Glee Review: All I Want For Christmas Is No More Holiday Specials

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We speculated earlier this week about whether this year's Glee Christmas episode would top "Extraordinary Merry Christmas." The answer, amazingly was a resounding "No."

If that wasn't an hour-long commercial for the Glee Vol. 3 holiday album, I don't know what was. Why couldn't this just have been an hour-long music special with the cast and characters singing songs and spouting pithy one-liners? Oh, wait.

Glee really should have quit for the season while it was ahead last week with "Swan Song."

Puck and Jake

"Glee, Actually" was completely all over the place, calling for the suspension of any and all disbelief regarding how absolutely everything in the real world works. And I'm not even talking about the opening 9-minute dream sequence which might have been the best part of the entire night simply for the fact that Kevin McHale got to ditch Artie's wheelchair and glasses and dance. Oh look, Rory the Leprechaun as the Ghost of Christmas Past!

Then we jumped to New York on Christmas Eve and the ridiculous outfit Rachel was wearing. Seriously, costuming department? She'd freeze her assets off. But Burt showed up and instantly improved anything dealing with New York... except he has prostate cancer. Because nothing says "Merry Christmas" like dropping that bombshell about a character we haven't seen all season.

And doesn't Blaine have family who would want him home on Christmas? I find the idea that his parents would just let Burt cart him off to New York for Christmas with Kurt preposterous. And then I remind myself that we have yet to meet Blaine and he lives in a cave-room with no windows and suddenly everything makes sense. He's Harry Potter.

That string of nonsense I just spouted makes about as much sense as this episode did.

The timeline was all over the place. We started at some random point in December, jumped to Christmas Eve, then Hanukkah (and Jake took a week off of school to go to L.A. with Puck). Suddenly it was firmly December 18th and Brittany and Sam decided get Mayan-married and then Beiste let them know their marriage was fake and she was just playing along with their shenanigans because she thinks they're sweet kids. But look, they wrote their own vows!

Sam: Brittany, I've always thought you were super hot and really smart, but what I didn't know was that you were going to end up being my soul mate. Who knows what the future holds for us. Probably tsunamis and horrible sea monsters. But I'm not worried about that because I have you.
Brittany: Sam, when you first joined the glee club, I didn't notice for a while. It wasn't until you did a Rich Little impression and then told me it was a Rich Little impression and then explained who Rich Little was that I knew you were special. And I can't tell you how excited I am to become your Mayan star-wife. | permalink

I. Can't. Even.

And yet? Not all of tonight sucked.

I don't hate that Marley's mom acknowledged her eating disorder and that there are plans to get the girl some help, nor did I hate Sue being all un-grinchy and bringing Christmas to the Rose home, if for no other reason than giving us the "Marley and me" line, which might be the best thing I've heard Sue say all season.

Millie: I wanted to say thank you for what you did for Marley and me.
Sue: I have no idea what you're talking about. I had nothing to do with the making of that film. | permalink

While there wasn't a romantic reunion for Kurt and Blaine, Blaine did sing the line "Through the years we all will be together, if the fates allow" while he and Kurt were setting the table, so I'm sure someone somewhere is reading something into that in the land of Klaine-shippers. Keep hope alive? (That was a joke, you guys. There's a new man in town for Kurt when he starts his first semester at NYADA.)

The Glee music was also happy and peppy and it made me want to go buy the CD so I can play it on an endless loop in my living room from now until December 25th. Call me crazy, but I'm a sucker for a good rendition of "Feliz Navidad." I really did love every song from tonight.

But the best of the night Jake and Puck together. I love them. I've always loved Puck and Jacob Artist might be one of my favorite new voices right now. And it seems Puck is moving back to Lima, so we'll get more of Mark Salling's hotness on our screens in upcoming episodes. I hope. The two of them bringing their mothers together to be one dysfunctional family for the holidays, united by the fact that the same guy left them all was the best of the night.

If this review seems all over the place, it's only because I'm mimicking the episode we just watched, which was maybe in need of some attention deficit disorder medication and definitely in need of being axed for next season. If there is a next season.

What did you think of "Glee, Actually?" Do you hope Glee never, ever does a holiday episode again? Or did you actually enjoy this? What do you hope the second part of the season brings?


Editor Rating: 2.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 2.8 / 5.0 (219 Votes)

Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.


@Miranda Wicker
I should clarify I wasn't agreeing with the parts about your review. :) I actually tend to agree with most of what you have to say about the show.


