This is going to be a short review, because I simply do not understand this release. 'Glee: Encore' is essentially a "Best Of" hit list from 'Glee'. It contains all the songs and none of the pseudo-drama that fills up the show. The reason why I don't get this release is that the release of 'Glee: The Complete First Season' already had a Jukebox special feature on it that allowed you to skip to any musical segment in the season. Granted, now all the musical segments are on one easy-to-handle disc, but this is seriously the most superfluous Blu-ray release I've seen it quite a while.
To recap, all your favorite Gleeks are back, but this time it's all music all the time. 'Glee' has become a TV sensation, mainly because of its flashy musical numbers. In order to satiate America's appetite for spunky teens performing love ballads, Fox has quickly thrown together 'Glee: Encore.'
Fans are likely to already own the first season, and people new to 'Glee' will want to own the first season rather than this redundant release.
In case you had forgotten what songs 'Glee' gave us in the first season, here's the complete playlist of 'Glee: Encore'.
On My Own
Don't Stop Believin'
I Say A Little Prayer
Somebody to Love
It's My Life/Confessions Part II
You Keep Me Hanging On
I'll Stand By You
Don't Stand So Close to Me/Young Girl
Lean On Me
Don't Rain on My Parade
You Can't Always Get What You Want
Gives You Hell
Like A Virgin
Like A Prayer
One Less Bell to Answer/A House Is Not A Home
Run Joey Run
Total Eclipse of the Heart
Any Way You Want It / Lovin' , Touchin', Squeezin'
So, if you want a never-ending loop of 'Glee' songs playing in the background as you do whatever it is you do around the house, then this is the disc for you.
Blu-ray Vital Statistics
'Glee: Encore' comes to Blu-ray on a 25GB Blu-ray Disc. The disc allows you to either Play All of the songs in order, or you can change it up and hit Shuffle to see what songs randomly pop up. You can also play individual numbers by selecting Songs. The songs are divided up under the episode name.
Part of this video review will reuse portions from my previous review of season one. They haven't gone through and remastered the show. It looks the same as it did the first time I saw it on Blu-ray.
A lot of scenes look flat and lifeless. Whites seems out of control during some of the stage scenes, but I'm chalking that up to hard spotlights being shown on the characters. Detail seems soft, and colors, overall, just less lively and vibrant.
I did detect banding over the majority of episodes. Bright lights and skies harbor most of it. Aliasing was also detected on clothing with fine lines. Noise hampers quite a few scenes. Heavy grain takes over, and not in a good way, frequently.
Skintones are nicely rendered though, giving everyone a natural look. Black levels are also nicely done, giving much of the darker scenes a nice balance of black without gobbling up faces and characters.
Overall I expected more from this transfer. It looks great on TV and so in my enthusiasm I thought it would look even better on Blu-ray, like it should.
The audio in season one was never all that amazing, and was very front-heavy. It's the same here. There's nothing really that distinguishes this release from season one when it comes to sound. That's why the following part of the review has also been pulled over from my previous review of season one.
Wow! If there was ever a place not to mess up with a Blu-ray for 'Glee' it would be in the audio, but sadly this soundtrack fails to reproduce the show's happy-go-lucky, musical ambience.
The sound field is extremely front heavy, even during the musical numbers. It's fine that most of the sound is featured front and center, but when the characters start belting out their musical numbers the track stays in the front and hardly ever ventures to the rear speakers. As a matter of fact, even pressing your ear up to your rear speakers to see if anything is coming out will result in hearing slightly muffled music and nothing else. The rears are a complete disappointment here. When the musical numbers start, all the sound is crammed up in the three front speakers and never bleeds into the rears offering the kind of engrossing feel we'd be looking for with a show like this. Even scenes in crowded school halls, gymnasiums, or auditoriums have silent rear speakers that should be teaming with life.
Dialogue is presented clearly through the front channels, and the LFE is alive with bass from songs like "Gold Digger" from Kanye West. The problem is this entire audio presentation is crammed into a 3.1 soundfield, instead of the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio that's announced on the back of the box. It's sad to see a show so entrenched in its sound squander this high-def opportunity. There's nothing about this soundtrack that draws you in. Instead of enveloping you in its songs, it blasts them to you full force from the front and leaves nothing in the back to give you an engaging listening environment.
Perhaps the reason this audio presentation disappointed me so much was because I expected much more from it. A show that focuses on large, flamboyant musical numbers should be presented just as flamboyantly through its audio presentation.
No special features included here. At least a sing-a-long feature would have been nice.
I can't really think of a reason for this release, but it's there if people want to snag it. I'm sure rabid 'Glee' fans will want to own anything 'Glee' related no matter what. If you're one of those people then here you go. A single disc full of every 'Glee' hit from the first season. The video and audio are exactly the same as on season one's release, so no change there. There are no special features to speak of. All I can say is if anyone is going to buy this it's the fans.