Monday, September 12, 2011

DVD REVIEW: Grey’s Anatomy: The Complete Seventh Season

When it comes to our favorite TV series, who doesn't love a little bit extra? Reasonably priced at $45.99 for the entire, 22-episode seventh season, the new GREY'S ANATOMY DVD collection (to be released tomorrow) would make a solid addition to any fan's media library, even if just for the opportunity to erase old episodes from the DVR. ABC Studios sweetens the deal considerably, though, by including a satisfying quartet of bonus features: a “behind the scenes;” some extended/unaired scenes; some bloopers; and a web series. With some of these extras available only on this release, the season seven package may be too hard for many GREY'S fans to resist.

“The Music Event: Behind the Scenes” covers the making of the musical episode. Most fans felt strongly about this one: they totally loved it or absolutely hated it. As one of he most talked about GREY'S of the season, it's a good choice for a featurette. Documentary in tone, the segment may over-deliver on the gravitas: we would have liked to see a little less PBS and a little more VH1. That being said, the earnestness of the cast and showrunners during interviews does serve to elevate the project. Also, if you're one of the few fans who doesn't already have a strong opinion about this episode, this bit is a must-see.

“Dissecting GREY'S ANATOMY: Unaired Scenes” is probably the most enticing, and enigmatic, bonus. This is a good-sized collection, and initially we were very curious about why so many scenes were omitted. On the other hand, we also wondered why they were sharing them now? Alas, the usual suspects, time constraints and character development, seem to be the answers. None of the bonus scenes ultimately drive plot, and some are almost entirely tangential. In other words, it's safe to say we didn't miss the first time around. Then why share now? Well, we're glad they did, and reasons vary. Some, like the scene tattling on Bailey's “twittering,” offer more background on a character. Others actually lift the narrative to a more academic level, like the scenes for “Can't Fight Biology.”

“In Stitches: Season Seven Outtakes” is the bloopers reel. It's thin and standard. We can't help wondering (wishful thinking?) if the really good stuff was held back. Probably the weakest extra.

SEATTLE GRACE: MISSION OF HOPE was originally presented as a web series, and it is preserved here in its entirety. It's our favorite extra. We think it's amazing how—without saying too much—it works simultaneously as an elucidation of historic plot points and an invitation to new audiences. The series helps us process some season six events and also leverages the web series medium to entertain and perhaps seduce the GREY'S virgin. This is the part of the new collection that we recommend you watch first, preferably with a roomful of past, present, or future fans.

Kevin Mulcahy Jr. is a Harvard alum who is currently working as a staff contributor at writing theater and web series reviews as well as other in-depth features. Read all his Web Series reviews here. To contact Kevin, email [email protected].

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