A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Animal Practice is a sitcom that leans heavily on sexual banter and awkward set-ups for its humor, and much of the dialogue among the adult cast is too racy for tweens' ears. Sex is a hot topic in this workplace, and coworkers talk about getting laid, "anger bangs," and meeting hookers. Cursing is also a concern; "hell" and "ass" are the strongest words. The characters often skirt around basic rules of behavior because of their own convictions, and there's little repercussion when they do.
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What's the story?
ANIMAL PRACTICE is set in a bustling New York City veterinary hospital whose celebrated chief, Dr. George Coleman (Justin Kirk), works miracles with his patients but struggles to relate to their owners. He's surrounded by an unlikely staff that includes socially inept Nurse Angela (Betsy Sodaro), lovelorn Dr. Doug Jackson (Tyler Labine), a clever capuchin monkey named Dr. Rizzo (Crystal), and the highly competent nurse Juanita (Kym Whitley), who tries her best to keep the group on track. But when the hospital's owner passes away and leaves the business to her granddaughter, Dorothy (JoAnna Garcia Swisher), who just happens to be George's ex-girlfriend, the fur really starts to fly.
Is it any good?
Animal Practice's content doesn't live up to the talents of its individual stars, so it tries to stretch the limits with rapid-fire banter among the bizarre group of cast members. It works for a while, but it's not enough to reel you in and make you want to stay to watch for any length of time. In fact, some of the show's funniest moments come at the hands of the cute capuchin in a mini lab coat, but even that humor can only last so long.
Because there's so little new ground to be explored in the story, the show falls back on a lot of sexual references and tension between a couple who used to be bedmates. It plays up awkwardness and power struggles, plus a lot of euphemisms and pregnant pauses between characters. Bottom line? There's so little of value to Animal Practice that there's just no need to broach the sexual content with your teens. When all is said and done, there are better options out there.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the nature of comedy. Do you find Animal Practice funny? What are its best attributes? Do you think it has staying power? Why or why not?
Teens: What messages does the show send about relationships? Could any of the relationships it presents be considered healthy? What, if anything, do the characters' interactions say about real-life relationships?
What responsibility does entertainment have to teach? Should that be a consideration for the creators of shows, movies, and games? Are the expectations different for products geared toward kids and those aimed at adults?
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