House, M.D. Season FiveStarring: Hugh Laurie, Lisa Edelstein, Omar Epps, Robert Sean Leonard, Jennifer Morrison, Jesse Spencer Created by David Shore DVD Release: 25 August 2009 List Price: $59.98
An uneven season, for the most part. This one lacked the season-long structure of previous years, instead favoring smaller story arcs. At times it felt like the show was on auto-pilot, but the highlights were rock solid, including "Locked In" (featuring an impressive turn by Mos Def as a patient whose inability to move or communicate nearly marked him as dying) and "Simple Explanation" (in which a principle character takes his own life). Interestingly, those two episodes are back-to-back on Disc Four. I will say, this was the season that really sold me on Peter Jacobson's character, Taub. It's hard to remember there was a time he wasn't part of this series.
Among those aforementioned story arcs are: Thirteen reconciling with being diagnosed with Huntington's disease, Wilson sifting through the aftermath of Amber's death in the previous season and Cuddy trying to adopt a baby. These all affect House in different ways, and much of the season sees him trying to compel those around him to change course with their lives. And, of course, along the way he manages to save ~24 patients with his patented epiphanies.
Regarding the bonus content, I felt cheated. The lone commentary (for "Locked In") was fairly dull; the average viewer is likely to have already deduced most of what is shared (though obviously not how cold it really was on the beach that day, a point which is repeated several times). A fluff piece on reaching 100 episodes and one on Cuddy's maternal arc for the season (basically a summary provided by Lisa Edelstein) are similarly generic. There is a piece on the casting of the show, which isn't ground-breaking but at least it's an area of production often overlooked so that was kind of nice. The only bonus feature I completely enjoyed was "Anatomy of a Teaser," a thorough look at the filming of an episode's pre-titles sequence.
A last note: we were really happy when Amazon had this on sale right after Christmas for $14.99. It came in time to be our first complete DVD season for the 2011 TV on DVD* Challenge. Woot!