As voice of (semi) reason Jeff Winger remarked at the end of last night's holiday-themed episode of Community, "Regional Holiday Music," it's been a dark semester for our favorite Greendale students, what with Jeff "basically killing a guy", Dean Pelton going mad in the jungle and the creation of an alternate timeline with evil versions of Troy and Abed. So it was thoughtful of the writers to offer up a light-hearted, music-filled Glee spoof for the show's last episode of 2011. Of course, then we remembered that this could potentially be the last Community episode of the entire midseason and we got dark and depressed all over again. So we watched "Regional Holiday Music" a second time and its spot-on side-swipes at Glee (particularly Taran Killiam's scary-good Matthew Morrison impression as Cory Radison or, as he prefers, "Mr. Rad"), glimpses of the Inspector Spacetime Holiday Special (we'll get to see more of that one day, yes?), the sweet finale with all the gang together and -- best of all -- the musical numbers that raised our spirits all over again. Here's how we graded each original tune.
Singers: Abed and Mr. Radison
Sounds Like: The big number at a fifth-grade recital
Would Have Been Performed on Glee By: Mr. Schue and Kurt
Funniest Lyric: "Everything's cooler when cameras are spinning."
Grade: B. A fun warm-up for even better songs to come.
"Jehovah's Secret Witness"
Singers: Troy and Abed
Sounds Like: A lost cut off of the Jay-Z/Kanye album, Watch the Throne
Would Have Been Performed on Glee By: Puck and Artie
Funniest Lyric: "I'll watch all the TV specials that I never could/I'll even cry during the sad ones like James Bond would."
Grade: B+. We especially liked Troy's use of Auto-Tune.
"Baby Boomer Santa"
Singers: Troy, Abed and Pierce
Sounds Like: Those Justin Timberlake/Jimmy Fallon "History of Rap" duets on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
Would Have Been Performed on Glee By: Santana, Brittany and Sue
Funniest Lyric: "Santa fought at Woodstock and Vietnam/And smoked a ton of acid and burned his bra."
Grade: A-. Just a pure slice of music history awesomeness, from the big band era, through Bob Dylan and disco to '90s pop. Thanks, Baby Boomer Santa!
"Teach Me How to Understand Christmas"
Sounds Like: A vintage Betty Boop jam
Would Have Been Performed on Glee By: Rachel
Funniest Lyric: "Where does the stocking go? Here? I can't see!"
Grade: A+. Honestly, we stopped listening to anything Annie was saying or singing after she put on that Santa's helper outfit. If Community really wants to increase its ratings (and Dan Harmon does), making that her full-time costume might help.
"Happy Birthday Jesus"
Singers: Shirley and an adorable youth choir
Sounds Like: A gospel standard
Would Have Been Performed on Glee By: Mercedes
Funniest Lyric: "We asked our public schools to give the answer/But they could only teach us not to pray."
Grade: B+. Maybe not the most faith-encompassing holiday song around, but we liked watching Shirley getting her gospel groove on.
Singers: Ensemble (plus Britta)
Sounds Like: Community theater
Would Have Been Performed on Glee By: The entire cast with Mike Chang on solo vocals.
Funniest Lyric: "I got a Christmastime for me/I got a Christmastime for a tree/Christmas! Christmastime!/Me so Christmas, me so merry!"
Grade: A. With apologies to Barbara Robinson, this is the best Christmas pageant ever.
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