“Animal Practice” is a new comedy centering on Dr. George Coleman (Justin Kirk, “Weeds,” “Angels in America”), a top veterinarian with an impressive list of famous animal patients at the Crane Animal Hospital – a bustling New York City veterinary practice where it often seems as if the patients are running the place. Despite his unorthodox style, George has an undeniable gift with animals of all kinds – except the human kind. Much to his chagrin, George recently learned that his ex-girlfriend, Dorothy Crane (JoAnna Garcia Swisher, “Better with You”), has inherited the family business and is now George’s boss. Whip-smart and ambitious, Dorothy shakes up the hospital as she brings order to the chaos and butts heads with George’s animal-friendly administration.
In truth when the show opens the Crane Animal Hospital looks more like a zoo that has been overrun by the animals. The waiting room is so full that there is barely any room to stand. There is a peacock in the middle of the waiting room, there are runaway chickens, and turtles racing with guinea pigs on their back, a pot belied pig, as well as what looks like a komodo dragon being held by a little girl, and of course about half a dozen cats and dogs not exactly your run of the mill veterinarians office. Its even less run of the mill when you consider that the resident mascot is a Capuchin Monkey. I do like the idea of the show a comedy centering around a veterinary practice because lets face it anyone who has spent time around animals knows that you can’t help but smile and that they do funny things when you least expect it. It seems that Dr. Coleman really loves the animals and is a top notch surgeon who really wants to help them all.
I don’t think I am in love with the fact that they have a trained primate who has a leading role in the series. Crystal the monkey stars as Dr. Rizzo, Dr. Coleman’s (Justin Kirk) “medical assistant” and closest companion. Crystal is a trained female capuchin monkey and animal actor who has had countless onscreen roles in popular television shows and films. Crystal has appeared in over 20 films; her earliest roles were in “George of the Jungle,” “Dr. Dolittle,” “Dr. Dolittle II,” “American Pie” and “American Pie 2.” Show business is all this Capuchin has known yes she looks well taken care of probably very healthy but I don’t think it should play a leading role in a comedy about a veterinary hospital. Capuchins do not make good pets not to mention it is illegal to own one in NYC where this is taking place. It’s that many Capuchin that end up as pets have all of their teeth removed by their owners because they will bite even before their teeth are removed they aren’t fed a proper diet that would keep them healthy they are treated like little dolls or babies to be spoiled. Those who don’t have their teeth removed often loose their teeth because their owners don’t get them the proper medical care and routine teeth cleanings they need. Animal Practice could have their choice of mascot animals that would have been much less controversial a dog trained to do tricks, a little penguins waddling around the practice, a majestic peacock, a cat that gives everyone the evil eye, or like you might find in a real veterinary office a parrot that the staff is trying to nurse back to health after it pulled all its feather out.
Here is the Pilot Episode of Animal Practice for you to check out and tell us what you think.
The series premiere is scheduled to air on September 26, 2012. I did think it was funny and the story line seemed interesting when Dorothy Crane stepped in and changed the waiting room to have the sounds track from Cats playing in the background. I am going to reserve judgement on the show as a whole until I see another Episode or Two Of Animal Practice.
Felissa Elfenbein is the author and creator of Two Little Cavaliers. She loves to travel and so do her two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Davinia and Indiana. We have lived in NYC, Florida, Georgia, Berlin, Germany, & Hong Kong.
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