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Glee: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

83






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
Resolution: 1080p/24


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"



Film Synopsis:

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.



My Take:

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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.attachment.php?attachmentid=185515&d=1284314020 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.



Parental Guide:

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)

Audio: 82



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692




Video: 84


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692
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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.




Bonus Features:


  • 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
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Final Thoughts:

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!









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





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Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
post #2 of 19
I had the exact opposite reaction as you, Ralph.

I heard how great it was and my wife and I tuned into a couple of episodes. Forced drama occurs in a high school setting, where Glee members are taunted by the classmates yet find a way to succeed by singing horribly overproduced pop songs.

Perhaps it is the unrealistic protrayal of students interested in music. As a member of my high school's marching band, jazz band, concert band, chorus, etc. I never faced any teasing about it. Quite the opposite in fact. And a girl as attractive as Rachel Berry would have no problems with her peers, regardless of her personality.

Maybe it's because the songs are auto-tuned to death and sound so out-of-place that they took me out of the episodes' contrived plots.

Still, the show is well produced and has quite a large following, so maybe there's just something wrong with me.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by spivonious View Post

I had the exact opposite reaction as you, Ralph.

I heard how great it was and my wife and I tuned into a couple of episodes. Forced drama occurs in a high school setting, where Glee members are taunted by the classmates yet find a way to succeed by singing horribly overproduced pop songs.

Perhaps it is the unrealistic protrayal of students interested in music. As a member of my high school's marching band, jazz band, concert band, chorus, etc. I never faced any teasing about it. Quite the opposite in fact. And a girl as attractive as Rachel Berry would have no problems with her peers, regardless of her personality.

Maybe it's because the songs are auto-tuned to death and sound so out-of-place that they took me out of the episodes' contrived plots.

Still, the show is well produced and has quite a large following, so maybe there's just something wrong with me.

Greetings,

There is nothing "wrong" with you. Different strokes for different folks as they say..

Regards,
post #4 of 19
I was hoping you'd have this review up before street date Ralph.

I had the same reaction as you. After hearing the buzz all year I decided to tune in to the episode that Joss Whedon directed, the one with Neil Patrick Harris (being a fan of both I had to) and thought it was really good. I continued to watch the remainder of the season (which was about 4 more eps I think) and I was hooked. I have to admit I downloaded the ones I didn't see just so I could catch up because wanted to know what I missed with these characters and I didn't want to wait three months for the Blu-ray to come out (though I had every intention of buying it on release day and will do so for sure tomorrow). I just hope the momentum can continue in season 2 as they have set the bar pretty high.
post #5 of 19
Never thought I'd like such a show, but it has its moments. Sure, the musical numbers are ridiculously over-produced, but I decided to take that as some sort of "inside joke." A few of the cast are quite talented.
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by spivonious View Post

And a girl as attractive as Rachel Berry would have no problems with her peers, regardless of her personality.

Perhaps not in your experience but in my high school (and this was years ago) there was a particular girl who was always treated like a leper. There was nothing wrong with the way she looked, she was in fact quite cute but her personality was the worst. Just, beyond annoying. No one wanted to be around her. Rachel totally reminds me of her.

Quote:


Maybe it's because the songs are auto-tuned to death

Not sure what you're getting at. If they use it at all it is sparingly and in situations where it's called for by the source material but to say they use it "to death" is a huge overstatement. Most of the cast are trained vocalists who have performed live on Broadway numerous times. Auto tune is not something they need.

Quote:


Still, the show is well produced and has quite a large following, so maybe there's just something wrong with me.

I think it may be you man.
post #7 of 19
I thought my wife was turning me gay by forcing me to watch it at first. And then I laughed out loud an entire episode. One of the best series I have seen in a long, long time.
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerfreak0 View Post

I thought my wife was turning me gay by forcing me to watch it at first. And then I laughed out loud an entire episode. One of the best series I have seen in a long, long time.

If you think it's even possible for a TV show to turn you gay...you're already gay. Maybe Glee is just your first step to a whole new you.
post #9 of 19
Might have to check this out, but with fall shows starting up and as of right now I am in the middle of Sons of Anarchy which I just finished the first season and loved it. After that I am checking out Spartacus Blood & Sand and then possibly Bored to Death. A lot on my plate right now. More than what I can handle thats for sure.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Matt View Post

Might have to check this out, but with fall shows starting up and as of right now I am in the middle of Sons of Anarchy which I just finished the first season and loved it. After that I am checking out Spartacus Blood & Sand and then possibly Bored to Death. A lot on my plate right now. More than what I can handle thats for sure.

Spartacus Blood & Sand is quite possibly one of the coolest shows ever.
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGigaShadow View Post

Perhaps not in your experience but in my high school (and this was years ago) there was a particular girl who was always treated like a leper. There was nothing wrong with the way she looked, she was in fact quite cute but her personality was the worst. Just, beyond annoying. No one wanted to be around her. Rachel totally reminds me of her.



Not sure what you're getting at. If they use it at all it is sparingly and in situations where it's called for by the source material but to say they use it "to death" is a huge overstatement. Most of the cast are trained vocalists who have performed live on Broadway numerous times. Auto tune is not something they need.



