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Private Practice - The Complete Third Season (2010) Print E-mail
Thursday, 16 September 2010
ImageWith the success of “Grey’s Anatomy” it was inevitable that it would result in a spinoff series.  “Private Practice” fit the bill and the lucky girl chosen to move over to the new show is Kate Walsh as Dr. Montgomery.  She starred in “Grey’s” for a while as Derek Shepherd’s ex-wife who starts working at Seattle Grace as head OBGYN.

The show, now going into its fourth season, has had its ups and downs.  In season one it tried to find its foothold, but was still solid.  Season two went relatively downhill, except for a cliffhanger like no other in the season finale.  I’m happy to report that season three demonstrates some of the true power that the show holds.

Dr. Montgomery has purchased the practice but has invited everyone to own a share.  Naomi has left the practice to head up research of another practice, just a few floors away form her old practice.  With the events of season three Naomi becomes a stranger to the show.  Dr. Addison Montgomery and Sam grow closer and yet further apart throughout the season.  Meanwhile, Addison struggles with her feelings for Pete and Sam.  After Violet’s brutal attack at the end of season two she becomes distant and leaves the practice for a while.  Pete is left in care of their son.  Naomi and Sam’s daughter begins experimenting sexually and winds up in trouble.  All of this leads to a fantastic, but heartbreaking season finale.

It was a great season finale, but it leaves one questioning where are the creators going to take the show from here.  It wasn’t exactly a cliffhanger, just a tragedy.  So the creators better come up with something amazing for the fourth season to keep their viewers interested.

All in all, I must say that season three is the show’s best thus far.  There are some terrific episodes in this season including the opener, closer, some Grey’s-Private crossovers and the introduction of Derek’s (from “Grey’s”) little sister who has followed in her brother’s footsteps.  I really wish she was given a full-time gig on either “Grey’s” or “Private.”
It is no surprise that “Private Practice” looks pretty good on DVD.  Coming from the same creators and studio as “Grey’s Anatomy” they are pretty similar.  Better on this DVD set is the vibrancy of the colors.  Taking placing in Santa Monica, California, there is plenty of greenery and blueness to go around between vegetation and the ocean.  The biggest problem with this DVD set is that 23 episodes are squeezed onto 5 discs.  This results in more compression artifacting, as there are five episodes per disc instead of four.  Details remain fairly strong and shadow delineation is as decent as DVD is going to get.  So, this video transfer could have looked better than “Grey’s Anatomy” Season 6 set if it weren’t for the higher compression rate.  Bummer.

The audio ranks right there with its “Grey’s” counterpart.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks are stable enough for a melo-drama.  Outdoor ambience is decent, though somewhat lost due to the Dolby encoding scheme.  Dynamics are fairly flat, which is to be expected.  The LFE channel is absent throughout.  Dialogue is clear throughout though, which is what counts.  The surround speakers are never engaging, but provide some sort of enveloping.

This 5-Disc DVD set contains 23 episodes and virtually no bonus materials.  Yet again we are left without any audio commentaries.  Commentaries would have been really nice, especially for the season opener and closer.  So what this disc contains are some deleted scenes and some outtakes.  Pretty standard for Buena Vista’s TV Show DVD sets this year.  There is also “Kate’s Top 8,” in which Kate Walsh shares her favorite moments of the season.  The first disc is also equipped with the ABC Starter Kit.

“Private Practice” may not have a very long foreseeable future, but it delivered in season three.  The audio and video qualities are above average, but still don’t really compare with sharpness of the HD broadcast.  I recommend this set.

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