Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Glee: The Complete Fourth Season Blu-Ray Review

Reviewed by Jami Ferguson
Season Four of the exhilarating Emmy-winning series finds Rachel and Kurt in New York City, Finn with a surprising new career, Will and Emma at a crossroads and Sue confronting a shocking situation! Meanwhile, tension mounts as the kids in New Directions head for regionals, facing new challenges. Featuring exciting new cast members, electrifying musical numbers, and superstar guests like Sarah Jessica Parker, Kate Hudson and Whoopi Goldberg, "Glee" remains one of TV’s most popular shows!
Show (3 out of 5 stars)

It's important to know that the star of "Glee" is Lea Michele who plays Rachel. In previous seasons Rachel has been made fun of by her peers, dressed like a toddler, and wasn't ever what I'd call popular. She was, however, the lead singer in glee club – even if other singers tried to replace her. Much of the glee club has graduated, and a few familiar faces remain at William McKinley High School (WMHS) to complete their senior year.

As season four begins, Rachel is in New York City, attending her dream school where fellow glee club alumn Kurt (Chris Colfer) did not get accepted. Much of this season is devoted to Rachel's time at school (NYADA) and her difficult dance teacher, played by Kate Hudson. Back in Lima, Ohio Kurt is unhappy as a barista and his father sadly convinces him to head to New York, even without NYADA and he soon finds a coveted internship for vogue.com, working for Sarah Jessica Parker.

At the same time, the remaining glee club members compete to determine who will be the new Rachel and WMHS.  Back home, mega-meanie cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) has recently had a baby and the glee club gets some new and talented blood. Marley (Melissa Benoist) is a very talented girl who tries to hide the fact that the overweight lunch lady the kids make fun of is her mother. Glee club leader Mr. Schuster attempts to be a positive change for bad boy Puck's half brother whose temper and talent both run high.

In season four relationships in Ohio and New York are in trouble as people grow up, move on and make mistakes.  Season three of "Glee," had far too much going on for my taste. There are too many stories to follow and too much drama. In season four, there is just as much, if not more drama but now it's happening in New York City. I love the songs, and have honestly grown to love some of the characters but I would like them to tone down the drama a bit. This season starts to feel like an after-school special about tolerance. There's the overweight lunch lady, the cross dressing glee clubber, the kid no one understands, and a handful of special needs children and teens that cover all the issues but get's to be a little too much for me. Knowing that season five will deal with Finn Hudson's (Cory Monteith) death I expect the drama to increase exponentially.  
Video (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)

"Glee": The Complete Fourth Season is presented on Blu-ray with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.78:1 ratio. The show is shot digitally and that leads to a good Blu-ray transfer. Fine detail is impressive overall but it is not without minor issues and visual noise from time to time.
Audio (4 out of 5 stars)

"Glee": The Complete Fourth Season is presented with DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound and subtitles in English SDH, French and Spanish. The audio held up to a musically driven show without letting dialogue suffer. Side channels are well used, and crowd scenes are immersive while dialogue remains center driven.
Extras (4 out of 5 stars)

"Glee" The Complete Fourth Season contains a significant list of special features that are an excellent compliment to the show.

The following features are found on the Blu-ray discs:

Disc One
  • Glee Music Jukebox – A look at the music sequences of each episode.
  • Movin' On Up: Glee in NYC – Ten minutes of interviews focused on New York City.
  • Jarley – Like Ben and Jennifer made Bennifer Jake and Marley make Jarley, and this feature is devoted to Jarley the couple.
  • Building New York – A tour of the New York City sets.
  • Deleted Scenes – Over five minutes of deleted scenes.
Disc Two
  • Glee Music Jukebox – A look at the music sequences of the disc two episodes.
  • Deleted Scenes – An additional five minutes of deleted scenes.
Disc Three
  • Glee Music Jukebox – a look at additional music sequences.
  • Glee on Film – A look about the episode about music from films.
  • The Road to 500 – The 500 musical segments of the show.
Disc Four
  • Glee Music Jukebox – A look at the music of disc four.
  • Blaine's Time Capsule – Blake sends a message to his future self.
  • Glee Premier Party! - A short look at the party.
Summary (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)

"Glee" The Complete Fourth Season has some new cast members and many of the old ones – all of whom are insanely talented singers. The New York City story arc made the show feel more like "Smash" and less like the "Glee" than I'm used to. This season has some great songs, including a Grease episode and has great guest starts. "Glee" always manages to throw in some amazing actors that I never would have known could sing. The show is just good but not great at this point as it does get repetitive. The special features are well done and I recommend the show to fans of "Glee."  If anything about previous season turned you off, season four will definitely not turn you into a fan. While I'm not a “gleek” or whatever else they call their uber-fans I was happy with previous seasons overall and am basically happy with more of the same in season four.

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