UltimateDisney.com | DVD Reviews Index | Upcoming DVD Cover Art | Buena Vista TV Shows Page | Search UD

Grey's Anatomy on DVD: Season 1 • Season 2 • Season 3 NEW!

"Grey's Anatomy" The Complete Second Season Uncut DVD Review

Buy Grey's Anatomy: The Complete Second Season from Amazon.com Grey's Anatomy: Season Two (2005-06)
Show & DVD Details

Creator: Shonda Rhimes / Repeat Directors: Peter Horton, Adam Davidson, Wendey Stanzler, Mark Tinker, Jeff Melman, Dan Minahan, Rob Corn

Regular Cast: Ellen Pompeo (Meredith Grey), Sandra Oh (Cristina Yang), Katherine Heigl (Isobel "Izzie" Stevens), Justin Chambers (Alex Karev), T.R. Knight (George O'Malley), Chandra Wilson (Miranda Bailey), James Pickens, Jr. (Richard Webber), Isaiah Washington (Preston Burke), Patrick Dempsey (Derek Shepherd), Kate Walsh (Addison Shepherd)

Recurring Characters: Kate Burton (Dr. Ellis Grey), Chris O’Donnell (Dr. Finn Dandridge), Sarah Utterback (Nurse Olivia Harper), Moe Irvin (Nurse Tyler), Steven W. Bailey (Joe), Cathy Lind Hayes (Nurse Debbie), Loretta Devine (Adele Webber), Sara Ramirez (Dr. Callie Torres), Brooke Blanchard (Jill the Paramedic), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Denny Duquette), Cress Williams (Tucker Jones), Kyle Chandler (Dylan Young), Christina Ricci (Hannah Davies), Jeff Perry (Thatcher Grey), Margaret Welsh (Dorie Russell), Pat Haley (Tom Russell), John Bishop (James Carlson), Jillian Armenante (Mindy Carlson), Tessa Thompson (Camille Travis), Hallee Hirsh (Claire), Tiffany Hines (Natalie)

Notable Guest Stars: Monica Keena (Bonnie Crasnoff), Bruce A. Young (Tom Maynard), Kym Whitley (Yvonne), Joseph Sikora (Shane Herman), Elaine Kagan (Mrs. Griswold), C.J. Sanders (Justin), Reni Santoni (Mr. Griswold), Eric Dane (Dr. Mark Sloan)

Running Time: 1180 Minutes (27 episodes) / Rating: TV-14
1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen / Dolby Digital 5.1 (English)
Subtitles: English; Closed Captioned / DVD Release Date: September 12, 2006
Season 2 Airdates: September 25, 2005 – May 15, 2006
Six single-sided, dual-layered discs (DVD-9s); Suggested Retail Price: $59.99
Six-sided fold-out Digipak with Cardboard Slipcover

Buy from Amazon.com


DISC 4

16. It’s the End of the World (Originally aired February 5, 2006)
It’s the two-episode arc that is arguably the series’ finest work and certainly the most remembered. Other than the pilot, it’s the best to jump into the series with, as millions of other people did.
Aired after the Super Bowl, this episode shot the series' success into the stratosphere, becoming the most-watched non-special television broadcast since the May 2004 "Friends" season finale, and features great guest stars Christina Ricci and Kyle Chandler. In it, Meredith’s fears that she might die today are realized when a patient arrives at Seattle Grace whose presence there threatens the lives of everyone on the operating room floor. Meredith, Burke, Derek and Christina are thrust right into the thick of it, while George and Addison must deal with another serious problem involving Bailey and there are developments with Alex and Izzie. Watching how everyone responds to the imminent crisis is tremendous, and, of course, it ends on a massive cliffhanger.

17. (As We Know It) (Originally aired February 12, 2006)
It’s the amazing conclusion to the two-part Code Black arc, and it’s too big to reveal!

18. Yesterday (Originally aired February 19, 2006)
Dr. McSteamy (Eric Dane), a “friend” from Derek and Addison’s past, arrives from New York and shakes things up at Seattle Grace. Meanwhile, Meredith learns that her mother had an affair, and George tries to get her to notice him. Patients include a man undergoing dangerous surgery who asks for Meredith’s help in saying goodbye before he dies and a disfigured teenager who wants his face fixed.

