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Fox / 464 Minutes / 2010 / Unrated / Street Date: January 25, 2011
Like the High School Musical version of Cop Rock, Glee is an effusive, bubbly jaunt of a series, a goofy, show-tune-heavy celebration of buoyant, well, glee. This writer's response to the show's inaugural season on Blu-ray Disc was one quite similar to fare like The Brady Bunch Hour, in which cheese and camp collide to provide a silly experience in full-tilt TV hyperbole, and while I continue to get my panties in a bunch about truncated, multi-volume releases like this one (and it's only available on standard-def? BOOOO!), it goes without saying that Glee: Season 2, Vol. 1 is nothing if not more of the same..
Yes, the dramatic interactions among faculty members and the varied member of the singing troupe at the center of the show are predictable and by the book, but when the fairy dust really hits Glee, it goes from being a so-so emotional affair to a bona fide zany treat. Unfortunately, moments like those happen only rarely on this DVD box set - there are a few episodes that provide almost the same kind of karaoke thrill that the show's first season Madonna episode brought, but even on a DVD box set that only contains half of the show's season, these are few and far between.
This Season 2, Vol. 1 set is all about its two big tentpole episodes: The Britney Spears episode and the Rocky Horror episode. The Britney one attempts to mine the same kind of response as the aforementioned Madonna episode, and while the glee-club rendition of "I'm a Slave 4 U" is irresistibly terrible (read: I had it stuck in my head for hours), even with a Brit cameo, it's not a classic. And the decision to not go full-tilt R-rated for the occasion limits the show's Rocky Horror punch: It's fun to see the kids get all goth-fabulous, but it's just not the same.
But to buy this set or not to buy? You know Fox is going to have a Blu-ray collection of the entire season ready for this summer, so if you drop forty bucks now, it's a no-brainer that you'll be double-dipping soon. I can understand the feeling that if you need your Glee you need it BAD, but I'd consider exercising restraint and just renting these bad boys before shelling out the money to add them to your collection.