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Featured TV on DVD Review: Glee: Season Two

September 28th, 2011

Glee: Season Two - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray

I previously reviewed the first half of the second season of Glee and I will not be re-reviewing those episodes, just the ones new to the second half of the season. These start with...

The Show

  1. The Sue Sylvester Shuffle
    This episode followed the Super Bowl and has a football theme. Because many members of the football team are also members of Glee Club, and the football team hates Glee Club, there's a real problem with the chemistry of the football team. In order to fix that problem, Will Schuester and Coach Beiste decide the remaining football members should join forces with Glee and perform the half-time show at their championship game.
    Since this show followed the Super Bowl, it's different than the average show in ways that are good and bad. Firstly, it's much bigger in size. Secondly, it was knowing a large chunk of the audience would not be regular fans. Unfortunately, neither of these helped the show. The spectacle felt forced, while they couldn't reference as much of the characters backgrounds as they should. Also, Sue Sylvester is cartoonish in her villainy. That said, her interview with Katie Couric at the end was funny.
  2. Silly Love Songs
    Romance blossoms as just about every member of Glee falls in love with another member of Glee and sings them a song for Valentine's Day.
    This episode is better than the previous one, even if it is a little heavy on the soap opera elements at times. It does have good music, on the other hand. Plus, the Kurt / Blaine not-quite-a-relationship works really well.
  3. Comeback
    Sue Sylvester's loss at the Nationals really hit her hard, so hard she tried to commit suicide... by eating gummy vitamins. Emma suggests that Sue should join the Glee club. Also, after the events of the last episode, Sam is worried he's losing Quinn, so he creates a Justin Bieber tribute.
    One of my main complaints about glee is that Sue Sylvester goes way over-the-top, and that's certainly a problem here. Trying to first humanize her and then bring her back to full Snidely Whiplash mode happens too often in this show to be effective anymore.
  4. Blame It on the Alcohol
    Underage drinking is becoming a epidemic at the high school, so most of the cast spend the episode drunk. Okay, they don't spend the entire episode drunk, but many of the kids, and even a couple of the teachers, get drunk during this episode. Even Will and Coach Beiste get drunk, and then sing a duet together. (It's George Thorogood.)
    This is an excellent episode that mixes comedy and character development, Another solid episode with good character development, including for a few of the secondary characters like Artie. Also, seeing Will and Coach Beiste sing is a major highlight.
  5. Sexy
    Holly Holiday is back, this time as a substitute teacher for Sex Ed. Also, Emma is leading the new Celibacy Club, which she is using to help with her relationship with her husband, Dr. Carl. There's a lot of relationship questions happening in this episode, including Brittany and Santana. Plus, Kurt and his dad have, "The Talk".
    One of the best episodes of the second half of the season and it again balances humor and character development, especially "The Talk". There were several story lines going, most of which were major assets. Gwyneth Paltrow was again fun in her guest appearance.
  6. Original Song
    It's time for regionals, and New Direction still doesn't have the original song they need to win. Meanwhile, Sue Sylvester is trying to sabotage them and the Warblers decide Kurt and Blaine should sing a duet as the lead.
    The songwriting experiences and the resulting songs are fun, but I thought regionals were a little weak. The result was predictable, while the two guest shots by Kathy Griffin and Loretta Devine were not as strong as I was expecting.
  7. A Night of Neglect
    In order to go to nationals, Glee Club needs to raise $5000, plus the Brainiacs need $250 to go to their championship. Will decides they should sell saltwater taffy. Holly thinks they should hold a benefit concert. Meanwhile, despite losing in the regionals, Sue Sylvester is still determined to beat Will in nationals. She does this by creating the League of Doom and teams up with Vocal Adrenalin’s coach, Dustin Goolsby; former Glee coach, Sandy Ryerson; and Will's ex-wife, Terri Schuester.
    League of Doom? Really? I liked the return of Charice Pempengco as Sunshine Corazon, but most of the rest of the episode is a miss.
  8. Born this Way
    Will tries to get the Glee Club members to be more accepting of the parts of themselves they hate the most. In the meantime, Santana is trying to start a relationship with Brittany, and plans to do so in the most convoluted fashion possible involving becoming prom queen, dating a closeted football player, starting an anti-bullying club, and getting Kurt back.
    Acceptance is the main theme of a lot of episodes, so it makes sense to dedicate this. The Santana storyarc is certainly an asset at this point.
  9. Rumors
    April Rhodes is back and looking for help from Will about her one-woman Broadway show. Sue tries to breakup Glee by spreading rumors, and there are plenty of rumors to go around.
    This is a mixed episode in terms of quality. The return of April is a highlight, as is the continuing Brittany / Santana storyline. Also, the music is great featuring Fleetwood Mac. However, Sue is joined by Finn and Rachel in the realm of the cartoon super villain.
  10. Prom Queen
    Prom night is coming up and there are a few surprises. It also causes a few characters to regress back to their previous incarnations and an old character returns, which causes a love triangle to get even more complicated.
    Another mixed episode. There are some emotionally moving scenes, but there are also too many parts that didn't connect with me.
  11. Funeral
    After Jesse St. James returned last episode, he's hired to be the new show choir consultant. This immediately causes problems. However, most of the plot of the episode deals with the death of Sue's sister, Jean, which really hits Sue hard.
    Sue dealing with the death of her sister and Glee Club rallying around to support her was extremely well done. The Jesse St. James portion of the show was not. Worse still, the two parts really didn't mesh together.
  12. New York
    Not going to talk about it. I have to leave something as a surprise.
There were a few missteps in the latter half of the season, as well as some really strong episodes. I don't know if it is quite as strong as the first half, but it is close enough to recommend.

The Extras

Most of the extras are the same as the ones I previously reviewed. Every disc has the jukebox for those who like the music but not the plot. Disc one has a couple extras from the The Rocky Horror Glee Show episode. Disc four starts with a five-minute featurette on the auditorium from the show. A Day in the Life of Brittany is a six-minute behind-the-scenes tour led by Heather Morris in character. Shooting Glee in New York City is a ten-minute featurette on filming the season finale in New York City. Guesting on Glee is an eight-minute featurette on all the guest stars from this season. Stevie Nicks goes Glee spends four minutes with Stevie Nicks. Next up are are three montages of quotes by Sue, Santana, and Brittany. The Jane Lynch wax figure featurette and the ComicCon 2010 presentation return from Volume One.

The technical presentation is very strong for a TV release. Keep in mind, the most expensive episode of the season was the finale, which cost $6 million to make. It is about half as long as a feature-length film, but $12 million for a film is still very low. The colors pop, the level of detail is high, there's no major issues with compression, aliasing, etc. The sound is also quite immersive with good use of the surround sound speakers.

There are no exclusive extras, but at just 29% more than the DVD, it's a good deal.

The Verdict

Glee stumbled a bit during season two, but also developed a few more compelling storylines along the way. The DVD and the Blu-ray have enough extras that they are worth picking up, with the latter being a better deal.

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