It's Summer, and that means it's time for my Five Questions series, where I reflect on the most recent seasons of some favorite shows and chat about their challenges for the future. Today, I'm posing some questions for Private Practice, which will launch its third season this Fall.
- What's Violet's condition? Despite the dire circumstances in which we last saw Violet, Amy Brenneman was on set when I visited last week, and there are some spoilers at that link about what she may be facing this Fall. Even if Violet does live, how will she live? Will the attack leave her permanently damaged? Will she have flashbacks to that horrifying scene? Speaking of which . . .
- Will Private Practice turn into a parade of over-the-top plotlines? Even Brenneman herself said it felt like she was "in a Quentin Tarantino movie — I'm in a whole other universe" during the season finale, and I hope this Violet situation is an anomaly. I like when the doctors interact and fall for each other and work out dilemmas. I like when this show moves me. I do not like it when it suddenly feels like an episode of Law and Order: SVU. The show needs to create buzz and draw in viewers, but there's got to be a better way.
For my next three questions, just read more.
- Can Naomi really run a competing practice? Do we want to watch her set up a new business that competes the one all of her friends are running? Naomi's office was conspicuously empty on set. But part of me still thinks she'll be back at Oceanside before long, and I think that might be for the best. I like everyone on the same team.
- Who should and should not be romantically involved? Assuming Violet survives, do we like her with Pete? Should this be a long relationship that spans many episodes? I'm not sure I see it lasting forever, but they may already share a child. And what about Naomi and Sam? It seems like they can never quite get over each other, and the friendship thing is officially not working out well at all. Will this next season be all about them moving on or moving back? And will Charlotte and Cooper ever get it together, or will they always be sort of annoyingly mismatched?
- Could we have some more humor? At one point last season, I dubbed Private Practice "the show that kills children" because it seems like one kid or another was constantly in peril. True, I like to have my heartstrings tugged, but part of the original appeal of Oceanside was that it would be lighter than Seattle Grace. Sometimes this show does have great comic relief — especially with Cooper — and I really wouldn't mind seeing more of that in season three. These friends have great chemistry together; not everything needs to be so heavy all the time.
Photo copyright 2009 ABC, Inc.