Dec 18, 2012

4x10 Glee, Actually / not bad, actually

Glee's Christmas episodes have been notoriously underwhelming in the past. They do little to advance the plot, and kind of repeat themselves, because, really, how many ways there are to do an inspiring and heart-warming Christmas episode? But, in Glee Christmas episode standards, Glee, Actually was not actually bad at all. Easily better than last year's sorry attempt, and even though the Klaine duet was not quite as epic as Baby, It's Cold Outside, I enjoyed myself throughout the episode, smiled a lot, and was left feeling quite christmassy.

In the spirit of Love, Actually, I will use a bit different structure in breaking down what happened.

* * *

When the episode starts with the words 'Dear journal', it can't end up too bad. Sue kicks off the story by painting a picture for anyone who possibly didn't get the title's reference to Love, Actually (which, by the way, Sue, a lot of people (like me) actually do care about!)

Sue gets to be the secret Santa to Marley's mom. First she's a bit mean, but then, in the spirit of Glee Christmas episodes, she gets a change of heart and get her a very nice present. Then she gives me something to quote:

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

"Now if you'll excuse me, please sideways step yourself the hell out of my office."


Artie has another identity crisis, and he says he hopes had never ended up in the wheel chair. Oh-ow! Watch your words, Artie. It's Christmas, and you know It's a Wonderful Life.

This was pretty genius, and I actually enjoyed this part of the episode the most. It was way too short, and predictable, of course, and it's kind of bittersweet how they had to milk on every little storyline Artie ever had. Because, you know, there hasn't been too many. Anyway. There are a lot of things that I liked about it!
Rory is back, with that wonderful accent ("Talk slowly so I can understand you"), and in a weird way it feels perfectly natural that he is Artie's Christmas guardian angel. Everything Irish is magical, after all. And it's just nice to see him Damian back, after they so unceremoniously kicked him out after last season.
All the Glee club jocks are idiot douchebags ("You sing Lady Gaga songs." "I'll break your friggin' legs!"). Finn is so not plausible as a badass bully. Kurt didn't graduate because he's too scared to come to school because of all the bullying. "Who's Blaine?" This is embarrasing but that line almost made me tear up, haha. Seriously, though, as heart-breaking as it was to see Kurt so beaten again, I actually kind of loved it, too. Chris Colfer, delightfully breaking my heart since 2009.

Mr. Schue is an alcoholic, who spends all his money on booze and flannel shirts. He's still married to Terri (hahhaha, so awesome to see her back!), and as he's drunk all the time, he doesn't notice their baby is a doll. Hahaha... Emma married Ken Tanaka and moved to Hawaii. Hahaha, this was so brilliant.

Also, Tina stutters, and dresses all goth again. Becky is the school slut. Rachel works at the school library. Turns out Artie was always the glue of Glee. Um, okay. Whatever you say... No glue, no Glee. Now that rhymed nicely, actually. Artie calls everyone together in the choir room/Sue's craft room, to remind them about what's up in reality. He sings Feliz Navidad, and I enjoy it a lot, because I always enjoy watching Kevin McHale get up and dance, and get a reminder that he's actually pretty hot. But Finn just thinks it's really gay.
Artie is all sad, and the last drop is when he finds out that Quinn never got better after the accident ("Quinn texts and drives in every timeline, Artie."), and she died of a broken heart. Snif! This finally makes Artie realize that the chair is a part of him, and has actually done a lot of good, too.

This was so great! But it should've lasted more than five minutes. I think they should've done a whole episode based on this idea, because there really would've been so much material and ideas to lean on. Awww, just think about all the possibilities! It's a Wonderful Glee, that could've been the title. And then do this Love Actually thing next year, or something. Oh, well, it was fun while it lasted! Moving on.


Burt surprises Kurt and comes to spend Christmas with him in New York. They share some holiday memories, and hang ornaments on the tree, talk about Burt's Single Ladies performance, drink hot chocolate, and it's really sweet, of course. Then Burt says he has prostate cancer, and I'm loading my figurative machine gun and aiming it towards the Glee writers, subtly letting them know what'll happen if they'll ever kill off Burt Hummel. "You've got to hold the people you love close to you no matter what", he says. On that cue (after Kurt gives his father some adorable NYADA merchandise as a present), Burt gives Kurt an address, where he goes to find... Blaine! Shocker!

It's a bit strange that Burt doesn't seem to mind at all that Blaine cheated on Kurt. You'd think he'd be a bit more protective of his dear son, and at least not be the one pushing them back together. Yet... do I mind? You know I don't. This just makes me love Burt Hummel even more. Thanks to him, there will be no missing the most important Glee holiday tradition: the Klaine duet! Blaine is smiling a lot and widely, and it's adorable.

White Christmas is one of my favorite carols. A slower version is what I'd usually prefer, but this upbeat version fits the scene well. It's adorably obvious that Chris Colfer can't skate. I like the moment when they come close to each other and share this adorable eye contact, and then they ki-- Blaine skates away! Hnngh, tease! (What's up with that?) I'm already looking forward to next year's Klaine duet. Right, Glee writers? I'm just polishing my gun here, don't mind me. As long as you don't do anything stupid. 'Kay?

Then they have a "We'll always be there for each other" moment, which is way too cheesy and Finchel-esque for my taste, and I actually almost feel like taking back all those words I said last week about the writers always hitting jackpots with Klaine. They hug, which in Klaine standards is at least third base. Yay? Also, Burt is watching and he's uncharacteristically creepy.

