Excels At: Not much. Reminding me that Party of Five is one of my all-time favorite shows?
Needs Improvement: Like Party of Five, Private Practice makes every episode into a Very Special Episode, in which some Big Issue is tackled by Addison and her team. This season alone, the Oceanside Wellness Group has dealt with polygamy, abortion, pedophilia, meth babies, revirginization, accidentally married siblings, prostitution, unwanted life support, HIV responsibilities, getting pregnant for the cord blood, pregnancy among the terminally ill, assisted suicide, kidnapping by parent, pregnancy among the comatose, and the economy. Unnecessary and poorly executed! This tactic never fails to come across as heavy-handed and ingenuine. And even though I usually agree with Addison, she usually seems like a militant bitch. At least Party of Five had a little humor (whether intentional or not), that precocious Claudia Salinger, and lots of amazing mid-90's flannel.
My friend Lily says that the problem with Private Practice is that their problems are those of people in their 40's, which we have trouble relating to.
Interpersonal Dynamics: I despise all of the ships on this show. From the beginning, the show told us we'd be rooting for Cooper/Violet, Addison/Pete, and, to a lesser extent, Sam/Naomi. Right now, we're enduring Cooper/Charlotte (ugh), Addison/Kevin (double ugh), maybe Addison "Monty"/Wyatt (interesting, but ugh for right now), Violet/Pete (just nasty), Pete/Meg (doomed but still ugh), Violet/Sheldon (SO ugh), and, for at least that one episode, Naomi/Archer Montgomery (gross).
For some reason, all of the characters on this show just come across as pathetic
Particularly Notable: Dell just generally sucks hard. That whole daughter with the meth addict thing was one big eyeroll.
Pay Attention To: Dr. Wyatt Lockhart. First of all, we all know the deal with nicknames. What's more, he's got a look about him I like, and he's definitely not wooing Addison in the "traditional" way. Although, of course, this is television, so I totally see where he's coming from--the smarmy jackass.
Next Semester: Grow up, calm down, and do your jobs. Writers, please realize that we don't love these characters the same way we love the guys at Seattle Grace. Stop making them do such unlovable things.
Overall Grade: C-.