Posted by: ckckred | August 21, 2012

Animal Practice: The Show Feels Like A Zoo

And no, that title is not a comment

When I first saw the trailer for Animal Practice, I knew it was going to bad.  And as expected, I was right.  Animal Practice is a dumb, lazy sitcom that’s dull and boring to watch.  That’s the least thing you would expect from a show with a monkey in it.

Animal Practice is about a vet named Dr. George Coleman (Justin Kirk), who treats his job as if he were worked in a real hospital.  But when his ex-girlfriend Dorothy Crane (JoAnna Garcia Swisher) inherits the clinic after her grandmother dies, Coleman fights against her and wants authority.

The major subplot in the episode revolves around Coleman hiding a dog the owner wants to have put down. Crane wants Coleman to give back the dog to prevent the owner from suing, but Coleman won’t do it.  As you can see from my description, Animal Practice feels really, really sitcommy.  This isn’t just because of the obvious romance between Coleman and Crane (though that’s part of the reason) but the typical office workers pretty much every TV show is obligated for: insane lady Juanita (Kym Whitley), unhappy sidekick Dr. Doug Jackson (Tyler Labine), and goofy Asian stereotype Dr. Kim Yamamoto (Bobby Lee).

I won’t forget the animals the producers show off.  In the pilot, Animal Practice features some average pets like dogs, cats, and birds, as well as exotic animals like tigers and anacondas.  I’m pretty sure something like a tiger wouldn’t be taken to a public animal clinic, but Animal Practice completely ignores this logic or just any logic in general.

And then there’s Dr. Rizzo, the assistant of the office who is also a monkey.  Rizzo is played by Crystal, perhaps the biggest animal celebrity in Hollywood (she starred in The Hangover Part II and the Night at the Museum movies and has also appeared on Community).  Why does an animal clinic have a monkey working over there?  I have no idea why, but it’s easy to see the producers thought a monkey would be funny.  But the joke gets old by the first few minutes and feels torturous throughout the rest of the episode.

The show’s not a complete bust.  Kirk gives a dedicated performance and is the brightest part of the pilot.  But I felt bored as I was watching Animal Practice because I didn’t have an interest in any of the characters, all of who feel completely unoriginal.  Animal Practice is just another dismissal sitcom from NBC, and will surely be canceled by the year’s end.

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Responses

  1. No matter how good the actors are, they can’t make a bad concept work… unless you maneuver like Cougar Town did, where the producers allowed the actors who are better than the concept to drive the narrative. There’s always the slim chance it could morph into a better show.

    • That’s true. One of the biggest problems of Animal Practice is that it doesn’t realize it has a terrible premise. If the show had better developed characters, it could become better.


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