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'Glee, Vol. One: Road to Sectionals'
(Matthew Morrison, Jane Lynch, et al / 4-Disc DVD / NR / 2009 / 20th Century Fox)

Overview: Give a cheer for TV’s hottest, funniest and most talked-about new series when “Glee” Season 1: Road To Sectionals debuts on DVD December 29 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Filled with beloved characters and sensational musical numbers, “Glee” Season 1: Road To Sectionals is an electrifying, pitch-perfect winner.

DVD: When I first heard of Glee, about a group of outsider high school students who find something to care about as they take part in glee club, I thought for sure it was going to be a "high school musical" type sap-fest, and that I'd hate it. Still, we happened to catch the second episode on television and after that we were hooked. We caught up, and kept watching and now we can't wait until the second part of the first season this spring.

My early teenaged kids purchased and listen to the music on their ipods, and love to sing along. In spite of my early reservations and expectations, I found the show taking me back to my own high school days when I played minor roles in a few community musical theater shows and loved it even though I instinctively knew it wouldn't win me any popularity contests among my fellow students.

There's an infectious joy to the musical numbers, and the story has the poignancy mixed with darkly hilarious viciousness and acts of deception between rivals that my wife and I had come to love in Desperate Housewives, just never quite as dark. It's funny and touching, and always entertaining.

Jane Lynch is perfect as Sue Sylvester, the ambitious and arrogant "cheerio" coach you can't help but love to hate. Lea Michele brings a brilliant mixture of insecurity and overconfidence to the role of the lead glee club singer. All of the actors are extremely talented.

At bottom, it's intelligently written high school soap opera, played by extremely talented actors and performers. There's nothing profound here, but it doesn't try to be. Still, there's an intriguing social edge to this show, as the students deal with issues such as homophobia and racism, handicaps, gender roles, teenage promiscuity and pregnancy, drugs, bullying, infidelity, intolerance, and gossip, but the writers avoid the usual cliches and platitudes that often tend to surround these issues.

The show manages to raise awareness and provoke thought without raising the red flag of "political correctness." It's a lot of fun to watch, and demonstrates that every once in a while primetime television can still manage to surprise and delight. [NA] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.77:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Director’s Cut of the Pilot Episode
Exclusive Behind-The-Scenes Featurettes
Audition Videos from the Talented Cast and the Hit Music Topping the Charts at iTunes - Queen’s “Somebody To Love,” Heart’s “Alone,” Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” Céline Dion’s “Taking Chances,” Rihanna’s “Take A Bow,” Carrie Underwood’s “Last Name,” Jazmine Sullivan’s “Bust Your Windows,” Kanye West’s “Gold Digger” and REO Speedwagon’s “Can’t Fight This Feeling.”