Current Thoughts with Past Perspective: “Glee, Actually”

Hello all!  How is the Christmas season going for you?

Not all of these people are in the episode.

For me? Pretty awesome so far! I got my grades back from college and I did pretty well.  But one thing I really hate is the boredom that sets in post finals rush dies down. Plus unlike most colleges I got a long ass break to get through because of Intersession.

Also sorry this took so long to get up, I’ve been sicker than a dog with food poisoning for the past few days. So sorry it took so long to get my Christmas Extravaganza started. Hopefully I’ll get up a second post tomorrow.

Ugh. I’m going to have to find somethings to keep myself occupied.

But hey! I have my blog now to keep me busy so that is a plus!

So Christmastime is here! Well it’s been here since after Halloween but now for even the most jaded cynics Christmas is here! So wear some holly, find some mistletoe and fight the crowds for last minute shopping!

Or you can watch the glee Christmas episodes.  Now last time I took a retrospective look at season two episode ten “A Very Glee Christmas” and season three episode ten “Extraordinary Merry Christmas”.  Today’s blog is me looking at the latest glee Christmas episode  “Glee, Actually” and decide how it measures up to the past episodes with the same theme.

(And if you guys like it I’ll make it a regular thing. Glee does like to repeat things season to season so I have a nice wealth of past to compare with the present.)

(This contain spoilers for season four episode ten “Glee, Actually” along with some cursing. This is opinion based!)

When it comes to glee Christmas episodes I’m not expecting much here at least in term’s of plot to form the storyline for the rest of the season. Okay yes you can have threads of an overarching storyline woven in there but really? The overarching storyline should not be the episode’s focus. Christmas episodes should be something that can be separately watched and enjoyed from the season with just enough plot in there for fans but also something wholly separate for a casual watcher.

Now the question is does “Glee, Actually” succeed in this endeavor?

The answer is yes and no for different reasons.

On one hand it doesn’t have the plot of “A Very Glee Christmas” which had a sense of connection throughout the story, an overarching Christmas message, the songs somewhat matched the actions and there were enough plot threads hinted at to satisfy a fan without overwhelming the casual watcher.  Again I will say this is a very well put together Christmas episode where the tributes don’t overwhelm the story that the show wants to tell and subvert.

On the other hand it doesn’t have the plot of “Extraordinary Merry Christmas” which I will always say (aside from the fifteen to twenty minute black and white epicness) is one of my least favorite episodes. Granted if it’s supposed to be a tribute to bad Christmas episode then it succeeds in it being a bad Christmas episode. The plot feels forced. The characters you spend most of the time wanting to slap.  The songs weren’t the best fit for the episode.

It’s a double edged sword really.

So how does “Glee, Actually” hold up?

Well that’s an interesting question.

So let’s talk about each vignette shall we?

The first one is the black and white vignette which is a tribute to It’s A Wonderful Life which some people say is a Christmas classic but uh yeah I think it’s the most depressing thing to ever come out of the Christmas season. I just always feel so emotionally manipulated by everything in the end. I’m sorry but really it just depresses me.  In this one Artie can walk because I think it’s in Kevin McHale’s contract that he gets to do that at least once per season.

Hey Artie can walk! …And apparently not need glasses anymore. Uh…okay.

Now I have to admit it would be interesting to see what it would have been like if New Directions didn’t exist but uh…yeah. This is Ian Brennan territory and no offence to Ross Maxwell but he just doesn’t do a great job with this one. It was just depressing and everyone were major assholes and…yeah. I don’t get it. (Seriously Becky the slut? Why? Also I don’t care how drunk you are you are bound to notice a fake baby!)

Artie is the heart of glee club? He’s the glue? Uhhhh…really? I mean okay I get this is his dream scenario but I just don’t see Artie being the heart and glue of glee club. I rewatched the series a lot guys and I…I just don’t see it. I try to view things for my objective goggles on but yeah. I…whatever. I don’t get it.

And apparently without glee club nobody ever graduates ever.

So yeah everyone is a major douchebag. Will is a drunk and still married to Terri, who is tricking him with a fake not real baby doll.  Emma is married to Tanaka (hello season one shout out!). Rachel is the homely librarian (and truth be told I prefer librarian Rachel to slutty Rachel we’ve been getting all season). Kurt has never met Blaine.

And oh yeah Quinn is dead. But we’ll get to that later.

Also Rory is his guardian angel?

Look at me. I’m so adorable and Irish. And I’m going to Catholic guilt you on Christmas!

It makes sense. Hell I kind of missed the fun unintentional sexual tension those two had (and please you’re not officially part of glee until you found someone of the same gender the fandom can pair you with it’s a rule at this point).  Well Rory as Artie’s guardian angel makes a hell of a lot more sense then Quinn freaking DYING.

“Quinn texts and drives in every universe.”

WHAT?!

You really going to keep pounding in that texting and driving message aren’t you? We were moving on from one of the more stupid fuck-ups this show has done. And you have Quinn in the wheelchair DYING OF A BROKEN HEART?!

