The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2009/2010
MPAA Rating: TV-14
Feature running time: 974 minutes
Genre: TV Musical/Comedy
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Starring: Matthew Morrison, Jayma Mays, Jane Lynch, Dianna Agron, Chris Colfer, Jessalyn Gilsig, Kevin McHale, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Amber Riley, Mark Salling, Jenna Ushkowitz
Directed by: Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuck, Elodi Keene
Music by: James S. Levine
Written by: Ryan Murphy, Ian Brennan, Brad Falchuck
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 14, 2010
"Join the club"
A talented group of high school misfits transforms into a performing sensation with the help of a dedicated teacher. Through laughter, tears, irreverent humor and unforgettable music, they learn to follow their hearts and chase their dreams.
During season one of Glee I kept hearing about how good the show was which prompted me to check it out even though it conflicted with our regular viewing schedule. Quite honestly it just didn't sound like anything that would interest me. Its not like the show's premise is anything new and all I pictured was high school musical set to comedy. Well, I am happy to admit that I was wrong. The show's continuing plot revolves around a cadre of characters at McKinley High School. The focus rests upon the Glee club which is comprised of a group of students that are essentially the type you might expect to find in a glee club.
They are Rachel Berry, the true talent and star of the glee club who is enamored by fame/success but is uptight, abrasive and geekish, Finn Hudson, star/quarterback of the football team who is initially coerced into joining the glee club but eventually finds its rewards are worth the risk of alienation by his friends. Mercedes Jones, a fashion-conscious diva with a big voice who resents singing back-up and gets little attention from the boys, Kurt Hummela flamboyant gay male soprano who has few issues with his identity but actively seeks his dad's approval, Artie Abrams, a gifted guitar player and paraplegic, Tina Cohen-Chang, an Asian American student with a fake speech impediment and poor confidence, Noah "Puck" Puckerman, Finn's best friend and resident skirt chaser who's in it for the action, Quinn Fabray, head cheerleader of the Cheerios and Finn's girlfriend, who along with cheerleading sidekicks Brittany, and Santana join the glee club with ulterior motives.
The Glee club is run by Spanish teacher and McKinley Glee club alum Will Schuester, a onetime talent whose defining moment came while onstage performing as its member. Lastly there is Sue Sylvester, head coach of the "Cheerios" cheerleading squad, and Glee Club's arch-nemesis who sees not only the Glee Club but everyone not meeting with her approval as a peon to be squashed. Interspersed among them are Emma Pillsbury, resident guidance counselor and germophobe whose crush on Will makes for interesting lounge banter, Terri Schuester, Will's wife and high school sweetheart who has some odd notions about honesty/devotion, Ken Tanaka, the football coach who is tormented by the fact that he is in love with Emma and she only has eyes for Will, and Principal Figgins, a steadfast administrator with a hands off approach and poor people skills.
Glee is a refreshing and wonderfully written/directed TV series. It's a microcosm of melting pot society and not in a stereotypical fashion. Its seemingly idyllic world isn't immune to the harsh realities of life as issues such as teenage pregnancy, bullying, jealousy, and interpersonal conflict make for compelling drama. That of course comes along with the inherent complexities associated with the trials and tribulations of teenage life as well as offering an interesting and evocative perspective on the problems that adults can encounter both at home and in the workplace. While that all may sound a bit on the abysmal side fear not as the show is counterbalanced with a campy but endearing charm and edgy humor that when combined with its marvelously integrated production numbers/music themes makes it very entertaining. The musical themes and choreography range from show tunes to chart hits (from varying eras and genres) that are given a modern flavor that integrate with the episodic storyline. Over the course of the season there are celebrity guest appearances and reoccurring roles that deepen the drama, add to the hilarity and enhance an already stalwart ensemble cast.
