DVD Review: GREY’S ANATOMY – The Complete Fifth Season

Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Release date: September 15, 2009
MSRP: $59.99

Stars: Ellen Pompeo, Patrick Dempsey, Sara Ramirez, Sandra Oh, Katherine Heigl, Kevin McKidd, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Justin Chambers, T.R. Knight

Season 5 of Grey’s Anatomy is a real treat and this reviewer breezed through all 1080 minutes on 7 discs in less than a week. After the doom and gloom of season 4, which had all of the characters in emotional turmoil at every possible moment, it’s nice to see the writers lighten up and let the residents of Seattle Grace Hospital have a little fun. Of course it’s no walk in the park; there are always cancer patients and gunshot victims around every corner. However, it’s nice to see the characters come together to solve these problems, rather than dwell on events that took place three seasons ago.

The cast is fantastic as always, but Sandra Oh really stands out this year. Whether it’s because they added a studly love interest for her (Dr. Hunt, played by Kevin McKidd), or because she’s finally been given the chance to smile, it’s refreshing to have her character feel comfortable enough to show her true colors, rather than just hide behind her usual cold exterior. Also exciting is the lack of Meredith/Derek drama. Viewers are finally delivered what they were clamoring for, and get to see the two of them happily work on their relationship. I’m sure there will be obstacles of epic proportions in the future, but it’s a huge weight off the show’s creative back to see why they love one another.

There were a few creative missteps, but thankfully the writers caught them quickly enough to prevent them from polluting the entire season. The lesbian plotline between Calli and Dr. Hahn definitely felt forced. It’s a shame they had to axe the brilliant Brooke Smith from the cast; however, after the shaky and awkward romance, it was clear one of them needed to go. And then there’s poor George O’Malley who gets virtually no screen time whatsoever. The worst offense of all was the return of Denny Duquette, and we had to suffer through actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan lurching over Katherine Heigl for several episodes. Thankfully they found a way out of that one, and maybe now they can finally put that tired story line out of its misery.

The DVD set is loaded with extras, as is the norm for this series. There is a behind-the-scenes look at the 100th episode that is quite entertaining, as well as scads of deleted scenes and even a few bloopers. There’s also a Denny Duquette featurette that is a total throwaway, unless you enjoy the idea of Jeffrey Dean Morgan fawning over himself and congratulating his own popularity.

Overall, Season 5 ranks among the best Grey’s Anatomy has to offer. It captures the same spirit that made it so irresistible in its early years. It has rich and three dimensional patients revolving in and out of episodes, which has always been a hallmark of the show. It has some of the best episodic acting on television, which allows every character to grow and mature. And, as usual, has a snappy soundtrack that knows exactly how to tug at our heartstrings as well as our funny bones. Grey’s Anatomy spent a year or two on melancholy overdrive and started showing signs of age, so season 5 is a welcome refresher course.

Order season five of GREY’S ANATOMY.

Bradley Hayward
Bradley’s web site
For more reviews from Bradley, and the rest of the Crimespree crew, check out the index of reviews.