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Thursday, May 23, 2024
The Observer

Grey's Anatomy Season 2 DVD Review

After its quiet entrance to ABC in March 2005, "Grey's Anatomy" had an unexpected - but well-deserved boom during its second season. At the beginning of the first year, "Grey's" looked to be nothing more than perhaps an adequate substitute for the "ER" post-glory age. It was "that show" after "Desperate Housewives," but by the end of the season, more people tuned in. This influx of viewers was enough to encourage producers to order a second, full season, which gathered its own following and picked up steam.

Season 2 is easily more focused on the dramatic aspect of its plot than Season 1. The interaction between the doctors and their patients becomes the focus, rather than the more nitty-gritty aspects of working in an OR. This is not to say the show is no longer medical but unlike other shows, the patients do not take centerstage. The patients are important in their interaction with the doctors - they reveal truths about the characters, move the plot forward and help the show communicate its messages about the challenges of life and love.

Frequently accused of being a primetime soap opera, "Grey's" is much more, mostly thanks to the quality of acting. The cast of "Grey's" might experience some out-of-the-ordinary drama, but their acting is far from shoddy. Each actor shows a diversity of character - able to exhibit wit, anger and sadness in relatable and realistic proportions. Unlike soap operas, the cast is more static. Aside from the patients, who move in and out of the hospital, the doctors do not have "high turnover."

There are, however, some new faces in Season 2. Addison Shepherd (Kate Walsh), the surprise wife of surgeon Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey), continues to appear in the second season. Her stern demeanor and uncomfortable chilliness bring a unique dimension to the cast of characters. Also new to the cast is Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez), a resident who has a fling with George O'Malley (T.R. Knight). At first she seems awkward, but as the season progresses, she proves an excellent and vibrant addition.

New characters were not the only change made during the break between seasons. The show also makes slight stylistic changes. Most notable is the loss of the "self-contained episode." Rather than the patients changing with each episode, the screenwriters begin to have overlap within the episodes. The most notable evidence of this is Denny (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), a patient waiting for a heart transplant who becomes involved with - and engaged to - surgical intern Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl).

Despite this change, the show starts in the same manner as the first season - as a narrative of Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo). Although similar to the format of the openings of "Desperate Housewives" and "Sex and the City," Pompeo gives a good tone to the show and help organize and direct the audience before launching into the stories' many intertwining plot lines.

The show is also becoming a popular venue for hit singles and allows artists previously not well known to expand their index of hits - The Fray and Snow Patrol are excellent examples. The show expands itself to accommodate music videos in which clips from the show are put to one of the hit singles - a brilliant marketing strategy to be sure.

With the first two seasons now available on DVD and the fiery start of Season 3 last month, "Grey's Anatomy" has quickly become a primetime TV staple.