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Category:    Home > Reviews > Musical > Backstage > Comedy > Teens > Satire > Glee: The Complete Third Season (2011 – 2012/Fox Blu-ray)

Glee: The Complete Third Season (2011 – 2012/Fox Blu-ray)


Picture: B     Sound: B     Extras: C     Episodes: B-



I absolutely loved Glee when it first hit the air.  It was smart, funny and incorporated music into a series like no one had ever seen before.  Glee was an evolving musical for a new generation.  Somehow, however, (writer/creator/director) Ryan Murphy quickly lost his way and after Season One the series (though continuing to have huge ratings) has been in a creative downward spiral.


After viewing Season Two I was a bit perplexed as to what had happened.  I thought Glee had an aura of Freaks and Geeks about it, with a dash of My So Called Life, and all held together with music that could span generations.  All of this coupled with a young, unknown, talented cast.  Needless to say Glee was one of the most promising series on television.  But with the success of the series and a major bump in budget, the series became over produced and lost the charm it initially had.  Glee was only somewhat unbelievable at first, managing to stay grounded in reality.  By the time Season Three arrived the cast trotted around the school like movie stars in ‘high fashion,’ pushing the ‘problem of the week’ storylines.  Musical numbers are no longer the kids on stage in red t-shirts and jeans, but instead there are full bands/orchestras, quick costume changes, lights, smoke, GLITTER! OH THE GLITTER!


Ryan Murphy has become so obsessed with finding ‘something different’ and pushing issues that ‘kids can relate to,’ that he has lost what made the series great in the first place.  Glee was tight and had the elements Murphy was looking for, but has sacrificed that for Hollywood size productions in what the audience is suppose to believe is an Ohio high school.  Come on Ryan Murphy, really?  He even wants to be strict with the stars ages/grade level as one season counts for one year of these characters’ lives; let’s ignore the fact many of these actors are 30 years old to start with.  I am all for keeping it fresh and bringing in new talent, especially in a music based series, but when you have the characters performing ridiculously impossible stunts in a high school parking lot or gymnasium already, does adhering to grade level really matter?


I get what Ryan Murphy is trying to do and in turn forcing his writers to do, he is trying to put a message out there of love, acceptance, and showcase the hardships that we all go through; proving we are not alone.  That is all fine and good, but shoving it down the audiences throat is idiotic and almost an insult to the viewers’ intelligence.  I guess Ryan Murphy never heard of isn’t quite as bad; but the series does continue placing the characters in their most stereotypical roles to date.  The episodes focus on topics that were touched on before like sex, weight issues, bullying, abuse, violence, lies, and so on; but the manages to focus more on story than just those messages this season.  What I still can’t stand is how Ryan Murphy insists on pairing the ‘topic of the day’ with songs that fit too perfectly; I could almost predict what song was coming.


This season we see the New Directions picking up the pieces after failing horribly at Nationals last season.  A change is needed (perhaps Ryan Murphy should take his own advice) and everyone is agreement as they buckle down and pull it together; sadly drama ensues and they break up/get back together for the 1,000,000th time.  There is a surprise/not so surprising ending and some characters move on after graduation; sending some key players in varying directions.  I am growing wary of Glee, but will continue to watch for now as I hope for the best.


Extras include:

·         Glee Music Juke Box

·         Glee Under the Stars

·         Sue Flashback

·         Santa Baby

·         Ginger Supremacists: Extended Scene (Apparently we get a longer look at Emma’s parents in this extended scene…they just happen to be hair racists)

·         Glee Give a Note

·         Glee Swap: Behind the Scenes of Props

·         Saying Goodbye

·         Ask Sue: World Domination Blog

·         Sue’s Quips


The picture on Glee is bright, colorful, and has come a long way since the problem riddled Season One release.  The 1080p is crisp, clean though being on film still the series does have a small element of grain sacrificing some clarity, but heightening detail.  The darker scenes can be problematic here and there though nothing too horrible.  The sound is a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio lossless mix that is nice but I wish was better, especially for a music-centric series.  The series mostly comes from the front center, though I must say when the music kicks in the viewer is catapulted into a different world.  The music numbers boast sound that is concert Blu-ray quality as every speaker is engaged, clean, clear as it surrounds the viewer in sound.  A bit unbalanced in terms of the transition from dialogue to music number, but those who tune in just for the music will be pleased.



-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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