Glee: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)

January 28, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Will (Matthew Morrison) is a high school Spanish teacher, but he dreams of a life as a stage performer. Inspired by his desire to perform, he pushes for his school to offer a glee club program to its students. While he is sincere about wanting the students to embrace their talents, the club would offer him both an avenue to perform and an escape from his high pressure, often problematic marriage. As various students begin to take an interest in the glee club, cheerleading coach Sue (Jane Lynch) also takes an interest, though not a positive one. She wants to keep her cheer squad well funded and whatever the glee club is given, is funding her squad won’t receive. So she watches closely and even plots on how to see the glee club dismantled. In the glee club, some students join to have a place to fit in, others are driven to perform, and others join with insincere intentions. Will has a steep climb ahead of him, but can he make the glee club into a success?

A smash success with legions of fans, Glee hit television like an atomic bomb. But does the show live up to the hype? Glee is a fun show, that much cannot be denied. The cast is colorful and talented, the musical routines are dynamic, and Jane Lynch is flat out awesome. When the show keeps things light and brisk, Glee is shimmering entertainment. But when the series tries to deal with more serious issues, it falls flat on its face. The writers simply won’t let subtlety take hold, instead they’re forceful and melodramatic, which lessens the experience. That said, Glee is still offers much more good than bad. Lynch is fantastic here and like I said, the musical numbers are fun, quirky, and even addictive. I just wish the writers would give the audience some credit and let the dramatic elements play out naturally. Perhaps in future seasons, they will understand their viewers better and not be so blunt with their preaching, but who knows. In any event, Glee’s first season is a lot of fun and earns a solid recommendation.

Video: How does it look?

The episodes are presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. I watched the show in high definition when it was broadcast and the visuals here don’t quite match that standard. The show looked great when broadcast, but the episodes here seem to be a step below that. This set has 22 episodes and only four discs, which is probably why the series doesn’t sparkle like it should. I know fewer discs is probably cheaper, but Glee deserves to be seen at its best. The visuals are still solid, but I expected so much more and in truth, my DVR’ed episodes look superior.

Audio: How does it sound?

Ok, but the sound is dynamic, right? Well…no. This show is all about music, but the soundtrack comes off as cramped and quite limited. I don’t mean in isolated moments either, almost all of the audio is presented as such. The full scope of the audio fails to ignite, as the surrounds are rarely used to effect. The front channels do their best, but this kind of material needs room to breathe and it isn’t allowed to do so. Again, the audio sounds passable, but wow, Glee should have been a knockout, home run audio treatment, not just an acceptable one. This release also includes subtitles in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Supplements: What are the extras?

The extras here are extensive in quantity, but not a lot of depth is here. You can of course, use the Glee Jukebox to just soak in the musical numbers. This is especially nice if you want to showcase a few routines to help get someone interested in the show. A slew of featurettes are also on deck, with cast interviews, choreographers breaking down specific numbers, general behind the scenes stuff, and even some audition reels. None of these are long in duration, but I suppose if you watch them all, you’ll find out some neat information about Glee. A karaoke option is included for a few of the numbers, while video commentary is available for the pilot episode.

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