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The Blue & Gray Press | May 28, 2018

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Is 'Animal Practice' the New 'House?'

By CHELSEA FULLER

NBC’S newest show, “Animal Practice,” reeled in viewers with promises of a good laugh and literal monkey business, but do they measure up?

The show takes place mainly in Crane Animal Hospital, though it seems some antics will be shown throughout recognizable sections of New York City.  Lead veterinarian and protagonist, George Coleman, played by Justin Kirk, is introduced first.

Though Coleman seems to be a self-righteous womanizer, viewers quickly learn that his cynicism is tolerated due to his extensive knowledge as a vet.  Echoes of “House,” anyone?

Two other veterinarians on the scene are Dr. Yamamoto and Dr. Doug Jackson.

Dr. Yamamoto, played by the well-known actor Bobby Lee, seems to be the show’s designated pushover, almost enjoying his role as shameless toady, bowing down to authority at every opportunity.

Dr. Jackson, on the other hand, assumes the role of wingman to Coleman, though Jackson seems to be more focused on getting his ex-girlfriend back than on his job.

Chaos sets the tone of Crane Animal Hospital. The place is over-run with pets running free, owners are crammed into a small waiting area and nurses are constantly scrabbling to maintain some kind of order.  Dorothy Crane, however, is the balm to this turmoil.

Crane has recently inherited the hospital from her grandmother and is ready to give the place a total facelift, starting with how things are run.  Through tension-filled conversation, lightened with the occasional awkward comment, viewers learn that Coleman and Crane were formerly “an item.”  The episode goes on to provide a stage for the power struggle between Coleman and Crane, alluding to previous relationship troubles.

The entire show is laced with backhanded cracks, sexual innuendo and the occasional bit of lowbrow, slapstick humor.  With a monkey running through hallways dressed as a doctor, it’s hard to not at least get one laugh out of the half-hour show.

Though “Animal Practice” has high standards to live up to in sharing a network with 30 Rock and its blatant mimicry of “House,” it does have all the components to make a good show.

Hopefully, the rest of the season will allow the show the room it needs to showcase its positive attributes.

Comments

  1. M.Lowe

    Not much of a comparison…Animal Practice is fun and entertaining, while House is, and has been (almost since the first episode) just too annoying to care about. House: same story every time. The third diagnosis is always the right one. Dr. House is always an ass. At first, it seemed he had redeeming qualities, but as the seasons went on…and on…and on…the redeeming qualities refused to appear, leaving an empty, stupid, formulaic show every single week (at least until I quit watching fairly early on. Animal Practice, at the very least, has a likeable main character, and, so far, a pretty fun feel. Mimicry of House? Hardly. This show is promising. Which, of course, means it probably won’t last long. House was one of the worst, which, of course, meant it just kept going, and going…..blech.

  2. Chelsea

    Disagree. The similarities between the two shows are almost eerie. Both the protagonist are supposed to seem arrogant, dry and humorous. In both shows we are seeing them “break the mold” with they’re anti-by-the-book attitude. Oh and we can’t forget the “bad boy with a soft side for the beautiful female associate” theme! Animal practice is just another generic show, like house. Are they the same show? No. Can you make an argument that strong themes can be drawn from both? And that Animal practice is influenced by house? YES!