Private Practice – The Complete Second Season (a J!-ENT DVD Review)
September 7, 2009 by Dennis Amith
“The second season of Private Practice is a season I can describe in one word and that would be ‘angsty’. The second season manages to push the button on the medical issues with the patients, the economic issue with the private practice but for the main characters, this season was just full of angsty episodes and you often wondered if these characters will ever find any happiness. Also, to cap the season off, we get one of the most dark and twisted season finale’s that I’m sure viewers were probably not expecting. Otherwise, a mildly entertaining second season but I hope the storylines for the characters are much more developed and spread evenly next season.”
© ABC Studios. All Rights Reserved.
DVD TITLE: Private Practice – The Complete Second Season
DURATION: 22 Episodes (946 Minutes)
DVD INFORMATION: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, Spanish and French Subtitles, Widescreen (1:78:1) – Enhanced for 16×9 Televisions
COMPANY: abc studios
RATED: TV PG DSLV
RELEASE DATE: September 15, 2009
Created by Shonda Rhimes
Directed by Mark Tinker, Michael Zinberg, James Frawley and Tom Verica
Written by Shonda Rhimes, Jon Cowan, Robert L. Rovner, Ayanna Floyd, Michael Ostrowski, Lauren Scmidt, Craig Turk, Steve Blackman
Executive Producer: Shonda Rhimes, Mark Tinker, Betsy Beers
Producer: Lauren Schmidt
Co-Producer: Scott Printz
Music by Chad Fischer
Cinematography by Lex DuPont
Editing by Christal Khatib, Noah Pontell
Casting by John Brace, Linda Lowy
Series Production Design by Richard C. Hankins
Kate Walsh as Dr. Addison Montgomery
Tim Daly as Dr. Pete Wilder
KaDee Strickland as Dr. Charlotte King
Paul Adelstein as Dr. Cooper Freedman
Amy Brennerman as Dr. Violet Turner
Audra McDonald as Dr. Naomi Bennett
Chris Lowell as William “Dell” Parker
Taye Diggs as Dr. Sam Bennett
David Sutcliffe as Officer Kevin Nelson
Brian Benben as Sheldon
Grant Show as Archer Montgomery
Jay Harrington as Dr. Wyatt Lockhart
Kosh Hopkins as Dr. Noah Barnes
Sharon Leal as Sonya
Hailey Sole as Betsey
Amanda Detmer as Morgan Gellman
Chris Krauser as Dr. Robert Zeminski
From Shonda Rhimes, the Golden Globe®-winning creator of “Grey’s Anatomy,” comes a standout show about the personal and professional lives of a group of passionate doctors. Featuring steamy storylines and a dazzling ensemble cast, the show stars Kate Walsh reprising her “Grey’s Anatomy” role as Dr. Addison Forbes Montgomery. With Seattle Grace Hospital and all its complications behind her, Addison embraces the sunnier weather and new possibilities of the Oceanside Wellness Group in Los Angeles—but life and love are never that simple.
In 2007, Shonda Rhimes (creator/executive producer of “Grey’s Anatomy” and writer of “The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement”) developed a spin-off of “Grey’s Anatomy” titled “Private Practice” based on the life of Dr. Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh). For the most part, “Private Practice” Season One lasted about nine episodes and received a so/so reception from fans.
For the second season, viewers were promised a much more exciting season and sure enough, Shondra Rhimes and crew were able to take the series to different heights this time around.
The premise of the series is that Dr. Addison Montgomery has left Seattle Grace Hospital and moved to California to work for a private practice, Oceanside Wellness Center. In the first season, Dr. Addison Montgomery had to win the respect of her fellow doctors and relationships were examined in the first season.
This time around, Oceanside Wellness Center is not exactly in the best circumstances as the center faces major financial problems, a new rival practice trying to steal their clients, more relationship problems and drama, cross-over episodes with “Grey’s Anatomy” and to cap things off, a dark and twisted season finale that viewers were probably not expecting.
