Right, as all the reviews here are from the DVD release (part season reviews at that) here is a review from bigpicturebigsound.com including contained extras on the bluray, which Amazon have failed to list as of yet.
Imagine the cast of Election ready to burst into song at a moment's notice. The creators of Glee did just that, apparently. There's the pretty, special, but tightly-wound student with big ambitions (Lea Michele), the lovably dopey jock (Cory Monteith, who from some angles is a dead ringer for Election's Chris Klein), and of course their hip, young teacher (Matthew Morrison), trying to start a family when not juggling his extra-curricular activities, which now include the glee club, rechristened New Directions. They are an underdog menagerie of singer/dancers who will need a lot of work before they dare take the stage, but they are also innocent enough to have hopes and dreams, and that's one of the keys to this show's tremendous power to charm.
Following one of the best pilots I have ever seen (here in a slightly longer Director's Cut), The Complete First Season drifts occasionally into eye-rolling territory, losing much of its subtlety as the plot and the quest for comedy forces the characters to say and do things that real people simply never would. One anti-favorite: The principal believes one of the kids is a vampire.
The show is also guilty of a problem I've had with TV since I was a kid: Where do they get all of these studio-perfect costumes, week in and week out? And while we're at it, how is it physically possible for one man to teach Spanish, create lesson plans, grade papers, manage glee, take on a night job as a janitor, restore an old car, live out his fantasy of being in a boy band, audition for community theater, run detention after school, take field trips, and still unhurriedly discuss all of his students' personal problems?
If it sounds like I'm being tough on everyone's favorite new show from the 2009-2010 season, that's because it's so good I want it to be perfect. Pretty much every musical number can absolve an episode of its flaws, some just flashy and others fraught with subtext. (Two of the most moving involve wheelchair-bound Artie, played by Kevin McHale who ironically in real life is quite a fine terpsichorean.) Dramatically the show pleasantly surprises as well, as in the evolution of one supporting player from a teenaged cliché to something far deeper. And the season finale serves as an emotional bookend to an extraordinary year, with many call-backs to the pilot which effectively unify the entire journey.
We can really appreciate the detail in the production design, as the 1.78:1 high-def image enables us to read many of the amusing bulletin board postings. Some of the close-ups are crisp, but the image is generally soft, with noise in the shadows as well. Out-of-focus backgrounds/foregrounds take on an artificial appearance, and the blacks could be stronger. I do however enjoy my newfound ability to freeze-frame and look for So You Think You Can Dance alums hoofing away in non-featured roles.
The quality of the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 channel track can be striking at times, as I detected previously unheard nuances in the recordings of the voices, and the pop songs are wonderfully lucid. The rears however have a tendency to be underutilized, particularly in earlier episodes. In a store setting, a dot of muzak might hang in the rear speakers, later replaced by a little locker room grumbling, and then maybe some musical performance spilling behind us. But even when they would be logical, as for off-screen voices, surrounds are not used to their true potential. The bigger production numbers can fill the soundstage nicely though, and by the finale we can hear the cheers in the rears.
"Behind the Pilot: A Visual Commentary with the Cast and Crew" reassembles almost the entire gang as they watch and wax, in a side-by-side two-window presentation. The Glee Jukebox takes us directly to the musical numbers on every disc, with a shuffle option to keep it interesting. Glee Sing Along Karaoke offers our choice of sing-along (original vocals intact) and karaoke (music and backup singers only) audio, both in Dolby Digital 5.1 with on-screen lyrics.
"Staying in Step with Glee" teaches us the pilot's "Rehab" dance (six minutes), "Bite Their Style: How to Dress Like Your Favorite Gleek" (nine minutes) explores the significance of the costumes, and "Unleashing the Power of Madonna" (ten-and-a-half minutes) takes us behind the scenes of the all-Madge episode. "Making of a Showstopper: 'Bohemian Rhapsody'" (17 minutes) goes even deeper on the creation of rival team Vocal Adrenaline's performance from Regionals. All of the above extras are in HD.
"Welcome to McKinley" (five minutes) is an in-character freshman orientation video. We're also given the cast's music video for "Somebody to Love" (three minutes). The full-length audition scenes for Rachel and Mercedes, their entire performances ("On My Own" and "Respect," respectively) now uninterrupted, four minutes total. A Fox Movie Channel program shares the challenge of finding an army of triple threats who could sing, dance and act (12 minutes). "Deconstructing Glee with Ryan Murphy" manages to cover almost everything in only three minutes, and "Dance Boot Camp" shows how the non-dancers were brought up to speed (also three minutes).
Many brief glimpses up-close with some of the stars are provided, in addition to video diaries (17 minutes total) from a promotional trip to New York City, some very funny and very cool. This batch of extras is all in standard definition.
I'm no "Gleek," a term for the more avid fans who might be unconditional in their love for Glee, but I do confess to DVR'ing it every week, and getting choked up during the last scene of the pilot, and wringing my hands during the finale. Thanks largely to one of the most talented casts on TV ever, the show and its Blu-ray release are winners.
* Actors: Matthew Morrison, Jane Lynch, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Chris Colfer, Kevin McHale, Jayma Mays, Jessalyn Gilsig, Amber Riley, Dianna Agron, Mark Salling, Jenna Ushkowitz, Naya Rivera, Heather Morris, Mike O'Malley, Iqbal Theba, Patrick Gallagher
* Directors: Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Elodie Keene, Paris Barclay, John Scott, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
* Audio Format/Languages: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (English)
* Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish
* Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
* Number of discs: 4
* Rating: NR
* Studio: Fox
* Release Date: September 14, 2010
* Run Time: Approx. 974 minutes
* List Price: $69.99
o "Behind the Pilot: A Visual Commentary with the Cast and Crew"
o The Glee Jukebox
o Glee Sing Along Karaoke
o Stating in Step with Glee
o Bite Their Style: How to Dress Like Your Favorite Gleek
o Unleashing the Power of Madonna
o Making of a Showstopper: "Bohemian Rhapsody"
o Welcome to McKinley
o Glee Music Video
o Full Length Audition Pieces
o Rachel - "On My Own"
o Mercedes - "Respect"
o "Fox Movie Channel Presents Casting Session"
o "Deconstructing Glee with Ryan Murphy"
o "Dance Boot Camp"
o "Jane Lynch A to Glee"
o "Meet Jane Lynch"
o "5 Things you don't know about Jayma"
o "7 Thingsd you don't know about Cory"
o "6 Things you don't know about Amber"
o "7 Things you don't know about Chris"
o Video Diaries:
+ Jane Lynch
+ Lea Michele
+ Matthew Morrison
+ Cory Monteith
+ Kevin McHale
+ Amber Riley
+ Chris Colfer
+ Dianna Agron