Earlier this spring, ABC announced that it was planning a spin-off of the hit show Grey’s Anatomy featuring Kate Walsh’s character Addison Montgomery. When I first hear the news I was less than thrilled. Now that I’ve finally seen Thursday’s two-hour episode of Grey’s Anatomy which sets up the spin-off show Private Practice (working title), I’m still not sold.
Here’s the setup: Rejected by the men in her life, Addison takes time off from Seattle Grace and heads south to Los Angeles to visit an old friend, Naomi (Merrin Dungey). Addison has decided she wants a baby of her own and Naomi, in addition to being a long-time friend, is a fertility specialist. Unfortunately, motherhood is not in the cards for Addison, but she does help an unusual group of parents during her visit.
Anyone who’s been living in a cave for the last six months and did not know about the spin-off, had no doubts after tonight’s episode. Naomi and her ex-husband Sam (Taye Diggs) and just about every other person in the practice mention that Addison was welcomed to the empty office in every other breathe. That’s not foreshadowing, that’s smack you in the face hints.
I understand why ABC worked the pilot of Private Practice into a two-hour episode of Grey. The concept worked well for Melrose Place and 90210 (yes, I know I’m showing my age). I think ABC would be smart if they also followed the same lead and put Private Practice in the line up following Grey on Thursdays.
What is different between this spin-off and Melrose is that Private Practice involves taking one of the primary characters for its parent show. This point is probably what puts me off from the idea of the new series. Addison is my favorite character on Grey. I don’t want to see her go.
In fact, lately she’s the reason I watch Grey. I’ve always found the title character Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) far too whiny and needy for my tastes and am thankful that the show relies on an ensemble cast. And the storyline between George (T.R. Knight) and Izzie (Kathrine Heigl) has me screaming at the TV each week.
By far, Addison is the most fascinating character. I love her chemistry with Karev (Justin Chambers) and with Sloan (Eric Dane). Not that she had bad chemistry with Pete (Tim Daly), the new age doctor in LA. But I really wanted them to play out the storyline with Karev and I don’t think they did. It’s also nice to have a female surgeon among all the men especially in the run for chief.
I will admit that I think Private Practice has a great cast. I’d love to see Tim Daly in prime time again. And if Deadline Hollywood Daily is to be believed, the spin-off is a go. In the end, unless in conflicts with another of my favorite shows, I’ll be giving Private Practice a chance.
The real question is will Private Practice put Grey’s Anatomy out to pasture? I’m sure I’m not the only one tired of Meredith’s whining. And I’ve heard that the behind-the-scenes drama has turned several fans off the show.
Guess we’ll have to wait until the fall to find out.
(Photo courtesy of ABC.com)