19. What Have I Done to Deserve This? (Originally aired February 26, 2006)
Meredith and George find themselves at odds with each other, Bailey treats Addison for a touchy feminine problem, and heart patient Denny Duquette returns to Seattle Grace where, much to Alex’s disdain, he continues to flirt with Izzie. In a marked departure from tradition, the narration for this episode is not from Meredith, but instead from the emotionally wounded George.

20. Band-Aid Covers the Bullet Hole (Originally aired March 12, 2006)
Meredith attempts to be friends with Derek while dealing with the fallout of her actions with George; Christina is forced to baby-sit for Bailey; Denny continues to come between Alex and Izzie; and George becomes buddies with Burke, which annoys Christina. Patients include an overly enthusiastic high school hockey player who wants to play in a big game against medical advice and a woman who arrives in the hospital with a fork in the back of her neck (guest Natalie Cole).

Wow.  He looks tired... ...and he looks like Alex. Oh, wait —- he is.

DISC 5

21. Superstition (Originally aired March 19, 2006)
A cluster of deaths at Seattle Grace brings out the doctors’ superstitions. Burke doesn’t have his scrub caps and is nervous in surgery without them; Alex reaches the end of his patience with Denny, who needs another surgery which worries Izzie; Richard treats an old friend; Meredith works on a woman who’s been struck by lightning; Christina deals with a patient whose obsessive-compulsive disorder annoys her; and George pursues a relationship with Dr. Callie Torres (Monty Python’s Spamalot Tony winner Sara Ramirez).

22. The Name of the Game (Originally aired April 2, 2006)
Meredith announces a vow of celibacy and finds a disturbing surprise at the hospital that causes distress for both her and George; Christina takes a class in which she competes with Dr. Webber; Bailey worries she will be treated differently because of her motherhood; Alex gets a lesson in bedside manner; and when Meredith and Derek’s dog Doc gets sick, she meets the veterinarian, Finn Dandridge (guest Chris O’Donnell).

23. Blues For Sister Someone (Originally aired April 30, 2006)
Burke treats his hero and is unusually vulnerable; Izzie questions George about his living circumstances and relationship with Callie; Denny’s choices about his medical care put him at odds with Izzie; Addison makes a potentially dangerous choice to help her patient despite personal risk; and Meredith gets asked out on a date by "Doctor McVet."

24. Damage Case (Originally aired May 7, 2006)
Derek’s pent-up anger at Meredith finally comes out, and Burke is upset with Christina too; Denny is growing increasingly depressed and frustrated with his plight; Meredith and Izzie judge Callie, which causes friction between her and George; and the interns treat a hillbilly family in an auto accident caused by another hospital's overworked intern who fell asleep at the wheel.

25. 17 Seconds (Originally aired May 14, 2006)
In this first third of the massive three-hour season finale event, a shooting at a local restaurant brings several severely injured patients to the hospital. Elsewhere, Finn updates Meredith on Doc’s condition and she asks for Callie’s help understanding the situation; Addison can’t control her emotions; and George works with Derek. Meanwhile, two hearts becomes available for transplant, but getting one for Denny might be harder than the doctors initially expected.

Webber confesses his sins. Hey, when did Derek become a priest? Oh, how sweet. Derek’s dancing with Addison at the prom... but guess who he’s looking at?

DISC 6

26. Deterioration of the Fight or Flight Response (Originally aired May 15, 2006)
In part two of the finale, the gunshot situation becomes personal for Seattle Grace’s staff while Izzie and the other interns try desperately to save Denny’s life.
Meanwhile, Richard’s niece checks into the hospital and his wife reveals two unpleasant surprises to him. The narration for this episode is provided jointly by several main characters.

