We don’t know quite what it is about Christmas, but it makes “Glee” want to take some pretty massive risks when it comes to the structure of its shows. Last year, this produced that disastrous Christmas special that we still regard as a relative waste of time (especially when you remember that Kurt and Blaine’s gift-giving and Santana singing “Santa Baby” were left on the cutting-room floor).
However, this time around we had a fun, “Love, Actually”-themed hour that kept the focus on the story, and it really was funny, surprising, and it showed us something new for most of its characters. Just like the show, we are going to break this up into all of the individual parts.
Artie’s story – Damian McGinty was back! Well, at least he was for a few seconds, and the show didn’t really delve into just where he went in the first place (presumably back to Ireland). This was a fun play on “It’s a Wonderful Life,” as Artie imagined what his life would be if he wasn’t in a wheelchair. This story did not exactly cover any new ground, but who doesn’t like a look at an alternate universe from time to time?
Kurt’s story – Burt went to visit his son in New York, and the Merry Christmas went sour when he revealed that he is suffering from prostate cancer (even though he is likely going to make it through). Burt did tell Kurt that he needs to live more in the moment, and this led to another surprise: a nice sing-along between him and Blaine (who showed up after Burt called him) as a way for the two to remain close friends, even if they are not together. But they could be together again soon, considering that Blaine is hoping to go to NYADA.
Puck’s story – As it turns out, Puck is a total loser in Los Angeles. However, that didn’t stop him from pretending like he was a giant hotshot and inviting his little brother to come party with him. We’ve seen this story a hundred times before, as well, but there is something about Mark Salling that still makes it fresh. Puck may also be moving back to Lima.
Brittany and Sam’s story – We have a feeling that Brittana fans aren’t going to like this, but these two are now married! Well, sort of. Coach Beiste “married” them in order to prepare for the end of the world Mayan-style. The world didn’t end, and then the coach revealed that it was all a ruse.
Marley’s story – Sue Sylvester does have a heart of gold! After learning that her Secret Santa in Marley’s mom, and also learning about what she was going through with her daughter’s eating disorder, she decided to help pay for all of their bills. (Aww.)
Everything in the episode culminated with a singalong to “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and it was worth smiling about. There was just enough story this week to make “Glee, Actually” feel special, and the format genuinely worked. Hats off to Adam Shankman for coming on board and directing one of the stronger episodes this season.
What did you think about this episode? Be sure to share below, and you can see what is coming up next for Brittany and Santana over at the link here.