Matthew Morrison is an amiable and physically gifted actor with a genuine appeal that makes him easily identifiable as the likeable Will Schuester. Jane Lynch's Sue Sylverster is pitch perfect in a dastardly and scheming sort of way that if she were a man would have her twirling the ends of her thin mustache. I must admit that I get a kick out of her sharp vernacular and contentiously snarky demeanor. Jayma Mays, Patrick Gallagher, Jessalyn Gilsig, and Mike O'Malley each own their respective roles and shine. The cast of Glee clubbers Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Kevin McHale, Amber Riley, Dianna Agron, Mark Salling, Chris Colfer and Jenna Ushkowitz are an assemblage of young talent that has proven themselves capable of handling the rigors associated with performing in a series where they have to sing, dance, and act. Season one is loaded with wonderful moments. Some may evoke tears while other will have you laughing out loud or both. Glee is not what I expected and turned out to be more than I bargained for. Its continuing plot is enriched by worthwhile characters, enriching storylines, and supremely integrated/crafted humor that is never lacking in creativity. The icing on the cake is the show's musically driven themes that don't feel corny or irreverent but add a highly entertaining element that capably showcases the talented cast. All 22 episodes (including the series pilot) and the bonus supplements are spread out over four BD-50 dual layered Blu-ray discs with disc 4 containing the bulk of the bonus material.
The show features thematic material that would be inappropriate for young viewers.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Glee: The complete first season comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 18 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 18 Mbps.
This show has a distinctive visual style that utilizes a variety of bright color schemes which helps to augment its ostentatious thematic tone. The results are impressive as deep, oversaturated reds, and vibrant blues are capably offset by a lavish assortment of pastels that can be striking and a perfect match for the show's varied showcases. Fleshtones are on the warm side but are tonally balanced and lifelike in depiction. Contrast is stable and blacks are strong which enriches both bright and dark onscreen elements. Resolution is strong as images have excellent depth and appreciable delineation with clarity that accents the fine detail in facial features and objects. Sharpness wavers here and there and darker elements tend to lack the dimensionality of brighter ones but neither is a detrimental to fidelity. A light sprinkling of grain provides an inviting textural nuance which is reminiscent of film. Other than some minor noise visible in a few dark backgrounds I didn't see any obvious signs of video related anomalies.
The show relies heavily on dialogue however its frequent musical accompaniment and array of sounds benefited from lossless audio's high fidelity and sounds terrific. Spoken dialogue, including the oft used narration, is clear, well intonated and prominently placed within the front soundstage. The front three speakers have an open and detailed delivery with appreciable channel separation and discernible directional correlation that enhances depth. Surround activity is limited to splashes of ambience and some discretely placed effects that effectively extend the soundstage. The variety of music featured in the show has good top end air, discerning detail, and smooth highs that are non sibilant and make for a toe tapping and pleasing listening experience. The occasional use of low frequency effects and extended dynamics offer robust bass and enhanced energy that accent the sound mix.
- Glee Jukebox (Discs 1-4) - Selectable playback of song segments from each episode (includes a shuffle option)
- (HD) Blu-ray Disc Exclusive: Behind the Pilot - A visual commentary with cast/crew
- (HD) Staying in step with Glee - 6 minute featurette
- (HD) Bite their style: Dress like your favorite Gleek - 9 minute featurette
- (HD) Unleashing the power of Madonna - 10 minute featurette on the popular episode
- (HD) Making of a showstopper - 17 minute featurette
- Welcome to McKinley! - 5 minute faux video by Principle Figgins
- Glee music video - 2 minutes
- Full length audition pieces - Rachel/Mercedes
- Fox Movie Channel Presents: Casting Session/Glee - 12 minutes
- Deconstructing Glee with Ryan Murphy - 2 minutes
- Jane Lynch A to Glee - 3 minute feature
- Meet Jane Lynch - 1 minute short
- 5 things you didnt know about Jayma - 1 minute short
- 7 things you didnt know about Cory - 1 minute short
- 6 things you didnt know about Amber
- 7 things you didn't know about Chris
- Video diaries - 8 segments
Glee has proven that it is a formidable weekly TV series with a genuinely fresh appeal that revolves around its superb blend of poignant drama, clever wit, and marvelous production numbers/musical themes that give it an endearing charm that is accented by a terrific ensemble cast. Season One's debut on Blu-ray Disc from Fox features good high definition audio/video quality and Blu-ray Disc exclusive content that is sure to please its fans. I eagerly anticipate the premiere of Glee's second season and highly recommend it. Enjoy!
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Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100 16x9 Screen
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