Customer Reviews: Glee: Season 2 [Blu-ray]
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VINE VOICEon May 31, 2011
There's been quite a bit of truly justified criticism of "Glee"'s second season. I myself had to force myself to wait a few weeks after the airing of the "New York" finale to actually try to write a coherent review on this sophomore season. Bearing that in mind, let's take the route of this season's first episode and recap what was the first season of "Glee":

"Glee" tells the story of a tiny, bullied glee club (a show choir where the participants sing and dance to either pop or showtunes or both without actually performing a musical) and how both the power of music and a kind mentor who believes in them helps twelve misfits forge a family and strive to share how special they are with the world, no matter how much is stacked against them. Although it sounds like a strangely cheesy premise and an unlikely TV show, "Glee"'s madcap formula, amazing music performances, terrific acting, intriguing characters, and potently quotable one-line zingers launched it into the stratosphere and it quickly became an international sensation and success. Within these plot lines, "Glee" tackled the sensitive issue of teen pregnancy (and how religion can impact that issue) wonderfully, along with showcasing the struggles of teenagers with body issues, the confusing adolescent world of sexuality, popularity, friendship, family, loyalty, bullying and peer pressure. Although there were a few misses in the first season, overall the season itself was one of the brightest and freshest new shows around, and it won several awards for it as well.

There's the rub, however: "Glee" is handled by three showrunners (Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan), all of whom apparently decided that they could do no wrong. They flatly refused to bring in other writers or directors for season two, and since they were still selling massive amounts of music from the show and getting millions of views from their devoted audience of "gleeks", every single thing that was wrong about season one got blown out of proportion in season two, while everything that was right fairly faded to the background. The result? Season two of "Glee" started off strongly but by the second half meandered into sloppily handled plotlines that were often began and concluded in the space of one episode, characters acting severely out of character just for the sake of an episode's "theme", "theme of the week" episodes that were no longer touching or interesting but instead cheesy PSA-type episodes, bloated importance of guest stars, and a season finale that failed in every way that season one's finale succeeded.

Where on earth did "Glee" go so wrong? Season two's worst mistake was the characters acting out of character as "Glee" committed the worst mistake that any sophomore effort of a creative work, be it a film, television show or novel, can make: it completely erased any and all character development from the first season and started the characters off fresh. Rachel Berry, the club's star, who learnt the mistakes of her selfishness and made friends and learned how to lead a team in season one? Back to being a self-centered and often downright mean diva who stepped on each of her teammates to get what she wanted. Finn Hudson, the loveable popular dummy with a heart of gold who learned how to be a star and effectively lead the glee club and also learned that popularity was meaningless because he liked the glee club losers better than the popular football jerks? Right back to being a selfish, obsessed-with-being popular jerk to all of his friends.

However, the two characters this affected the worst? Firstly, Mr. Schuester. Mr. Schue was once the teacher everyone wished they could have: he put his students above everything, he pushed them, he motivated them, he guided them to being the best that they could be. Season two saw our once-beloved Schue essentially hitting a midlife crisis, using his glee club as an excuse to try to get closer to his now-unavailable crush Emma Pillsbury the guidance counselor, acting like a spoiled brat, and continually believing himself better than what he was. The second character was, of course, Quinn Fabray. Quinn began as the pretty and mean popular girl who became pregnant and became part of the heart of season one as she made true friends amongst the glee club, learned the value of family, and overcame her own meanness when the club rallied around her during the pregnancy issue. Season two saw absolutely no mention of her being pregnant anywhere ever. She inexplicably broke up with Puck (no explanation was ever given) and rejoined the Cheerios because she suddenly (like Finn) needed to be popular again. Although some of this damage was repaired by her new boyfriend Sam (newcomer Chord Overstreet), that repair was itself destroyed even worse later on. I won't even mention the destruction of Sue Sylvester, who transformed into a meaningless, cartoonish villain who was rarely even funny by the end and required a brutal character death just to reign her back in.

Despite all of this, however, season two began on a strong note (with the exception of the hot mess that was the "Britney/Brittany" Britney Spears tribute episode; despite some truly hilarious one-liners courtesy of Brittany (Heather Morris), this was likely one of the worst episodes of "Glee" to ever air) as it took a central theme: bullying and its impacts. Openly gay Kurt (masterfully played by Chris Colfer) took center stage as the school's relentlessly homophobic popular crowd was highlighted, leading to the explosive "Never Been Kissed" episode. Rachel's newfound (or oldfound, as the case may be) selfishness led to other glee club members to fight for their chance to shine and wounded the glee club badly when her bullying led to new student Sunshine Corozon (a criminally underused Charice) defecting to New Directions' mortal enemies Vocal Adrenaline, and Schuester's selfish and out of character behavior led to his kids whole-heartedly choosing hilarious new substitute Holly Holiday (wonderfully played by Gwenyth Paltrow) over him, and Santana's mean insistence on hiding from her feelings by attacking other people blew up spectacularly in her face.

