Reviews written by registered user
|4 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Tina Fey just created another masterpiece, essentially parodying, satirizing, and capturing the essence of reality television in just 21 minutes. Just like the soap opera episode, this episode is styled after a reality show, in its setup, yet like the traditional 30 rock theme, it is mainly the backstage story. There are actually two reality shows in this episode. The first just involves characters in a reality-showesque way, including facing a disaster and Lutz picking who to save causing the others to grovel before him for favor, meltdowns in different locations than the actual scene, and tense music. This was played entirely for laughs. The one between Lemon and Jordan is much more complex and deeper, which occurs because his wife is starring in her own reality show, so cameras are following people around in the office. Different characters even dress differently in order to appear on TV, which is a commentary on the desire for 15 minute fame. What makes a reality show sell is the absurd, over-dramatic fights, which the cameraman implores Lemon and Jordan to do, but Jordan is trying to act like a serious, actor with a strong work ethic to help his Oscar win. In every argument that occurs between the two, Tracy sabotages the ability to use footage due to singing copyrighted songs or wearing trademark logos. There is a beautiful relationship shown between actor and boss, and how dependent the two are of each other and the hidden love that exists: typical reality show bait. A video is created using footage obtained without their permission, deceiving editing, "mood music," and actors to play them to say dramatic, reconciliatory lines. And even when Lemon and Jordan watch it and know it's fake and that it's trash, they are still moved. Everyone knows reality shows are truly fake and overdone yet we can't resist watching. Tina beautifully captures the phenomenon and appeal of reality shows both for the public and the studio, and in doing so beautifully explores and reminisces about Lemon and Jordan's tumultuous relationship.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I first want to say that though I am Jewish I absolutely loved this episode and thought it really represented what Christmas should be about: kindness, innocence, an escape from harsh reality, and the belief of a better future. This is one of the few non-Kurt episodes that made me start crying from happiness. Though most of this episode is a recreation of the Grinch story (but Glee style!), it is also its own episode. It was really touching to see Brittany, who isn't blessed with a high intellect, still believing in Santa. But fortunately, the writers didn't just use this as a traditional Brittany joke but fleshed it out. She represents our childish delight we used to experience at Christmastime when we were young before we saw what the real world can be like. She is such a kind-hearted person, the only thing for Christmas she wishes for is for Artie to walk again, and she can't understand why Santa can't make it happen. And like the other kids, we the audience knows that is impossible. But she keeps believing and he is able to, in a fashion. What we wish for can't necessarily happen, but this episode shows that compromises can be made. Also, the scene between Beiste and Brittany was so touching as Beiste reveals a little more about herself as a girl, and how she's grown stronger by using her "undesired curse" to an advantage.
It is rare for a TV episode to be this emotionally intense without skirting into melodrama, which Furt thankfully avoids. Sue Sylvester continues to be developed and her dedication the the kids of the school reveals itself once again, even if she always tries to deny caring for others besides her sister. The Kurt/Karofsky situations becomes more intense, with one of the most terrifying, almost entirely wordless, scenes I've seen for a while in the beginning of this episode. I'm not going to reveal plot, but I was in tears bawling throughout the entire episode, and I usually don't cry easily. My tears were not strictly one emotion. They were tears of fear, pride, happiness, hope, shock, and appreciation, depending upon the scene. Glee is often a very cathartic series, and this episode is the epitome of what Glee represents. After the episode finished I wanted to fight against every injustice in the world and to stand up for others. This episode shows how powerful and friendship can be both when one is in times of trouble or in celebration, and conversely, how much abandonment can affect others. I was shocked that so much power could be present in just 45 minutes. Not to overhype this episode, but it may have the power to change people's outlooks and lives.
First I must mention I have not fully seen the sequel because it was malfunctioning, so I will comment solely on this first episode. This is another one of South Park's great episodes/two parters by itself, but has achieved deeper meaning now because of recent controversy when South Park was talking about Mohammed a month or two ago and ran into censorship problems and actually received death threats. This episode also brings up important issues of the first amendment and how much it should cover. This episode does belittle the writing of Family Guy and its integration of jokes, something I have noticed for a while about Family Guy and caused me not to continue watching once each episode was filled with jokes containing no relevancy to anything. No matter how far-fetched a South Park joke may seem, it always ties in at the end. The writing of South Park is almost consistently excellent some exceptions each season, unlike with Family Guy where I feel dumb after watching.