Don’t hold that blunder against Justin Kirk and his ensemble. Animal Practice is actually a fun show, and I say this as someone who generally loathes sitcoms. It may not be totally realistic, but I like its approach.
The premise is simple: Dr. George Coleman (Kirk) is a cranky veteran veterinarian at who loves helping his animal clients but generally dislikes their human owners. He has a system that works well — he helps animals and meets hot babes — until his ex-girlfriend Dorothy Crane (JoAnna Garcia Swisher) ends up taking over the hospital. They had a rather bad end to their relationship years ago, and now he is stuck having to deal with policy changes that she thinks will make the facility run more efficiently. She has some valid points, bur so does he. Naturally a personal and professional tug of war ensues, while we also get introduced to the hospital staff, their quirky personalities and their secret gambling pools on horse and turtle racing.
Why do I enjoy this comedy so much? Because I really do love animals and find that many pet owners are actually rather clueless about how to care for their loved ones, furry and otherwise. Dr. Coleman’s contempt for people is often justified, and he often breaks down human relationships in animal terms. Plus his monkey assistant Dr. Rizzo (Crystal the Monkey) is funny (and not overused), and the collection of critters that pass through the hospital fun eye candy.
Those gripes aside, the new pilot is still enjoyable, and I look forward to more animal hijinks this fall. It’s nice to see a show that’s not focused on whiny, self-absorbed people. Well, they’re still there on Animal Practice, but many of them get cut down to size. Awesome.