Tag Archives: Animal Practice

Fall 2012 Preview and Predictions: NBC

11 Sep

(In order to meld the spirit of futile sports predictions with the high stakes world of the who-will-be-cancelled-first fall (now spring!) television season, I’ve set up a very simple system of predictions for how long new shows will last.  Each day, I’ll (I’m aware I switched between we and I) lay out a network’s new shows scheduled to debut in the fall (reality shows not included – I’m already going to fail miserably on scripted shows, I don’t need to tackle a whole other animal) with my prediction of which of three categories it will fall into.

These categories are:

1.  Renewal – show gets renewed

2.  14+ – the show gets thirteen or more episodes, but not renewed

3.  13- – the show is cancelled before 13)

NBC

NBC has the first debuts this year so we’ll start there.  The last place network, which is coming off a super popular Olympics high, has six new shows initially scheduled to air this fall.  Let’s take a look.

Go On – 9/11

Go On aired a special pilot sneak preview in August, as NBC tried to take advantage of the one time people were actually watching, during the Olympics to promote a couple of its new shows.  You can read my full review of the pilot here, but here’s the basic premise.  Friends veteran Matthew Perry is an egomaniacal sports talk radio shock jock who is forced by his employers to attend grief therapy while dealing with the death of his wife.  He helps out the other members of the therapy group, while also learning from them, etc, etc.

Verdict:  14+ I don’t see it going that far – it’s just not that good, and while obviously that means little to nothing in what happens to shows on network television, I don’t think audiences will connect – I don’t really see it’s audience – not Community enough for that crowd, or Whitney enough for that crowd (I hope that’s not really a crowd).  Perry’s name will get it the full season pick up though.  Also, it’s better than Mr. Sunshine, which is worth something I suppose.

Animal Practice – 9/26

The 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 to work with the new owner of his animal hospital, who is an old flame, who is returning after having not seen him for a couple of years.  Also a couple of wacky sidekicks and a monkey that does human stuff.  So that’s cool.

Verdict:  13-  Honestly, a quick look over the fall shows (and maybe I’ll regret this when I get to CBS or Fox) tells me there are far fewer crazy obvious instant cancellations like The Playboy Club and I Hate My Teenage Daughter (and Last Man Standing…oh, wait).  Something’s got to get cancelled.  Probably quite a few somethings.  This utterly forgettable show will likely be one of them.

Chicago Fire – 10/10

Too soon for a reference to a disaster that killed hundreds and destroyed over three square miles of downtown Chicago?  House’s Jesse Spencer is the lead in an ensemble show focusing on the exciting and fast-paced lives of firefighters and paramedics in Chicago (the non-police two thirds of Third Watch).  It’s less overused than cops for sure, so small amount of credit there, but it offhanded screams out generic procedural (I really think the logic was um, cops, been there – how about firefighters?), maybe with some personal life business to get you all attached to those characters.  We’ll see though.

Verdict:  Renewed – crapshoot 101.  NBC has not been a big home to procedurals of late, but they’ve got new management and probably want to follow the CBS model to success, with at least one.  Prime Suspect did fail miserably last year, but boy, NBC would take almost anything right now.  Oh, and it’s produced by a guy named Dick Wolf who used to have some pull around NBC.   Dick Wolf claims he chose Chicago over Law & Order’s NYC to be different but if you don’t think it’s because of the name you’re kidding yourself (future overseas spin off The Great London Fire?  Think about it).

Guys With Kids – 9/26

Jimmy Fallon co-created this sitcom which stars Law & Order verteran Anthony Anderson, Whitest Kid U Know Zach Cregger, and general actor who is in a bunch of things but no one super notable role Jesse Bradford as three dads with young kids, “desperately trying to remain dudes” as the official NBC web site tells us.  Two are married, one is divorced.  Anderson is married to Cosby Show daughter Tempest Bledsoe and Cregger is married to Sopranos daughter Jamie-Lynn Sigler.  Can they remain “cool” with little kiddies by their side?  Only time will tell.  It seems incredibly uninspired but who knows these days.

Verdict – 13- – it’s got the Jimmy Fallon backing and early reports say that it might be better than I instinctively thought (any show about dudes trying to remain dudes just reeks off the bat but comedies are less premise dependent than dramas) But again, it’s NBC so I have to assume that a fair amount of their shows will get cancelled.

The New Normal – 9/11

Ryan Murphy kind of owns television these days.  Glee is still going str…well, going.  American Horror Story made some splashes last fall and will be back.  And this year he’s got a more traditional comedy featuring a less traditional group of folks.  A career oriented gay couple decides they want a kid, and hire a surrogate mother from the Midwest who has an 8 year old kid of her own who comes out west where they live.  She’s accompanied by her racist, homophobic grandmother (I’m kind of guessing about the racist, homophobic part).  And now, they’re THE NEW NORMAL.  It smells a lot like Modern Family, for better or worse.

Verdict:  Renewal – Ryan Murphy’s on something of a role these days, and what network wouldn’t kill for even a shot at the next Modern Family, which will be winning Best Comedy Emmys like Rafael Nadal wins French Opens (Congrats Andy Murray by the way!).

Revolution – 9/17

JJ Abrams 101.  A post-apocalyptic future where the power is out, for good.  Without electricity, the world descends into chaos with militias and warlords and what not ruling their own patches of earth.  Is the supernatural involved?  Who knows.  Our own roving band of misfits is being pursued by a particular militia.  Actors included Twilight grad Billy Burke, Lost grad Elizabeth Mitchell (and a star of V, cementing her sci-fi TV cred), Gustavo Fring himself, Giancarlo Esposito, and a bunch of relative newbies.  After failure after failure (see:  Terra Nova, The Event, V., Flashforward), hope for the next Lost remains.

Verdict: Renewal – I know this is wrong, I just know it, I’m making the exact same mistake I made with Terra Nova, but man, one of these shows has to succeed eventually, right, or they’d stop making them?  Plus the JJ Abrams imprimatuer could buy it a couple of extra episodes at least?  Maybe?

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.