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"Private Practice" Rundown: Episode 2, "In Which Sam Receives an Unexpected Visitor"

"Private Practice" Rundown: Episode 2, "In Which Sam Receives an Unexpected Visitor"

It's week two of the season, and I'm beginning to wonder when I'm going to start tuning into "Private Practice" because of its inventive plot and compelling characters. Mostly, I'm still watching because I can't see Addison on "Grey's Anatomy" anymore. On the other hand, I thought this week's episode was somewhat better than the first one, and there might yet be the makings of a solid series in there. To chat about it, just

Interestingly, this week's episode was supposed to be the season's fourth episode, but it was moved up because ABC thought viewers would be sucked in by the swapped-baby story. I can't lie: I was sucked in. It was certainly the best medical case of the two (or three, depending on how you're counting) episodes we've seen, and even though it's a story that pretty much every medical show ever has done at some point, that doesn't make it less emotionally affecting. I was impressed by the scene where the mothers talked to each other about their babies, sharing all the things only a mother would know. It's an emotional note the rest of the show hasn't quite managed to hit yet, but it's nice to know it's possible.

My biggest problem with the show so far is that it hasn't quite figured out how to tie the cases and the doctors' lives together yet. Sam and Naomi's marriage issues aren't that compelling, and I really, really don't care about Violet and her ex (though watching her take out her aggression by hammering away at a $6,000 bike was pretty awesome). "Grey's Anatomy" has always made a point of making its medical cases mirror the doctors' lives, and while that's occasionally annoying — as with last week's change = change situation — it still makes the show more cohesive. I would have liked it if Sam's case with the poisoning grandma, in particular, fit more neatly into the theme of the episode. (Was there a theme to the episode? Maybe that's the problem.)

A few other thoughts:

  • One person who had the potential to be a scene-stealer is KaDee Strickland as Charlotte, the tough hospital administrator, but I just can't believe her as a tough whip-cracker. I keep imagining how much better Brooke Smith (Dr. Hahn, Burke's rival from the second-season finale of "Grey's Anatomy") would be in the role.
  • I actually thought it was kind of amusing that they ordered Sam a stripper. At least they didn't order him a stripper at work.
  • Will every conversation between Addison and Pete end with Pete saying "You want me to kiss you again"? His whole "I like my women real" speech also didn't ring true for me as something he'd say to someone he's known for such a short time, but maybe that's where the plan for this to be the fourth episode comes into play.
  • Naomi's best reason why Sam should appreciate her: "I do the New York Times crossword puzzle in pen."

Did this episode help you warm up any to "Private Practice"? Or do you still see it lacking? And will you keep tuning in?

Photos copyright 2007 ABC, Inc.

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