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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Watch Private Practice Episode - Private Practice: The Complete Second Season

Private Practice: The Complete Second Season

Country: USA
Release Date: September 15, 2009
Distributor: ABC Video
· Shonda Rhimes
· Kate Walsh
· Taye Diggs
· Amy Brenneman
· Audra McDonald
· Tim Daly
· Paul Adelstein
· KaDee Strickland
· Chris LowellPrivate Practice: The Complete Second Season
Grade: B

Private Practice: The Complete Second Season

Private Practice debuted in 2007 to decent ratings and mixed reviews. The Grey's Anatomy faithful either loved it for doubling the length of their favorite show, or hated it for stealing away their favorite neonatal surgeon. Like Grey's, the characters are constantly drowning in personal and professional drama which makes for some interesting television.

Season 2 begins with crucial developments at Oceanside Wellness Center. The practice is hemorrhaging money and pieces of medical equipment are being repossessed. After a professional disagreement between Sam (Taye Diggs) and Naomi (Audra McDonald), the rest of the doctors elect Addison (Kate Walsh) leader of the practice against her will. She sells off the unused practice space on the fourth floor to bring Oceanside back into the black. The only problem is the new tenants turn out to be a competing medical practice, complete with the evil Charlotte King (KaDee Strickland) at the helm. Oceanside Wellness may provide personalized care in a therapeutic environment, but the new practice, Pacific Wellcare, provides free coffee and breakfast! Even Cooper (Paul Adelstein) and Pete (Tim Daly) can't resist the allure of free food.

Until mid-season, many of the storylines revolve around the two practices competing for business. Then, Charlotte is replaced by a sinister male counterpart, Wyatt Lockhart (Jay Harrington), who insists upon collaboration for the sake of better patient care. Addison hates the arrogant Dr. Lockhart! She hates him for almost four episodes before she decides that his slickster charm is kind of appealing, and promptly messes up her relationship with SWAT cutie Kevin (David Sutcliffe) to go be seduced by him. Alas, creepy Wyatt has skipped town (to go star in his own show, Better off Ted) and now Addison's brother, Archer (Grant Show), is running Pacific Wellcare. Archer used to hang with the likes of McDreamy and McSteamy, which sets off a series of Grey's Anatomy crossover episodes. The final story arc of the season builds to a sensationalistic cliffhanger that toes the scalpel-sharp line between drama and melodrama.

Along the way, Addison toys with breaking up a marriage, Sam and Naomi struggle to define their relationship, Charlotte and Cooper have a lot of tempestuous sex, Pete fools around with pretty much anyone he can get his hands on, Violet (Amy Brenneman) gets pregnant and doesn't know who the daddy is, and Dell (Chris Lowell) turns into a complete punk. Dell's transformation is the one crushing disappointment of the season. In the first season, Dell starts off as a hot lunchtime diversion and ends up as Private Practice's version of Dr. Miranda Bailey -- the calm, rational individual around which all the chaos swirls. In this season, Dell turns out to be a judgmental bully, so wrapped up in his personal problems that he mixes up two frozen embryos. I think it's great that Chris Lowell's character is being given more screen time, but to make him the kind of guy who sulks around the office like a petulant child? The kind of guy who tries to coerce pregnant women into doing what he thinks is best? Well, that is not the laidback surfer guy we all fell in love with.

One of the things that sets this season of Private Practice apart from the previous season is the examination of a whole series of ethical dilemmas. Here are just a few of the issues that come to light:

1. Hymenoplasty for an American Muslim girl so she can be married off as a virgin.

2. Is it okay for a pediatrician to post on an adult dating website?

3. Two pregnant patients unknowingly have the same cheating husband.

4. Mandatory vaccinations vs. autism.

5. A suffering hospice patient wants enough morphine to overdose.

6. A terminally ill teenager wants to withdraw his ventilator, but Dad isn't ready to let go.

7. Who should decide the gender of a hermaphroditic baby?

What is fascinating about the episodes is that frequently there are no right answers. While the doctors of Oceanside Wellness often end up doing what real doctors can only dream of doing, watching the group debate and the individuals struggle is really thought provoking.

22 episodes on 6 discs are presented in widescreen format with 5.1 Dolby Digital sound. The entire package runs approximately 946 minutes. Bonus Features are as follows:

Extended Episodes/Deleted Scenes: Nothing shocking here. In fact, many of the deleted scenes seemed very familiar to me, as if they were only slightly different from the scenes that made it into the episodes.

Bloopers: A short feature with some funny stuff involving surgical instruments.

Patient Confidentiality: Shonda Rhimes discusses in detail some of the aforementioned ethical dilemmas, many of which steam from legalities involving confidentiality.

Life through the Lens: Chris Lowell takes breathtaking photographs all over the world when he's not busy playing Dell Parker and they are showcased here, accompanied by cast narration. This is worth a watch both for the amazing photography and the hilarious riffing between Lowell and Taye Diggs.

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