27. Losing My Religion (Originally aired May 15, 2006)
Part three of the finale originally aired and appears here continuously in a two-hour block after "Deterioration", but was written and directed by different people, and is counted as a different episode. In it, all of the interns find themselves in hot water over their actions with Denny. As a result, Dr. Webber gives them a unique and surprising job to do for his niece. The final song of this episode, Snow Patrol’s "Chasing Cars", is brilliant and heartbreaking in the climactic moments. (It too is available on the Volume 2 soundtrack.)

To say more of the finale would ruin all of the twists, but all three hours of it are terrific. Shocking, devastating and yet hopeful, it ends on a number of huge cliffhangers that have kept fans, myself included, mesmerized all summer and anxiously counting the days until the show’s return. When Season 3 premiered on September 21st, it did so in its new night and time, anchoring ABC’s Thursday night lineup at 9:00 p.m. If the series so far is any indication -- and I think it is -- the best is still yet to come.

Scary and damaged people, unite! Doctoring the hospital isn’t just another walk in the park…so everybody’s walking around the hospital instead. Hey, they need their exercise!

VIDEO and AUDIO

I always have trouble critiquing video quality because I think it’s pretty obvious what’s going to be written here. It’s the year 2006, the DVD format is nine years old, and we’ve basically gotten to the point where studios have long since mastered how to present material in terrific quality. So, unless there’s a specific troubling issue with a certain DVD, video quality should be generally great across the board.

Fortunately and unsurprisingly, “Grey’s Anatomy” falls into the “great” category. The episodes are presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen; this is the aspect ratio in which they were originally created and aired in their HDTV broadcasts. If you have Season 1 on DVD, you know exactly what to expect here, and the set delivers more of the same. Five episodes appear on each disc (aside from Disc 6, which holds only Parts 2 and 3 of the finale but also contains all the video-based bonus features). However, presentation quality does not seem to suffer for this. Watching on a standard 4x3 TV set, it looks good to me. There is no hint of grain, blemishes, or other such defects. This is a fine transfer.

The audio mix is offered in Dolby Digital 5.1 and is also uniformly fine. “Grey’s” uses a lot of music, and that stuff is appropriately dynamic when it kicks in; however, the show is otherwise primarily dialogue-driven, so it’s not going to be something that gives your system a real workout like, say, the action sequences in ABC companion “Lost” will. One exception, however, is the bomb episode; its crucial explosion is big and startlingly forceful. This is a good, faithful sound presentation.

T.R. Knight (George) comments in the bonus features. Peter Horton and Rob "Bossy McBossy" Corn are two of the important "Grey’s" people you don’t see in front of the camera, so it’s nice to see them given their due on the DVD. Oh, look. It’s the director of a TV show on the job... watching something on a TV. Huh.

BONUS FEATURES

Ah, extras. The most largely promoted one on this set is four extended and uncut episodes. The extensions are all good, but in order to preserve the surprise for fans who are otherwise familiar with these episodes, I’ll leave it to you to watch them to find out what’s different. Disappointingly, the original versions aren't here to compare to.
Disney Movie Club (Buena Vista Home Entertainment)
These longer versions are fine and I doubt I’d watch the originals instead anyway, but as the originals I feel they should have been available on the set too.

There are five audio commentaries throughout the set. To tackle them in order, can watch "Into You Like a Train" with writer Krista Vernoff and director Jeff Melman; "Thanks For the Memories" with series creator/writer Shonda Rhimes and the episode’s editor; "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" with director Peter Horton and star Sandra Oh (Christina, in her only participation with this DVD set); and both parts of "It’s the End of the World (As We Know It)" with Rhimes, Horton and the episode’s editor. The participants are recorded together, which proves to be both a good thing and a bad thing. There’s a lot of name-dropping and self-praising going on in these commentaries, but they’re rewarding listens anyway. Rhimes in particular has a lot to say, and when she gets into discussing something, it’s really interesting. The commentary on the bomb episodes in especially rich with detail, information and anecdotes that every "Grey’s" fan should hear. So, all in all, the commentaries are a mixed bag, but fans will want to hear them regardless, and because the episodes are just under 45 minutes each, you haven’t lost a lot of time if you don’t like what you heard.

