Grey’s Anatomy follows the life and tribulations of a group of doctors and interns at Seattle Grace Hospital. There’s certainly nothing original about the premise, except that the story is told by one of the more unlikely characters, Dr. Meredith Grey (Pompeo). As a lead she’s really not all that remarkable, but the show doesn’t put everything on her narrow shoulders. The series is populated by a solid supporting cast, giving it all a far more ensemble feel despite the title. James Pickens, Jr. is perhaps the most extraordinary actor in the show. He’s underused, but steals every scene he’s in. His Dr. Webber is a powerfully serious voice in an otherwise often frivolous world. Chandra Wilson as the intern teacher Dr. Baily is another standout performance, offering tremendous range. Her character, often referred to as a Nazi by her interns, is capable of outstanding empathy just when it’s required. Too many of the characters serve as eye candy, but I can’t say that any of them don’t have some good acting chops.
The 6th season at Seattle Grace is filled with the type of drama and stories you’ve come to expect. Jessica Capshaw becomes a regular as Arizona Robbins. T.R. Knight leaves the show, and it is a huge loss. As much as I was getting sick of the on-and-off-again relationship between his George character and Katherine Heigl’s Izzie, they were both wonderful characters that I’m sure most of the fans will miss. Izzie is also gone but makes a few appearances throughout the season. The season begins with the two-hour event Good Mourning. It’s the show’s chance to deal with the loss of the George character. Perhaps the biggest change in the show isn’t in the cast. Seattle Grace merges with long-time rival Mercy West, and it will bring a shake-up to how the hospital operates, if you’ll excuse the pun. The staffs of the two hospitals will still be fierce rivals, only now they are working out of the same building. They’ll be a lot of jockeying for position and to keep their jobs. There’s another cross-over with Private Practice, bringing Addison back to Seattle Grace for another traumatic visit. Of course, it all ends with a two-hour finale that places yet another tragedy on the staff of the hospital. The show ends with a lot of action and destruction. We’ll just have to wait for season 7 to see how it all plays out.
Each episode of Grey’s Anatomy is presented in a sweet 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Again, I can’t compare to broadcast versions of the series, but these DVD transfers are quite nice. The sharpness is excellent. Black levels are well above average for television, even in the HD age. Colors aren’t necessarily bright at all, but remain constant and solid throughout. Flesh tones are dead-on reference.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is more aggressive than I expected going in. There are not a lot of dynamic opportunities for an audio track to particularly shine here, but it does a wonderful job of immersing the viewer in the show. The plentiful musical numbers are well placed, usually not interfering with the action. Dialog is always easy to hear, and placement is spot on. Not much for the subs here, but who cares?
Dissecting Grey’s Anatomy: Unaired Scenes: You guessed it. There are a few deleted scenes for your continued enjoyment.
The rest of the extras are on the following discs:
Seattle Grace On Call: There are 6 parts with a handy play all option. They run about 5 minutes each. These are mostly webisode types of things. You get interviews with guest characters and a making of On Call feature.
In Stitches – Season Four Outtakes: The typical goofs and goofing around is what you get out of this 4 minute piece.
Chandra Wilson – Anatomy Of A Talent: (13:11) This is a nice little profile of the actress. It includes coverage of her first-ever director duties and her Broadway production of Chicago.
The show actually starts out slow but adds quite a bit more drama by the mid-term mark. The merger of the hospitals was a great way to infuse new life into the show. I actually think this might be the show’s best year. Fans will likely differ, but count me in on the “less romance and more drama” end of the spectrum. Fans of any series have to deal with changes. Some are good. Some are bad. Some just take getting used to. I suspect that fans will be a bit cautious as the show evolves even more. How will they take these changes? “That’s the important choice… and it’s not always in our hands.”