DVD Review – Glee Season 1: Road to Sectionals

Glee is one of those shows that shouldn’t have worked. Another high school dramedy filled with stereotypical characters. And singing, for God sakes. SINGING. Sure, a lot of people like American Idol, but do they really want to see a bunch of fairly no-name actors (although some veteran Broadway stars) belt out show tunes?

And yet, beyond all rhyme or reason, Glee works. Actually, it doesn’t merely work. It excels. Because Glee is a breath of fresh air that is gigglingly funny and causes viewers to bop about on their couches while the show airs and then immediately head over to iTunes to purchase the latest songs. How many other recent television shows have released two soundtracks within a three month period?

The scheduling for this show is enough to drive the fans crazy. It first premiered back in May 2009 with a pilot episode that immediately sent the internet buzzing and caused the casts’ cover of “Don’t Stop Believin'” to top iTunes charts. And then we were able to enjoy over ten more episodes throughout the fall until the winter finale in early December. And now we have to wait until April 13th to see the second half of season 1.

But fan ferver continues. My own cousin begged me for this DVD box set for Christmas. She didn’t even care that it wouldn’t arrive until closer to New Years, as long as I bought it for her (and because I’m a good cousin, I did). Word is that we might be exposed to some original content between now and April. FOX even released a video called Slushie Jam in anticipation of the DVD release:

To keep the appetite of fans, Fox chose to release season 1 of Glee in two separate DVDs. Glee Season 1: Road to Sectionals was released yesterday, on December 29th.

LOS ANGELES, CA. – Give a cheer for TV’s hottest, funniest and most talked-about new series when ‘Glee’Season 1: Road To Sectionals debuts on DVD December 29 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Filled with beloved characters and sensational musical numbers, ‘Glee’Season 1: Road To Sectionals is an electrifying, pitch-perfect winner. William McKinley High School once had a champion glee club, but now they are floundering. That is when an idealistic Spanish teacher (Matthew Morrison, Music & Lyrics) takes up their cause, vowing to transform the rag-tag group of singers and dancers into champions.

From Ryan Murphy, the creator of ‘Nip/Tuck,”Glee‘also stars Jane Lynch (The 40 Year Old Virgin), Jessalyn Gilsig (‘Nip/Tuck’) and a slew of talented newcomers including Lea Michele, Cory Monteith and Chris Colfer. Featuring the first 13 episodes, ‘Glee’Season 1: Road To Sectionals DVD will also include the Director’s cut of the pilot episode; exclusive behind-the-scenes featurettes; audition videos from the talented cast and the hit music topping the charts at iTunes such as cast versions of Queen’s ‘Somebody To Love,’Heart’s ‘Alone,’Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin’,’Céline Dion’s ‘Taking Chances,’Rihanna’s ‘Take A Bow,’Carrie Underwood’s ‘Last Name,’Jazmine Sullivan’s ‘Bust Your Windows,’Kanye West’s ‘Gold Digger’and REO Speedwagon’s ‘Can’t Fight This Feeling.’.

The DVD contains all 13 episodes (in a four disc set) leading up to the Sectionals competition. The director’s cut of the pilot is included, along with several other additional features, including:

Welcome to McKinley – a video featuring Principal Figgins (who is grossly under-utilized in the show and is hilarious) meant to introduce incoming students to the school. It’s cheesy – and Figgins is totally in on the joke – and pretty funny.

Glee Music Video – features the song Somebody to Love

Full Length Audition Pieces – remember when Rachel sang RESPECT and Rachel sang On My Own in the pilot episode to audition for Glee? This is the full length videos for both of those songs

Fox Movie Channel Presents Casting Session – showrunners, crew members and cast members discuss the origins of the show, as well as the casting process for the series and the individual characters

Deconstructing Glee with Ryan Murphy – the show’s creator discusses the themes behind the show, as well as casting the series

Dance Boot Camp – the show’s choreographer and the case members talks about teaching the cast choreography for the musical numbers and we see back-stage footage from the practices

Meet Jane Lynch – one of the funniest actresses on the show talks about her character

5 Things You Didn’t Know About …. – these were previously available on Fox, but included on the DVD are little videos with things you didn’t previously know about some of the cast members, including Jayma, Cory, Amber and Chris

Video Diaries – most of the cast members share video diaries they shot during various promotional appearances for the show

Overall, the special features are decent and enjoyable, but the real pull for the DVD is the episodes themselves, filled with hilarious moments and the show-stopping musical performances in each episode. If you’re a fan of this show, you should buy this DVD (and the two CDs, as I did). Because it’s a long, long time until April 13 – even with the Olympics – and we’ll all need to see Rachel belting out Don’t Rain on my Parade – in a manner that, dare I say it, bested Barbra Streisand – again and again until the show returns and the cast works it way to Regionals.


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