Back at the apartment, Burt and Blaine watch, um, some sports. I don't know what sports team Celtics is. But considering Kurt only is only able to watch the game for twenty seconds before getting bored, I'm betting it's baseball. Ok, I cheated, it's actually basketball. Anyway. Blaine says he'll probably apply to NYADA, and Kurt says that would be great, and I want to believe him, but I'm not sure. But anyways, sorry Kurt, Blaine is of course getting in, because three kids from the same Glee club in Lima, Ohio get in to the most prestigious school in the world within a year from each other like all the time. Then Blaine eats popcorn and looks hot doing it.

Now where was the 'mature heart-to-heart' that they got us all excited with in Thanksgiving?


Back in McKinley, Jake is fighting, as usually. Puck interferes. They decide to go to LA together, and two seconds later they arrive at the Paramount studios. They boast with their Jewishness by singing Oh Hanukah, and I actually like it. Jake sounds great here. I spot one of the Glee writers, Ian Brennan, making a cameo, and borrow the fake machine gun of one of the fake gangsters to make my point about Burt and Klaine even clearer. For Christmas time I am getting worryingly pro-firearm. (And then Connecticut happened and I remembered that one shoudn't really even joke about those damn stupid things that guns are.)

Then the Puckermans get very Jewish tattoos and go hang in some rich lady's house. Puck says he feels lonely, so Jake invites him back to Lima, to have a Christmas dinner with both of their moms. First the moms hate each other for half a minute, then Puck and Jake give a very nice "we are family" speech, and bam, then they are.

Puck says he'll move back to Lima. Ok. I'm actually down with that.


Brittany is getting ready for the apocalypse. Duh? Sam is on board. Brit gives everyone expensive presents and then insults them. Except for Marley, who she thinks is delightful. Sam sings Jingle Bell Rock, but actually everyone is just thinking about Mean Girls, and whatever happened to the fourth one, after Rachel McAdams and Amanda Seyfried became famous and Lindsay Lohan went to rehab(s)? Then Sam gives Brittany "another rock". Get it, get it? It's a ring, and he proposes. Beiste joins them in Mayan star marriage. Sam says that it doesn't matter that the future holds tsunamis and sea monsters for them, because he is with her, and she's his soulmate. Well, aw.

Then it's the morning after of the apocalypse, and it's really awkward because the world didn't end in the end. But Beiste says they are not actually married, so that's a relief. Sam says smallpox is like chickenpox but small. Then they say that they feel empty now that world didn't end, and Beiste is super adorable and claims that according to Google Indiana Jones just found out that the world will end on 2014 instead. Sam and Brit are really happy to have a purpose again.


Mom says no present this year, all the money goes to therapy session to help Marley fight bulimia. Marley sings a little bit of The First Noel to her mom, and it's pretty. Also, they live in a ridiculously big and fancy house, considering how poor they are.

Sue gets them a tree and presents (that Becky didn't care for) and cash. Now they can buy an even bigger house!

How it all came together:

"Does this involve the Glee club singing a Christmas song in the auditorium with snow falling on an elaborate winter scene?"

Yes it does. To thank Sue, Marley and the others sing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. Artie helped her make it happen. You know, if Artie wasn't in the chair, he wouldn't have helped her, and the would be no nice sing-song to wrap up all the storylines and the episode. Puck and Jake and Sam and Brit join them at Breadstix, and Blaine and Kurt sing along in New York. Sue tears up, so we can check another Christmas tradition there.

So. The first half of the episode was better than the second, like you could probably tell from the amount of text that I just produced. The Artie storyline was so awesome, but it had the potential to be so much more awesome, had they not wrapped it up so hastily and left it so unconnected and random.

The Klaine stuff was great, of course, because it's Klaine, though they actually could've done better there. Or maybe not, maybe I just don't like where the stotyline seems to be heading. I mean, Blaine is still totally in love, that's more than clear in the loving, lingering looks he shot at Kurt during HYMLC. But Kurt! Dude, I don't know what's up! Klaine has never been this awkward. If that's what they went for, great. Praise for Colfer and Criss once more, and oh-ow for what is coming, because it won't be pretty and Klaine fandom will suffer in torturous pain. If it was awkward unintentionally... Well, I think it's safe to say there is some torture ahead anyways. It's gotta get torturous before it gets good again.

How many times did I type 'actually' in this post:



(^I couldn't find anymore nice pictures, so I posted one from the good old days. Actually, those were pretty torturous days, too.) (Make that 'actually' count 23.)

A break. I'm both excited and a bit terrified to see what 2013 will bring us on the Glee front.


Reta said...

Tää oli yllättävän mukava joulujakso. White Christmas olisi saanut olla pidempi. Ehkä sen piti olla lyhyempi koska he eivät saaneet enempää materiaalia Chris Colferista luistelemassa edes jotenkin uskottavasti ;)
Tunsin kaikki muut laulut paitsi sen Hanukkalaulun, joten oli todella harvinainen joulujakso. Yleensä olen ollut ihan pihalla, sillä monet amerikkalaiset joululaulut ovat ihan vieraita.

Eeva said...

Hahaha, joo, damn you Chris Colfer, opettelisit luistelemaan ;)