PRIVATE PRACTICE: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON
MOVIE: * (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
While I may not be a fan of “Grey’s Anatomy,” I loathe “Private Practice.” I loathe it so much, it got me in trouble with the fans of Kate Walsh for some snarks I made on Twitter about it. But I really don’t have a problem with Walsh, or any of the other actors (except maybe Amy Brenneman). I have a problem with the construct of the series. “Private Practice” is a thinly-veiled platform on which to preach politics, religion and secular humanism. Complicated medical issues-of-the-week and social commentary are shoe-horned into the show to the point of irreparably damaging characters.
Season Four of “Private Practice” will forever be known to me as “The Rape Season” because so much of it focused on the sexual assault of the character of Charlotte King. Forgive me if I seem to brittle about this, but I’m not a fan of rape in television or movies. It’s either an exploitative means of terror (like in films such as “The Last House on the Left”) or a feeble attempt to continue drama in a storyline that has lost it (like in pretty much every soap opera that has ever aired on daytime TV). If you’re wrapped up in the uncomfortable personal drama of the characters, sure, you’ll eat this up. I’m not, though, and the storyline quickly became tiresome.
“Private Practice” suffers from the same problem that “Grey’s Anatomy” does… all the characters are assholes. Whether it’s because they’ve suffered in the past or because they believe they are the best at what they do, they’re awful people with no redeeming value. I pity showrunner Shonda Rimes because clearly she thinks the world is a zero-sum game and you have to be an asshole to get ahead. I prefer to have a more optimistic view of life, and while I’m not making millions of dollars running two hit shows for ABC, I have a better outlook on humanity… and I’m okay with that.
Scant bonus features on these discs include deleted scenes, bloopers and the wildly awkwardly-named “An Inside Look: The Violation of Charlotte King.”