“Private Practice” focuses on the following main characters:
Dr. Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh, “Grey’s Anatomy”, “The Drew Carey Show”) - A doctor at Seattle’s Grace Hospital and was married to Dr. Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey, “Grey’s Anatomy”) but had an affair with his best friend, Dr. Mark Sloan (Eric Dane, “Grey’s Anatomy”) and thus ruined her marriage. Thus leaving to Los Angeles and joining a private practice. In the first season, her fellow doctors/co-workers are not exactly warm to her but she manages to prove to them that she’s dedicated to her job and is finally accepted. She was attracted to Dr. Peter Wilder (Tim Daly) but in season two, she is now is looking for a man while leading Oceanside Wellness Center.
Dr. Peter Wilder (Tim Daly, “The Nine”, “Eyes”, “The Fugitive”, “Wings”) – A doctor at Oceanside Wellness Center and is a naturopathic doctor and licensed herbalist. He knows that Addison is attracted to him but is unable to be with other women since the death of his wife. In season two, he finds out that he may be a father.
Dr. Naomi Bennett (Audra McDonald, “The Bedford Diaries”, “Kidnapped”, “Mister Sterling”) - A founding partner of Oceanside Wellness Center and specializes in reproductive endocrinology, obstetrics and gynecology. She works with her ex-husband Sam (Taye Diggs) and has a daughter named Maya. But in the second season, she appears to be keeping a lot of secrets from her fellow doctors.
Dr. Sam Bennett (Taye Diggs. “Day Break”, “Kevin Hill”, “Grey’s Anatomy”) - Known to the other doctors as “Doctor Feelgood”, Sam is a founding partner of Oceanside Wellness Centre and is an internist. Was married to Naomi and has a daughter named Maya. Wrote a best-selling nonfiction book, “Body Language: The Mind-Body Connection”. In Season 2, he faces a malpractice suit and also becomes concerned about his former wife.
Dr. Violet Turner (Amy Brenneman, “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Judging Amy”, “Frasier”) – A psychiatrist at Oceanside Wellness Center. Trying to get over her breakup with her ex-boyfriend Allan. In season two, having been with a few men, she is now pregnant and is not sure who the father is.
Dr. Cooper Freedman (Paul Adelstein, “Prison Break”, “Hack”) - The pediatrician at Oceanside Wellness Center and is the private practice’s pediatrician. A caring doctor and good friends with Violette but not good with dating women and tends to look for them online. This time he balances his personal time with both Violet (as a friend) and Dr. Charlotte King.
Dr. Charlotte King (KaDee Strickland, “The Grudge”, “The Wedding Bells”, “American Gangster”) - The Chief of Staff at St. Ambrose Hospital in Santa Monica. She helps open Pacific Wellcare, a competition to Oceanside Wellness Center and does what she can to steal clients from Oceanside Wellness and interesting enough, she also has a crush on Dr. Cooper Freedman. Also, known for being a cold-person.
William “Dell” Parlker (Chris Lowell, “Veronica Mars”, “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Life as We Know It”) - The receptionist at Oceanside Wellness Center and a nurse. In the first season, “Dell” is attracted to his boss, Naomi Bennett but in the fifth season, he gets two unexpected surprises.
“Private Practice – The Complete Second Season” features 22 episodes on six discs. Included are (spoilerless summaries):
- EPISODE 10 – A Family Thing – Addison wonders if she can trust her best friend when Naomi has been concealing the financial problems of Oceanside Wellness.
- EPISODE 11 – Equal and Opposite - With Oceanside Wellness experiencing problems, Addison and Sam will do what they can to make sure the practice doesn’t go through with bankruptcy plans.
- EPISODE 12 – Nothing to Talk About – Charlotte tries to get Addison to join St. Ambrose Hospital.
- EPISODE 13 – Past Tense – Sam and Naomi become rivals in who would lead the practice.