I think it may be you man.



Most of the cast wouldn't need the auto-tune, but it's definitely being used. As to why it bothers me? I can't say for sure, I think it makes it too perfect. It sucks the soul out of the songs that they cover.
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGigaShadow View Post

Spartacus Blood & Sand is quite possibly one of the coolest shows ever.

I spoke to a friend today and he said its one of the more unique shows he has ever watched. He said it was different in terms of the style and visuals in which it was made and there was also some stuff that caught him off guard in the show including all the sex stuff. All in all he said everything put together made the show one of the more interesting shows he has ever seen. Can't wait to watch it.
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Matt View Post

I spoke to a friend today and he said its one of the more unique shows he has ever watched. He said it was different in terms of the style and visuals in which it was made and there was also some stuff that caught him off guard in the show including all the sex stuff. All in all he said everything put together made the show one of the more interesting shows he has ever seen. Can't wait to watch it.

Greetings,

Look for Lee's review coming soon. Back on topic please..

Regards,
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by spivonious View Post



Most of the cast wouldn't need the auto-tune, but it's definitely being used. As to why it bothers me? I can't say for sure, I think it makes it too perfect. It sucks the soul out of the songs that they cover.

I picked up the set (as I said I would) and I have to say I am really impressed by the way the performance numbers sound in DTS-HD MA. I used the "juke box" feature go through most of the numbers and contrary to what you say I can detect no use of any audible, noticeable auto tune. I'd be interested in knowing which songs you thought you heard it in.
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGigaShadow View Post

I picked up the set (as I said I would) and I have to say I am really impressed by the way the performance numbers sound in DTS-HD MA. I used the "juke box" feature go through most of the numbers and contrary to what you say I can detect no use of any audible, noticeable auto tune. I'd be interested in knowing which songs you thought you heard it in.

I never noticed it while watching the shows from my tivo dvr but when i got the soundtrack CDs, it became evident that there is quite a lot of auto-tune being used. Some of the cast have great voices and no need of auto-tune but others apparently need it. Rachel, Will Schuster and Mercedes are in the first category and need no help (although sometimes it seems like a touch is applied anyway). The most obvious character receiving heavy auto-tuning is Finn (Cory Monteith). Listen to "I Can't Fight this Feeling" and you should hear it on the sustained notes.
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by collin View Post

I never noticed it while watching the shows from my tivo dvr but when i got the soundtrack CDs, it became evident that there is quite a lot of auto-tune being used. Some of the cast have great voices and no need of auto-tune but others apparently need it. Rachel, Will Schuster and Mercedes are in the first category and need no help (although sometimes it seems like a touch is applied anyway). The most obvious character receiving heavy auto-tuning is Finn (Cory Monteith). Listen to "I Can't Fight this Feeling" and you should hear it on the sustained notes.

Now that you mention it, I actually do remember hearing it on that one when I watched the version I downloaded last June. And I also remember them using it on Jane Lynch's "Physical" but c'mon, that's just two instances. I hardly think that constitutes saying it's "used to death". And to be fair, Lynch and Cory Monteith are not singers by trade so this is somewhat understandable. I don't think they used it on any of Monteith's other perfomances in the rest of the series and you'll certainly never hear it in performances by Jayma Mays, Lea Michele, Matthew Morrison, Amber Riley, Jenna Ushkowitz, (or guests) Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth.
post #17 of 19
As someone who records vocalists for a living (jingle production) and uses auto-tune from time to time, I would say that on Glee it's used sparingly. Auto-tune is one of those things that you shouldn't be able to notice, unless that's the effect (almost all current hip-hop) that's desired.

I'll tell you what I DO hear a lot of on those vocals, and that's compression. That breathy, in-your-face-no-dynamics sound has nothing to do with auto-tune and everything to do with compressing the crap out of the vocals.
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGigaShadow View Post

Not sure what you're getting at. If they use it at all it is sparingly and in situations where it's called for by the source material but to say they use it "to death" is a huge overstatement. Most of the cast are trained vocalists who have performed live on Broadway numerous times. Auto tune is not something they need.

Trained vocalists or not, this TV show's singing HAVE been autotuned to death. I agree (that most of the cast) don't need it, but it's been autotuned nevertheless.

The weird thing is now that Glee 4 CD and Xmas album have been released, the CD have much less Autotune compared to the TV version. Why? I don't know.

PS: no, it's not vocal compression when I keep hearing (especially the character Finch) vocal have ZERO vibrato and ZERO overtone even on very long held notes. Even when I use infinity : 1 compression ratio, I can't get that vocoder-like effect (due to autotuning extreme). What they need to use is Melodyne, not Autotune.
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGigaShadow View Post

I picked up the set (as I said I would) and I have to say I am really impressed by the way the performance numbers sound in DTS-HD MA. I used the "juke box" feature go through most of the numbers and contrary to what you say I can detect no use of any audible, noticeable auto tune. I'd be interested in knowing which songs you thought you heard it in.


ummmm, on every single one?
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