Shonda Rhimes had a big hit on her hands with Grey’s Anatomy, so after five years she did what comes naturally in her situation. You spin the success off in the hope that the fans just can’t get enough in just one night. At first it appeared to me she had chosen the wrong character to put out on her own. I mean, I never considered Kate Walsh as
Dr. Addison Montgomery (Walsh) is looking for a change. She’s feeling a little burned out in
What happened was that a well cast show won me partly over. I ended up enjoying the episodes more than I expected. I still find all of this musical beds soap opera stuff tedious, but I also discovered that Private Practice might actually be about more. OK. It’s not. Still, the show is incredibly well cast, and that will be its saving grace, if you will. It’s almost as if Rhimes put together an all-star baseball team. Almost every member of the cast had been in shows where they were the top character. Kate Walsh might be the least known member of the cast, at least to the non-Grey’s Anatomy fans out there. Unfortunately the writer’s strike came and put an end to any grand schemes the cast and crew might have had for the first season. It never really found its footing, and the cast didn’t have the chemistry they have the potential for, so I’d say the jury is still out on Private Practice, but there could be some good times ahead.
Each episode of Private Practice is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. This is a nice transfer that seems to work almost all the way around. Colors are near perfect reference, particularly flesh tones. Black levels are nicely rendered, adding a depth of detail to the darker scenes. This is a brighter palette than Grey’s was. The lighting reflects the sunny
The Dolby Digital 5.1 track works. The film utilizes the common trend of using music to work a few montage images into the story. The music is not merely stereo mixes thrown into the bunch, but decent 5.1 mixes in their own right. Dialog, which is essentially the entire show, is always upfront and center where you’re sure to catch every word.
There are Commentary Tracks on 3 of the episodes. Mostly it’s a lot of glowing love fest stuff.
Deleted Scenes: There are 6 of them from the 9 episodes that you can play individually or with that handy play all option.
Kate Walsh – Practice Makes Perfect: I wonder what the other cast members think about this just over half hour feature. It’s basically a bio of Kate Walsh, including family and friends talking about her great skills and such. It seems out of place for such an ensemble show. If you’re a Kate Walsh fan, you’ll love it; otherwise you’ll likely be scratching your head.
Alternative Ensemble – Behind The Scenes Of Private Practice: At just under 15 minutes this piece pretty much covers the rest of the cast. Most of it is cast members telling you about their characters.
Bloopers: Typical stuff here.
Extended Episodes: The first and third episodes are slightly extended. I didn’t see the broadcast versions, so I have no idea what was actually added.
I’m willing to admit that the show does exhibit promise, but I likely won’t end up a fan. The musical beds routines wear quickly with me, and I need a lot more from that kind of a series to keep my interest. Granted the cast is quite excellent, and the production values are quite good. The writing leaves me scratching my head more often than not, and that’s what just kills it for me. I will be curious to see where it goes with a full season, so I’ll likely be back in these pages next year talking about season two. Hopefully they’ll be more meat and less meet. “The point is we should not be having all this sex in the office.”