Coal from Christmas ‘Glee’ Episode

The anticipation for the “Glee” Christmas episode Tuesday was admittedly high: The holiday album of its songs had been out for weeks and there had been enough breakout episodes in the second season to expect the best.

But saddled with some of the gloppiest songs of the season, none of them spiced up by being mashed up with more modern sounds or attitudes, and a story that didn’t seemed to lack both credibility and the chance to advance the drama, it just sat there like a fruitcake.

The rough notion that it could be a “Grinch who Stole Christmas” episode with Sue in green face and, even worse, her sidekick Becky as the dog Max, seemed far fetched even for “Glee.” By now, it’s clear that Sue is neither as mean as she was depicted in the episode, nor as warm hearted as she is in the end.

Mostly the story revolved around Brittany whose naivite turned her into an easy Cindy Lou Who. That her Christmas wish sort of came true was the heart-tugging part of the episode (the Rachel-Finn push and pull having long since lost its interest). But even the “present” seemed like it didn’t feel right.

And these songs, lifted from Rankin-Bass productions or the Carpenters or Wham!, were pretty much underwhelming (the best voice was the uncredited one from k.d. lang singing “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” as Sue did her deeds).

Some parts of the show were as clumsy as an oldtime TV Christmas special, with Kurt and Blaine setting up a duet to “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” for no particular reason but setting up a musical variety number. And maybe for the first time, “Glee” didn’t seem so special.

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