October 03, 2007

Private Practice falls flat

Tim Daly as Dr. Pete Wilder and Kate Walsh as Dr. Addison Montgomery in Private Practice

DOWNLOADED the first episode of Private Practice from the universe of torrents and watched it the other day. For those still living on some other planet, Private Practice is the spinoff of Grey's Anatomy, starring Kate Walsh who plays OB-GYN Dr. Addison Montgomery (used to be Shepherd when she was still married to the insufferable Dr. McDreamy).

The new show also stars the multi-talented Taye Diggs (he sing! he dances! he acts!) and who Ellen Degeneres has already christened McChocolatey. He plays internist Sam Bennett recently separated from his wife, Naomi (Audra McDonald) and also a partner in the private clinic where Addison now works. Others in the cast include Amy Brenneman (remember her from NYPD Blue and Judging Amy?) who plays the slightly edgy shrink Dr. Violet Turner; the still-sexy seasoned actor Tim Daly (he played wacko Waco cult leader Davide Koresh and an alcoholic screenwriter in The Sopranos), who plays alternative medicine specialist Dr. Pete Wilder; Paul Adelstein, last seen as the scary government agent Paul Kellerman in Prison Break, who plays the sex addict and cybersurfing Dr. Cooper Freedman; and finally, Chris Lowell, who plays the token hotbod in this cast, receptionist and midwife-in-training William "Dell" Parker.

Unfortunately, Private Practice's first episode disappoints. I think it's still struggling between trying to be funny and dramatic, and trying hard not to be a Grey's Anatomy clone (well, so far, none of the docs have had sex yet with each other, although a kiss did pass between Addison and Dr. Pete in the Grey's Anatomy episode). But it still has that back and forth, smart alecky banter that is so Grey's Anatomy that it's hard not to be compared to its parent show. And I think Addison's character just makes so much effort to be loopy...dancing around naked, etc., the comedy actually falls flat. I had more laughs watching a Grey's Anatomy episode (which is basically a drama) than Private Practice (which is being promoted as a sit-com).

Well, let's see if the next episode's any better.

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