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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Private Practice: The Complete Second Season
Private Practice: The Complete Second Season
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment // PG // September 15, 2009
List Price: $59.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted November 17, 2009 | E-mail the Author
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The Second Season

Before we begin, I need to confess that I have never watch Private Practice. I have also never had a chance to see the parent series Grey's Anatomy that this show is a spin off. Nevertheless, I am quite familiar with intense melodramas and found Private Practice's second season to be a lot of fun. While the show takes on many soapy, over the top qualities typical with the genre, it is pretty rich with its characters and has genuinely fun moments.

For those unfamiliar with the series, it is medical drama set in California. It highlights the drama of various individuals' personal and professional lives. They work at a small medical practice. As mentioned, it is a spin off series of the popular Grey's Anatomy with character Addison Montgomery. Along with Addison are a variety of new characters that bring their own flavor of drama to the series. Overall, if melodramas suit you, then Private Practice will be something of interest. It is dramatic, witty, emotional, and even a little comical.

In season two, the cast there are some big changes on the horizon. In the season premiere "A Family Thing", Naomi reveals to Addison about the practice's financial problems. Apparently, Naomi has been killing herself to keep the practice from going into financial ruins. She has made several potentially borderline moral decisions for money. The situation comes to light when Addison is asked to deliver a baby prematurely. The couple intends to harvest the unborn baby to save their dying son. The situation is plagued with ethical problems. It is a pretty intense way to start the season.

In the following episode "Equal And Opposite", the practice's financial instability continues to be a major plotline. Sam declares Naomi unfit to run the place and assumes command. This act damages Naomi's relationship with everyone, and even pushes Dell to leave for another job. This issue continues to appear throughout the first half of the season, which includes Addison becoming the new boss in "Past Tense".

As for other developments, there are many for the cast. Next to money problems, the season's biggest plotline is about Charlotte. She has never had a warm relationship with anyone at the practice, but things get really bad when she opens a rival practice in the episode "Know When To Fold". In terms of relationships, Naomi and Sam reconnect and try to make things work between them, Addison dates a police officer and later a fellow doctor, Cooper and Charlotte's sex only relationship grows into something more, and Violet and Pete test the waters. Beyond, there are plenty of other happenings that promise intense melodrama at every corner.

As for the season episodes, there are some strong medical plotlines. "A Family Thing" has Cooper stuck in a dilemma. He had been treating a young boy with HIV for many years. The catch is that he does not know about his sickness. His parents are afraid of how the truth will impact him. Unfortunately, Cooper learns the boy is going to have sex with his girlfriend. Cooper struggles with revealing the truth, which is complicated when the parents threaten to take legal action if he tells him. It is a big deal and pretty dramatic. Cooper deals with sexually active teenagers again in "Do The Right Thing". "Serving Two Masters" is another pretty racy plotline. Addison treats two pregnant women and learns that they were impregnated by the same man. Overall, the season episodes have some pretty intense plotlines about various medical dramas and they add a positive depth on top of the character drama.

While I am new to Private Practice and haven't been exposed to Grey's Anatomy, I was still able to get a good grasp on the series. I found it to be a positive experience. The series has many strong qualities that include its cast, storylines, and melodrama. However, at the same time the drama has a tendency to get pretty thick. But it never reaches the point that it is so ridiculous and over the top that you cannot enjoy it. With that said, Private Practice's second season is fun and exciting. It will get you hooked wanting to know what happens next.

