Few programs have rocketed to as much fame and hyperbole as Glee managed to generate in its first year on television. Along with singlehandedly resurrecting the show tune in middle America the show also added another word to the English lexicon: Gleek. Simultaneously Glee has introduced a new generation of performers who are the clear inheritors of the greatest of the great in the Broadway triple threat tradition. The phenomenon that is Glee has changed many things about the way that DVD and CDs are released. Halfway through the first season Glee the first half season was available on DVD (there is a mail-in 10 dollar rebate if you that and this and kept receipts). CDs of the music from the show were being released as the episodes progressed. No other show has ever experienced such success and no other show has so deserved the plaudits visited upon it.
Glee the complete first season is one of those titles that screams out for a BluRay player just for all the bonus material. Two full hours of bonus stuff (note the bonus materials do not have closed captioning). The meat of the series is of course the season long journey to regionals which starts with Mr. Shu (Shuster) forming a Glee Club at William McKinley High. The exercise is in part an effort to recapture some of the joy he experienced as a high school student as much as it is to offer to students outside the normal ebb and flow of high school something different to do as an activity. The industrious Will Shuster manages to gather together, in short order, a small by dynamic group of singers and dancers to form the core of the Glee club. The club is formed essentially of the outcasts of William McKinley High School being lead by a teacher who has a great heart but not a whole lot of killer instinct. The ethnically diverse cast of outcasts also features Arnie a wheelchair bound singer with a great voice and Kurt the gay soprano who goes through his own journey of self discovery during the first half of the season.
The best description of Glee is a situation comedy/musical as opposed to a musical. People don't just break into song in Glee, they break into song during rehearsal but apart from that they live their own lives. It is a sweet and snarky show that works on every level you can imagine. The singing is great, the music is great, the acting is great, the direction is great Glee is a phenomenon because it is as close to entertainment perfection as any television show has ever gotten.
Glee Music Jukebox is the best feature in the Extras for Glee The Complete First Season Blu-ray. Music sequences from five different Glee episodes including the NPH Dream On episode and the Funk episode with performances by everyone in Glee. There are three options in the jukebox, Play All, Shuffle or choose the ones you want to see on a one by one basis. The menu is easy to navigate and of course the sound is stunning. The Glee Karaoke was a bit of a disappointment offering only three songs and requiring the viewer to have some advanced skills with their BluRay remote in order to actually do karaoke instead of singalong. How to dress like your favourite glee character only covers off Rachel, Mercedes, Kurt and Quinn but does make it clear how much thought and effort go into the costuming.
Other bonus materials on the Glee bluray DVD are varied and many from the Rachel and Merecedes auditions for Glee club to footage from actual auditions by Lea Michele, Chris Colfer and Cory Montieth. Short bits about the characters of Sue and Emma are less than satisfying but better than having no bits about them. Sue Sylvester has become a phenomenon in her own right and could probably be the subject of a documentary short if the producers put their mind to it.
The great thing is that the extras are there and they are entertaining and worth watching. The extras are not a make or break for buying the series, you should add it to your collection regardless of how you feel about extras on a DVD.