EW review: Snarky, sexy 'Grey's Anatomy'
Also: Witty 'Wallace' and elegant 'Proof'
By Timothy Gunatilaka
YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
(Entertainment Weekly) -- Bedside manner assumes a whole new meaning on ABC's doctor dramedy "Grey's Anatomy" -- what with interns babysitting severed penises, elevators doubling as boudoirs, syphilis running rampant among the staff, and the whole series opening with a crucial one-night stand.
Add narration that's more Carrie Bradshaw than Baudelaire ("By the time the pain of not doing a thing gets worse than the fear of doing it, it can feel like ... a giant tumor") and you've got "Sex and the City" for the stethoscope set. (Patrick Dempsey's Dr. McDreamy may as well be code for Mr. Big.)
The always-awed Meredith Grey (Renee Zellweger doppelganger Ellen Pompeo) and a stock supporting cast-asexual lug, callous cad, blond bombshell, and nakedly ambitious go-getter (Golden Globe winner Sandra Oh) -- beguilingly bear the panic and pitfalls of the surgical intern experience.
Even with outrageous cases typical of every prime-time hospital series (a guy shoots seven nails into his head, a tumor tops 50 pounds), "Season One" manages, with snark and sex appeal, to save itself from wonky patient-of-the-week sentimentality (sorry, "ER").
EXTRAS The DVD extras further play up the sauciness: A hysterical gag trailer advertises the show in artsy black and white with French subtitles (think Masculin-Feminin meets "Scrubs"), and on their commentary, creator Shonda Rhimes and director Peter Horton praise Pompeo's vomiting skills. In a behind-the-scenes doc, cast and crew fawn over the medical consultants whose hands perform surgeries (on cow parts) for the camera, and gush that the characters are "people you wanna hang out with." And the outtakes hold some cheap charms, like Meredith playing surgical assistant to her Alzheimer's-afflicted ex-doc mom (Kate Burton) during teatime -- with a spoon serving as a scalpel. Get that lady a scone, stat!
EW Grade: B+
'Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit'
Reviewed by Cemile Kavountzis
In "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit," an Oscar-nominated Plasticine opus, quirky inventor Wallace and his dog Gromit are called on to capture an ominous creature that's pillaging the town's prized courgettes and aubergines just days before the annual veg-off. Every detail and frame is meticulously considered, producing a satisfying assortment of witty nods to pop culture, Hollywood, and, of course, cheese.
EXTRAS As you might expect from a tedious process that yields 100 seconds of footage per week, not much hits the cutting-room floor; still, there are nine deleted scenes, some in raw, 2-D animated storyboard form, including two alternate endings. While a brief, overly polished making-of falls flat, the animated short film "Stage Fright" (starring more talented pooches), a behind-the-scenes studio tour, and a minidoc tracing W&G's climb from grad-student creations to household names all convey the oddball Aardman culture.
EW Grade: A-
Reviewed by Alisa Cohen
More about genetics than math (namely, is repressed brainiac Catherine as ingenious, and insane, as her dead dad?), "Proof" works because it adds layers of pathos and suspense to its square roots.
While the dialogue can be shamelessly stagy (makes sense, since this began as a play), it's often as elegant as the formulas discussed. And a pale, fiery Gwyneth Paltrow -- director John Madden's muse in the London stage version -- seems to believe every word. In the final act, father and daughter huddle in the snow, caught up in method and madness. They're not the only ones who get the chills.
EXTRAS 'Rithmetic was no easy feat for the cast: "I was the worst math student in high school," admits Jake Gyllenhaal in "From Page to Screen," adding that Anthony Hopkins studied "Math for Dummies" to pump up his performance. Want more homework, Tony? Listen to Madden's overly academic commentary, a mini-lecture on character motivation and cinematic techniques that leaves little to the imagination. The "Shakespeare in Love" helmer even compares Hopkins' "commanding" yet "childlike" Robert to King Lear.
EW Grade: A-
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