Case Number 21222: Small Claims Court

GLEE: ENCORE

Fox // 2009 // 77 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Jim Thomas // April 27th, 2011

The Charge

Yet another opportunity to get fleeced -- er, to get your Gleek on.

The Case

The latest offering from Fox's Gleek Factory is Glee Encore, which brings together some performances from Season One on a single disc.

You get:
* "On My Own"
* "Don't Stop Believin'"
* "Gold Digger"
* "I Say a Little Prayer"
* "Alone"
* "Somebody to Love"
* "It's My Life/Confessions Part II"
* "No Air"
* "You Keep Me Hanging On"
* "Defying Gravity"
* "I'll Stand By You"
* "Don't Stand So Close to Me/Young Girl"
* "Lean on Me"
* "Imagine"
* "True Colors"
* "Smile"
* "Don't Rain on My Parade"
* "You Can't Always Get What You Want"
* "Gives You Hell"
* "Hello"
* "Vogue"
* "Like a Virgin"
* "Like a Prayer"
* "Fire"
* "One Less Bell to Answer/A House is Not a Home"
* "Beautiful"
* "Run Joey Run"
* "Total Eclipse of the Heart"
* "Jessie's Girl"
* "Rose's Turn"
* "Bad Romance"
* "Beth"
* "Faithfully"
* "Any Way You Want It/Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'"

It's a nice idea, but the slipshod execution makes it clear that Fox's only concern is to milk the cash cow until it moos. Basically, the various performances are cut out of the various episodes and strung together as artlessly as possible. This cut-and-paste approach results in a number of problems, best illustrated with a few examples.

1. We get the performance exactly as it was shown in the episode. This seems like the obvious approach, but in many cases, the final edit of the episode did not include the entire song. So, for example, when Quinn sings "Say a Little Prayer," backed by Brittany and Santana, it awkwardly stops after a single verse.

2. Or rather 1A. "Fire" was performed at the beginning of the episode "Home," so we get the opening credits for that episode. I wonder how union rules relate to this...If the line "Directed by..." is included, does that director still get full royalties even if he didn't actually direct the entire piece? Seriously, though, that's the point where it became obvious that Fox isn't even trying.

3. Loss of momentum. All the songs from sectionals and regionals are included, but rather than include the multi-song performance as a whole, the screen fades for a moment and then the next song fades in, ruining the energy and momentum of those two performances.

4. Loss of context. If you've never seen the show, then you are going to completely miss the point of Kurt (Chris Colfer) flubbing the high note in "Defying Gravity."

Those aren't the biggest problems. You may have noticed that earlier, I said that the disc included "some performances from Season One." Not "some of the best" not "the most popular." That's where the disc really fails -- there's little rhyme or reason to the song selection. With a 77-minute run time, there's plenty of room for additional songs, and a lot of great moments are missing in action. Where's Puck and Finn's rendition of "Loser," for instance? Artie's "Safety Dance"? Rachel and Ms. Corcoran's "I Dreamed a Dream"? None of the songs performed by Acafella are included. And for the love of Neil Patrick Harris, where is "Dream On"? That's the problem here -- there are too many good performances left out, making one to suspect another encore disc is lurking in the wings.

Audio and Video are...well, they're just what you got on the Season One disc. Obviously. If you are a hardcore Gleek, the disc may have a certain appeal, but the appeal is likely going to be less than that of the various CDs. Besides, the Season One set has a jukebox option that accomplishes more or less the same thing. One benefit of the collection is that younger children can enjoy the performances without some of the racier storylines (though you'll want to skip "Like a Virgin").

I like Glee, but this disc is something of a disappointment.

The Verdict

Guilty of being a blatant money grab.

Review content copyright © 2011 Jim Thomas; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 78

Perp Profile
Studio: Fox
Video Formats:
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)

Subtitles:
* English (SDH)
* French
* Portuguese
* Spanish

Running Time: 77 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* None

Accomplices
* IMDb
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt1327801/combined

* Official Site
http://www.fox.com/glee/

* Wikipedia: Glee
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glee_(TV_series)