DVD Review: 'Grey's Anatomy, Season Three'
A warm and fuzzy DVD package covers for a tempestuous season of "Grey's Anatomy"
Why, then, does it seem like so much of the talk this past season was negative? Series creator Shonda Rhimes killed off her main character and then brought her back to life, polarizing the show's fans. She shuffled poor George off into a marriage that polarized the fans and then pushed him into an affair that left audiences even more polarized. She killed off at least three of the main characters' parents, polarizing fans who wondered if these bed-hopping docs were being put through too much duress, and broke up and reglued and broke up all of the show's main characters.
Over the course of 25 episodes, the third season of "Grey's Anatomy" was such a roller-coaster that the show's creative team almost managed to distract entertainment industry enthusiasts from the ongoing controversy involving co-star Isaiah Washington, which flared up in the fall, again at the Golden Globes and eventually led to the departure of what was once a favorite character.
The DVD for the tempestuous season hits shelves on Tuesday (Sept. 11) and somebody snarky might observe that "denial" isn't just a river in Egypt, it's also a bonus feature on the "Grey's" DVD. Obviously, nobody was ever going to address any of the season's controversies head-on. That's not the way these things work. Shonda Rhimes was never going to host a "How you can avoid homophobia in the workplace" featurette, nor was she going to issue a rational explanation for the pairing of George and Izzie (you can get that on the show's writers' blog). But there's still something distracting about a DVD package that repeatedly emphasizes that "Grey's Anatomy" was TV's happiest, funniest, wackiest, friendliest set (even the still photos focus on smiles) last year. I can't believe I'm going to be the only viewer watching the season's occasionally funny blooper reel marveling at Washington's magnificent absence. Was he the only cast member who never messed up a line this season?
Fans hoping to hear Rhimes (or any of the show's writers and producers) delving into some of the season's prickly points will also be disappointed. The set's three commentary tracks are all actor-driven, with Sandra Oh talking over "Desire," Kate Walsh and Chandra Wilson on "Time Has Come Today" and, most interestingly Ellen Pompeo and Kate Burton on "Wishin' and Hopin'."
As chaotic as things got this season, Pompeo's work was, if anything, underrated, particularly in the powerhouse "Wishin' and Hopin'." Pompeo gets to be the focus of featurette "Shades of Grey: One on One with Ellen Pompeo," one of several supplements on the DVD's seventh disc. While there's a good deal of admiration for Pompeo from the cast and crew, her tribute still ends up being a good deal shorter than "Making Rounds With Patrick Dempsey," a featurette focusing primarily on McDreamy's love for car racing and secondarily on product plugs for SuperCuts and Ford.
One of the season's best performances came from Emmy-nominated guest star Elizabeth Reaser, who played a Jane Doe pulled from the wreckage of the ferry disaster. The featurette "Prescription for Success: Jane Doe Unmasked" salutes Reaser's work, as well as the lengthy make-up job that created the character's early look, when Reaser was just a voice and scared eyes.
Only the most devoted "Grey's Anatomy" fans will notice the impact of the various added scenes and extended episodes, though none of the bonus footage is bad, by any means.