Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Grey's Anatomy: Season Four Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray Discs: 4
Show Rating: TV-14
Region: A
The Video
Grey’s Anatomy: Season Four brings all 17 episodes with 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentations. The show has always looked quite good during high-def broadcasts, so I expected an equally pleasing Blu-ray release.

What we get on Blu-ray is very accurate to the show’s look and high-def broadcasts, as well as improves upon the standard DVD releases. The show is a bit more on the soft side, but intentionally so. Colors are very pleasing and black levels are always solid throughout.

This season is free of any technical issues to be found and features a nice added depth that comes with a healthy high-def encode. Fans of the series will be more than pleased by the Blu-ray effort. Ditch the DVD version and buy this on Blu-ray. 8/10.

The Audio
A 5.1 Uncompressed PCM audio track is included for each episode and sounds about as good as one could expect. Grey’s Anatomy is a very dialogue driven show that does feature intense moments, but there are no explosions or island settings to be found.

The audio definitely gets more aggressive when a patient is being rushed into the hospital and other similar moments, but this is definitely the most exciting audio experience to be had by the show. Dialogue finds itself front and center, but clear and crisp like a typical high-def release.

The show’s music also expands more into the surround area during more fitting moments which is a nice added touch. Grey’s Anatomy fans should have solid expectations based on the content of the show, and luckily everything presented is clear and easy to understand. 7.5/10.

The Extras

Disc 1:

SeasonPlay
Tracks where you are as you watch Grey’s Anatomy: Season Four episodes across all discs. It will save and store where you left off when turned on, and will stop tracking your progress and auto-playing episodes when turned off.

“A Change Is Gonna Come” Audio Commentary
With Chyler Leigh and Associate Producer Karin Gleason.

Disc 2:

SeasonPlay
Tracks where you are as you watch Grey’s Anatomy: Season Four episodes across all discs. It will save and store where you left off when turned on, and will stop tracking your progress and auto-playing episodes when turned off.

“Forever Young (Extended Episode)” Audio Commentary
With Lauren Stamile and Director Rob Corn.

Disc 3:

SeasonPlay
Tracks where you are as you watch Grey’s Anatomy: Season Four episodes across all discs. It will save and store where you left off when turned on, and will stop tracking your progress and auto-playing episodes when turned off.

“The Becoming (Extended Episode)” Audio Commentary
With Sandra Oh and Director Julie Anne Robinson.

Disc 4:

SeasonPlay
Tracks where you are as you watch Grey’s Anatomy: Season Four episodes across all discs. It will save and store where you left off when turned on, and will stop tracking your progress and auto-playing episodes when turned off. You likely have this memorized now.

New Docs On The Block (8:07) (HD)
Get to know the newest ladies at Seattle Grace.

On Set With Patrick And Eric (5:39) (HD)
Go behind-the-scenes with Patrick and Eric.

Good Medicine: Favorite Scenes (13:50) (HD)
The producer and cast of Grey’s Anatomy tell of their favorite scenes from Season 4.

Dissecting Grey's Anatomy: Unaired Scenes (11:54) (HD)
Deleted scenes from Season Four.

In Stitches: Season Four Outtakes (4:33) (HD)
A lighthearted collection of outtakes straight from the cutting room floor.

One Quick Cut (4:20) (HD)
This is a recap of Seasons 1, 2, and 3.

Overall the bonus features on this release are great, although a bit underwhelming considering the show is such a hit. The last disc includes a few featurettes, but a longer behind-the-scenes feature would have been nice. 7/10.

The Season
I’ve never been a fan of most medical dramas to be honest, well not that I ever gave them much of a chance. Grey’s Anatomy on the other hand is something I enjoy very much, despite its flaws. Season Four hit a rough spot for the show, especially due to the writers’ strike which took place during production.

The second half of the season definitely picks up once everyone got back to work on the show. This season brings in some new characters as well, including the very enjoyable Erica Hahn (Brooke Smith). It was great to see the show expand and welcome a lesbian character into the series, although I will talk about the results in my review of the fifth season.

Season Four was also the most sexually active season of the show. Everybody is literally sleeping with everyone in the hospital, to the point where it makes you think enough already. It’s believable to think that a few staff members can have sexual relationships with each other, but this is just crazy at times. Those hoping to find a satisfying amount of nudity are in for a disappointment; let me remind you that this show is on ABC…not HBO.

What I do like about this show is the characters are all very likeable despite their personal issues and I also love that the series is easy to pick up. You can literally start the show with Season Four and quickly pick up on the characters and their background. The show features new hospital patients each episode, but the characters continually develop and change, which keeps you craving the next episode.

Season Four was a mixed bag for the series, but picked up in a very strong way. The writers’ strike did not help fix a problematic Season 3, but when all was said and done it ended up being very satisfying. Season Four is a great time to start the series, and to be honest the experience is ever better in high-definition. 8/10.

Blu-news Summary
Grey’s Anatomy makes a Blu-ray debut with Season Four of the series. The video and audio presentations are both very good quality and accurate to the show. The extras on this release are satisfying, but slightly underwhelming for such a big series. Overall Grey’s Anatomy: Season Four is ‘Recommended’ to all.

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