Part of ABC TV's big turnaround in the last few years, "Grey's Anatomy" started off as a mid-season replacement in its first season, with only nine episodes. The series picked up steam during its first season and became a breakout hit during its second. A prime post-Super Bowl slot in 2005 netted the show an astonishing 38.1M viewers.
One of the show's best elements is that it finally found consistent work for Ellen Pompeo, a wonderful actress who has brightened up moments in small supportng roles in such films as "Old School", "Moonlight Mile" and others. Pompeo stars as Dr. Meredith Grey, a new doctor following in the footsteps of her famous mother, Ellis (Kate Burton), who now suffers from Altzheimers.
Her roommates turn out to be a pair of fellow doctors: Isobel "Izzie" Stevens (Katherine Heigl) and George O'Malley (T.R. Knight, who looks an awful lot like Sean Astin to me). Other fellow fresh docs in the Seattle hospital include: Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) and Alex Karev (Justin Chambers). Shepherd (nicknamed "McDreamy") (Patrick Dempsey) is Meredith's superior, which she finds out after she has a fling with him. Also supervising the newcomers are Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) and the Chief of Surgery, Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.).
While Pompeo has an enjoyable on-screen presence and manages to show vulnerability and drive equally well, the entire ensemble shares the spotlight quite well, with highlights such as Oh's ambitious fellow newbie and others. The show's cast also has good chemistry with one another, and the series does a mostly fine job of developing relationships (such as the one between the Pompeo and Dempsey characters) without making the show seem like a soap. In fact, the show develops both the relationships and the workplace environment quite well, keeping the overall feeling grounded and at least reasonably realistic. Additionally, while the show is primarily a drama, there are moments of comedy on occasion that lighten the mood without taking away from the overall emotion of the episode.
The second season saw the characters and their relationships developing and changing as they continue to face new and varied cases on a daily basis at the hospital. The second season opens with Shepard torn, as Grey (Pompeo) had found out that he was married to Dr. Addison Shepard (Kate Walsh). Grey's ill mother is also admitted to the hospital as a patient. Cristina (Sandra Oh) is pregnant by Burke (Washington), but he doesn't know and things are frosty between the two as the season opens.
The series with a few too many "Mcnicknames" (seriously, one more character or thing being named "Mcsomething" and I'm going to be McNauseated) came back for a third season, having built up enough of a following that it was able to spook the highly regarded Aaron Sorkin drama, "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" ("Studio" was supposed to air opposite "Grey's", but decided to retreat to Mondays, instead.)
The third season continues some of the story arcs, especially the relationship between Burke (Isaiah Washington, who departed the series after this season) and Yang. While the two decide to get engaged, their bond remains a bit shaky. Meredith continues to have a difficult time with her mother, and finds the return of her father equally tough. George finds himself in a relationship with Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) that progresses towards a surprise later in the season. Izzy opens the season still getting over the loss Denny (spending much of the season sullen and moody) and soon finds out that he's left her something unexpected. Addison (Kate Walsh) decides to leave in order to start her own practice (see the upcoming spin-off, "Private Practice".) In the midst of trying to assist during a ferry boat collision, one of the characters nearly passes away.
While I've liked the series and continue to like the series, I've felt that there have been some minor issues, such as the fact that the series does seem unrealistic, such as the fact that the amount of interpersonal relationships in the hospital would seem like a no-no. Getting past that, the third season gets to the point where I'd like to see the show's relationship turmoils start to get worked out. George gets deep into a relationship with Callie, but screws it up because he realizes he still has feelings for someone else. While I'm aware the series is a nighttime soap, I'd like to see the show's relationships start to move on and progress beyond love triangles and multiple relationships, which all starts to seem contrived after a while. The medical side of the series still rolls along reasonably well here, although the series seems a bit heavier and glum (although an eyebrow gag in the final episode did crack me up, but it's turned into something serious) this go-around.