In fact, despite two truly terrible episodes ("Britney/Brittany" and the wretchedly badly done "Rocky Horror Glee Show"), season two was off to a wonderful note, until the hiatus. When "Glee" returned after its touching Christmas episode, however, to the spectacularly overwrought Superbowl episode, things began going downhill fast, and they stayed that way for the rest of the season with a few notable exceptions. The biggest mistakes?

1) Rachel and Finn's Story: While I myself am not a "Finnchel" shipper (in "Glee", the portmanteaus of the couples are so important an episode was named after one), what was done to their relationship was criminally bad writing. Rachel wanted revenge on Finn for something he had done and so kissed his friend Puck. Finn broke up with Rachel and refused to forgive her for cheating on him...while he convinced Quinn to cheat on her boyfriend with him. Finn then went on to string both Rachel and Quinn along by emotionally cheating on Quinn with Rachel, then dumping Quinn out of the blue to return to Rachel. None of it made sense.

2) Quinn's further character murder. See above.

3) Kurt's storyline. What began as a heartwrenching display of how bullying gone too far can have devastating consequences quickly turned mind-numbing. While not to give away too many spoilers, Kurt was physically, emotionally, and verbally abused, which escalated into something like sexual assault and physical intimidation, before his life was threatened, causing him to leave the school for a different school with a no-bullying policy. Despite the wonderful plotline of Blaine Anderson (newcomer Darren Criss), Kurt rapidly reverts back to his selfish season one "bitch" persona from the first few episodes, then under one flimsy excuse switches right back to McKinley and goes back to being bullied, essentially rendering his entire plotline meaningless, and then goes on to remark "It's been a good year for Kurt Hummel" at the end of the season. Did I mention his father randomly had a heart attack and almost died in one of the season's better episodes? Really, writers?

4) The finale. The finale (it bears repeating). As I've said, season one's finale was wonderful. Season two's finale was essentially one giant episode centered around Finn and Rachel -- which in itself wouldn't have been so bad, except for it was wrapped up very badly -- while giving us some bad music, a wasted appearance by Jonathan Groff as Jesse St. James, and absolutely no resolution for any of the characters, particularly Kurt or his chief tormentor Karofsky. The ending was predictable and somewhat dim, and was generally an uneven end to an uneven season.

5) The self-contained episodes: NO MORE PSA episodes, please. Deal with an issue for teenagers over a two-episode arc where the lesson is meaningful, like season one did. Also, the plotlines such as Blaine's sort-of-maybe bisexuality that were introduced in one episode and wrapped up a half an hour later were just sloppy and useless.

But what did season two do right?

1) When it was handled well, season two's episodes were wonderful. From the good parts of Kurt's storyline to the heartwrenching religion episode centered around Burt Hummel's heart attack, to a surprisingly impactful episode centered around sexuality, season two's good moments shone like diamonds.

2) New characters. The initial cast of "Glee" will graduate by the end of next season (or some of them at least). Rather than do something terrible like getting rid of all the old cast members and introducing new ones in one fell swoop, the integration of Sam and Lauren into the existing was well done. The introduction of Kurt's new boyfriend(!) Blaine was wonderfully well-handled and the a capella Warbler's group was a fresh voice to the music; in fact, Kurt and Blaine's relationship was the only one really handled well this season.

3) Original songs! "Glee" took a chance and came up with original songs, ranging from the silly ("Trouty Mouth", "My Cup") to the downright good and fun ("Hell to the No", "Loser Like Me", and the epic "Light Up the World"), to the emotional power ballads ("Get It Right"), to the very bad attempts at emotional power ballads ("Pretending").

4) Character journeys. While I have been disgruntled at some character developments, Santana and Brittany were heartbreaking to watch; when left alone from Finn Rachel became a truly sympathetic character; Sam and Blaine and Lauren were all wonderfully well-done; and despite its flaws the episode "Born This Way" dealt masterfully with the characters confronting their flaws and fears.

