ABC Studios // 2012 // 1032 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge P.S. Colbert // September 2nd, 2013
"Dr. Karev, I am the chief of surgery. This is an order. Stab Dr. Robbins in the foot right now." -- Dr. Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd, Bunraku)
That's the subtitle on the box of Grey's Anatomy: Complete Ninth Season, and to start, I'll be attending, as Verdict Judge Kent Dixon has taken up residency elsewhere -- and no I don't have any forwarding information -- moving on.
I'll be blunt: I'm jumping in feet first here. I've never before seen an episode of this long-running medical procedural, and I've only scanned a few charts in order to get some history. The Verdict log is either backed up or incomplete, as I saw no data past the seventh season, but coming in, I was immediately made aware that a plane crash had closed out year eight. My sincerest condolences for all losses, but the clock is ticking and there are patients out there who are still with us, but they won't be much longer if we stand around moaning about all that's gone on before.
The incoming roster includes Santa Claus and Bigfoot for starters; there are incubated infants awaiting heart transplants; a pregnant woman on the verge of delivering that needs an immediate liver transplant; an accident involving a stripper pole; a Jehovahâ€™s Witness who needs a blood transfusion but is forbidden by his religion to accept one. What are we doing about the patient whose testicles have swollen to beach ball size? One patient needs a giant hairball surgically removed.One major character has "an aortic aneurysm so big, it's torn into the duodenum." And tumors? Have we got tumors!
Focus, people! We've got a full-season load of gimmicky medical cases, and a brand new batch of residents that seems to be hemorrhaging brain cells! I'm starting to see why these interns are being addressed as "Happy," "Dopey," "Mousey," "Grumpy," and "Perky."
Alright, who've we got on staff? (Look out, spoilers below!):
The aircraft disaster that provided season eight's cliff-hanger has further resulted in the season premiere loss of Dr. Mark Sloan (Eric Dane), and most of Dr. Arizona Robbins' (Jessica Capshaw) left leg. Tragic developments, surely, but what can I say? Shonda Rhimes giveth, and Shonda Rhimes taketh away.
Otherwise, aside from some shuffling of living (not to mention sleeping) arrangements, the primary regulars remain. Now, I realize that a typical DVD Verdict Grey's Anatomy complete season review would, at this point, devolve into a breakdown of who is doing what to and with whom (accompanied by bullet-pointed plot developments), but I figure that most of you interested in season nine are already on a first name basis with the mainstays at Seattle Grace Mercy West, and finding out what's happening with them is what watching this set is all about, right? New reviewer, new rules.
"To really be efficient, you have to eliminate what doesn't work. You have to figure out what's important...And hold on tight...To the things that matter most."
Thanks, Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), for your trite and cloying off-screen narration. To commend you for being ever-slightly more insightful, and just a wee bit less prone to cliché than Carrie Bradshaw from Sex And The City is to damn you with faint praise, indeed -- God help us, has there ever been a TV series character whose off-screen narration wasn't as irritating and unwanted as a groin rash? Oh yes, "all grown up and looking back" Kevin Arnold of The Wonder Years, I'm looking straight at you!
While we're at it, what's with these surgeons operating on each other all the time? I'm not making a sexual innuendo, here either. These people, who all seem to be somehow related -- if not by blood or marriage contract, or divorce decree -- are constantly diagnosing and treating one another, more often than not, on the operating table. How does this hospital keep itself insured, anyways?!
Don't get me started on the disparity between the punishing schedules these folks keep (not to mention the merciless amount of stress induced by their job requirements) and their blinding physical beauty...
Oh hell, I give up! Maybe it's the exceptionally clean and crisp A/V presentation of these episodes (rendered in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen). Maybe it's the result of "stunt casting" this season, with great guest turns from Neve Campbell (Party Of Five), Ethan Embry (That Thing You Do!), William Daniels (Boy Meets World), Tina Majorino (Napoleon Dynamite) and Constance Zimmer (Entourage). Maybe it's that very blinding physical beauty I was just railing against in regards to the principal cast (who are admittedly no slouches as actors, and an extremely tight working ensemble, to boot), but I've become hopelessly addicted to this opulent prime-time soaper; every stupidly silly and wonderfully powerful second of it -- Mea culpa, Mea culpa!
There's almost too much here, when you consider the bonus features. For my money, the deleted scenes and outtakes are useless filler, though there are two brief and satisfying featurettes: "Happy Trails with James Pickens, Jr." affords us an opportunity to see how the man who plays Dr. Weber spends time off-set. The Cleveland-born actor keeps busy by merging his love of the cowboy lifestyle with his passion for funding children's charities. "The Long Road Home," deals with the inspiration for, as well as the technical demands of making the Robbins character an amputee.
Now, if you'll please forgive me, I've just heard a rumor that someone's put the hospital up for sale; gotta go put another fire out. Gangway!
Guilty as a shoe-chewing puppy -- but who's gonna convict a shoe-chewing
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Scales of Justice
Studio: ABC Studios
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 1032 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Deleted Scenes
* Official Site
* Facebook Page