GREY’S ANATOMY: SEASON FOUR, EXPANDED
MOVIE: ** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
Ellen Pompeo as MEREDITH GREY
Sandra Oh as CHRITINA YANG
Katherine Heigl as ISOBEL “IZZIE” STEVENS
Justin Chambers as ALEX KAREV
T.R. Knight as GEORGE O’MALLEY
Chandra Wilson as MIRANDA BAILEY
Patrick Dempsey as DEREK SHEPHERD
Sara Ramirez as CALLIE TORRES
Eric Dane as MARK SLOAN
Brooke Smith as ERICA HAHN
Chyler Leigh as LEXIE GREY
Studio: Touchstone Television
BY KEVIN CARR
After four seasons of “Grey’s Anatomy,” I have to admit that I’m tired of Shonda Rimes. What started out as a quirky, sexy show has turned into a political platform. And what makes things worse is that she has been given another show to use as her pulpit – “Private Practice.” More on that one later.
Like Marc Cherry’s development of “Desperate Housewives,” Rimes seems to not know the best route for her characters. The on-again/off-again relationship between Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Dr. McDreamy (Patrick Dempsey) is getting tiresome. It’s like watching Sam and Diane on “Cheers” struggle with their each other long after they jumped the relationship shark.
In this season, there’s some new blood at Seattle Grace. My favorite character Dr. Addison Montgomery-Shepherd (Kate Walsh) has moved to L.A. to work at a private practice. The social pariah Dr. Erica Hahn (Brooke Smith) has taken her place and is gunning for Dr. Yang (Sandra Oh). I cannot fully express how much I cannot stand Hahn. I never liked her in her guest spots in previous seasons, and bringing her on as a full-timer sours the entire show.
The only decent new character is Chyler Leigh as Lexie Grey, Meredith’s younger half-sister. However, her relatively enjoyable character is hindered by Meredith’s own hang-ups about their not-so-shared father that go beyond any degree of appropriateness.
Other characters, like Izzy (Katherine Heigl) and Karev (Justin Chambers) are either reduced to weak caricatures of their former incarnations or given single-minded hang ups that threaten to destroy their likability and reason.
By the end of season four, the soap opera medical drama has placed itself as a self-proclaimed leader in social engineering. Not only do you have a budding lesbian relationship between Hahn and Callie (Sara Ramirez), but when Dr. Bailey is forced to operate on a white supremacist, she engages in mutilation by specifically sewing him up so his swastika is altered. Not to defend white supremacy in any way, but this sort of behavior treads on dangerous ground, suggesting it’s okay to mutilate someone with whom you politically disagree.
The DVD comes with a nice collection of special features, especially for a fourth season. There are extended episodes, some with audio commentaries. There’s a spotlight on the new doctors in the show and a look at the sexy male doctors on set (which doesn’t bother me, but I don’t want to hear any complaints from this crew about the objectification of women later on), favorite scenes of the cast, deleted scenes and a set of outtakes.
One of the more clever and interesting elements of this box set isn’t even the DVDs themselves. This year, the ABC shows have been released with a special fold-out insert unique to each show. “Ugly Betty” has a subway map with the show’s key moments marked. “Private Practice” has a map of L.A. “Grey’s Anatomy” has a heart monitor showing the highs and lows of the season. It’s a clever way to catch up on what’s happened in previous seasons before tearing into this one.