In the end, what can be said of season two? It failed to live up to season one, that much is obvious. But the writers are actually hiring a new team of staff writers, so clearly they are learning something. Ultimately, it was still an enjoyable season despite its flaws. If anything, season two was a lesson in itself -- no one and nothing is perfect. "Glee" has succeeded despite this to show that in its imperfections some of the characters became even more interesting. What's in store for season three? None of us are demanding a perfect show. But if some of the problems of this season can be learned from and the first season can be used as an example, we might get something truly remarkable.

One thing is certain: "Glee" certainly isn't going anywhere anytime soon, and despite all of its flaws we just can't stop believin'.
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on November 13, 2010
WOW! Such a sensitive and timely representation of bullying and high school homosexuality goes way above my already very high expectations for this show. And the substance goes down smoothly when coated with musical numbers that make you want to get out of your seat to dance and sing along! I smell Emmy for Chris Colfer this season. Darren Criss (I think that's his name) absolutely lights up the screen as Kurt's new gay friend, and I predict this show will really be a springboard for him. I can't believe that FOX, the station with one of the most conservative news teams on TV, aired a program in which two men kissed! Why couldn't we have had television like this when I was growing up?!
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on July 12, 2011
Season 2 of Glee has earned a lot of heat, to say the least. Meandering plot lines, 'in your face' storytelling,characters being forgotten about. And yes, some of these things hold true. I am still patiently waiting for Tina to make a reappearance as a functioning human being. Yet, for all these criticisms, I believe the season 2 surpassed season 1, for a variety of reasons, some of these reasons being why the show was critiqued as well.
First, season 2 had some of the most fantastic songs ever featured on the show. From Quinn and Rachel's "I Feel Pretty/Unpretty" duet to Kurt's absolutely heart-breaking "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" to Santana's "Songbird", the original cast stepped up to the plate and delivered their best performances to date. And then we have new cast members adding to the guessed it...the incredible Darren Criss in his portrayal as Blaine and the astounding Warblers! Who can forget "Teenage Dream", and how it swept us all of our feet? To sum it up, the music this season was incredible.
Second, the 'in your face' message episodes. These episodes have been criticized for trying to push a message to strongly and obviously. However, I can assure you that this is the only way that the show's target audience- namely teenagers- are going to listen. For example, the episode that dealt exclusively with alcohol. I believe in every way that the episode was brilliant, because in the end the message it sent was 'Yeah, we know you kids are going to drink. It's a fact of life. But you need to be careful, and adults--please give your teenager the support system they need.' This episode actually reached teenagers that I know, and got them thinking harder than any lecture ever had.
And I have to devote an entire tirade to what season 2 has done for the LGBT community. Kurt's struggle, and the maturation of his friendship with Blaine into a healthy romantic relationship, has done wonders for struggling kids everywhere. To see a gay character not only out of the closet, but learning to deal with bullies and hate, and able to find love? Chris Colfer has done a fantastic, Emmy-worthy job of bringing this character to life and creating not a comic-relief, but an in-depth person with insecurities and flaws that make Kurt one of the most beloved characters on the show. Watching the struggle of two other kids, Santana and David Karofsky, in coming to terms with their own sexuality, is equally important because, unlike Kurt, neither of those two was even aware they were homosexual until this season. Watching how they dealt with the issue in drastically different ways was a wake-up call for so many, and we can only hope we get to watch these two develop further in season 3. But season 2 stands above season 1, in my biased opinion, simply for the amazing Chris Colfer. He is the most talented person on that show and it would be a crime to not showcase him, and a further crime to not use the power Glee has to not try to implement social change by giving people a glimpse of a child, learning how to live in a world that does not accept who he is, and show them how being gay is not, in fact, a crime. To watch one character endure so much, which I'm sad to say many people in the real world have endured all that and more, and then be able to look back and call it 'a pretty good year' just speaks volumes about the courage and hope needed to face everyday life, and that line may be one of the most touching moments of the show.
As for meandering plots, unfortunately I'm afraid the writers have put too much faith in their viewers. When one actually watches all the actors on the screen, how they react, how they look, then all those supposed plot holes disappear. Unlike other shows, Glee requires us to pay attention at all times, and then everything clicks into place. I have not yet met a plot hole that cannot easily be explained away by someone who was paying attention. Also, we must always remember that Glee is meant as a satire- a piece of art/literature/theater etc that uses exaggeration to try and implement change. Anyone expecting it to be realistic has missed the entire point of the show.
The one criticism I will agree on is that we did lose some characters. Tina is gone. She had no role past Duets episode. But however tired I might have been of the Quinn/Finn/Rachel love triangle, I thought Quinn's transition back to popularity obsessed teenager was unfortunately very realistic, judging from my own experiences. But I think we can all agree that Puck's character development this season was even more touching than season 1, and he has become one of my favorite characters.
All in all, I rate season 2 a firm five stars, because of what is has done to try to change things. A show that attempts to implement social change will forever be brilliant, and Glee has done so much for others, as well as myself, in giving hope, courage, and strength to be who you are. I am in debt to this show, and all the wonderful people who made it happen. It is an inspiration.
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on July 22, 2015
I am in love with Glee. This show shows the ups and down of being different in high school, and makes you understand all of their feelings as it goes on. The show is much more different than what I had expected, I thought that it would be like High School Musical all over again, what with the popular jocks and talented heroine, but it portrayed it in such a way that it wasn't annoying or boring. I highly recommend this show, and season, for anyone.

