Feb 13, 2011

Dear Private Practice...

I am trying love the show.   I have never missed an episode and defend it vigorously from detractors when they bash it.   But let's face the fact that after Violet was held hostage and sliced open so the kooky lady could steal her baby, the show was never quite the same.   Dale's on again off again girlfriend died, then he died- leaving his kid alone in the world and instead of having any of the characters taking her in, she was given up to child services.   Ok, not the way I wanted that one to play out (mostly because killing Dale was irritating- he was a positive breath of fresh air in an office full of baggage laden doctors) but I can let that one slide.   Then, Naomi's boyfriend dies and she sort of stops appearing so often on the show, which is fine because she kind of just gets uptight about everything anyway.   She should have dated the paralyzed guy and had a great storyline there, but whatever, your loss not mine.

I started to question you when Charlotte was attacked by Xander Lee.   As much as I am a supporter of educating people about anti-female violence, maybe a cable TV show where the characters routinely sleep with each other with disastrous results isn't exactly the right forum for a message of hope.   I think it was done very vividly and made me feel extremely uncomfortable watching it.   Worse though, was watching a bruised and battered Charlotte limp back into her former self and when she is finally starting to get back on her feet again- Lee comes back into the hospital this time with a knife in his chest and Sam has to save his life.   Now the plot is starting to annoy me.

I would probably have just accepted all of this were it not for the part of the story that just wrapped up the latest episode (Season 4, #13 Blind Love).   Addison has a tense relationship with her mother , Bizzy from the start of the show.   (What kind of waspy name is Bizzy anyway?).   It gets comical when after hating her father 'The Captain' for years for stepping out on Bizzy, Addison finds out that her mother is actually a lesbian and now that she is divorced from her husband, she is openly partnered with her lover Susan who is dying from cancer.   Of course, they come to Addison's hospital for treatment and somehow Addison also plans their wedding for them.   At the wedding, which of course was the most dramatic place for this to happen, Susan collapses.   After telling Addison there is a DNR (do not resuscitate) when Susan goes into heart failure, Addison stands there and does nothing, per the DNR, as Susan dies- while Bizzy is frantically trying to  save her.

Up to this point I was on board albeit frustrated with the direction of the story, but there's not much else I can do about it so the final event is what really pushed me over the edge regarding my love/hate relationship with Private Practice.   Bizzy is furious with Addison for not saving Susan, and when Addison comes to her hotel room to pack up Susan's things it is very tense until Addison finally has that moment she has wanted all of her life.   She bonds with her mother and they communicate that they do love each other after all.   Then Bizzy tells Addison to go, they'll finish packing the next day...and the feeling in my stomach got stronger...because when Addison showed up a few hours later having decided not to leave her mother alone after all, Bizzy is dead from an overdose with a note telling Addison to apologize to the staff for the inconvenience and to lie and tell everyone she died in her sleep because the truth is too embarrassing.

So Private Practice, I have figured out your master plan.   Essentially you are going to kill off every single character one by one instead of admitting the show is running it's course rather quickly and ending it on a high note.   I beg you to reconsider, or recast and bring in some fresh characters who do not carry rape, kidnapping, scars, baggage or unadopted child remorse.   Just a thought.


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