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"Private Practice": Episode 1, "In Which We Meet Addison, a Nice Girl from Somewhere Else"

"Private Practice": Episode 1, "In Which We Meet Addison, a Nice Girl from Somewhere Else"

"This is not my Addison." — Chief Richard Webber

Wasn't that quote, from the very first scene of "Private Practice," a funny way to start the series? It set us up for what we were about to see: an Addison different from the one we saw on "Grey's Anatomy," for better or worse.

Maybe it was a case of having low expectations going in, but I didn't think the first proper episode of "Private Practice" was awful. And yet, it was still a long way from being must-see TV. I didn't think it was bad, per se — just utterly ordinary, without a whole lot to bring me back. To hear my thoughts on it and share your own, just

For ease, I'm going to divide this into three categories: The Good, The Bad, and The Meh.

The Good

  • Addison and Richard's scene in Seattle Grace. I'd been expecting the more demure resignation scene from these clips, so I was glad that it was reshot to be more dynamic.
  • The chemistry between Amy Brenneman's Violet and Paul Adelstein's Cooper. One of my issues with the show is that it seems cobbled together from people from other canceled series (Tim Daly, Taye Diggs, etc.), but these two and their characters have a depth to their relationship that nobody else does yet.
  • Dell the receptionist getting something to do. I really like Chris Lowell, and I was worried he was just going to be surfer-boy eye candy, so I'm glad he's an aspiring midwife who will actually get to add to the show in ways other than looks.
  • Audra McDonald as Naomi. I can't say much about her chemistry with Addison yet, but I did like the way she kept Addison's hiring a secret from the other co-op members and then told Addison she needed to be "her someone." Much like Meredith being Cristina's "person," eh?

The Bad

  • The Addison-dancing-naked scene. Actually, that scene was fine — it was the scene that followed, with her babbling awkwardly to Sam about looking good naked, that made me cringe. And I hated how by about 17 seconds within Addison's arrival at Oceanside, everyone knew that 1) Sam had seen Addison naked and 2) Pete had kissed her.
  • Some of the medical stories at the co-op seemed like the writers were making it up as they went along. There were no shock paddles for the guy who had a stroke, but there were for the girl delivering her baby? They're a well-respected alternative medicine center that can't get to an ambulance in under 20 minutes? I liked Addison's struggles with moving into that kind of environment, but some of the details seemed like a stretch.
  • That one actress wailing "give me his sperm, now!" Thankfully, she went away quickly.
  • The medical cases themselves. Addison's was juicy, but the other two didn't interest me at all, especially because Sam and Naomi's only served as a referendum on the state of Sam and Naomi.

The Meh

  • Addison. I still can't tell if she's going to be strong, stubborn Addison or weak, ditzy Addison. We saw both here — the strong (her refusing to leave Oceanside) and the weak (the babbling about being naked).
  • The lack of spark. I thought the episode was utterly OK overall, with nothing compelling to get me to watch again. I keep thinking back to that opening scene, with Richard saying "I'll keep your job open as long as I can." Does that apply in real life, too? Can Kate Walsh go back to "Grey's" if this doesn't work out?

So, what did you think? Better than you were expecting — or worse?

Photos copyright 2007 ABC, Inc.

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