I really liked Grey’s Anatomy, so when the spin-off Private Practice started I watched it. The first season was an unmitigated disaster. Many implausible medical story lines and corny gimmicks – remember the talking elevator anyone?
Now in its 3rd season (I think) the medical situations are a little more plausible. However, the doctors are still overly involved in their patients’ lives. There was one episode where a patient of one of the doctors was homeless and on the run because the father had kidnapped him from the mom. The kid had diabetes and needed medication and follow-up but he and his father could no longer go to the clinic because the police were aware of the situation. So two of the doctors met up with him in a park where they had waited for a long time for them to come. I may have some of the details wrong but you get the idea.
What Private Practice does really well is sex. Initially there were 3 female and 3 male doctors. The first couple seasons they had enough fodder (and people) to have them all hook up. Cooper was in love with Violet but it was unreqited. Addison was in love with Pete and I think she slept with him*. With Naomi** and Sam tied up in a marriage they quickly ran out of combinations and permutations.
With the numbers of sexual partners for each character diminishing the show brought in a hospital administrator who is a caricature of the professional woman who will do anything to get ahead in her career. She has all the warmth of a scorpion but in spite of her personality one of the doctors, Cooper, sleeps with her. They fall in love but the relationship is always threatened by his unrequited love for Violet.
To make things more interesting they bring in a competing practice in the same building. Ostensibly, Charlotte – the demonic administrator, has been hired to run this other practice with the goal of bringing down the good doctors of Pacific Wellness. But there is a theme here – they needed more characters with whom the doctors can have sex. Enter Charlotte, another psychiatrist and now the president of the other clinic.
Unless Private Practice is going to end up with a huge ensemble cast the show needs another solution. My suggestion is that all the characters become bisexual. This would, effectively, double the numbers of sexual opportunities. They can save money by not paying more actors. The new story lines might attract more viewers than the show gets now – a win for the network and advertisers. I would say that this show has jumped the shark but it was never really that good to begin with. If it were to become more outlandish who would notice?
* i all honesty who has Addison not slept with…
**Who they are all calling Nay now. What grown woman allows people to call her Nay?
ETA – I wrote this yesterday and it did not post!