WHAT THE FUCK GLEE?!  It makes no sense!

Let’s not count all the universes where Quinn wasn’t born, was a guy, died at earlier age, etc. etc.

There is at least ONE universe where she didn’t text and drive!

Hell if you want it to sink in more have someone else be in the wheelchair! Have Artie’s accident happen in every universe but instead of Artie being there it’s another member of New Directions. That would make it interesting! How about Finn being in the wheelchair? You know a reversal of him helping Artie and now Artie has to help him.

I mean yeah I get it…we have to make this depressing as all hell but…yeah guys…I don’t know. Maybe if it were its own Christmas episode this would be something interesting. Oh! Like a bunch of different characters having their own visions? Now that would be interesting!

But nope. Artie is (once again because seriously haven’t we done this plot before guys?) grateful for his life just as it is. After singing a song in the said alternate universe that you know I wish Will sang back in season two or three when he was the Spanish teacher. But I can’t have everything can I?

You wanna know what I’ve learned from this? I could watch a whole episode of Finn Hudson lifting various objects. That was hot watching him lift Artie.

Okay so I couldn’t find an actual picture but lookit how hot he is!

So all in all I think this in’t the best thing ever. It definitely doesn’t trump the black and white stuff from last year and it was way too depressing. Perfectly fine with keeping with the source material I suppose.

Now we visit Kurt and Rachel in NYC.

I find myself missing librarian!Rachel during this time.

(Seriously how can Rachel wear that short a dress and not be cold?)

But Rachel is out and Burt is in! Burt aka the best father in the whole of glee and perhaps television history! He’s come to spread some Christmas cheer and spend time with Kurt who (unlike Rachel apparently) has to save up for college now that he’s been accepted into NYADA’s bosom.

However, glee continues its streak of depressing the audience and fucking around with Kurt (seriously when has he ever caught a break on this show?) with the news that Burt Hummel has prostate cancer.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay. Side note. If Burt Hummel fucking dies glee then you will have an army of pissed off fans banging down your door. “High cure rate” aside. I mean it guys. Do. Not. Kill. Burt. Hummel. You have put Kurt through enough.

Plus on a personal note, this does ring true to me because my Mom died of cancer and she was diagnosed around this time of year. So yeah. I understand it.

Just like I understand how Kurt is going through the motions after finding this out. It’s a very good choice on Chris Colfer’s part. He looks like he’s just processing what he’s been told.

So question to Burt…why did you bring Blaine aka the guy who broke Kurt’s heart by cheating on him to NYC? Shouldn’t you be chasing him with a sawed off shotgun for hurting your little boy?

Also doesn’t Blaine have family to spend Christmas with?

Ooooh…yeah that’s right. Klaine Christmas duet.

Sniffle. Buuurrrrt. Don’t diieeee.

Yaaaay.

Okay I’ll admit I like this duet. But this should have been pre-bombshell of Burt confessing of his cancer rather than post. The cheeriness just doesn’t sit well with the heaviness of what just happened.

I actually really like this cover. I just feel like the timing is off. Also Blaine just should have I don’t know find a way back home or something. Because I think Kurt and Burt should have just had some quality time together.

And Blaine is also auditioning for NYADA.

(Seriously there are more arts colleges in New York then NYADA guys.)

God that is going to be really awkward next year isn’t it? I don’t care how good of a place you are in seeing your ex with someone new is definitely something you are never really prepared for.

So lesson of the Kurt vignette? Two depressing shorts one after another is never good for a viewers mental health? Nah.

The real lesson is kill Burt Hummel and the glee community will threaten to shank bitches. (And possibly do it.)

So the next one is…the Puckerman Brothers!

That is a lot of man pretty for one family.

So apparently Puck didn’t leave after “Thanksgiving”/”Swan Song”? (Maybe the reason he didn’t make it in LA was because he kept coming back to Lima?) And he’s now a screenwriter…which kind of makes an odd amount of sense. Also his Star Wars in high school sci-fi concept? The Syfy Channel would probably legit want to do it.

Well we have Mark Salling on as a full season regular, it’s time that we used him right?

So he and Jake go to LA and do a random performance to celebrate their Jewish heritage in what may be the simultaneously most offensive/hilarious thing I’ve seen in awhile.

However, it’s really about damn time that there was a acknowledge of holidays other than Christmas.

Also Hanukkah oh Hanukkah is now my favorite holiday glee cover of all time. It’s just so goddamn joyful.

Actually this is my favorite scene of the whole show. It’s interesting to see the brothers become brothers. It’s interesting to see their mother’s interacting. It’s interesting seeing Puck’s life in LA. I actually want a whole episode based on the snippet we got.

Then there are the tattoos. Temporary I hope for the actors not the show. Although question doesn’t getting a tattoo go against the Jewish faith? I mean I get Puck isn’t the most observant Jew but…isn’t that a pretty big taboo? Just a random question.

Heh. They should have Finn get one so we can see more of Cory Monteith’s arms.

Also Puckerman bro roadtrip? Dude the Winchesters would have some sexy competition.

