Third-episode verdict: Animal Practice (NBC/ITV2)

The BarrometerA Barrometer rating of 5

In the US: Wednesdays, 8/7c, NBC
In the UK: Acquired by ITV2

So I made it through to three episodes. I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to, since the first episode was pretty abysmal: "Worse than eating ground up glass" as someone recently suggested to me.

But I’ve made it all the same, which is more than you can say of some other new comedies: Partners, The New Normal and Guys With Kids all managed to destroy any sense of tolerance for them I might have had before the end of the second episode.

I think that’s less a reflection on the quality of Animal Practice than it is on the other shows, though, since Animal Practice is largely dreadful. Beyond a couple of decent central performances by Justin Kirk and JoAnna Garcia, there is nothing worth watching in the show at all. No jokes. No decent characters. No interesting plots. Nothing.

Normally, one of my complaints about shows is lack of characterisation for supporting characters. I will not make this complaint here, because the writers have tried to give the supporting cast some characterisation. It just sucks. Very badly. I don’t want to get to know any of these people any better. I don’t want to watch a show dedicated to one stereotype’s fear of puppets.

I will admit that the second episode was marginally better than the others, having one of two jokes and a couple of decent scenes. But that’s it and life’s too short to keep watching comedies that are this seriously unfunny.

So don’t watch Animal Practice – watch The Mindy Project, since that’s funny.

Barrometer rating: 5
Rob’s prediction: Cancelled before the end of the season>


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.