Episode Guide

1. A Family Thing: Addison discovers that Naomi is concealing the practice's financial problems. Meanwhile, Violet wonders what secret Cooper is keeping from her.
2. Equal and Opposite: Addison and Sam stage a coup to bring the practice out of bankruptcy, while Violet's friendship with Cooper is pushed to its limit.
3. Nothing To Talk About: Addison and Kevin's relationship heats up, as Violet is threatened by a patient's son. Meanwhile Sam questions his ability to save Oceanside Wellness.
4. Past Tense: An office election pits Sam and Naomi against each other to lead the practice, and Cooper's personal life catches up with his professional one.
5. Let It Go: Violet must choose whether or not to break the law for a friend, while Addison's choices as leader of the practice may place Oceanside in peril.
6. Serving Two Masters: Addison treats two pregnant women who unknowingly share the same husband.
7. Tempting Faith: Addison's brother, Archer, makes a surprise visit, stirring up trouble for his big sis and Oceanside Wellness Group.
8. Crime and Punishment: Addison fights to save the lives of a pregnant woman in a coma and her unborn child.
9. Know When To Fold: Charlotte's rival practice opens its doors, forcing the doctors of Oceanside Wellness to compete for clients.
10. Worlds Apart: Pete's girlfriend makes a surprise visit to LA the day after he and Violet have slept together.
11. Contamination: A measles outbreak forces Oceanside into quarantine lockdown, while Naomi pressures Addison into helping her Pacific Wellcare rival, Wyatt, on a case.
12. Homeward Bound: Addison is attracted to Wyatt, the rival practice's brash doctor, while Violet secretly dates Pete and Sheldon at the same time.
13. Nothing To Fear: Violet discovers she's pregnant, but doesn't know who the father is.
14. Second Chances: Addison's brother moves to LA and begins working at the rival practice, as Violet avoids discussing her pregnancy with the potential fathers.
15. Acceptance: When Archer suffers a severe seizure, Addison uses every possible resource to find the cause and a cure, including turning to her ex-husband Derek.
16. Ex-Life: Addison teams with Derek to save the life of his pregnant patient, as Naomi and Bailey treat Sam after a sudden asthma attack.
17. Wait and See: Archer and Naomi grow romantically closer, while Addison suspects her brother is up to his old tricks.
18. Finishing: Addison flirts with a new love interest who turns out to be more than she bargained for.
19. What Women Want: Violet has to convince a pregnant psych patient that an unwanted surgery is necessary and Addison and Sam suppress feelings for two unattainable people.
20. Do the Right Thing: Violet gets jealous when Pete begins dating a single mother; Addison continues to fight feelings for Noah.
21. What You Do for Love: Noah and Addison try to save a pregnant heart patient; Sam rethinks his friendship with Naomi; Violet's pregnancy complicates Pete's relationship with Lisa (Idina Menzel).
22. Yours, Mine & Ours: Violet chooses between Sheldon and Pete; Dell is concerned for his daughter when Heather comes back to town; Naomi wonders if she should stay.

The DVD

Video:
The video in this release is given in anamorphic 1.78:1 ratio widescreen color format. The picture quality is quite good. It suffers from a slight grain, but detail remains to be sharp and clear. However, there are some occasional moments when the picture suffers compression artifacts. This is a rare occurrence, but it does happen. Needless to say, the show should look good on bigger television sets.

Audio:
The audio in this release is given in English 5.1 Dolby digital surround sound. Overall, the sound quality is very good, providing an audible and clean audio track. The majority of activity is in the forward channels, but there is decent use of the surround sound capability. Music and sound effects sound very rich and vibrant. There are subtitles in English, French, and Spanish.

Extras:

  • Extended Episodes: are included for "Crime And Punishment" and "Nothing To Fear".
  • ABC Starter Kit (4:43): is an overview of season one events. This extra is located on disc one and is the first item that plays via the "play all" episodes option.
  • Patient Confidentiality: Examining Season 2 (12:52): opens with a montage of dramatic moments from season two. It continues with Betsy Beers and Shonda Rhimes talking about how they wreally wanted to capture the ethical and moral issues handled by doctors on a daily basis. The rest of the featurette has cast and crew discussing key developments, storylines, episodes, and other related items. Amy Brennaman, Paul Adelstein, and Tim Daly also appear.
  • Life Through The Lens: The Pictures Of Chris Lowell (8:10): stars Chris Lowell talking about his photography. Paul Adelstein, Kate Walsh, Taye Diggs, Tim Daly, and KaDee Strickland also make brief appearances to comment about it. Along with the discussion, black and white stills are shown that Lowell took of the cast.
  • Deleted Scenes: are included for episodes "A Family Thing" (2 scenes), "Equal And Opposite" (1 scene), "Nothing To Talk About" (1 scene), "Past Tense" (1 scene), "Let It Go" (1 scene), "Know When To Fold" (2 scenes), "Worlds Apart" (1 scene), "Contamination" (1 scene), "Homeward Bound" (4 scenes), "Second Chances" (1 scene), "Wait And See" (1 scene), "Finishing" (1 scene), "What Women Want" (1 scene), and "What You Do For Love" (3 scenes). There are optional audio commentaries with Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers.
  • Bloopers (4:17): is a standard montage of goofs caught on tape during filming.

Final Thoughts:
Private Practice's second season was completely new to me. I have not seen the series or its parents show Grey's Anatomy. However, I was still able to pick up what was going on and quickly found it to be a pretty fun show. The second season has a constant turnover of melodrama dealing with complex medical issues and character issues. The end result is an engrossing drama that will entertain. Fans of the show and drama-goers alike will appreciate it the most.

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