Every year, countless writers work sleepless nights, most likely putting themselves virtually under house arrest for several months, just for the outside chance of getting their pilot produced for television. Even six shows greenlit for NBC seems like a lot for the upcoming fall season. As discussed in Part 1, considering the network’s limited success producing long-running shows in recent years, the very deliberate effort to introduce new shows concerns me a bit. New shows do tend to interest me, though. I’m relatively young, and there have not been many chances for me to say I was a regular viewer of a really quality, long running television series from start to finish. This year could be my shot.
Animal Practice revolves around Dr. George Coleman, a veterinarian at Crane Animal Hospital in New York City. The premise is relatively simple: he’s a prestigious veterinarian because of his kindness and care toward animals, but just doesn’t have the same kindness toward people. With that brief description, one might be inclined to chuckle in somewhat of a forced way. “He would be so likable if he cared about people that much, but he doesn’t! How amusing!” Upon watching the trailer, however, it becomes clear that this sentiment is nothing more than a misguided hope in the minds of the show’s creators. Dr. Coleman’s lack of sympathy and utter disinterest for anything human dominates the trailer. From the get-go, after Coleman, with no emotion, explains to a customer that he thinks her cat tried to commit suicide. At that moment, I knew the rest was not going to be promising. As it progresses, his boss calls him a lousy director so he says, “My system may not be perfect, but I help a lot of animals and I meet a lot of girls.” After a beat, he says excitedly, “My system is perfect!” The unsympathetic comedy protagonist has proven successful in past shows, but those kind of characters should be at least somewhat enjoyable. Most importantly, the characters and their surrounding situations should be funny and the attempt at humor seems very forced. Basically, I really don’t see Animal Practice lasting.