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Featured TV on DVD Review: Glee: Season One

September 13th, 2010

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

While Glee wasn't the most successful new TV series of the 2009 - 2010 schedule in terms of ratings, it arguably has the most dedicated fan base. It earned a near record-breaking 20 Emmy nominations, winning 4 of them. It has sold more than 1 million CDs, 100,000 books, it has a video game, board game, live tour, etc. To its fans, it is more than a TV show, it is a phenomenon. However, for those who haven't seen it yet, is it worth checking out? Or is the target audience too small?

First a quick note: I'm only reviewing half of this seven-disc set, as I previously reviewed the Road to the Sectionals when it came out at the end of last year.

The Show

First a short recap of the first half of the season, there will be some spoilers. Glee is about the teachers and kids at the William McKinley High School in Lima, Ohio. The focus is on the members of the Glee club, which at the beginning of the series is nearly shut down. Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison) comes along to save the club, as it was Glee Club that helped him get through High School. This puts him in direct competition with Sue Sylvester, the coach of the cheerleaders who will stop at nothing to be the most important person at William McKinley High School. Even a small chance that she might have to share the spotlight is too much for her to take. So she uses all of her resources to try and kill the competition, including sending cheerleaders to act as spies.

As for the students, the main personality conflict is between the cheerleaders and the Glee clubbers, but since the only Cheerleaders we know the names of are the ones that are spies, most of the conflict is between members of the Glee Club. There are a few love triangles, competition for solos, etc. And of course, there's the general politics of high school and the fact that the Glee Club is the lowest of the low on the social ladder.

The second half continues where the first half left off, including the road to the regionals. Shelby Corcoran, the coach of Vocal Adrenaline, their main competition, Warning: Spoilers ahead. Highlight to read sends James St. James into their school and everyone assumes he's there as a spy, which he is, but not in that way. He was actually sent there by Shelby Corcoran, because Rachel Berry is her daughter. ... Least surprising reveal ever. Seriously. In fact, I'm surprised the two actresses are not related in real life. The competition between the two schools is there, but the biggest threat to New Directions continues to be Sue Sylvester, while interpersonal troubles, including Finn's mom moving in with Kurt's dad and the tension that causes, the return of April Rhodes, and then there's Neil Patrick Harris in his Emmy Award winning guest shot in the episode directed by Joss Whedon.

It keeps the same quality level that most of the first half had, even with Sue Sylvester being one step short of a cartoon character.

On a side note, "Ice, Ice Baby" really does suck. The only part of that song that isn't awful is the bassline that was taken from "Under Pressure". Now that's a good song. More on the music... Early on in the second half of this season, there are not as many good songs as there were in the first half of the season. At least songs that I like. I'm sure there are a lot of Madonna and Lady Gaga fans out there, but I don't count myself among their ranks. (I think too often theatrics overtakes the music, which is too bad, as they both have a lot of natural talent.) On the other hand, I'm glad they rocked some Kiss tunes, while the season ended on a higher note with some funk, Journey, and Queen.

The Extras

Extras on the seven-disc set include the extras on the four-disc set released previously. Also, discs five, six, and seven each have a Glee Music Jukebox for those that want to listen to the music over and over without watching the shows. Disc seven has a handful of featurettes on the dancing, the clothes, Madonna, while the biggest featurette is on the big final number for Vocal Adrenaline, "Bohemian Rhapsody".

I don't have the Blu-ray, but it appears to not have any exclusives. It only costs 20% more, which is great deal for a TV on DVD release.

The Verdict

Glee is a little over the top at times... a lot of over the top, but the music is great and it is hard to argue with 20 Emmy nominations. The Season One DVD and Blu-ray don't have a huge amount of extras, but they're still a solid selection and either format is worth picking up.

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