|Grey's Anatomy - The Complete Seventh Season (2011)|
|DVD TV Shows|
|Written by Noah Fleming|
|Thursday, 15 September 2011|
The writers surprisingly found new, or at least well-conceived twists for the characters are seven years. The seventh season of this medical melo-drama doesn’t exactly have us on pins and needles, but there are some emotionally charged episodes. Few can forget the musical episode following Callie and Arizona’s car accident. The triumph and sadness that occurs throughout the season will pull at the heartstrings.
That is not to say the entire season flows from beginning to end. There are several episodes, perhaps a couple more than usual that act more as filler than a continuation of the story arcs. Or perhaps, the story arcs are dragged out a bit that some episodes contain fluff. In any event, those episodes fall by the wayside quite easily, leaving you only to remember the powerful episodes.
The seventh season didn’t do much in the way of cast changes. Izzie (Katherine Heigl) is now officially gone. She isn’t dead so there is always the possibility of a cameo here or there, but she is apparently pre-occupied with her film career. Aside from her official exit, Arizona takes a leave for just a bit, but not to worry. Writers tried to introduce Rachael Taylor as a new neonatal physician, but her charisma on screen quickly took her over to ABC’s new reboot series, “Charlie’s Angels.” That is too bad, considering she had potential. On the plus side though, for those that are not big fans of Alex, we do get to see her squash him like a bug. So, even though she leaves, it saves us from seeing Alex hook up with yet another of Seattle Grace’s fine doctors.
Given the success of seasons six and seven, it going to be challengingfor the writers to keep the emotions going in the eighth season. Theend of the seventh season didn’t leave much in the way of audienceeighth season desire. Nevertheless, it is interesting to see ourbeloved, and some not so beloved, characters get more and more tangledfrom one week to the next.
Once again, “Grey’s Anatomy” is only making its seventh season homevideo debut on the DVD format. Unlike Fox and Warner, ABC is not takingthe plunge to Blu-ray TV show releases. This is unfortunate. I lovethe HD broadcasts of the “Grey’s,” so seeing the DVD release is a bitunderwhelming. The video quality is decent mind you, but only in theDVD realm. When there is the possibility of having 225 percent moreresolution, DVD video leaves you a bit cold. Figuratively speaking ofcourse. Meaning, when it comes to color saturation, the DVDpresentation just can’t provide the warmth created by the expandedBlu-ray palette. Nevertheless, the video quality remains exact to thenature of the previous season on DVD. The details are good for themedium and shadow delineation remains decent given the range of blacklevels. So for those that initially watched the HD broadcasts, the DVDvideo is going to be a bit of a let down. For those watching normaldigital cable, the DVD release is going to be a tremendous improvement. In either case, both the HD broadcast and the DVD release suffer fromartifacting in the way of motion and/or compression.
Unlike the video quality, the audio quality gets a bump up in quality,but nothing astounding that will sweep you off your feet. Keep in mindthe turnaround time for these episodes. Audio is done fairly quickly. The quality increase comes in the form of bitrate increase. The DVDscontain a 384kbps Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track while the HD broadcaststypically had 128kbps, in some case lower. In either case, they arelossy audio formats, but there is no broadcast re-compression down withthe DVD release. Ambience in the surround channels is on par with theprevious season and dialogue is clean and clear. Despite the lossynature, the musical episode comes across quite nicely. Of coursefrequency coupling does hinder the coherency of the front and rearsoundfields. This is to be expected with Dolby Digital. All in all,the sound quality is quite good for the DVD release.
The bonus materials on this DVD release are similar to past seasons. The highlight of the bonus materials is the material focused on themusical episode. There is an extended version of the musical event,which unfortunately doesn’t provide much extra detail. In addition,there is a behind the scenes on the musical event. The other specialfeatures in the set are outtakes, unaired scenes and the “Seattle Grace:Message Of Hope” webisodes.
Just as a side note, the seventh season is considerably shorter than thesixth season, by nearly 100 minutes. This is due to the fact that theseventh season is comprised of the normal nuber of 22 episodes (on sixDVD discs), whereas the sixth season had 23 episodes.
“Grey’s Anatomy” keeps the audience sucked in, and the seventh seasonprovides the drama we ask for. While the audio and video quality wouldcertainly be better on Blu-ray, the DVD release is good for thosewishing to catch up on the show or simply review before the seasonpremiere. Collectors might be a bit disappointed however without and HDrelease. Recommended.