- EPISODE 14 – Let It Go - Addison does what she can to fix the financial problems at the practice but may be putting Oceanside Wellness in more problems.
- EPISODE 15 – Serving Two Masters – Sam and Naomi look at their own relationship when they see an Alzheimer’s patient with her husband (guest star: Billy Dee Williams).
- EPISODE 16 – Tempting Faith – Addison receives a visit from her brother Archer (Grant Show) but his appearance causes problems for her and others.
- EPISODE 17 – Crime and Punishment (Extended Episode) – With a comotose patient pregnant, Addison and Charlotte race around the clock to save the woman. Meanwhile, Meg starts seeing one of the patients of Oceanside Wellness and it rubs people the wrong way.
- EPISODE 18 – Know When To Fold – Charlotte opens up Pacific Wellcare and the competition against Oceanside Wellness begins!
- EPISODE 19 – Worlds Apart – Charlotte and crew continue to steal clients from Oceanside Wellness and Pete’s girlfriend Meg comes to visit.
- EPISODE 20 – Contamination – When Cooper’s patient has the measles, a quarantine takes place at Oceanside Wellness.
- EPISODE 21 – Homeward Bound – Addison and Kevin have relationship problems and suddenly she starts to become interested in Wyatt of Pacific Wellcare.
- EPISODE 22 – Nothing to Fear (Extended Episode) – Violet is pregnant but the problem is, she doesn’t know who the father is.
- EPISODE 23 – Second Chances – Archer continues to create more problems for Addison and Naomi when he starts working for Pacific Wellcare.
- EPISODE 24 – Acceptance – Archer suffers a major seizure and in order to save his life, the crew of Oceanside Wellness visits Addison’s former employer, Seattle Grace Hospital. A cross-over with “Grey’s Anatomy”.
- EPISODE 25 – Ex-Life – Seattle Grace Hospital’s Bailey and Naomi try to find out why Sam has asthma attacks. Meanwhile Addison and Derek try to help a pregnant patient. A cross-over with “Grey’s Anatomy”.
- EPISODE 26 – Wait and See – Archer and Naomi grow closer with each other and Addison suspects something may be going on.
- EPISODE 27 – Finishing – Addison finds herself attracted to a man who works at St. Ambrose Hospital.
- EPISODE 28 – What Women Want – Addison tries to help a pregnant patient who lost her baby and also has major mental issues, while Violet must find a way to convince the woman that her baby is dead.
- EPISODE 29 – Do the Right Thing – Cooper is upset that a patient’s mother is allowing her 12-year-old to have sex. Sam faces a malpractice trial.
- EPISODE 30 – What You Do For Love – Sam wonders why Naomi is constantly sneaking away from the practice and Addison goes to a colleague at St. Ambrose Hospital for help.
- EPISODE 31 – Yours, Mine & Ours – Naomi must decide if she wants to stay at Oceanside Wellness or to move to Pacific Wellcare. Meanwhile, something terrible happens to Violet.
VIDEO & AUDIO:
“Private Practice – The Complete Second Season” is presented in Widescreen (1:78:1) – Enhanced for 16×9 televisions. Whereas “Grey’s Anatomy” tends to be focused indoors, inside the hospital, “Private Practice” has a slick California look. Indoor scenes are well-lit and outdoor scenes are quite vibrant but viewers will notice the grain in the series. Even during the low-light scenes, you do see a bit of noise but compared to other drama series on television, the series is above average in terms of picture quality on DVD.
As for audio, the series is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. The series is primarily dialogue driven, so it’s pretty much front and center channel driven. There are no accidents or any major sound effects or even a lot of music like “Grey’s Anatomy” in “Private Practice” but for the most part, audio is clear and understandable.
The show is presented in English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles.
“Private Practice – The Complete Second Season” includes the following special features:
- Patient Confidentiality: Examining Season 2 – (12:52) Creator/Executive Producer Shonda Rhimes and Executive Betsy Beers talk about wanting to focus on the moral and ethical dilemma as doctors for Season 2. The talents also chime in on the various season 2 storylines and add their own personal feelings.
