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.


Well, I didn't really enjoy this episode. I work in an office where I am in earshot of the overhead music system. It's been playing xmas music for three weeks now. I'm OD'ing on the stuff. I would have enjoyed Feliz Navidad more had it not been for the fact that it was the third or fourth time I'd heard it that day.
At least the Hanukkah song was fresh for me, I'm in a pretty protestant area.
I actually like the BRAM dynamic since it gives Brit more air time.
Cancer was unnecessary, the finale was forgettable except for the fact that Marley seemed to be wearing black underpants under those thin white tights.... (more noticeable in the still photos on the interwebs than the actual performance.)
I'm really wondering if Jane Lynch is starting to feel like Loretta Swit, constantly having her excellently vicious character softened up for a cheap feel-good moment. . .


This whole season with the New York and back home scenes has been all over the place and hard to understand. The Sam and Brittany idiocy is not funny to me. It's just stupid.


(second) And why did they dumb down Sam so much?
SAM, christmas 2010: no one over the age of six believes in santa claus, last week brittany believed a comb had magic powers so this is kind of a pattern, tell her the elves are working on stem cell research to repair artie's spine but those advancements are a few years away
SAM, christmas 2011: during the holiday season it's more important than ever to acknowledge the sad and difficult parts of life, i'm spending my free time on charity work instead of this self-indulgent project and i urge you to join me
SAM, christmas 2012: i want brittany and i to meet the mayan feathered snake god q'uq'umatz as a married couple for these are the end times way to kill your characters GLee


One of the worst episodes to date. Why does Burt go to Kurt's cheating ex boyfriend and inform him that he has cancer? As close as Glee has made Burt and Kurt, he seriously thought it would be a nice idea to inform someone who hurt his son first? That is glee being sloppy and trying to force Klaine back together. I hate hate hate Marley. She's is the epitome of a Mary Sue. The most boring character on Glee. I hated the fact Glee continues to poop on Quinn and now even Artie. Why is everyone's happiness dependent on Artie being in a wheel chair?


This episode was a bit weird bUT enjoyed it. They are so wasting the new gay guys character. They could have introed his family. Framed him as job but nooo they give us the puck storyline. They could have even let the fairy be a fairy for Artie instead of the Irish kid coming back. Ugh really? Blaine at nyada instead of getting a pro gig instead of another season of begging. He could get a really messed up cheating/abusive boyfriend have Kurt come to his rescue.

Charmed jenna

This episode was ehh! I really didn't expect anything more, at least it was better than last year's episode. Oddly enough it wasn't the timeline that bothered, since it was said right in the beginning that it's five stories, coming together, although I really don't know how they came together. The sue-Marley story was my favorite and I may be the only that enjoyed the Bram story.

Charmed jenna

Are we going to have round tables for the last few episodes? 0


I like Puck, but what are they even doing with his character? I thought seasons 1-3 was showing that he wasn't going to be a Lima loser? I guess that changes as Glee changes.


why on earth do we have to watch another episode about Artie being able to walk? so him being in a wheelchair completely changes a him as a person?
oh and how do you completly mess up a simple song like white christmas?
How does this episode fit in the rest of the season? It doesn't.... which makes it what? yes, a pointless episode. I am happy though that Marley is getting some help.


To this person:
"Glee, Actually is a homage to "Love, Actually" which is supposed to be about lots of storylines tied up together.
If you're not that smart to keep up with those plots and timeline and whatever, don't blame it on the episode."
Uhh, obviously they were trying to do a Love, Actually type episode. It doesn't mean that the plot or timelines were easy to keep up with. Love, Actually is a great film because even with all the different stories, it flows so well. This episode was choppy and all over the place. And the stupid timelines. No. It was hard to work out where in December they were half the time. They could of edited that much more smoothly and made some sense out of the wacky timeline. Like have all the stories showing parts on each of the days. It was one of the worst Glee episodes ever.

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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