The video-based bonus features all appear on the sixth and final disc in the set. The majority of these are featurettes with the cast. Up first is “The Doctors Are In”, the result of a chance for fans to submit questions to the show’s stars via the official website earlier this year. Kate Walsh (Addison), James Pickens, Jr. (Dr. Webber), Justin Chambers (Alex Karev) and T.R. Knight (George) answer those questions. Light is shed on the process of doing the show, their characters, and how things might continue. They seem very personable and their answers are quite interesting. They don’t, however, say anything definitive about Season 3. Also, it’s surprising and puzzling that only a few people participated; where’s everyone else? Certainly, someone came up with an interesting question for the show’s other principal cast members. Still, I like this feature a lot; it adds quite a bit to the quality of the set and I hope they do it again on the DVD release of future seasons.

”The Softer Side of Dr. Bailey” is a brief piece focusing on Bailey and her portrayer, Chandra Wilson. It’s nice to see her here because she wasn’t in the Q&A featurette, but unfortunately there’s not much substance to the proceedings. What she has to say is interesting, but the featurette is all too brief and doesn’t go into much detail, while everyone else who appears just praises her left and right. (That's deserved, but it still comes off a bit bland.)

”Creating Pink Mist” details how the explosion in “(As We Know It)” was achieved, with production team member comments and storyboards. It's a really cool examination of what went into that shocking scene and a great inclusion since it deals with such a landmark set of episodes.

Tour Seattle Grace Hospital in "A Set Tour of Seattle Grace Hospital" and read facts like this one. Izzie and Alex in front of...an elevator. Oooohhh. Katherine Heigl appears on "Jimmy Kimmel Live." Too bad she’s not there when he’s "bitten by a snake" later in the program. Blah.

”A Set Tour of Seattle Grace Hospital” is exactly what it sounds like. James Pickens Jr. (Dr. Webber) hosts, showing us the various locations on set where they film the show. Though this piece is brief, it’s really cool to see where the show is made without it actually being in the show.

”Dissecting Grey’s Anatomy” is a collection of deleted scenes which were not reinstated in their episodes for this DVD. Some of these are inconsequential, while others are really good and add so much depth
to the story that you wonder why they weren’t restored. Either way, it’s nice to see them included on the DVD, and fans should appreciate getting to see certain things fleshed out a little more.

Lastly, “Grey’s Anatomy on Jimmy Kimmel Live” is an excerpt of an episode of that late night show which aired following the “Grey’s” season finale. James Pickens and Chandra Wilson are featured again along with Katherine Heigl (Izzie). The producers staged a fake snake bite, which causes Kimmel to be rushed to Seattle Grace. The joke is not only boring, but slow and tedious as well, making this the least relevant and longest-feeling of all extras.

Surprisingly, even the sneak peak trailers are on this final disc instead of on Disc 1. They promote other Buena Vista TV and movie fare, including the third season of "Grey's" (without actually containing any Season 3 footage). Also here is a trailer for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest on DVD, which is cool because it is the theatrical trailer, only with the date/format changed. It’s a nice inclusion here because, as we all know, it won’t show up on its own DVD.

There are a few puzzling omissions from the set. As I already said, it would have been nice to have the full cast involved in the bonus features, and the episodes which are extended should have been offered in their broadcast versions as well. Also, where is the spoof of George’s "It’s the End of the World" fantasy? For those who don’t know, ABC had the cast and crew film a special segment for them to show to advertisers and reviewers at May’s upfront presentation of its 2006-2007 schedule. In it, it’s not George fantasizing about Meredith, Christina and Izzie in the shower, but instead Dr. Bailey fantasizing about Derek, Burke and Webber. This hilarious little gem has since found its way onto YouTube, but it would be terrific to have on disc. I spent a while hunting for it as an Easter egg, but nothing has turned up. It seems odd that they would include the Jimmy Kimmel skit and not this, but what do I know?