Hilary Figgins
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on March 23, 2011
This weeks Glee episode really moved and excited me with its positive message and sweet romance. It is good to see a show presenting teen relationships in a positive light without being in your face or preachy. It also impressed me with its original songs. All I have to say is it is about time. I hope this show will stick around for more than a few years. These characters have grown on me.
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on April 18, 2015
Glee, Fox Network, 5-19-09 to 3-20-15, 6 Seasons,121 episodes.Glee is a wonderful high school music show.(sorta like Fame of the 80's). Set at William McKinley High School in Lima,Ohio.The singing group "The New Directions". Season One was the start of New Directions. Season 2: was a little dark and preachy, yet still watchable.Season 3: Graduation.Season 4: the New Directions gang off to New York City,actually spent nearly the whole season in NYC. Season 5: Corey Monteith in real life passes away and his character Finn Hudson dies; also this is the longest school year season and finally the last Season 6: where all storylines are musically tied up . Truly, loved this series. The music consist of 460 singles, Complications albums 6, EPS 19, and soundtracks 16 . ***So keep on believing and we will have Glee forever.*** I was in show choir in Junior High and High School in which I sang "bear"-tone.
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VINE VOICEon December 20, 2011
I am an Amazon Prime member so I can stream Season 2 of Glee to my heart's content on my brilliant new Kindle Fire or my TV and what have you. But I love the show so much that I couldn't resist getting it on DVD, too.

Yes, the season has its problems...but the DVD doesn't. Honestly, sometimes I watch Glee for the actual show and characters and other times, I just need a pick-me-up with its beyond fun super karaoke. I have fast-forwarded through many shows just to watch and sing and dance along (great exercise) to my favorite numbers again and again. I highly recommend it. Episodes like Britney/Brittany and every single one featuring the Warblers make up for the flaws of this young series.

Why blu-ray? It's the new world order and the price finally fell close enough for me to the DVD version that it was worth it. I've been watching for the price for a year and waited forever for it to fall below $32 bucks. That seemed more reasonable than the high 40s though I am sure other Gleeks didn't mind paying that much for the season.
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on May 12, 2014
I am glad i bought this show. It has various great songs. I bought this series because I would sometimes miss some show, I decided to buy the series so i can watch it at any moment. I also enjoy the extra features; I can listen to any song over and over again.
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I read an interview of the creator of this show at the start of the season. He said he was making no one a star and was going to regularly rotate kids out of the show and accent new characters. This might make sense if he hadn't chosen to use one of the real break out stars, Chris Colfer, who plays the gay teen Kurt in the Glee Club. He has not been totally gone but he has been marginalized for a really long time. On this episode he returns to his rightful high school and pretty much stars in the episode.

What an enormous difference it made to the show. I had steadily been losing interest in the show but my interest really came right back up the moment he returned front and center. I wrongly thought that Jane Lynch, my other favorite, would be enough to sustain my interest but not so. Much as I loved Gwyneth Paltrow in her first appearance on this show, I was heartily sick of her by her last appearance and was really eager to get back to the show I used to love. I have also really missed seeing Kristin Chenowith this season. She was just superb as April. But I will take getting Kurt back in his rightful place, thank you very much.
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on May 28, 2016
I am so in love with ths show!!! A friend told me about it and now i am hooked!!!
I enjoy all the singing in it and it has some really great actors and actress!!!
It puts me in the singing mood i would recommend this season TV show for anyone to watch and my kids love it so i cant watch an episode with out them!!
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