Classic, brilliant, hilarious, poignant & long forgotten!
I don't remember that many specific details about this program. It's been a while since I've seen it, and to the best of my knowledge, it's been a while since it's been available to be seen. However, I do remember that this was a funny, meaningful and intriguing program, right up there with the best intelligent classic television comedies of the seventies.
Certain actors were meant to play gruff old men, and absolutely thrived when they did. Danny Thomas was one of them. Walter Matthau, of course, was another. Even when these performers were young, their successful characters generally had the personalities of jaded, sardonic, crotchety seniors. Walter, of course, peaked as old geezers like KOTCH and as Willy Clark of THE SUNSHINE BOYS, twenty years before he ever became a genuine GRUMPY OLD MAN. And as the old grumpy doctor in THE PRACTICE, genuine senior citizen Danny Thomas was at his best. Showbiz folklore is that Danny also felt that this was a masterpiece of a program, and that he never forgave NBC for canceling it.
What's most significant about THE PRACTICE, and what's not even mentioned here in IMDb, is that a good amount of the episodes were written by the absolutely brilliant Steve Gordon. Steve, of course, made his mark by writing and directing one of the truly great comedies of the last quarter century, ARTHUR. Unfortunately, Steve died shortly after that, and never had the chance to leave us with more of his true genius. If Steve had lived another few years, his name might be in the film history books, next to Preston Sturgess. For that reason alone, this small bit of his creativity needs to be shared with the world. I can't imagine why this program has not been released on DVD. Maybe it's because Steve and Danny aren't around to make it happen.
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