Grey's Anatomy: Season 4 - Review
Review by Jack Foley
THE decline of Grey’s Anatomy continued as the show entered its fourth season with personal drama once again dominating proceedings.
Interns Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), Cristina (Sandra Oh), Izzie (Katherine Heigl), and Alex (Justin Chambers) began their first year as residents, while mentoring new underlings including ex-colleague George (TR Knight), who remained an intern after failing his exams, and Meredith’s half sister, Lexie (Chyler Leigh).
Dr Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) struggled to balance work commitments with the emotional wounds caused by the end of his relationships with both Meredith and his ex-wife.
And Dr Bailey (Chandra Wilson) also struggles to cope with losing the Chief Resident spot to Dr Torres (Sara Ramirez).
All of the above storylines enabled the characters to indulge in yet more self-absorbed posturing, as medical storylines either reflected their state of minds or current life crisis.
Even the big moments were squandered, with two-parters such as Crash Into Me and season finale Freedom merely adding to the suspicion that this once highly entertaining show has seen its better days.
The biggest problem with Grey’s Anatomy continues to be the nature of its characters. Flawed human beings are perfectly fine and shows such as ER and, more recently, In Treatment are packed with them.
But there has to be something to identify with beyond those failings… some form of likeability. Alas, the self-absorbed, pretentious and frequently selfish attitudes that drive the surgeons at the centre of Grey’s exasperate more than reward.
The interminable will they/won’t they get it together between Derek and Meredith is now stretched beyond breaking point… with Derek short-changed with a new love interest viewers just know he won’t last with.
Meredith, meanwhile, continues to be one of the most selfish, self-centred characters on television, while even the previously likeable likes of Izzie, Callie and George have gone off the rails.
The return of Kate Walsh’s Addison for an episode entitled Piece of My Heart served a reminder of why the show is cheapened for the loss of that particular character, while the one dimensional treatment afforded to Eric Dane’s sex-obsessed, borderline misogynist was close to scandalous.
Plot devices also became increasingly clunky, such as the marriage between George and Callie that no one believed in from the start, or the decision to introduce an affair with Izzie as a means of ripping it apart. The stories just didn’t ring true, thus undermining their emotional grip.
Admittedly, season four was a slight improvement on the ponderous third season. But come the end of the 17 episodes that comprise this box set, you may well feel it’s still in a critical condition.
UK Release Date: November 23, 2009
- Buy it on DVD (Amazon)
- Grey's Anatomy - Season 4: Freedom (season finale review)
- Grey's Anatomy - Season 4: A Change Is Gonna Come review
- Grey's Anatomy - Season 3 (Review)
- Grey's Anatomy - Season 3: Drowning On Dry Land review
- Grey's Anatomy - Season 3: What I Am review
- Read our verdict on Grey's Anatomy - Season 2
- Grey's Anatomy soundtracks 1 & 2 reviewed
- Read our review of Grey's Anatomy - Season 1