- Life Through the Lens: The Pictures of Chris Lowell – (8:10) Actor Chris Lowell (who plays William “Dell” Parker”) showcases his photography and he talks about his inspirations and the cast talk about how he is a talented photographer. While the talents are complimentary, Lowell is more comedic when describing his photography.
- Extended Episodes and Deleted Scenes – 14 deleted scenes with optional audio commentary by Creator/Executive Producer Shondra Rhimes and Executive Producer Betsy Beers.
- Bloopers – (4:17) “Private Practice Season 2″ bloopers
With the first season of “Private Practice” receiving so-so reviews, the “Grey’s Anatomy” spin-off needed to make sure that the second season was significant enough to captivate the audience’s attention enough to stay for all 22 episodes.
So, what better with the country’s economy affecting private practices, to show Oceanside Wellness Center in a similar predicament. The early episodes tend to focus on the company on the verge of bankruptcy and the Addison doing what she can to prevent the company from bankruptcy and hoping for the private practice to emerge from its problems.
But along with the company problems, each of the main characters have their own major issues.
Addison deals with major issues with the company (and eventually leading the company), problems with men, the return of her brother (and her brother working for the rival practice), her relationship with her friend Naomi starts to grow apart and we get to see Addison and McDreamy once again during the “Grey’s Anatomy” cross-over.
This season’s love triangle appears to be between Pete-Violet-Sheldon. As Violet becomes pregnant, she is not sure who the father of the baby is and both men makes things more complicated when each want to be with her. But if anything, the most significant part of season two is Violet’s character at the season finale and to say the least, it will be interesting to find out if a major character does not make it for the rest of season three.
As for Naomi and Sam, things get quite interesting with them as Naomi now finally moves on with her life and starts to date other men (including Addison’s brother Archer), while Sam starts to show more concern over Naomi as she is seen sneaking off quite often from the practice.
As for Cooper, his storyline becomes the Cooper-Charlotte storyline and Cooper now wanting to be there for his good friend Violet and move in with her and support her during her pregnancy, while Charlotte being the cold-hearted doctor of St. Ambrose and later on developing a rival practice against Oceanside Wellness, she becomes more jealous of the time Cooper spends with Violet.
And as for Dell, he has to deal with his ex-girlfriend’s drug problems and finding out that he has a daughter and gets into an even more complicated situation. Talk about a character who’s likability seems to have fallen.
And as the characters face their major issues, on the medical end, the series deals with ethical and moral issues. The series definitely received some controversy with episodes such as episode 20 titled “Contamination” which dealt with autism and whether or not vaccinations do cause autism, another that dealt with sexual relationship between a woman and a young teenage boy, accidental switching of embryos, physician-assisted suicide and siblings who have sex with each other and more. Needless to say, both Shondra Rhimes and Betsy Beers definitely wanted to push the button on certain medical issues.
But part of the problem with “Private Practice” is that it seems as if the writers can not keep up the quality of writing with many of their characters and some are not getting the time that they need. I felt that this was an angsty season and a season where characters storylines were a bit uneven. Writers…please find Addison a decent man instead of having her fall for someone that is always taken. Also, remember… Sam? He needs a storyline. And Dell, this character is really being jerked around quite a bit. “Angsty” seems to be my word to describe season 2. And to cap it off, a season finale that takes a story from what we see in the front page and definitely a dark and twisted finale that I was surely not expecting.
Overall, “Private Practice – The Complete Second Season” had a good number of entertaining episodes and the chemistry of the characters are pretty good and overall, I enjoy the problems and rivalry among the private practices but when it comes to the characters and their storylines, I’m hoping Season 3 is less angsty.
If “Grey’s Anatomy” stars can have its up and downs but yet find some happiness, I hope the characters of “Private Practice” at least get some of that for season 3.
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