GLEE: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review

Glee Season 1 Blu-ray

Gleeks eager to re-watch all their favorite moments from last season will be happy to know that Glee: The Complete First Season was just released on DVD and on Blu-ray (available on Amazon).

Glee Season 1 Overview
Glee blends teen drama, soap opera outrageousness, and showstopping musical performances into one addictive show. It follows the ups and downs of the McKinley High School glee club, a somewhat random group of social outcasts, cheerleaders, and jocks lead by director Mr. Schuester (Matthew Morrison). Rachel (Lea Michele) is the ambitious diva of the group, Finn (Cory Monteith) is the quarterback who is dating head cheerleader Quinn (Diana Agron) and is BFFs with Puck (Mark Salling). The group is rounded out by wheelchair bound Artie (Kevin McHale) and his crush Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz), diva Mercedes (Amber Riley), and Kurt (Chris Colfer) who is coming to terms with his sexuality. The group learns to get along and works toward reaching the National competition, despite the sabotage of cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch).

Glee is one of my favorite shows because of its original characters and unique blend of music, satirical comedy, and soapy goodness. I could watch the show just for the awesome, Emmy award winning Jane Lynch, who steals every scene she’s in (‘I’m all about empowerment. I empower my Cheerios to live in a state of constant fear by creating an environment of irrational, random terror.”).

The talented cast covered over 100 songs during the first season (most of which are in heavy rotation on my iPod). Season 1 also featured appearances by former Broadway stars like Neil Patrick Harris, Kristin Chenoweth, Idina Menzel, and Jonathan Groff.

Since I’m already a big fan of Glee, the thing I was looking forward to the most on the Blu-ray was the special features. There are over 2 hours of new material, including the following special features.

Glee Music Jukebox
This special feature allows you to go directly to each musical performance. It’s very handy when you want to watch “Bad Romance” for the 100th time without having to fast forward to find it.

Glee Sing-Along Karaoke
You can sing-along to your favorite Glee songs with this feature. Not really of much interest to me.

Full-Length Auditions
I loved that they’ve included two longer audition scenes from the pilot. The feature consists of Rachel’s “On My Own” from Les Miserables (squee!) and Mercedes’ version of Aretha’s “Respect.”

Staying in Step with Glee
Some of the Glee dancers and choreographers teach the dance steps to the “Rehab” number from the pilot. It’s cool, if that’s something your interested in.

The Power of Madonna
A behind the scenes look at the making of the Madonna themed episode. It’s full of fun bits of trivia about the episode and highlights the small touches you might have missed.

Bite Their Style: Dress Like Your Favorite Gleek
Glee‘s costume designer talks about how she styles each character to capture their individual personality. It was fun to see how many skirts, vests, and knee high socks they have for Rachel.

Making of a Showstopper
This is a behind the scenes look at the filming of the “Bohemian Rhapsody” performance from the finale. I loved hearing Jonathan Groff’s take on it and I was fascinated by the amount work that went into this one scene. This was one of my favorite features because I LOVE that number.

William McKinley High School
Principal Figgins welcomes 8th graders to their freshman year at McKinley in this fake orientation video. Iqbal Theba cracks me up so much that I actually had to pause this while I was laughing.

Casting Glee
The executive producers of Glee and executives from FOX talk about the casting process for Glee. It includes video from Lea Michele’s audition, as well as Cory Monteith’s audition video.

Dance Boot Camp
The cast needed a dance boot camp to learn all the moves for the pilot since most of them aren’t professional dancers.

Meet Jane Lynch
A quick montage of some of Sue Sylvester’s best lines.

Some self explanatory interviews:
5 Things You Didn’t Know About Jayma
7 Things You Didn’t Know About Cory
6 Things You Didn’t Know About Amber
7 Things You Didn’t Know About Chris

Video Diaries
Jane Lynch, Lea Michele, Matthew Morrison, Cory Monteith, Kevin McHale, Amber Riley, Chris Colfer, Diana Agron all shot individual video diaries on a trip to New York to do publicity for Glee.

Blu-ray Exclusive – Behind the Pilot: A Visual Commentary with Cast and Crew
This special feature is exclusive to the Blu-ray version. Ryan Murphy and most of the cast (with the notable exception of Lea Michele) do a split screen commentary on the pilot episode. This was so much fun! I wish they could have done this for the finale too.

I’m thrilled with my copy of Glee: The Complete First Season, and I think it’s a must have for serious Gleeks. The one caveat to that is if you already bought the first half of season 1 (Glee Season 1, Volume 1: Road to Sectionals), then I’d recommend you buy Volume 2: Road to Regionals to complete your set since it’s significantly cheaper.

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