MSRP: $35.99
RUNNING TIME: 1080 minutes
• Deleted Scenes
• Bloopers, lots and lots of bloopers. My god, the bloopers.
• 100th Episode: Tales from the O.R.


The Pitch

Miserable characters delivering endless streams of prepared motivational speeches.

Yang demonstrates why you should never surprise a masturbating yeti.

The Humans

Cast: Ellen Pompeo, T.R. Knight, Justin Chambers, Katherine Heigl, Sandra Oh

The Nutshell

Seattle Grace’s increasingly irritable staff return for a fifth Grey’s Anatomy season, which has Izzy Stevens seeing ghosts, a new flock of interns performing surgery on each other, hijinx involving a kooky doctor with Asperger syndrome, and Meredith and Derek fighting and reconciling for the sixth or seventh time. George O’Malley and Erica Hahn are erased unceremoniously from the story. 

Also, Rome‘s Kevin McKidd accidentally strangles Sandra Oh in her sleep. Oops!

A healthy nut lust can continue well into one’s 80s.

The Lowdown

Given a different cast and better writers, the fifth season of Grey’s Anatomy might have been good fodder for a comedy.

The first few (surprisingly decent) seasons of Grey’s Anatomy featured interesting characters and surprising medical dilemmas. Remember the Season 2 episode where the man and woman got skewered together by a pipe like a shish-ka-bob, and only one of them could survive the operation? Or how about the guy who accidentally got a bomb stuck in his rib cage? This is the kind of ridiculous crap Grey’s Anatomy did best. Sure, it’s the ultimate hospital drama cliche – present an extraordinary medical circumstance, and somehow tie it to the featured character’s story such that they learn an important but trite life lesson – but when Grey’s went for broke, it was usually a cheap thrill.

Instead of that, Season 5 puts its focus on the stretched-out sex lives of its characters, wrapping tired relationship plotlines around a main conceit so telegraphed that by the fifth episode, the finale might as well have already been written.

A quick round of Carmen Sandiego clears Karev’s head

Avoid this next paragraph if you’re afraid of obvious spoilers. If you’ve watched any of the first few episodes of the season, which follow Izzy Stevens’ increasingly disturbing interactions with the “ghost” of a dead love interest, you’ve probably got it figured out already: Rather than introducing Denny Duquette as an actual specter, which would have at least been funny, Anatomy uses him as a brain tumor symptom. It wouldn’t have been nearly as tiresome if this device wasn’t the linchpin of the whole season, with the not-so-shocking reveal of Izzy’s illness arriving just before the penultimate episode. Seattle Grace’s Derek Shepherd is – of course – the only neurosurgeon with the moxie and knowhow to save our battered hero, who’s rushed into surgery at the last minute with her new husband (Justin Chambers’ insufferable Alex Karev) at her side. The whole thing plays out how you’d expect. As a surprise consolation for this predictable plotline, they literally throw T.R. Knight’s George O’Malley under the bus during the season finale. It all ends on a cliffhanger, with the fates of both Stevens and O’Malley left unknown.

While the performances are usually decent, there’s no doubt that Grey’s Anatomy has devolved into bad television. It’s a near constant string of motivational speeches delivered by unrealistic characters in impossibly contrived situations. Not a single episode passes without someone delivering a stern lecture to the episode’s objectively declared “bad guy,” who’s usually a patient (or family member of a patient), but is occasionally a staff member. Nobody ever interrupts the motivational speech, which I find remarkable, considering that most people on planet Earth hate getting lectured by strangers. Apparently the characters of Grey’s exist in a universe where any loud, angry lecture can change someone’s opinion, even against their own will.

In a rare moment of levity, the Seattle Grace staff reenacts the ice skating scene from Real Genius, but with water.

In addition to the ghost, Season 5 introduces a number of other plotlines that defy believability while managing to remain boring and go nowhere. The new crew of interns form a fight-esque Surgery Club to perform procedures on each other in the basement. The ringleader of the club was written out of the show shortly thereafter, probably because the writers wanted everyone to immediately forget about the horrible idea of Surgery Club. Sorry about that, fans! As an apology, take this mangled T.R. Knight corpse. Additional side plots follow Cristina Yang’s troubled relationship with a PTSD war medic who joins the Seattle Grace staff, Callie Torres proving the gay relationships can be just as dull as straight ones, Erica Hahn leaving the show without any fanfare, and T.R. Knight doing nothing at all. Except getting killed by a bus.

In the end, it’s still easy to relate to the only sane and likeable character on the show, Chandra Wilson’s Miranda Bailey, who makes frequent appearances but rarely takes center stage. Like Bailey, the surprisingly predictable but frustrating antics of Seattle Grace’s patients and staff make me wonder why I bothered to show up in the first place.

The Package

Bonus Features include a slew of deleted scenes, an evening’s worth of bloopers, and two featurettes.  Grey’s looks good for SD, and the audio is a stalwart Dolby 3/2.1. The box art tries and succeeds to be as generic as possible.

3 out of 10