Thursday, February 12, 2009

So...Exactly...What WAS the Point of the spinoff?

So, I'm currently watching the Private Practice/Grey's Anatomy crossover. It's the Private Practice half now. During the Grey's portion, I did, at least feel like I was interested. I mean, in spite of some horrid mistakes over the past two seasons, Grey's still continues to compell me.

I admit, when I sat down to watch the two hours of television, I did wonder if I'd have quitter's remorse towards Private Practice. I gave it up a few months ago and still remember the show, the characters and the reason that I quit in the first place.

Then I watched tonight's crossover and I realized that no, in fact, I did not miss this awful show.

I do miss Dr. Cooper, the unlucky-in-love pediatrician. But I don't actually miss Dr. Cooper, I miss Agent Kellerman from Prison Break, also played by Paul Adelstein. I miss Kellerman's ruthlessness, his backbone, his vicious sense of purpose. I do not, however, miss Dr. Cooper's drippy world of Oceanside Wellness.

I miss Addison Montgomery but not the Addison from Private Practice. I miss the Addison from Grey's Anatomy. Seeing her back at Seattle Grace again reminded me why I missed the old days of Grey's. These days, the hallways are filled with too much drama that seems so farfetched, it's hard to relate. Tonight, I hated watching Meredith, who has come so far over the past season, who has confronted her demons and named them, watch the love of her life morph into a different man, a man she doesn't know.

Because tonight, Derek became a character on Private Practice and that was ugly. I don't care that he wrote a song for Addison for their wedding. I don't care that his oldest, dearest friends are suddenly back in his life. I like Derek with Meredith. I like the Derek who remains steadfastedly a part of Seattle Grace, not the one who's caught in the half-life between Oceanside Wellness and the world we've seen him occupy for the past four years.

Mostly, I confess, I hate that I'm being suckered into watching the insipidly annoying characters of Private Practice. I want to like them....but I can't. I find myself wondering how Dr. Charlotte can have such terrible hair. I wonder how Taye Diggs can pick such bad roles (Kevin Hill, anyone?) and still remain attractive. I wonder how Tim Daly can be so bland. Then Dell, the midwife-receptionist-whatever-he-is-these-days, wanders on screen and suddenly I find myself missing Veronica Mars with a longing that only the best TV can fulfill.

I can't complain, really. At times, Grey's still fulfills that longing. These days, Lost is blowing me away with its intricate genius. I'm watching 24 and enjoying Jack Bauer's breathless sense of action for the first time in several seasons. And tomorrow, I have the first episode of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse to look forward to. So there is good TV to watch. I'm just not watching it at the moment, no matter how much they try to throw Alex Karev, Derek Shepard or Dr. Bailey at us during an episode of Private Practice. I mean, seriously, isn't the whole reason Addison left in the first place was to try something new?

Clearly, if that something new has to rely on the something old to get some ratings, something is wrong. I gave Private Practice a fair shake, a season and a half of watching. Yet it annoyed me and I quit. Now I'm watching it for the first time in weeks just because it's gone back to the world that gave it life in the first place.

It's like trying to take a cutting from a plant. Sometimes, it can thrive on its own and grow into something unique, something different. Yet sometimes that cutting can't survive on its own, it has to go back to its source to survive and renew it.

And that is where we are with Private Practice. It was a noble experiment but it just didn't work. It's time to either take the transplant back to its roots or put it out of its misery. Addison is a strong character but she's not enough to support a dying show. She needs to go back to Seattle Grace. She can take the place of Izzie and George, if the rumours are true that Katherine Heigl and T.R Knight are really leaving. I think Grey's would be better for it. If not, at least the 10 p.m. slot behind Grey's could be filled with something new.

I gave Private Practice a fair shot. I even tried tonight but when I'm spending the hour blogging instead of watching, you know something's wrong. I hate this Archer character. He's annoying. I think I'm supposed to, actually. Yet when he's just one of a roster of annoying characters, it's nothing special.

Also, I hate being manipulated in having to watch a show because otherwise, a story is not complete. Seriously, Private Practice, if you need Grey's Anatomy to give you life, it's time to let go. Seriously. Seriously.

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