While it’s understandable that, in its fourth episode, Animal Practice would want to try to focus on a secondary character as a means of expanding, “Dr. Yamamazing” is a real misstep for a show that was already walking on fairly thin ice. The biggest reason this episode fails to land is that Dr. Yamamoto may just be the weakest character on the show. He’s both cloying and grating, and putting him right in the spotlight is a not a good way for this show to get better, in my eyes.
The central incident of his plot, that Bloomberg’s dog got hit by the Cash Cab, could have been funny, and is a great use of the show’s central veterinary hospital conceit. It’s just that it hinges entirely on Dr. Coleman’s status as an insensitive expert, which is exactly the kind of boring medical character trope we’ve seen a thousand times before, and Animal Practice doesn’t bring anything new to it.
The side plots all disappoint too. The new veterinarian that George sleeps with is a non-entity with no discernible or interesting characteristics (she’s cocky I guess? The show didn’t make me care), and the dude from Colorado was a weird gag that didn’t go weird or specific enough, hinging mostly on references to sports teams and skiing. None of the jokes made me laugh, and it felt like an extended time-filler.
Running around in between all this were Dr. Rizzo and Angela (Juanita, about whom we’ve still learned absolutely nothing), and they were honestly the best parts of the episode. It’s a little strange that Angela, whose entire presence feels hack, is the thing I’m complimenting, but when everything else is so uncomfortable, I’m just glad that someone seems to be trying to make me laugh at some point in this show. The monkey, too, remains dependable, and it seems like the writers just give her one thing to do each episode, and it works. This time, she cleaned things. It was cute. The monkey can’t fail.
But how did you guys feel about “Dr. Yamamazing”? Please tell me not everyone’s as depressed about the episode as I was. It’d cheer me up to know at least someone liked watching this show this week.