Community: Regional Holiday Music

“Why don’t we let Britta sing her awkward song?”

After years of covert attacks, Community has finally declared all out war on Glee. And it couldn't have made for a better episode.

It has always made me feel warm inside that the creators (and therefore, the characters) of Community seem to share my dislike of all things Glee. I'm not going to skirt the issue, I hate Glee. I hate it with the flaming passion of a million burning suns that are all members of the Intergalactic Anti-Glee Union Incorporated. I tried to get into when it first started but that only made me hate it more. Even an episode directed by Joss Whedon and guest starring Neil Patrick Harris couldn't put out the burning fire of hate within me.

But I didn't come here to tear apart Glee (okay, maybe little). I came here to praise Community. And praise Community I shall.

Last year's Christmas episode, 'Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas', was truly something special. It was twenty odd minutes of pure stop-motion wonderfulness and topping it was always going to be an impossible task. And yet somehow they did it. This was a fantastic episode, easily one of the series' best, that crossed Glee with Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

I loved how gleefulness was constantly depicted as this insidious force, spreading from person to person, turning them one by one into mindless zombies that just wanted to sing and dance and only cared about something called Regionals. No matter what you do, no matter where you go, you just can't escape it. Glee is out there. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you have downloaded every last song off iTunes.

Ultimately, like all musicals, the success of this episode rested on the quality of the songs. I love musicals and I hold Disney and Alan Menken completely responsible for that. All the songs in this episode were smart and funny, although not always catchy. I don't think any of them are going to be break away pop hits. The standouts were Troy and Abed's rap, their genre mash-up to pander to the well-documented historical vanity of Pierce’s demographic and, of course, Annie's seduction of Jeff. After that number, even I was willing to sign up for Glee Club, and I hate Glee Club even more that Jeff does. Hell, I'd join the Tea Party if they sent round Alison Brie dressed as a sexy Santa to recruit me.

Notes and Quotes

-- So just what the hell are Regionals, anyway?

-- Britta's tree costume looked like it was made from a leftover Seven of Nine outfit.

-- Jeff, when are you going to learn that your scheming always comes back to bite you? From now on, it's best just to not bother.

-- Surely there has to be something out there that Britta is actually good at?

-- Want to know exactly what happened to the previous Greendale Glee Club? Dan Harmon has the answer: “There was a glee club at Greendale, and their bus was driving on a rainy night, and a downed power line was hanging across the road, and the bus drove through it, and it sliced through the bus and decapitated everyone, row by row, so that the people in the back had to watch all their friends get decapitated, then they got decapitated, and then the bus drove into a pool of lava. And I guess the crazy thing is, the electricity from the power line somehow kept their nervous systems ‘alive,’ so they could feel the lava. They didn’t escape the pain of the lava just because they didn’t have heads. They felt the lava. It was terrible but it was not metaphorical in any way.”

-- Pierce still doesn't seem all that upset about Jeff basically killing his father.

-- The Inspector Spacetime Holiday Special was an obvious parody of both Doctor Who festive specials and the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special.

Mr. Rad: “GLEE! It's a feeling you get when your brain finally lets your heart get in its pants. Glee! It's like a drug that you use that turns your pain into shoes and your shoes into DANCE!”
Abed: “How is your piano still playing this song?”

Jeff: “Not liking Glee Club doesn't make us bullies. And implying that is reverse bullying.”

Mr. Rad: “Look, Kings of Leon!”
-- This was probably the subtlest joke of the entire episode. I missed it first time round.

Dean Pelton: “Oh, Britta's in this?”

Britta: “Maybe it’s nothing...”
Jeff: “Yeah, if 'nothing' wears a sweater vest and seems aggressively a-sexual.”

Tory: “I'll watch all the TV specials I never could. I'll even cry during the sad ones like James Bond would.”

Jeff: “Look, eventually you hit a point of diminishing returns on the sexiness.”
Annie: “What’s a diminehmahmehnyah?”

Four out of four Regionals, whatever they are. Oh, and Merry Christmas Everyone.


---
Mark Greig has been writing for Doux Reviews since 2011. More Mark Greig.

18 comments:

Celtic Marc said...

LMAO

Awesome review (again) Mark.
FYI, oups, I LOVE Glee.

When I learned that my fave Thursday show would mock my fave Tuesday show, I was in Bliss. Watching it was, well, more powerful than Bliss itself. This show is by far one of the top 10 that NBC produced in the last 10, 15 years.

My other feeling is that last years Xmas' show inspired the guys at Eureka to do the same.....

Billie Doux said...

Somehow I doubt Glee will respond in kind in their Christmas episode airing tonight. :) Terrific review, Mark.

Cesar said...

Another excellent episode.

I'm not a native English speaker (and I also don't have the cleanest of minds), so can anyone explain who or what exactly was Annie going to the movies with? (and how did the other one die???)

Billie Doux said...

