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"Greek" Chapter Four DVD Review

Buy Greek: Chapter Four on DVD from Amazon.com Greek: Chapter Four (2009)
Show & DVD Details

Creator: Patrick Sean Smith / Directors: Michael Lange, Shawn Piller, Melanie Mayron, Norman Buckley, Tim Matheson

Regular Cast: Clark Duke (Dale Kettlewell), Tiffany Dupont (Frannie Morgan), Scott Michael Foster (Cappie), Spencer Grammer (Casey Cartwright), Paul James (Calvin Owens), Jake McDorman (Evan Chambers), Amber Stevens (Ashleigh Howard), Dilshad Vadsaria (Rebecca Logan), Jacob Zachar (Rusty Cartwright)

Recurring Characters: Johanna Braddy (Jordan Reed), Jesse McCartney (Andy), Andrew J. West (Fisher), Aaron Hill (The Beaver), Derek Mio (Wade), Danny Weaver (Ben Bennett), Zack Lively (Heath), Michael Rady (Max Tyler), Adam Crosby (Pickle), Steffany Huckaby (Beth), Marisa Lauren (Brenda), Max Greenfield (Michael)

Notable Guest Stars: Damien Leake (Professor Sommerfield), Janeane Garofalo (Professor Freeman), Robert Hoffman III (Patrick Chambers), Kevin Kirkpatrick (Officer Huck), Helen Slater (Dr. Magda Stephanopoulos), Kevin Kilner (Jonathan Chambers), Kathryn Harrold (Mrs. Chambers), Alan Ruck (Dean Bowman), Candice Accola (Alice)

Running Time: 522 Minutes (12 episodes) / Rating: TV-14-DLSV
1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen / Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound (English)
Subtitles: English, French and Spanish; Not Closed Captioned
Suggested Retail Price: $39.99 / Three single-sided, dual-layered discs (DVD-9s)
DVD Release Date: March 9, 2010 / Chapter 4 Airdates: March 30 - June 15, 2009
Clear Amaray Case with Cardboard Slipcover

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By Kelvin Cedeno

Relationships of any sort are difficult to maintain. Whether with friends, family, or significant others, it's all too easy to let bonds slip through the cracks. That seems to be the main theme throughout Chapter Four (a.k.a. Season 2.5) of "Greek".
The storylines stem from how the characters interact and how they can become distractions. Some are positive and hilarious, while others veer toward the negative and dramatic. It's all just another semester at Cyprus-Rhodes University.

For those unfamiliar with this ABC Family series, "Greek" is a dramedy about the goings-on of a college's fraternities and sororities. The Kappa Tau Gamma house is looked upon as the party fraternity and is led by the free-spirited Cappie (Scott Michael Foster). Rusty (Jacob Zachar) has had trouble fitting in with such an animal house as he's more of a geek than a Greek. Eventually, though, he finds his place there. The rival house, Omega Chi Delta, is more prestigious and distinguished. This house is led by Evan (Jake McDorman), once good friends with Cappie before a messy love triangle formed between them and Rusty's sister Casey (Spencer Grammer).

Casey's sorority is the popular Zeta Beta Zeta house, led by her best friend Ashleigh (Amber Stevens). Ashleigh's bright, bubbly personality is easy to undermine, so Casey acts as her guide and does behind-the-scenes leadership. A strong-willed supporter like Casey is especially needed with someone like Frannie (Tiffany Dupont) around the premises. Once a member of the ZBZ, Frannie went and started her own sorority (Iota Kappa Iota), taking several ZBZ members with her. This would be enough for a bitter rivalry, but going out with Casey's ex-boyfriend Evan also fuels the fire a bit.

Cappie (Scott Michael Foster) may be enjoying his days off before the start of term, but he can never rest when it comes to giving Rusty (Jacob Zachar) advice. In hopes of finding out who's been stealing the ZBZ groceries, Rebecca (Dilshad Vadsaria, left) and Casey (Spencer Grammer, right) persuade Ashleigh (Amber Stevens) to initiate a plan via text message.

The most noticeable difference to Chapter Four is the fact that Rusty is no longer a pledge at the KT house but instead an active. This means that not only is he more directly involved with house activities, but he no longer has to endure humiliation to prove himself. That was a troubling, though undoubtedly accurate, aspect of previous seasons. Rusty and his sister Casey are the audience's eyes to the Greek system, offering two wildly different points of view. From Rusty's point of view, earlier episodes painted things in a rather unflattering light. We saw all the outlandish stunts he had to pull in order to gain acceptance into KT, and while played for laughs, they often felt too cruel to amuse. This especially became a problem when actives initiating the challenges, like Cappie, are meant to be likable. In Chapter Four, this aspect of the show is pretty much gone, allowing the characters to be portrayed more favorably.

