I call myself a Glee fan. I religiously watch the program, downloading the tracks each week, contributing to the current Glee status of having had more Billboard number 1 hits than any artist in history. But listen, I promise I’m honest with myself. I completely recognize that Glee is a completely out-of-control roller coaster, losing fans with each ridiculous impulsive move that creator Ryan Murphy makes.
Season 1 of the program honestly produced some of the greatest television that was watchable at the time, with real life scenarios and stereotypes being heightened to a degree that was funny but still real enough to support.
In season 2 of Glee, it quickly became apparent that the makers behind the show had gotten cocky. Each episode had a theme, or a guest star, or a guest star theme, trumping the character development and any possible plot forwarding. Glee instead became a jumble of “what crazy thing can we do next?”
While undoubtably entertaining, themed episodes like “Britney/Brittany” or “The Rocky Horror Glee Show” serve no purpose in the long run for Glee, besides to muddle what’s going on. Often in season 2, character decisions are made based on how a celebrity guest or theme can be fit into a single episode, and that’s no way to write a television program.
Nonetheless, if you can separate yourself from the snobby, elitist anger at the declining writing, season 2 of Glee is still stuffed with phenomenal musical numbers and refreshingly modern jokes. Let’s breakdown some of the best episodes of season 2, shall we?
“Britney/Brittany” – I know that I just said this episode was bad for the show as a whole but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t awesome when being judged alone. The Britney Spears numbers were performed to perfection by Heather Morris, who’s one of the many supporting characters that replaced the previously main characters in this season. Also – this episode had a lot of John Stamos, which is never a bad thing.
“Never Been Kissed” – In this episode, Kurt (Chris Colfer) was faced with the horror of receiving his first kiss against his will by homophobic bully Karofsky (Max Adler). We also learn that Coach Beiste (Dot-Marie Jones) has never been kissed. Sure, the Kurt storyline got painfully old by the end of the season, and the writers basically through Beiste under the rug by the end of the year, but their pain was still fresh back in episode 6.
“Born This Way” – Episode eighteen is easily my favorite of the season, and not because they sing “Born This Way” by Lady GaGa. This episode brought “Glee” back to its routes, talking about real problems. Rachel (Lea Michele) seriously considers plastic surgery, and Emma (Jayma Mays), who was much too absent this season, finally spoke to a doctor about her anxiety-related issues. Also, Quinn (Dianna Agron) and Rachel’s mash-up “I Feel Pretty/Unpretty” might be the best mash-up from season 2.
The rest of the episodes are pretty frustrating given their lack of consistency, but they each do have their own worthy songs. Most of these numbers are performed by Blaine (Darren Criss), who seems to be shoved into every episode just so he can sing. Like in “The Sue Sylvester Shuffle,” when Blaine and the Warblers sang a contemporary, gender-bending cover of Destiny Child’s “Bills, Bills, Bills,” even though they weren’t related to the episode in a single way.
Honestly, Glee angers me but I just can’t quit it. In the end, I will always be dying to know what’s happening with Will (Matthew Morrison) and Emma, and what’s the latest with Kurt, and what adorable hilarity has Artie (Kevin McHale) been involved in. Here’s hoping season 3 can turn the negative trend around.
The shallow but very real appealing aspect of Glee that is purely the incredible sex appeal of its cast is only increased in Blu-Ray, where every Mike Change (Harry Shum Jr.) abdominal muscle can be seen in fine detail. Glee is always colorful and well-dressed, even if it’s truthfully a hot mess of a show.
Seeing as how the music is the best thing Glee has still going for it, the increased sound quality doesn’t hurt either. “Bills, Bills, Bills” is riveting in its crystal clear sound, and every number in “The Rocky Horror Glee Show” gets serious justice with the Blu-Ray conversion.
As for the special features, Glee season 2 on Blu-ray doesn’t disappoint its shockingly loyal fans.
- Glee Music Jukebox - This feature is on each disc, and it’s pretty cool. Basically, you choose it from the menu, and the disc starts playing videos of different Glee songs on shuffle. It’s like if you shuffled the music on iTunes, only with more Cory Monteith visuals.
- The Making of “The Rocky Horror Glee Show” - Another awesome feature, this little bit is a short behind the scenes look of “The Rocky Horror Glee Show.” Some of the actors who were heavily featured in the episode are interviewed, which does in fact include John Stamos.
- Exclusive Bonus Song - The bonus song in question here is “Planet, Schmanet, Janet,” which was apparently cut from the “Rocky Horror” episode for good reason. It’s pretty boring, unless you’re just that obsessed with “Glee” or “Rocky Horror” or both.
- Building Glee‘s Audition with Cory Monteith - Haven’t you been dying to know how they set up the plain jane looking high school stage that they always perform on in Glee? No? Me either! But someone thought adding a bonus feature about it would be a good idea anyway. They do however throw you a bone, and let Monteith lead the tour.
- A Day in the Life of Brittany - At some point in season 1, the writers and fans of Glee become obsessed with Brittany (Morris), which I will never understand. This would probably be pretty cute though if you are one of those mentioned fans, as it is just a few minutes of Morris in character as Brittany walking around the set.
- Shooting Glee in New York City - This feature has a lot of interview sequences and great shots of the Big Apple, but I can’t get over how much I disliked this finale to enjoy it. By the way, there is a moment in this feature where choreographer Zach Woodlee blatantly admits that Glee frequently has nonsensical moments for the sake of drama.
- Guesting on Glee - As aggravating as Ryan Murphy’s desire to stuff a guest star into each episode is, this feature is still pretty awesome for the star power, from Jonathan Groff to Katie Couric. “Don’t be distracted by the beautiful celebrities…”
- Stevie Nicks Goes Glee - Yes, “Landslide” is a beautiful, beautiful song written by Stevie Nicks. No, a bonus feature where she talks about how much fun the set of Glee is wasn’t necessary.
- Sue’s Quips - This is pretty enjoyable. It’s literally just a montage of almost every single insult Sue (Jane Lynch) has ever uttered, going all the way back to season 1. If there’s one thing on Glee that’s consistent, it’s Lynch’s portrayal of Sue Sylvester.
- Santana’s Slams - Just like the previous feature, only now focusing on every spiteful line from Santana (Naya Rivera). It’s fun if you like Santana, I suppose.
- The Wit of Brittany - We get it, Brittany is awesome, okay? Does she really need another feature? And do we really need another montage-of-everything-funny-from-one-character?
- Getting Waxed with Jane Lynch - This is a behind the scenes look at how they made the wax figure of Sue Sylvester in her infamous red track suit. It’s kind of cool if you’ve been dying to know how wax figures are made.
- Glee at Comic-Con 2010 - Lastly, we get to see what the Glee cast was like at Comic-Con back in 2010 for season 1. It’s a really nice, high quality video, if you’re used to watching horrible camera versions of Comic-Con panels taken by nerds who got to go to the convention.
While Gleeis clearly no longer one of the best comedies on television, it still provides a totally unique experience of great musical numbers and pretty funny scenes, despite its complete inability to be aware of its many slowly declining qualities. The added quality of a Blu-Ray version is ideal for a show like Glee, that relies heavily on visuals and sound. Lastly - there is an insane amount of special features for fans. So all in all, the season itself may be just mediocre, but if you’re a fan, this package should be pleasing enough.