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September 2, 2015

It's good to see the old Addison Montgomery back

by Joel Keller, posted Oct 9th 2008 10:23AM
Kate Walsh on Private PracticeMainly because I watch Pushing Daisies at 8, but also because I can't find much else to watch at 9, I've tuned into the first two episodes of Private Practice's second season. During last year's aborted first season, I tuned in and out, curious to see how the Grey's Anatomy spin-off was progressing. What I found was a) a show that was too busy making its thirty- and forty-something doctors act as immaturely as the twenty-something residents at Seattle Grace and b) that Kate Walsh's character of Addison Montgomery went from strong and funny to whimpering and lovelorn.

The second development was especially disheartening, since Addison had become my favorite Grey's character by far, mainly because through sheer force of her acting ability, Walsh was able to turn Addison from a one-dimensional enemy of the Meredith-Derek relationship to the surgeon we rooted for the hardest.

But in the first two episodes, most of what I liked about Addison has returned. And what isn't there is on the way to coming back.

Overall, the PP I'm seeing now is more entertaining than the show I saw last year, mainly because Shonda Rhimes and her writers have injected some much-needed maturity into the storylines. Sure, Addison is still acting like a schoolgirl in her romantic life, trying to decide between cop Kevin Nelson (David Sutcliffe) and the practice's homeopathic specialist Pete Wilder (Tim Daly). But that storyline has been put on the back burner for now as she and Sam (Taye Diggs) try to dig the practice out of the financial mess that Sam's ex Naomi (Audra McDonald) got it into.

This is where I'm starting to see signs of the old Addie. Why? Because she knew she had to do something radical to keep the practice from going under, so she betrayed the confidence of her best friend Nai and told Sam about the bad investments she made. Remember, Nai is the person who persuaded Addie to chuck her life in Seattle and join the practice to begin with. But Addie had to make the tough choice, knowing that there was going to be a huge strain on her freindship with Naomi. Of course, Nai decides to freeze out Addie on a social basis, all the while having "hate sex" with Sam.

Instead of making speeches and rambling on about friendship, Addison is just taking it in, trying to draw Nai out wherever possible. It was refreshing to see that the issue wasn't resolved by the end of last night's episode, but Addison was determined to keep on trying.

It also helps that the medical cases are more front-and-center this year. Part of Addie's appeal was that she could perform complicated surgical procedures even while everything in her personal life is in chaos. We saw her apply her skills to a premature baby in the season premiere and I hope to see her do that more going forward.

Kate Walsh is too good of an actress to not take advantage of the full range of her abilities. Remember, this is the same woman who spent a half-dozen episodes of The Drew Carey Show in a fat suit; she can do funny as well as emotional, emotional as well as steely and calm. Grey's tapped into those skills well, and PP is starting to do that now. If Shonda hopes for a third season, she'd be wise to ride the skills of her star as far as they can take her.

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This show is silly- I like this take- (adult lang)


October 15 2008 at 6:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Apparently I'm not alone! I watched the first couple episodes last year because I loved Addison...the show was embarrassing. This year Wednesday is so incredibly stale that I tuned in last week. And put it on my season pass. I am really enjoying it and don't see any of that embarrassing stuff from last year. They are still emotional, catty and interesting, but they don't seem like 40 year olds playing 20. They are more like me at 40(ish). I'm in.

And blue is definitely Kate Walsh's color. Good Gawd she looked fantastic.

October 09 2008 at 11:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Carissa's comment

Though really is there any color that would look bad on her? The woman is a fox.

October 09 2008 at 12:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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