The series still maintains a nice wit about it often missing from teen shows. The humorous side of the series works better than the dramatic, as the latter is usually standard soap opera conflict. Thankfully, between the comedy and drama, the former is given more attention. There are some expectedly juvenile gags that are unavoidable given the very nature of the KT house, but these are offset by clever one-liners and situations. The actors do well with all of the different types of humor brought to the table and allow for smooth transitions into the dramatic. Scott Michael Foster remains the standout of the bunch as Cappie. He juggles frat boy smarminess and deeper character elements with ease and is given more meat to chew on during this half-season.

Some of that meat is pretty predictable, though, and is usually telegraphed a mile away. That's perhaps the only downside to "Greek." The transitions into drama work well and the acting in them is convincing, but the actual content has a "been there, done that," sort of feel. Even so, "Greek" has more to offer than just standard teen angst. It's a smart and funny show that rises above the almost indistinguishable ocean of young adult programming.

Casey (Spencer Grammer) returns home from her summer internship in Washington D.C. to her boyfriend Max (Michael Rady). Now an active, Rusty (Jacob Zachar) gets to introduce a new KT pledge by means of Andy (Jesse McCartney).

Disc 1

1. Take Me Home, Cyprus-Rhodes (43:55) (Originally aired March 30, 2009)
After her trip to Washington, Casey rethinks her life and considers moving out of ZBZ.
Having moved into the KT house, Rusty has difficulty adjusting to their off-kilter scheduling.

2. From Rushing with Love (44:07) (Originally aired April 6, 2009)
New freshman Andy (a prominently-advertised Jesse McCartney) is sought by both Rusty and Calvin as a pledge for their respective houses. Rebecca (Dilshad Vadsaria) spies on the IKI house for ZBZ, but Casey remains suspicious of her loyalties.

3. Engendered Species (43:56) (Originally aired April 13, 2009)
When a shared class with Cappie causes Casey to spend more time with him, she tries to calm the growing tension between him and Max (Michael Rady). Rusty falls for new transfer student Jordan (Johanna Braddy), but she only has eyes for Andy.

4. Big Littles & Jumbo Shrimp (43:53) (Originally aired April 20, 2009)
Andy elects Rusty as his KT brother, but Rusty is reluctant after seeing how close he and Jordan have been getting. Evan's brother Patrick (Step Up 2's Robert Hoffman) comes into town and reminds him of the good times the two of them used to have with Cappie.

Rusty and Jordan (Johanna Braddy) finally get to spend a quiet moment alone together during the wedding reception of a former ZBZ member. Casey (Spencer Grammer) disguises herself as a faculty member to sneak into a staff party and put in a good word for Max (Michael Rady).

Disc 2

5. Evasive Actions (43:52) (Originally aired April 27, 2009)
The ZBZ and IKI rivalry escalates into a dodgeball game that doubles as a way to make Jordan feel more at home. With Dale (Clark Duke) never leaving the apartment, Rusty grows agitated, enlisting the help of his KT brothers to scare Dale off.

6. Dearly Beloved (43:25) (Originally aired May 4, 2009)
When a former ZBZ leader returns for an on-campus wedding, Jordan is left with handling the flowers and turns to Rusty for help. Rebecca begins to wonder if she's a lesbian after a stunt pulled at the bachelorette party.

7. Guilty Treasures (43:52) (Originally aired May 11, 2009)
Casey sneaks Max into a staff party in hopes of landing him an internship. Meanwhile, the KT house scrambles to return all of their stolen goods before Evan can send security after them.

8. Divine Secrets and the ZBZ Sisterhood (42:25) (Originally aired May 18, 2009)
In an effort to get back on Cappie's good graces, Rusty searches for a secret society that Cappie had once done extensive research on. Rebecca goes on her first date with another woman but is left confused by the end of it.

Evan (Jake McDorman) and Cappie have strong reactions when the girl they share an interest in reveals some alarming things about herself. Ashleigh (Amber Stevens) and her boyfriend Fisher (Andrew J. West) have different ideas on how to express themselves at the homecoming parade.

Disc 3

9. Social Studies (44:05) (Originally aired May 25, 2009)
With midterms looming, everyone pulls individual all-nighters in preparation.
Casey and Cappie can't get through their studies together without feeling awkward, and Rusty isn't able to focus with Jordan as a study partner.

10. Isn't It Bro-mantic (43:52) (Originally aired June 1, 2009)
Casey pines over Max while he's gone for an internship, so she crashes Rusty's first date with Jordan to keep herself occupied. Cappie and Evan fight over a girl in their society, unaware of her peculiar habits.

11. Tailgate Expectations (42:32) (Originally aired June 8, 2009)
In honor of homecoming week, a float competition is held. When the KT and ZBZ houses are paired up, Casey and Cappie try to collaborate without actually interacting. Evan's parents arrive to discuss the future of his trust fund.

12. At World's End (44:02) (Originally aired June 15, 2009)
The KT house throws their biggest party yet, before they go on a two-week suspension. Casey is torn between her feelings for both Cappie and Max while Rusty has trouble balancing his academics with his newfound relationship.

