TIMESLOTWednesdays @ 8pm on NBC.
SYNOPSISMeet Dr. George Coleman, a top-dog New York veterinarian. With an unorthodox style of operating, George's success comes from his undeniable gift with animals of all kinds. That is, all but the human kind.
Dorothy Crane once held the key to George's heart, but today she also holds the key to the family business as she takes over Crane Animal Hospital. Not only is she George's new boss, but her romantic history with him (and her lack of experience with animals) is seriously cramping his style. Dorothy is whip-smart and ambitious, and she's going to make George pay for the past. Needless to say, he's determined not to make any changes in his (animal) kingdom - which includes poker games with a resident chimpanzee.
Starring Justin Kirk ("Weeds") and directed by Emmy winners Joe and Anthony Russo ("Happy Endings," "Community," "Arrested Development"), this is a comedy where the animals are running the asylum.
REVIEWSPlease note that these reviews may contain spoilers.
|Gordon McDougall's Take|
|Full disclosure: I am not an animal lover. I donít dislike them, I just donít particularlyÖlike them. Nevertheless, I would get a pet just to become a regular visitor to Animal Practice, a very funny and original sitcom about an animal hospital where the pets come first (sometimes to the consternation of their owners).
Justin Kirk, who played the outrageous Andy Botwin in Weeds, is now Dr. George Coleman, a veterinarian who loves animals but isnít crazy about humans. He is surrounded by a zany group of very enjoyable supporting characters, not the least of whom is Betsy Sodaro as Angela, an animal handler who seems to reveal something disturbing about herself just about every time she opens her mouth. Sodaro was only a guest actor in the pilot, but she was quickly signed as a regular, which is a great move!
Fans of Mad-TV and Chelsea Lately will recognize Bobby Lee as Dr. Kim Yamamoto and Tyler Labine, who was in last yearís sit-bomb, Mad Love, and may still be remembered from the cult favourite, Reaper, plays Dr. Doug Jackson. They are colleagues and friends of Colemanís, but they arenít above throwing him under the bus if it suits their purposes.
In the pilot, Dr. Coleman is getting along just fine running the Animal Practice, which is owned by the grandmother of his former girlfriend. The fun begins when that former girlfriend inherits the practice and decides to bring some efficiency to the often chaotic clinic. Clashes ensue.
The real standout of this show is the crisp writing, which not only gives us some funny moments, but clearly defines who each of these people are right away. You wonít have to wait until episode six to feel as though you know these people. It almost feels as though weíre climbing on in season two, and thatís a good thing.
Oh, and if you love animals, there are plenty of them, from dogs and cats to tigers and hogs and penguins. The clear standout is a monkey called Dr. Zauis, who wears a doctorís coat and is considered to be a member of the staff by Dr. Coleman. You might think thatís a far-fetched idea that sounds too ďsitcom-yĒ, but it works. Heís cute and adds an element of fun to the proceedings that should keep viewers entertained.
Animal Practice has a tough battle in the timeslot department, kicking off NBCís Wednesday night schedule against ABCís powerhouse lineup of comedies. Still, I believe this is the kind of show NBC is looking for to help shore up its weak stable of shows from the past few seasons. Itís original, itís funny and come on, itís got cute animals! It even got to THIS animal non-lover. Thatís got to be worth something.
|Rating: One of my personal favorites!|
|About Gordon McDougall|
TVGord is a radio host at 580 CFRA in Ottawa. He does a weekly segment about TV every friday which you can hear in MP3 in the '580 CFRA Interviews' section of their website, www.cfra.com