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In the states, Glee airs on Tuesday.  But here in poor benighted Europe, we have to wait until Thursday.  So last night I sat down to watch the Glee Christmas special, and ended up fast-forwarding through most of it because it was honestly making me cringe.

I have been a loyal Glee watcher since the pilot went up on Hulu in 2008, but I think even the most diehard fans would acknowledge that Glee has struggled to maintain its forward momentum.  I was sure the show would get it back, though – and it has, in fits and starts. For example, Finn’s weird devotion to Santana three episodes ago: it was weird, right? Santana thinks its weird.  Finn can’t really explain it, either.  The whole gang decides to sing to Santana to show her their support, with predictably saccharine results and this truly unfortunate ensemble from Kurt:

I mean seriously.  The show was able to redeem itself a little with Finn’s incredible version of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” but Santana’s sexuality is actually, um, not that interesting.  As Finn said a month ago, “no one cares.”

And then we had sectionals.  After Tina Cohen-Chang gave Mike’s dad a stern talking to about allowing Mike to honor his gift, he barely danced at all – if you want to see what he can really do, check out The LXD (US only).  Then you’ll realize what a poor showing Sectionals was.

And that brings us to the debacle that was the Christmas special.  Here are the high points: Mercedes rocks “All I Want for Christmas is You” and Kurt and Blaine’s “Let It Snow,” which, while not as sweet as last year’s adorable “Baby its Cold Outside,” did include some sweet dance moves. That’s it.  That is the sum total of things that were good about this episode.  Other bloggers have pointed out that the episode in no way moved any of the various plots forward; that the Christmas-special-within-a-Christmas-special was forced and painful; and that the feel-good conclusion felt…bad.  So I won’t mention any of that here.

There are two Glee Project winners still to make their debut on the show and Will Schuester is planning to propose to Emma.  Maybe this season can be resuscitated.  But I think we’re watching a slow, protracted death.