Fall 2012 Review: Animal Practice

24 Aug

When you watch so many pilots, sometimes you see episodes that really generate strong opinions, either positive or negative, and sometimes you see episodes that really just don’t generate strong feelings at all, and the words don’t flow so easily.  The debut of Animal Practice was in the latter category (I probably wouldn’t be wasting words on this if it was in the former).  And yet, we (I) must find something to say.

Here’s the premise in short:  Veterinarian, loves animals, hates people.  Here’s the episode sum up in slightly longer:  Justin Kirk, best known as Nancy’s ex’s bro from Weeds, is a vet, George Coleman, who loves animals, loves sleeping with women, but yes, still hates people.  He’s big dog at an animal hospital (pun intended), and works aside a couple of his other main characters, er, colleagues.  One is a Korean with a mustache who mentions several times how whipped (pardon the colloquialism) he is by his wife.   Another is an insecure co-worker who was just dumped by his girlfriend and is apparently very socially awkward.  Third is a super weird women who well, is well more socially awkward that the awkward guy.  Their everyday routine of caring about animals, while ignoring humans is put to a stop by the arrival of some woman (apparently named Dorothy – with names like George and Dorothy, it feels like this show should be set in the 1950s), who we learn was George’s ex, but walked out on him a couple of years back never to appear again until now.  This was because, we learn, when she told him she loved him,  he responded with, “awesome.”

Also, apparently her grandmother owned the animal hospital George works in, and that grandmother died, so she’s taking over the hospital.  He threatens to leave because she wants to change the way things are organized – pay more attention to the lousy people who own the animals.  Eventually she understands his point of view (ie – some of the pet owners (Matt Walsh in the first episode) are jerks who deserve George’s disdain) and he decides to stay and keep working there, with the probability of some serious sexual tension between the two at about 99.9%.

I actually kind of like Justin Kirk.  I don’t really have a good reason for or against that position, but I like him.  I watched two seasons of Weeds, which I found to be generally a disappointing show, but I liked Justin Kirk as an actor even if I didn’t always love his character Andy.   Animal Practice is single camera and the humor is fairly generic. I don’t remember any particular lines or laughing much, though not never, and there was nothing offensive or cringe worthy, which is saying something, even if a backhanded compliment.

Wacky side character alert:  Angela, who, well I don’t exactly know what her job is, but she’s absurdly ridiculous.  She makes awkward sexual comments to everyone in the show, but apparently they all know her, so it’s not weird.   She seems kind of like a poor man’s Jillian from Workaholics (if you don’t understand that reference, please start watching Workaholics now.  I’ll wait).  All of the non George and Dorothy characters are weirdos (people you’d describe as “characters” in the colloquial sense if you met them) but only Angela is on the level of no-person-is-actually-like-this-in-real-life.

I’ll note that with the casting of Korean Bobby Lee (as the whipped married doctor), Animal Practice immediately moves into number two in the rankings amongst shows with Korean actors, behind Hawaii Five-0.  Also, there’s a monkey in the show that does lots of cool stuff.  I’m not a monster; it’s absolutely pretty adorable.

Will I watch it again?  No, I won’t.  It wasn’t really good, but it was actually better than I thought it would be, which if I was grading on expectations, is kind of a compliment.  I thought it was going to a bad show, and it was merely a thoroughly unmemorable show.

One Response to “Fall 2012 Review: Animal Practice”


  1. Fall 2012 Preview and Predictions: NBC « Television, the Drug of the Nation - September 11, 2012

    […] other NBC show which got a shot at airing during the Olympics, a full review can be found here.  It’s about a veterinarian who loves animals, but not so much their owners.  He’s now forced […]

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