It is still by no means a sure thing, but TV by the Numbers has upgraded Community to "likely to be renewed" from its previous less positive status.

http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2011/12/13/nbc-community-upgraded-to-likely-to-be-renewed/113574/

Anonymous said...

Cesar -- Annie said "bubbe," which I believe is Yiddish for "grandmother." Troy thought she said "boobie," which is American slang for "breast." So Annie was going to the movies with one grandmother, and her other grandmother was dead, but Troy thought she was going to the movies with only one of her boobies.

I have to say, I thought explaining it would ruin the joke, but it seems even funnier to me now. That probably doesn't speak well for my maturity, does it?

KAM

Gus Brunetti said...

Mark, it's a good sign when a review is almost as funny as the show. I laughed out loud more than once.

I don't hate Glee, but dislike it a lot. I've been avoiding it since I stopped watching it in the middle of the Madonna episode. Never looked back. Community has mocked every single aspect of the show I find annoying.

That scene with Annie was surely sexy, but it kept getting creepier, she strayed too much into childish territory, and I was uncomfortable for finding that sexy.

Am I weird because I'd be friends with Britta?

Billie Doux said...

I do like Glee. What's to hate? It's not Shakespeare, but it's fun and occasionally clever, it makes me laugh, and the music is usually pretty darned good. My mother loved movie musicals and I must have seen every one ever made while I was growing up, though, so I'm probably warped.

Celtic Marc said...

Dear Billie doux

a) yay for the link above. Oh finally, some hope !

b) indeed about Glee.

LOL Glee doesn't leave anybody (or almost) impartial. And thank you youtube for the Kiss for a Rose scene.

Cesar said...

Thanks KAM! I got the boobie part and imagined the joke was something like that, but I don't think I ever heard the word 'bubbe' before, so I reacted pretty much like Troy while watching.

And that's great news, Billie. Six seasons and a movie!

As for Glee, I thought the Body Snatchers/Ecstasy comparison was spot on. I watched the first season until the midseason finale (Sectionals?), and I was liking it (although I was never a huge fan). Then, after the break, I don't know if something changed or the drug effects just wore off but after a few episodes I couldn't stand it anymore. Interestingly, other friends of mine that used to watch it also had the same reactions, but in different points of the show. All of that made this episode even more funny to me. (also, this might help me convince one of these friends I mentioned to finally start watching this show)

Kathy said...

Mark, I also hate Glee with an intense passion. So, I absolutely loved your review. And, this was an awesome episode! (I always laugh at what Dan Harmon says what happened to the last Glee Club. Something about the random pool of lava makes it for me!)

I'm relatively new to Community, having just started watching it this past summer. And it has been making me laugh harder than anything else this entire season. I hope it will be renewed! (I hate that NBC has pulled it until Spring.)

Kat

Juliette said...

I like Glee, but obviously I'd never choose it over Community. I knew Community had to do a musical episode at some point - when Xena, Buffy and Scrubs have all done it a show as surreal as Community could hardly resist - but the Christmas/Glee theme was a brilliant idea!

Mark Greig said...

Gus, I don't think it is weird at all, I would be friends with Britta in a heartbeat.

Thanks for all the great feedback, everyone. Glad to hear you all loved this episode as much as I did. Just a shame that the Screen Actors Guild and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association didn't. Bah, to hell with them, especially the stupid HFPA (seriously, Boss?)

While I'm here, let me take this opportunity to recommend that everyone start watching Parks and Recreation while Community is on extended hiatus. I only just started watching this a few days ago but Ron Swanson has already become my new comedy god.

Mark Greig said...

Programming note: Good news, everyone! Community will return March 15!

Greg Quinnell said...

MAAAAAAAAAARK!!! WHERE ARE YOU!!!

"patiently waits for the review of last week's Community episode"

Mark Greig said...

You shoudn't have to wait for much longer, Greg. The latest review should be up sometime later today.

sunbunny said...

Annie's 'Silly Christmas Baby' song has been stuck in my head all day. Boopy doopy doo boop sex.

ChrisB said...

Although I liked Glee, I have stopped watching it and this episode reminded me of why. I loved this one, probably one of my favorites. I loved the rap and the genre song that sucked in Pierce.

I must admit that, like Gus, Annie's song went a little far for me and that I wish they had let Britta shine instead of making her the butt of the joke again.

But, the final scene when the rest of the group were singing to Abed actually brought a tear to my eye. Always the sign of a Christmas show I will watch every year from now on.

Great PurpleRobe said...

My dislike of Glee stem from having actually being in singing groups in High School, and how, even at our best, we didn't sound like a room full of professional entertainers with well-trained voices who could copy any musical style with no discernible practice. And the word 'budget' apparently meant nothing to these people on the show.

I feel bad for kids who are currently in chorus in school who feel horrible because they don't measure up to the TV show. I want to let those kids know; you're doing something real, they are not. Keep going. --JB