Casey (Spencer Grammer) and Ashleigh (Amber Stevens) try their best not to let Frannie's (Tiffany Dupont) predictable attitude get the best of them. Ashleigh (Amber Stevens) often seems clueless much of the time, but she notices the feelings Cappie (Scott Michael Foster) still has for Casey and gets him to confront them.


The Chapter Four DVD presents "Greek" in the 1.78:1 anamorphic ratio of its HD broadcasts. As with the previous release, this one's something of a mixed bag.
The image is fairly grainy in nature, and the compression artifacts that crop up don't help. Combined, these two elements turn background elements and distant characters into a blurred mess. The show usually relegates itself to simple foreground action with close-ups and medium shots, though, and these seem more acceptable. Colors appear nicely warm throughout. The transfers aren't horrific, but they're probably best watched either from a distance or on a smaller display.

There isn't as much fault to find with the Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. While such a mix is now pretty standard, it doesn't really feel needed on a program like this. Dialogue, which is clearly heard, always remains in the front channels. Surrounds receive some light ambience, but they're mostly for music cues. These are perfectly fine given the source.


The few supplements start with a "Greek Recap" (3:15). This breakneck video flies through the first three chapters of the series to get viewers caught up going into the set's first episode. While probably too disorienting for newcomers, it's a fun refresher course for those already familiar. Note that while the packaging calls this a bonus feature, it's not accessible from any menu; it plays automatically once the first episode is selected.

Two audio commentaries follow. Disc One holds a track for "From Rushing with Love" featuring creator Patrick Sean Smith, writer Matt Whitney, and actors Scott Michael Foster, Amber Stevens, Dilshad Vadsaria, and Jacob Zachar. Foster returns for another on Disc Two's "Divine Secrets and the ZBZ Sisterhood" with writers/co-producers Jessica O'Toole and Amy Rardin and actors Spencer Grammer and Tiffany Dupont.

Of the two, the second is stronger thanks to O'Toole and Rardin, who share some bits about the writing process and what they had in mind for the characters and themes. These comments keep the actors both more focused and more talkative. Smith and Whitney weren't so lucky with the first track. They barely say anything, allowing the actors to simply react to what's happening on screen. In fact, everyone gets so into the episode that the commentary holds a lot of dead air. Neither track is exceptional or necessary listening.

Writers/executive producers Amy Rardin and Jessica O'Toole touch upon the themes of the Chapter Four/Season Two finale "At World's End." Amber Stevens finds herself unable to get through a speedy delivery without breaking character in the bloopers reel. Cappie has some end-of-summer waterslide fun on Disc 1's main menu.

"At World's End" (8:18) takes a look at Chapter Four's final episode. Several cast and crew members reflect back on filming, but most of the featurette deals with the "end of the world" theme and what each interviewee would do on his last day on Earth.
The production-related comments seem perfunctory, but the "what if?" responses provide some amusement.

The Blooper Reel (5:19) and its flubbed takes should be familiar to fans. There's nothing here not seen in other sets of outtakes, though a few amuse.

Finally, there's "How Do You Sleep?" (3:56), a music video performed by Jesse McCartney culled from multiple concert performances. Outside of his recurring role on the show, the video's inclusion has little to do with the program at hand. The song itself and the video are pretty forgettable.

Disc One opens with trailers for The Last Song, "Make It or Break It": Season One, "10 Things I Hate About You": Season One, and Everybody's Fine. Additional promos can be found on Disc Three for Blu-ray, "Army Wives": The Complete Third Season, Old Dogs, "Gary Unmarried": The Complete First Season, and "10 Things I Hate About You" on ABC Family.

The menu system continues the Greek alphabet motif from past releases. The main menu combines these with show clips while the static (but musically accompanied) submenus feature a similar style with cast portraits.

The three discs are housed in a clear dual Amaray keepcase matching other chapters. The transparent packaging allows for the reverse artwork to list episodes and extras. The mostly barren discs each feature two cast members. The only insert is a small pamphlet for Blu-ray. The contents are held in a mildly embossed cardboard slipcover.

Rusty, Jordan, Dale (Clark Duke), and Calvin's (Paul James) idea of studying for their art history midterm is watching a projection of the Sistine Chapel on the classroom ceiling. The ZBZ and IKI houses decide to settle their differences with a good old-fashioned game of dodgeball, though it quickly derails into something more personal.


The fourth stretch of "Greek" marks an improvement over the third. There's a greater reliance here on character and story humor than on cringe-inducing pranks. The show's conflict doesn't do much to shake off its soap opera tendencies, but the actors and comedy make these portions more bearable. The DVD's picture is disappointing, the sound adequate, and the supplements light. It's not a stellar release, but the show merits a look, especially for fans of teen dramedies.

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Reviewed March 20, 2010.

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