Case Number 22554: Small Claims Court


ABC Studios // 2010 // 946 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Kent Dixon (Retired) // October 19th, 2011

The Charge

More heartbeats. (Wait...hey ABC, what does that tagline on the box even mean!?)

The Case

Been there, done that. As each new season of Grey's Anatomy comes and goes, I find it more of an effort to remember what day and time the show airs, let alone muster the motivation to watch episode after episode of the show, knowing that I'm likely going to get more of the same. When all is said and done, is the series in danger of flatlining?

All 22 episodes of Season Seven are included in this release, spread over six discs as follows:

Disc One
* "With You I'm Born Again"
* "Shock to the System"
* "Superfreak"
* "Can't Fight Biology"

Disc Two
* "Almost Grown"
* "These Arms of Mine"
* "That's Me Trying"
* "Something's Gotta Give"

Disc Three
* "Slow Night, So Long"
* "Adrift and at Peace"
* "Disarm"
* "Start Me Up"

Disc Four
* "Don't Deceive Me (Please Don't Go)"
* "P.Y.T (Pretty Young Thing")
* "Golden Hour"
* "Not Responsible"

Disc Five
* "This Is How We Do It"
* "Song Beneath the Song"
* "I's a Long Way Back"

Disc Six
* "White Wedding"
* "I Will Survive"
* "Unaccompanied Minor"

My wife and I have been fairly loyal watchers of Grey's Anatomy from the beginning, but for about the first four seasons, I found myself getting more and more tired of Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo, Old School) and her eternal pity parties and whining, to the point where I almost dropped the series from my viewing lineup several times. Fortunately, beyond that annoyance, I found fantastic ensemble acting, strong writing and high production values that kept me coming back. More recently though, I've found that the focus has become more on how the character's relationships are not working and the related drama of that, versus just presenting interesting stories.

While the series is largely focused on the medical cases that present themselves at Mercy West Hospital in Seattle, the real drama lies in how the characters maintain relationships amid the often-chaotic nature of their medical professions. While the relationship drama and intrigue has been somewhat interesting so far, I've been finding it increasingly hard to believe that few of these couples can seem to manage to find happiness for any extended period of time. With this in mind, let's look at Season Seven from the perspective of the series' couples:

* Meredith Grey and Derek Sheppard (Patrick Dempsey, Enchanted): Recovering from the tragedy and trauma of the Season Six shooting, Derek takes the cavalier approach, driving his car way too fast, while Meredith over thinks her "hostile uterus" and the possibility that she is beginning to show symptoms of Alzheimer's. Despite all this, the couple seems to finally be settling into a somewhat happy groove...finally! So happy in fact that they decide to make their marriage more official so they can adopt a baby girl. Oh, but wait, then Meredith decides to cheat protocol and sneak Chief Webber's wife Adele into Derek's Alzheimer's drug trial.

* Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh, Sideways) and Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd, Dog Soldiers): Between Cristina's inability to really trust someone and let him in and her post-traumatic stress following the shooting, and Owen's post-traumatic stress issues due to his military service, this couple seems doomed to fail. But surprise, surprise, they finally get married at the beginning of Season Seven. Everything finally seems to be going great for them until Owen decides not to choose Cristina for the Chief Resident position and Cristina winds up pregnant.

* Alex Karev (Justin Chambers, Cold Case) and Dr. Lucy Fields (Rachael Taylor, Transformers): After messing up two other relationships, Karev finally seems to have a shot at lasting love with Lucy, only to find that she has been offered a job overseas that she is likely to accept.

* Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson, Frankie & Alice) and Nurse Eli (Daniel Sunjata, Rescue Me): This couple is the only one I found even remotely interesting, as they were new, seemed well-balanced and were also the least neurotic and doomed to fail out of the whole bunch. But drama is never far away, as Eli questioned Bailey's judgment and went against her directive on proposed patient care.

* Callie Torez (Sara Ramirez, Washington Heights) and Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw, The Practice): Oy! The drama! Arizona takes a job in Africa and Callie plans to go with her, until Arizona discovers Callie is less than enthused, so she decides to go alone, effectively ending their relationship. Missing Callie horribly, Arizona comes back early in an attempt to fix things, only to discover Callie is pregnant with Mark's baby. Add to this mix, one marriage proposal, a terrible car crash, a touch-and-go recovery and a marriage ceremony and Mark, Arizona and Callie take the medal for most soaptastic storyline of the season!

* Mark Sloan (Eric Dane, X-Men: The Last Stand) and Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh, The 19th Wife): Speaking of Mark, who seems incapable of thinking above his waist, he sleeps with both Derek's sister and Callie, while in a supposedly serious relationship with Lexie, even though he still technically loves Lexie, who has wisely ditched him.

* Lexie and Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams, The Cabin in the Woods): Lexie runs from Mark, right into the arms of Jackson the washboard-abbed dreamboat. But ultimately, Lexie is drowning her sorrows and still carries a torch for Mark.

* Teddy Altman (Kim Raver, Night at the Museum), Dr. Andrew Perkins (James Tupper, Mr. Popper's Penguins) and Henry Burton (Scott Foley, The Unit): Teddy falls for Perkins, the on-site counselor who arrives at Mercy West to help the staff cope and heal from the shooting. In the meantime, in an effort to help a patient who doesn't have medical insurance, she marries Henry, leaving her colleagues thinking she's crazy. But the marriage is technically just a business deal to help someone in need, right? RIGHT!?!? Again with the oy!

* Richard (James Pickens Jr, The X-Files) and Adele Webber (Loretta Devine, Death at a Funeral): The Webbers finally seem to have moved on from the fallout of Richard's long-past affair with Meredith's mother, only to discover that Adele may be exhibiting the early symptoms of Alzheimer's.

So there you have it, more relationship drama and pathetic decisions than you can shake a stick at, and all crammed into Grey's Anatomy: The Complete Seventh Season. Sacrificing the majority of the interesting medical stories and replacing them with relationship melodrama, is there any wonder why this once-great series has plummeted in the rankings from ninth to thirty-first? And don't even get me started on the bizarrely misplaced musical episode called "Song Beneath the Song" that, while somewhat entertaining, also smacked of an attempt to draw new audience members to replace those who have been bleeding out.

Writing aside, Grey's Anatomy: The Complete Seventh Season will likely please fans of the series as ABC has once again delivered a full-season set that boasts a strong A/V presentation, although the picture appears a bit on the dark side throughout. Extras include an extended version and behind the scenes featurette for the musical episode, outtakes, a handful of unaired scenes that weren't missed from the versions that aired and the webisode series "Seattle Grace: Message Of Hope." All in all, a relatively weak offering of extras to add to a season release of a show that feels more than a little tired.

For whatever reason, Patrick Dempsey stated that the show's current season would be his last, while seemingly implying that other actors might be leaving as well. Despite Dempsey's comments, the show's creator Shonda Rhimes has clearly stated that the show will continue, with no end currently in sight. While I wish the cast and crew of Grey's Anatomy well, I honestly don't know if I'll be tuning in much longer; there's more and more of a soap opera bent to the show now that I find both exhausting and annoying.

The Verdict

Grey's Anatomy: The Complete Seventh Season is guilty of heading too far into soap opera territory at the expense of good storytelling.

Review content copyright © 2011 Kent Dixon; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2016 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 71

Perp Profile
Studio: ABC Studios
Video Formats:
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)

* English (SDH)
* French
* Spanish

Running Time: 946 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Extended Episode
* Outtakes
* Webisodes

* IMDb

* Official Site