Oh...Glee, where art thou? Though I do love this show, it feels to me that something is amiss? Did they change their music producer, or engineer in the studio? The music just doesn't have the same "shinola" in it's arrangements, production and even the delivery seems forced. Is there anew choreographer on board...or no one at all? Whatever it is, I miss moments like Kurt singing, "A House is not a Home," clever medleys and a little more production value, please. At least the steps in NYC were a workable set for doing a musical number. OK, some of the camera work at the skating rink was good but Sam's frantic race around Brittany seemed forced and why does no one seem to care how these kids look? Sue made me happy last night and for some reason I got a kick out of seeing the gruesome twosome staring through the frosted window at the recipients of her sudden sense of humanity. Good for Sue...she needs a little redemption every now and then and oh yes, there was ONE scene that was lit well, costumed well and didn't fall nearly as flat as most of the other numbers...and that was the number with everyone in white...warm lighting and Christmas snow that made everyone happy, and it gave most of the glee club a nice moment or two "on mike." Butt just singing songs...any old songs is not enough and for some reason last night made me even more painfully aware that everyone is lip synching. I know they've always done that but somehow it's gotten worse. There's plenty of talent to go around but if you ask me, a certain someone is not present at the wheel, or they've run out of interesting ideas (shame ON...WHO?). The show desperately needs to get back on track and maybe they should put in a call to someone off beat like Dr. John to make sure they're on the right line, track and train before it pulls out of the station again. Clever, hip and just a little cool would be nice even though they are just high schoolers...but NOT just any ole high schoolers...these guys are National champs and every song choice and performance needs to be a winner...please? Pretty please?


@Miranda Wicker thank you!! I was a huge fan but Glee has been getting sloppier and sloppier. I think you are one of the very few honest reviews of this show I've seen yet!


I actually liked this episode. Guess I'm in the minority. I also think S4 has been much, much better than S3. I was depressed at Burt announced he had cancer though, I hope Mike O'Malley sticks around - he is the best dad on TV!

Miranda wicker

@Amy Lynn and Amanda--I am a fan. A huge one. I don't hate Glee. In fact, I love it quite a great deal to the point that where other people have given up and stopped watching, I'm still here. And there hasn't been an episode yet where I've enjoyed nothing. But as a fan, I challenge this show to be better than it is. To be what I know it can be. I'm not going to accept the mediocrity they've handed us as being Glee's very best, because it isn't. It's okay to be critical of things you love when you know they can be better.


As much as I agree with your comments and as much as I enjoy glee, except this past episode which was probably my least favorite episode ever, it's not Ryan Murphy's choice. It's fox's. They're not safe yet.


I have been following your reviews for awhile now and can I make a suggestion? If you dislike Glee so much can you please stop watching it?!? As a Gleek I must say that Thursday nights are the highlight of my week. I must also say that after a long week of a depressing job, it is a nice release to head to Lima and/or NYC to forget about all the drama in the world. That being said, this is a show about kids who break into song in the hallways and the middle of the streets. The arguments about it being realistic ALL of the time are moot. It's about entertainment & I'm not sure you can say that fans aren't entertained every week. Yes, I can agree that not every episode is perfect but I will not agree that I am not entertained on a weekly basis. You should be careful about comments like "if there is a next season" because luckily for us loyal fans, Ryan Murphy has already said Glee will be back :)


Finn isn't a teacher, he just leads glee club… Mr Shue said immediately they don't need a teacher to run glee club, just an adult which he is. Pay attention more.


I've thought that all the xmas episodes were stupid. This is Glee. Stupid! This season is the worst. I had high hopes all flushed down the toilet with the writing this year. I've always loved to listen to Glee's take on the music. Christmas music is supposed to be light hearted and moving. This wasn't. I DVR Glee since watching the Makeover and Break Up. I only listen to Glee's music. Even the music fell flat. I wasted time fast forwarding it. I stopped to watch My man Puck and have to say the Puckerman togetherness was nice to see. Other than that- who cares. Glee is limping.


Glee has pretty much lost me as a viewer. The plots are ridiculous and the believability nonexistent. Last night's episode suffered dramatically even if it was trying to copy a well known movie. How on earth can Finn be a teacher in a school where he just graduated? the guy des not have the credentials nor any qualifications to run the Glee group. The writers have gone way out there and created a stupid premise. I'm a lost fan and don't intend to watch again. Sad because Kurt is wonderful and his story lines often are great but no more!

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Glee Season 4 Episode 10 Quotes

[to Kurt] Look, can I just give you one piece of advice while we're still talking father to son? This is three times I've had to stare death in the eye, and you know the one thing I took away from all that? You have got to love the people you love close to you no matter what.


[to Kurt] Well, the Rockettes might have better legs than me, but they can't touch my Single Ladies performance.


Glee Season 4 Episode 10 Music

  Song Artist
Glee cast feliz navidad Feliz Navidad Glee Cast iTunes
Glee cast white christmas White Christmas Glee Cast iTunes
Glee cast hanukkah oh hanukkah Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah Glee Cast iTunes