush the study group with a glee number and Pierce gets sucked in by their multi-generation spanning number. It's pretty nuts. You should be watching the episode instead of reading this bullshit review.

"Teach Me How To Understand Christmas" by Annie
Daddy likes! Me just male. Me should know dis totally wrong. Me weak. No resist. Give in to bad Santa's little helper girl who no smart. Annie writhes around the floor and everything else like a naughty Betty Boop trying to manipulate Jeff into turning to the dark side. He tries to resist but like me, he fills a nearby cup with a sampling from another album... or something. Boobies!

"Happy Birthday Jesus" by the children's choir and Shirley
Pierce brings cute little kids to sing about Jesus and of course Shirley can't resist and joins them. Shirley is one of those characters who can sometimes easily fall into the background but when given time to play, like last week, truly shines and when she finally belts out her tune (is that really the actor's voice?) it is the best performance of the episode. Britta is horrified!

"Planet Christmas" by the gang
The highlight of this performance is that Britta comes in and ruins the entire thing with her awful vocals and total ignorance of the lyrics. To me, this is the best moment of the episode. Britta is just so totally unaware of her lack of talent that she destroys all that the glee club instructor, and apparent murderer, has worked so hard to create.

Annie: And don't bother this year, I'll be at the movies with my bubby [sounds like 'booby'].
Troy: (confused) You're not taking both of them?
Annie: (sad) Well, one's dead.
Troy: What?!

Dean: And to think, they were this close (holds thumb and index finger slightly apart) to regionals.
Pierce: What the hell are regionals?
Dean: They're this close, Pierce!

Mr. Rad: (singing) Glee! It's like a drug that you use that turns pain into shoes and your shoes into dance!

Annie: Hey guys. Rapping?
Abed: Yep. Wanna join us?
Annie: Totally! Wait. You guys never let me rap with you.
Troy: Well, we're gonna need all hands on deck if we're gonna go to regionals.
Annie: (suspiciously) Cool. I just need to.. study.. though, in my room. So, have fun!

Troy: (effeminately) Look guys, I hear your negativity but also can I counter with this? Who hates glee? Listen to how that sounds. Glee literally means 'glee.'

Troy and Abed: (singing) Baby boomer Santa, thank you for MTV!

Annie: (singing in a baby voice) You smarty! Me dumb! Help pretty, have fun! Booby dooby doob boob, sex!
Jeff: Look, eventually you hit a point of diminishing returns on the sexyness.
Annie: (in baby voice) What's a diminyiwahnyawahhhh?

Mr. Rad: (freaking out) This show is supposed to be gleeful! And bright! And fun! And you can let me do that or there can be another bus crash!
The audience gasps.
Mr. Rad: Well, figuratively. (laughing) I'm not saying 'I killed the last glee club!' I'm saying, you not listening to me is like metaphorically cutting the brake lines on your own.. (pointing behind the audience) look Kings of Leon.
Mr. Rad runs away.
Jeff: What did he say? Did Mr. Rad kill the last glee club?
Dean: And to think I trusted him enough to captain a magic carpet in that dream I had last night.

Jeff: It's been a dark semester. I basically killed a guy. And I kind of attacked you guys with a fire ax. Thinking about seeing a new shrink.
Britta: What?!
Jeff: Don't.

If I had to rate this one I'd give it:

92 out of 100

One of the most unique episodes, in a season of unique episodes. COMMUNITY continues to prove the early season naysayers wrong by killing it every week. Those who feel the need to shit on a show as it enters the third season just because they have run out of stamina to enjoy genius can go fuck off and die someplace cold and dark. I am having a blast. When this show returns sometime in the next few months, after that abortionfest WHITNEY and its fuckbuddy CHELSEA bomb, COMMUNITY will ride in on its steed of greatness to set fire to the land of predictable shit that belongs on CBS where talent goes to sell itself into prostitution.


  1. The sly nod to 78's "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" when Britta gets converted by Jeff is one of the awesome inside references that make me love the show oh so much.

  2. I have an unnatural hatred for Glee and its fans so this episode made me quite happy. I particularly loved the little gospel choir singing about how public school was not allowed to tell them who's birthday it was, and the Pierce/Troy/Abed generation spanning number was great! Also loved Britta describing glee club as similar to being on Ecstasy, and Abed admitting at the end that the Christmas special episode of Inspector Spacetime was terrible.

  3. I used to like Glee when it was new and fresh, but it quickly became stale. It really pissed me off when Matthew Morrison got an Emmy nomination for comedy despite never having done anything remotely funny.

    So, this episode just cracked me up. The running "what the Hell are regionals" gag indicated the writers know Glee well. The original numbers were brilliant. Gotta see it again when I haven't had alcohol, though.

    BTW--as I posted with my new Twitter ID (@MediaSavantGF), Community has one of the highest compositions of college graduates in its audience in TV. While its Live+7 A18-49 rating is 2.25, its rating for college graduates 18-49 is 3.89. It's ratings flaw is it just doesn't appeal to people who aren't very smart.

  4. This was a wonderful episode in a wonderful season in a wonderful series....yes I know it is a wonderful show! I loved how each song just nailed why a specific group member would be converted. The lyrics appealed to the vain, hollier than..., the sex motivated, etc. Glee does suck...I liked the ending too where they all spent part of the holidays together too. Man this show is better than 90% of dramas out there, they nail the serialisation pefectly and really go for broke...why people do not tune into a show that has this big balls I will never understand. Maybe Media Savant has a point...maybe it does not appeal to people who are not smart.

  5. It requires a certain level of intelligence that many people don't have, but the humor also relies on you having a certain type of pop culture knowledge also.

    I know some highly educated people whose pop culture "IQ" is very low. They wouldn't know what most of the jokes are referring to.

  6. I think the general public also fears genius. It's like looking at a very attractive person for too long. It reminds you just how much you will never measure up.