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"Animal Practice" Pilot (2012)

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A funny mix between "Scrubs" and Ace Ventura

Author: Christopher Smith
13 August 2012

At this point in time, almost every single idea for a sitcom has been done. This is especially true of workplace sitcoms. There have been countless sitcoms about pretty much every occupation imaginable that would lend itself to big laughs. To my surprise, "Animal Practice" manages to be at least slightly original since, at least to my knowledge, there has never been a sitcom about an animal hospital before. Even more surprising is that "Animal Practice" is actually quite funny. One would expect the pilot to be filled with non-stop slapstick gags and jokes about animals' bodily functions. This easily could have been filled with endless amounts of low brow humor and been a chore to sit through. Thankfully, there is no slapstick or bodily humor to be found in this first episode. While there are many jokes about a particular monkey that may strike some viewers as gimmicky, most of the humor is character based. While it's true that some of the characters may come across as typical wacky sitcom characters, it seems that they will be more developed in later episodes. At least all the characters are funny and none of them are grating like most sitcom characters. Justin Kirk is fantastic as the lead, providing the same charm and great delivery he provides as Uncle Andy on "Weeds" only without the sleaziness. Tyler Labine is also highly amusing as one of Kirk's co-workers, playing a very different type from the characters that he played on "Reaper" and "Sons of Tucson". The scenes that Kirk and Labine share together in the pilot are the highlights as the two have fun chemistry that will hopefully continue to be put to good use in future episodes. While it's an entirely possible that "Animal Practice" could turn into more of a generic sitcom as the season progresses, right now it stands as an entertaining mix between "Scrubs" and the Ace Ventura movies. Recommended. 8/10

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