It’s hard these days for any series to catch on, but to last over ten seasons is almost a miracle. It’s even more of a miracle when a series is still flourishing creatively during this time. One such series is Grey’s Anatomy. The series may not be the “water cooler” series of the moment anymore, but it’s still consistently good and surprising with interesting twists and turns.
Grey’s Anatomy: The Complete Twelfth Season is out now on DVD and if you’re a fan of the series it will not disappoint. After the shocking death of Derek (Patrick Dempsey) last season, you have to give Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) some time to grieve and since Richard (James Pickens Jr.) and Catherine’s (Debbie Allen) wedding she has done just that. The moment when she finally let loose and danced with a smile on her face was so perfect but it’s only the start of the healing process.
It’s three months later and Meredith is now living with Maggie (Kelly McCreary) and Amelia (Caterina Scorsone), which has set up some funny moments. The series really does feel like a weight has been lifted from it. It’s gotten a levity that was missing and rightly so, a major death isn’t exactly a knee slapper, so I was really happy that the series returned to it’s roots sort-of-speak. It’s also nice because Derek was such a huge part of the series and with this season, it can be counted on as a reboot in a way. The series can really focus on the “three sisters” and moving forward which I think is a good thing.
Meredith is teaching the new interns an anatomy class and Miranda (Chandra Wilson) has just been named the new Chief of Surgery. Her husband Ben (Jason George) isn’t thrilled about the idea feeling like the partner with less to offer. In the meantime, Maggie starts a relationship with an intern, and some new characters pop up as well including Penny (Samantha Sloyan) who is a new transfer student from Dillard Medical Center.
Penny and Callie (Sara Ramirez) start a relationship and go to one of Meredith’s parties where Meredith recognizes Penny as one of the doctor’s who operated on Derek. This puts a strain on their relationship a little and Meredith finds it difficult to work with Penny as well. Eventually, both work on their relationship and they really form a nice bond.
When you watch a series like Grey’s Anatomy, part of the appeal is that it’s an escape, “THEIR drama is bigger than MY drama.” So, when the series decides to stop for a second and take a break it’s actually nice. The characters this season were given time to breathe and really stretch their wings, I’m not saying the season was lacking in drama, just that in comparison to the previous season, it was tame. Not that we didn’t say goodbye, in one way or another to some beloved characters.
Even the finale, always one of the major highlight of any sudsy series, was lacking in that big moment. When you have Meredith giving side eyes and flirting as a big cliffhanger you know it’s not that externally dramatic. As far as character arcs go though, it was a perfect way to end the season, it’s so hard dealing with death, and it takes years just to put it to rest so you’re not walking around like an open would 24 hours a day. To have Meredith even think about the possibility of starting a new relationship again, it was really good storytelling.
Grey’s Anatomy: The Complete Twelfth Season arrives on DVD in a good transfer thanks to ABC Studios. The series looks better than the broadcast version, I received a DVD to review, so it’s not in high definition. I don’t think fans of the series will mind, however. The colors are crisp and the details are sharp. There is some picture loss in the transfer, but it doesn’t distract from the overall presentation.
Special features included on this release aren’t the most bountiful but are worth checking out.
In Stitches – Is basically a gag reel with outtakes from the show. I know I’ve said it before but I do love gag reels.
There are some deleted scenes as well.
Overall, this season of Grey’s Anatomy is just what the doctor ordered. Sorry, I really couldn’t resist that pun. It favored character drama over heightened drama and that’s something I really appreciate. Ellen Pompeo delivers some of her finest work to date in the series and I think you’ll really be happy with how the show has grown over the years.
Grey’s Anatomy: The Complete Twelfth Season is out now on DVD!
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