Love Actually was the inspiration for last night’s episode of Glee (“Glee Actually”). The writers took a chance, and instead of following a single narrative, played around with multiple storylines. One was even set in an alternative universe. There was also a feast of Holiday song covers, including a duet by every Gleek’s favorite couple.

The Players:

  • Director: Adam Shankman
  • Writer: Matthew Hodgson
  • Cast: Chris Colfer, Kevin McHale, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Heather Morris, Amber Riley, Naya Rivera, Jenna Ushkowitz, Mark Salling, Matthew Morrison, Ashley Fink, Chord Overstreet, Harry Shum, Jr., Cheyenne, Darren Criss, Jayma Mays, Jane Lynch, Dean Geyer, Melissa Benoist

Episode Title: “Glee Actually”

Sam and Brittany live as if it’s the end of the world as the Mayans know it. The Puckermans get their families together for Hanukkah. Artie has an epiphany through a dream sequence. And Kurt gets a surprise visit from his father.

The Good:

  • Arty’s Dream Sequence: The writers get an A for effort. Special kudos on Arty’s black-and-white dream sequence. It was a refreshing few minutes. But let’s point out how messed up the narrative actually was. In this “alternate universe,” Arty can walk. Rory, the exchange student from last season, came back to show Arty what life would’ve been like if he never got into a car accident. And it pretty much sucked. Basically, everyone’s happiness is due to Arty’s disability. He’s the scapegoat. If it wasn’t for his accident, then Finn, Puck and Ryder would all be jerks who pick on gays, Mr. Schue would have never started the glee club, and Quinn would be dead. Dead! So Arty is forced to resume his life in a wheelchair in order for everyone else to be okay.  
  • Burt Visits Kurt: The greatest father on earth returned. Burt flew to New York to spend the holidays with his kid, and gave him the best present ever: Blaine. Ah, if only all fathers could be that great. 
  • Sue Plays Nice: We still think that the show needs another villain besides Sue, but we can’t deny that she’s funny. From the very beginning, Sue was on fire with her hilarious prologue about how weird Christmas is.

Best Lines:

  • “It’s inevitable. If you’re in Hollywood and you’re a Jew or gay, you basically got it made.” –Puck
  • “I didn’t think you’d be impressed by my apartment in the valley, filled with IKEA furniture I never figured out how to put together.” –Puck
  • “I wasn’t going to insult you. All I wanted to tell you is that I think you’re delightful.” –Brittany
  • “What do you get the woman who’s eaten everything?” –Sue

The Bad:

  • Is Brittana Over?: Now that Sam and Brittany are into each other, does this mean Brittana is done? Also, it was strange not to have Santana in this episode. It’s the holidays and she should be home from college. How convenient that she’s not around to witness Sam and Brittany’s fake Mayan wedding, which by the way, was totally absurd. 

The Music:

  • “Feliz Navidad,” Various – A walking Arty sings and dances in-front of his apathetic peers. 
  • “White Christmas,” Various – Blaine and Kurt perform their annual duet, on ice.
  • “Hanukkah, On Hanukkah ,” Various Jake and Puck cause a riot around the Paramount lot. 
  • “Jingle Bell Rocks,” Various – Sam and the McKinley cheerleaders perform “Jingle Bell Rocks” for Brittany.
  • “The First Noel,” Various – Marley gives her mom the best gift she could ever ask her. She belts out an emotional rendition of “The First Noel,” that even touches Sue’s black heart.
  • “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” Various The episode closes with this number. The glee kids and other cast members get on with the holiday while singing this tune. 

Overall:

Overall, “Glee Actually” was a mediocre Christmas episode. Rachel was away on a cruise so we didn’t see much of her. And even though Kurt and Blaine performed together, their relationship wasn’t really addressed. Marley’s eating disorder was briefly mentioned, but Kitty has yet to be punished for her part in the whole thing. Glee hasn’t topped “A Very Glee Christmas,” in which Sue dressed as the Grinch and stole the holiday.

Rating: 6/10

Glee returns next year on January 24.

Photo Gallery:

What did you think of last night’s episode?