Puckerman Bro Road Trip – Classic Motorcycle

Winchester Brother Road Trip – Impala baby

Now that Puck is hanging around Lima I’m interested to see what will happen in the future.  Maybe he helps Finn with New Directions? That would be interesting to see. Noah Puckerman – Teacher Figure.

I like it.

Now.

IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD!!!!!

How very very true random guy on the street.

Actually. No it isn’t.

(Geez now what’s the History Channel going to do with all those Apocalypse Mayan specials and stuff? Majorly embarrassing.)

However, I don’t think anyone legitimately believed this.

Well anyone with two brain cells to rub together.

…Oh heeeeey Sam and Brittany!

You know what I wonder guys? Besides important things like the Meaning of Life and if there is a possibility of Doctor Who being real and important stuff like that?

How rich is Brittany anyway? She bought Tina a freaking car.

Is she going to have to take all of those gifts back?

Oh boy that will be awkward.

Same with seeing everyone post airing of Mayan Apocalypse grievances.

Okay. This doesn’t happen but it’s a cute picture.

I do think it was funny that Marley was just going to be called “delightful”. Hey I like that girl you know?

Also why is Tina out of Cheerio uniform? I thought Sue liked whipped you or something if you dare went around without it.

Moving on.

Sam and Brittany get married.

It’s a Christmas Wedding! (In the boys locker room)

Uhhhhhhhhhh…

You just really want to piss of the Brittana fans don’t you guys? Really? Where is this coming from? God this even rings bullshit to my ears.

Also on a side note…how do the band guys know where a number is about to take place? Do they have like a bat signal or something?

Anyway, Sam and Brittany get married. Sam sings Jingle Bell Rock with Reindeer Cheerios.

Somehow I have a feeling this is a fantasy for some men.

And shocker the Mayan Apocalypse doesn’t happen!

Luckily the marriage was an utter shame thanks to quick thinking by one Coach Shannon Bieste.

So…

Things are definitely gonna be awkward when they see the glee club again and when Brittany has to ask for all of the expensive gifts back.

Speaking of expensive gifts, Sue has bought some for Becky and she’s not very grateful.

But Sue has bigger problems than that.

Like what to get her Secret Santa, Millie Rose for Christmas.

Who is Millie Rose exactly? Well duh it’s Mama Rose! Marley’s Mom and I think it’s adorable their names are Millie and Marley Rose.

Shut up. I love their mother daughter relationship.

Also apparently in the interlude Marley has told her Mom about her eating disorder and is now seeking help for it (…would have liked to see that scene guys. Apparently Kitty still goes unpunished). However because of Marley’s eating disorder they need to scrimp and save to send Marley to a doctor who can help her.

Sue overhears this (along with a rendition of The First Noel by Marley at the request of her Mom) and experiences a defrosting of her Christmas cynicism yet again.

(Also it doesn’t hurt that Sue has a soft spot for Marley.)

So she and Becky sneak in to give the Roses a great Christmas and money so Marley can begin treatments for her eating disorder (consistency it’s a thing now in glee). However, Millie tries to give the money back but Sue finds a way of insisting that she keep it because Marley’s health is the most important thing.

So. I have some questions. Does New Directions know of Marley’s eating disorder? Or is she keeping it quiet somehow? Will they find out? And will they feel like massive dicks for treating her so badly in “Swan Song”? And will Kitty ever face some retribution for what happened? Sigh. Only time will tell I suppose.

Anyway the episode ends with Marley thanking Sue with a group rendition of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

Awwww

So does this tie in everything together?

Nope. Not at all. This ties it together loosely, a bit, kind of, sort of…but not really.

“Glee, Actually” delivers in having interesting ideas. However, it doesn’t tie anything together. The vignettes are just separate entities and the one big song at the end is supposed to be a satisfying bow for everything? Uh. No. Denied.  The first vignettes were too depressing or suffered from a lack of time/rewrites of the script. The stuff with Brittany and Sam just made my head hurt. The only stuff I really enjoyed was the Puckerman Brothers and Marley/Millie/Sue stuff because that felt interesting. I would have loved to see it fleshed out more.

So “Glee , Actually” does work to an extent that it is better paced and plotted and my slapping hand didn’t itch when I saw the characters on screen which is an improvement over “Extraordinary Merry Christmas”. However, it didn’t capture the essence of “A Very Glee Christmas” which is still by far the best glee Christmas special ever.

NEXT ON THE GLEE REWATCH PROJECT: By Christmas morning there will be a Top Ten Best Glee Christmas Performances list. Make my words.

Notes: So what did you guys think about Current Thoughts with Past Perspective? Should I continue it? Or chalk it up as an epic fail?
@GleeRewatch – Follow Me!

Credits: Glee Wiki (glee.wikia.com)
Google Images
GleeSeason4Songs on YouTube

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One comment on “Current Thoughts with Past Perspective: “Glee, Actually”

  1. […] as I’ve mentioned in talking about episodes past, Glee Christmas specials don’t really fit with continuity of anything. They’re usually after Sectionals. Maybe […]

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