In spite of these shortcomings, this set provides an ultimately satisfying selection of mostly quality bonus material. Fans will find plenty of intriguing material here, and those who are disappointed should do well to remember that bonus features are bonus features. I admit that more inclusions would have been welcomed, but in the end what we want the DVD for is the quality presentation of the season’s great episodes, and in that regard, it absolutely delivers. The Season 2 box set functions best as a nice complement to the Season 1 DVD release, which contained a more general overview of the show’s production and more comments from the creative team (as opposed to the cast). When taken together, these two sets are an outstanding total package.

Disc 1's Main Menu Pick your episode.

MENUS, PACKAGING and DESIGN

Thankfully, the menu design is pretty much identical to that of Season 1, cycling through X-ray-like shots of the cast and then a montage of images with the theme song as background music. However, they obviously utilize scenes from the second season instead of the first. Stills of various characters once again adorn the other menus.

Each episode is organized into chapter stops, selectable using the skip button on your remote, according to where the act breaks are. (Per the request of creator Shonda Rhimes, "It’s the End of the World" contains an additional act break that was cut out of the broadcast version, and thusly it also has an additional chapter stop.) Where appropriate, the “Previously on 'Grey’s Anatomy'” clips at the beginning of the episodes have been retained, though they are not always used, so don’t expect them every time. Naturally, as with Season 1, all of the included music has been kept intact for DVD.

Those who also own “Desperate Housewives” and/or “Lost” know roughly what to expect with the packaging of this set. Due to the larger disc count, it was impossible for it to match Season 1’s keepcase packaging, but otherwise things hold up pretty well. The cover art complements Season 1`s, and Derek appears on the spine this time. (Putting this set on the shelf next to Season 1, which featured Meredith on the spine, feels like a sweet and appropriate reunion of those characters.)

The discs themselves (which feature Meredith, Derek and Addison, George, Burke and Christina, Izzie and Alex, Bailey and Webber, respectively) are packaged in a fold-out digipack case which includes a full-color booklet that synopsizes each episode. Also included is a form for use in Buena Vista’s TV on DVD promotion, which entitles you to a rebate with purchase of any combination of this set and the newly-released second DVDs of ABC companions “Housewives,” “Lost” and the cancelled “Commander in Chief.” Lastly, there is a single-sided insert promoting various “Grey’s” merchandise, but it's only an advertisement and offers no coupons.

Oh, how cute. Meredith, Izzie and Christina looking at the patient’s porn. Naughty, naughty doctors! Hey, this is new – Meredith’s not the one by the elevator.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

”Grey’s Anatomy” fans should already know that they’re buying this set (and probably already have), so let me just reaffirm that you have done or will do the right thing with your dollars. If, on the other hand, you’re a fan who's not planning on buying it, change your plans. Everyone else is encouraged to give it at least a rental; you’ll be hooked as soon as you start watching. There are a few minor shortcomings here and there, but generally the DVD is very good, and the show is so perfect that I would recommend the DVD even if it were completely barebones. Nothing else on television today is better than the warm, human drama within the walls of Seattle Grace Hospital, and this is one of my most-prized DVDs. I’ve already watched it over and over again. Very highly recommended!

More on the DVD / Buy from Amazon.com

Related Reviews:
Grey's Anatomy: Season One (2005) • Grey's Anatomy: The Complete Third Season (2006-07)
Desperate Housewives: The Complete First Season (2004-05) • The Complete Second Season (2005-06)
Scrubs: Season 1 (2001-02) • Season 2 (2002-03) • Season 3 (2003-04) • Season 4 (2004-05)
Commander in Chief: Part 1 (2005-06) • Part 2 (2006) | Lost: The Complete First Season
The Princess Diaries (2001 - 2-Disc Special Edition) • The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004)
September 2006 DVD RoundupOnce Upon a Mattress (2005) • High School Musical: Encore Edition (2006)
Little House on the Prairie (2005) • Twitches (2005) • The Little Mermaid: Platinum Edition (1989)

UltimateDisney.com | DVD Reviews Index | Upcoming DVD Cover Art | Buena Vista TV Shows Page | Search UD

Grey's Anatomy on DVD: Season 1 • Season 2 • Season 3 NEW!

Reviewed October 9, 2006.