Glee: The Complete First Season (2009) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Comedy / Drama / Musical
Fox || NR - 1045 minutes - $69.99 || September 14, 2010
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2010-10-12


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): Ian Brennan, Brad Falchuk, Ryan Murphy (created by)
Cast: Dianna Agron, Chris Colfer, Jessalyn Gilsig, Jane Lynch, Jayma Mays, Kevin McHale


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Picture-in-Picture Commentary on Pilot
  • 11 Featurettes
  • Music Jukebox


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

I'll give it to Fox - they nailed it. They knew they had a hit with "Glee" and premiered the Pilot after an episode of American Idol in May 2009. Ratings were huge, and Fox quickly set out to make their next big hit.

When the show officially launched in September 2009, ratings were once again huge. Fox even went out of their way to release the Pilot episode uncut on DVD to Wal-Mart and made a ton of money. And they did it again for the first 13 episodes. Fox is essentially printing money with this show (iTunes and CD sales are huge). So after all the positive reviews and ratings for this show, I decided to give the show a shot when the First Season arrived in my mailbox on Blu-ray. And while I find the show to be entertaining, I don't really see how it became such a huge hit.

Let's start with the singing. It's not that great. I'm sure I'll receive some hate mail for my remarks, but I found them to simply be average (and the lips are always off which gets annoying fast). Rachel (Michele) and Mr. Schuester (Morrison) are the only ones on the show that I feel actually have a great voice while everyone else's ranges from above average to average. I'm sure it's probably tough to find a set of young actors who are not only good looking but can sing, but gees, how about extending the search out just a wee bit more?

Dancing. Alright, now this is better. Most of these kids can really move, and it's no doubt thanks to the extreme amount of time they spend choreographing out their weekly dances. Once again the stand outs being Rachel and Mr. Schuester. I have yet to see an episode from Season Two, but I've heard this has also improved.

Drama. This is the real reason I wanted to watch the show. If you are an avid MovieMan reviewer, you might notice I tend to like the teen drama shows and for this sole reason alone I decided to check out the show. And as I like to say - eh. It's here, but it's not all that good. Take for example Mr. Schuester and is wife's (Gilsig) struggle to have a child. The show takes on a really odd storyline of Terri essentially faking a pregnancy. On a kids show. How does she pull this off? By making a deal with Quinn (Agron) that she can have her baby when she gives birth. How in the world is this plan going to work? Aside from the fact that Terri has to essentially not let her husband touch her for at least 6 months (no belly?), how are they going to explain her not actually giving birth? Or looking normal after the birth? Or where Quinn's baby goes? Terri somehow devices a plan to get around all of these obvious plot holes, but I just can't see how Mr Schuester would be that stupid.

So with that really odd storyline out of the way, I'll get to discussing the actual characters on the show (took long enough).

+ Will Schuester - The reason why the Glee club was saved, and has a major crush on Emma Pilsbury.
+ Emma Pilsbury (Mays) - Guidance counselor, clean freak, and has even a bigger crush on Will.
+ Rachel - Dresses like it's the 1960's, geek, great singer, and has a crush on Finn.
Finn (Monteith) - Being one of the main characters, he is the football star who is dating one of the hottest cheerleaders in school (Quinn).
+ Quinn (Agron) - The head cheerleader who joins Glee to watch over her boyfriend, pregnant with Pucks baby (she lies and tells everyones it's Finns), and a spy for Sue Sylvester.
+ Sue Sylvester (Lynch) - Cheerleading coach, bitch, and all around one of the reasons to watch the show.
Puck (Salling) - Best friends with Finn, knocked up Quinn, and all around a bad guy.

The show has a rather diverse cast, and getting into each one would simply take too long and ruin a lot of the story lines the show presents. What I can say is that the first 13 episodes of the Season are great. The final 9 episodes are not bad, but the tone of the show changes drastically. Some of the plots are pretty farfetched (Artie learning how to walk, Rachel having a crush on a guy who is using her to find her real mother). The biggest issue is the show feels like a cartoon - Rachel falls in love with Mr. Schuester in one episode and the next it's all back to normal?



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

This release includes a slip cover. All features are in HD unless otherwise noted.

Music Jukebox - This is present on every disc, and lets you go to any of the musical numbers you want to listen/watch.

Behind the Pilot (49 Minutes; PiP) - This is essentially a commentary track with the entire cast as they talk about the show and how excited they are about the show. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **

Unleashing the Power of Madonna (17 Minutes) the cast and crew talking about the Madonna episode.

Things you Don't Know About... (4 Minutes; SD) - This is four individual featurettes that last less than a minute long and discuss quirks about four select actors on the show.

Video Diaries (17 Minutes; SD) - Yawn. These are poorly shot video that last 2-3 minutes each from a good chunk of the cast. Skip.

This last disc features tons of little mini-featurettes like:
Staying in Step with Glee (6 Minutes) about rehearsing the dance moves for the song 'Rehab'.

Bite Their Style (9 Minutes) discusses how each character has their own special look (Rachel being, by far, the worst).

Making of a Show Stopper (17 Minutes) is once again a discussion on a musical number (Bohemian Rhapsody).

Welcome to McKinley! (5 Minutes; SD) has Principal Figgins giving us a tour around the High School sets.

Audition Pieces (4 Minutes) shows Rachel and Mercedes auditions in full length from the Pilot.

Casting Session (12 Minutes; SD) is a promotional fluff piece with Creator Ryan Murphy as he discusses what the show is about.

Dance Boot Camp (3 Minutes; SD) is yet another featurette on a musical number.

Meet Jane Lynch (1 Minute; SD) has Jane Lynch talking about her character Sue.

Honestly, it may seem like a lot, but the only one I found interesting was the PiP commentary track on the Pilot. Everything else feels either cheaply produced, or just something that was randomly shot, tossed in to make the set look better. I mean, really, a one minute featurette on Jane Lynch talking about her character?



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

“Glee” is presented in 1.78:1 (MPEG4) on 4, 50GB Discs. Squeezing 22, 42+ minute episodes on four discs was not a wise decision as they often exhibit macro blocking and other signs of compression. At least when Warner does it it's because they don't have have 4-6 lossless tracks taking up space. The show could look better, but on Blu-ray it simply looks average.

Fox has included English 5.1 DTS MA Tracks for this release. Well, at least they nailed this. Dialog is well placed through the front speakers and every musical number (and there are a lot in each episode) come blaring through every speaker. My only issue is the Pilot episode has some serious audio sync issues that made it almost unwatchable on 3 different players I own.



.::OVERALL::.

“Glee” is a decent show that will definitely be sticking around for many Seasons to come. It's not the greatest show on Television like some people claim, but it's entertaining and the musical/dance numbers are pretty fantastic.