The performances are also mixed (Oh's character has become a bit shrill, and Pompeo's character has become a tad whiny), although one has to wonder if it's due to the writing not being quite up to the same level this season. There are still some great performances, as Ramirez, Walsh and old favorite Wilson (and really, it's gotten to the point where it should be "Bailey's Anatomy", not "Grey's Anatomy" - Wilson's one of the best - if not the best - thing about the show) try their best to carry the series.
Overall, the show's third season isn't quite as compelling as the first and second seasons, but hopefully "Grey's" can pull together again for season 4.
37. 3- 1 21 Sep 06 Time Has Come Today
38. 3- 2 28 Sep 06 I Am a Tree
39. 3- 3 5 Oct 06 Sometimes a Fantasy
40. 3- 4 12 Oct 06 What I Am
41. 3- 5 19 Oct 06 Oh, The Guilt
42. 3- 6 2 Nov 06 Let The Angels Commit
43. 3- 7 9 Nov 06 Where the Boys Are
44. 3- 8 16 Nov 06 Staring at the Sun
45. 3- 9 23 Nov 06 From A Whisper to a Scream
46. 3-10 30 Nov 06 Don't Stand So Close to Me
47. 3-11 11 Jan 07 Six Days (Part 1)
48. 3-12 18 Jan 07 Six Days (Part 2)
49. 3-13 25 Jan 07 Great Expectations
50. 3-14 1 Feb 07 Wishin' and Hopin'
51. 3-15 8 Feb 07 Walk On Water
52. 3-16 15 Feb 07 Drowning on Dry Land
53. 3-17 22 Feb 07 Some Kind of Miracle
54. 3-18 15 Mar 07 Scars and Souvenirs
55. 3-19 22 Mar 07 My Favorite Mistake
56. 3-20 19 Apr 07 Time After Time
57. 3-21 26 Apr 07 Desire
58. 3-22 3 May 07 The Other Side of This Life (Part 1)
59. 3-23 3 May 07 The Other Side of This Life (Part 2)
60. 3-24 10 May 07 Testing 1-2-3
61. 3-25 17 May 07 Didn't We Almost Have It All?
4 "extended episodes" are included, as well: it's nice to see the series continue to offer this feature on season sets, as given that shows are increasingly constrained by shorter running times due to more ads, there has to be a few moments here-and-there that were ditched only due to an attempt to keep within a certain running time. This "Seriously Extended" set offers four extended episodes: "Time Has Come Today", "Where the Boys Are", "Great Expectations" and "Wishin' and Hopin'".
VIDEO: "Grey's Anatomy" is presented by Buena Vista Home Entertainment in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The picture quality is quite good, as the image remained crisp and well-defined for the majority, with only a couple of slightly softer moments seen here-and-there.
Some minor edge enhancement and a couple of slight artifacts were visible, but the image was almost entirely free of issues. Colors appeared natural and accurate, with no smearing or other faults.
SOUND: "Grey's Anatomy" is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. The presentation generally remains forward-oriented, as one would expect from a drama like this. Still, surrounds occasionally offer some ambience and other tidbits. Audio quality was certainly satisfactory, with crisp dialogue, music and sound effects.
EXTRAS: Actors Kate Walsh and Chandra Wilson offer a commentary for "Time Has Come Today"; Ellen Pompeo and Kate Burton offer a commentary for "Wishin' and Hopin'" and finally, "Desire" features a commentary from Sandra Oh. The documentary, "Making Rounds With Patrick Dempsey" visits with the actor briefly while he's at the track. "Good Medicine" offers up some of the casts' favorite scenes. "Shades of Grey" takes a further look at Pompeo's character. We also get outtakes, the "Preparing Jane Doe" featurette and a set of 11 deleted scenes.
Final Thoughts: "Grey's Anatomy"'s relationship dramas need a "check-up", but the medical side still seems fit. The series doesn't manage to be quite as engaging as the prior seasons, but there are still some solid performances and standout episodes this time around, as well. The DVD presentation is excellent, as audio/video quality is terrific and there are plenty of extras. Recommended for fans.