Music room. Blaine and Rachel sing "Extraordinary Merry Christmas," which is a Glee original. Artie approves the upbeat tone. And then Sue comes in to thank them for singing at the homeless shelter on Friday. Except that Friday is also the night they have to perform the special. And they're clearly picking fame over charity. Sue is upset that they're going to let everybody down. Rachel tells her that they're not letting them down, they're just going to distract them from their horrible lives with top-quality holiday entertainment. Sue: "The homeless don't have TVs." Sue is clearly angry and hurt, but she does not kill them all with a shotgun. After she leaves the room, Artie pumps everyone up for a cheerful performance. They all smile and clap, except for Quinn, who looks awfully sad. Commercials.
And then we come back to the title screen for the TV special. On a starry backdrop, a title tells us that it's "a long time ago in a chalét [sic] far away." And the announcer tells us "Live, from Lima, Ohio, it's the 'Glee Holiday Spectacular.'" Really? Live? Also, there's a Wookie cry. The credits introduce to all of the stars in groups of two or three, including "Mike Chang and Tina Cohen-Chang, no relation." And the special is brought to us by BreadstiX, "now with even more bread sticks." After the credits, everything is in black and white. The special opens just like Judy Garland's did, with the clapboard slate and Blaine sitting in the window seat, where he sings a song. He and Kurt sing a really upbeat version of the classic "Let It Snow." The set is a really amazing recreation of the set from the Garland special, with classic mid-century modern decor and a big fireplace in the middle of the room. The budget was clearly a fantasy, since one of those period lamps probably cost a couple of hundred dollars. Also, just like the Garland special, this song goes on for way too long. Did I mention that they're in suits? And that Blaine is wearing a bow tie? I mean, it probably goes without saying. We also get Kurt and Blaine (Kurt's "best friend and holiday roommate") welcoming the audience to their bachelor chalet and inviting us in through the front door. Less in keeping with the Garland special but more in line with other TV of the time are the unbearably cheesy jokes and amped-up laugh track. We also get a modern shout out as Kurt excuses himself to check on his online bid in the auction of Elizabeth Taylor's jewels. Which was actually happening the Tuesday night this episode was airing in the U.S. How very meta!