Animal Practice (NBC) “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong” Review

Animal Practice (NBC) Little Miss Can't Be Wrong Episode 2

As of its second episode, “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong,” Animal Practice is still trying to find its footing. There’s a lot of different tones trying to blend together here, and it doesn’t always mesh, but there’s certainly some worthwhile things to pick out of the slush. For instance, this episode’s cold open, in which Dr. Coleman and Dr. Rizzo go through their morning routines in tandem. It’s the exact kind of monkey-based humor I expected and desired from Animal Practice, and it delivers.

Rizzo’s running sideplot this episode largely delivers as well; the painting sequence set to music in the middle of the episode is a high point, even if it may end on a lazy Tim Tebow gag. Laziness like that courses through the show, however, and whenever it pops up, I just wanted to groan. The wacky trio of minor characters were pretty much terrible across the board, though not for lack of trying; Betsy Sodaro’s nurse Angela is the kind of quirk that sitcoms often try to push, expecting some kind of breakout character, but there’s simply too much going on in her. The actress seems game, and with a little bit of toning down, and maybe more specific character traits, she could certainly become a worthwhile part of the show. As of now, though, she’s full to the point of meaninglessness, an alcoholic space cadet with a masochistic streak and absolutely no social graces.

In fact, none of the characters are sanded down quite yet, except maybe Justin Kirk’s cranky Dr. House-ian lead, and Tyler Labine’s bro-who’s-really-a-big-softy. The two clash well, but the attempt at an emotional payoff at the end of this episode fell flat for me. It’s too soon; that plotline was the kind of thing that might have worked after a whole season of will-they-won’t-they friendship antagonism. It did, however, produce what I thought was the strongest gag of the episode, the simple visual joke of the dog’s head taped over the game of Operation.

And its gags like that they give me hope for Animal Practice, despite all the doubts I’ve been expressing here. The writing of the show is solid, and over time, I can definitely see it becoming the kind of light, ensemble workplace comedy that sticks around for a lot of seasons, and is always enjoyable to sit through, if never quite groundbreaking or artistically daring. Which isn’t what I want from the show, anyway. What I want is a monkey pressing all the elevator buttons and then smiling like a douchebag. Which I got.

Feel free to hit the comments and tell me how you felt, though. Was there some genius here I was missing? Or am I crazy for even thinking a single joke in this show is funny at all?