Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Horrible Things That Have Happened to Doctors on "Private Practice" Since 2007

(Spoilers, but not really, because Shonda will kill them all in the end, despite their weeping and clawing at life. On a serious note, why must these women AND MEN, but mostly women, suffer so horribly? why? Trigger warnings, even.)

Amelia Shepherd: Amelia's brother is shot. Amelia has a brief fling with Mark Sloan, who will eventually die from complications from a gruesome plane crash. Amelia, an addict in recovery, accidentally has a sip of champagne at a wedding. Amelia relapses. Amelia operates on someone's brain while loaded. Amelia has her surgical privileges revoked. Amelia's friend has Huntington's disease. Amelia assists her in committing suicide, her friend changes her mind halfway through, Amelia is traumatized. Amelia's friend dies. Amelia goes on a bender. Amelia falls in love while on the bender, she and her love decide to get clean together. Her love dies of an overdose the night before they intended to get clean. Amelia discovers she is pregnant from her dead love. Amelia discovers her baby will be born with no brain. Amelia carries and delivers her baby with no brain. Amelia's baby dies. Writing this post isn't fun anymore.

Charlotte King: Charlotte's father dies. Cbarlotte gets fired. Charlotte is brutally raped and assaulted by a guy played by the guy who played "Xander" on Buffy. While she is having her eye socket smashed, her boyfriend is drunkenly hitting on Amelia. Charlotte will not take any painkillers, because she is a recovering addict. Charlotte's rapist goes free. Charlotte, who has never wanted to have kids, conceives triplets. Charlotte delivers one of the triplets at 26 weeks and has her cervix sewn shut.

Addison Montgomery: Addison moves to California, discovers the practice is insolvent, takes over, alienates her best friend. Addison's boyfriend gets shot. Addison's brother has brain parasites. Addison finds out her parents have been in an open marriage for decades, and she's been unfairly angry with her father for his perceived infidelities all this time. Addison falls in love with her best friend's ex-husband, who she works with. Her best friend is alienated for a second time. Addison has to operate on her godchild. Addison cannot have children. Addison's boyfriend does not want to have children with her. Addison wants children. Addison's mother's lover dies. Addison's mother kills herself. Addison's fertility treatments do not work.

Violet Turner: Violet gets pregnant and is unsure whether Pete or Sheldon is the dad. Violet's mentally ill patient cuts Violet's baby out of her and steals him, leaving Violet bleeding out. Violet lives, but cannot bond with her baby out of trauma. Violet eventually wants back in her baby's life, but has to fight her ex in court over it. Violet is sued and nearly has her license revoked for mentioning her mentally ill patient in her memoir. Violet and her ex get married. Violet's new husband has a heart attack. Violet's husband stops loving her and yells at her constantly. Violet and her husband try to make it work again. Violet's husband dies. Violet thinks he's just skipped town, hates him. Violet finds out he's dead, hates herself.

Cooper Freedman: Cooper has bad online dating experiences, but never has his eye socket broken by a rapist. Cooper feels emasculated by Charlotte. Cooper hits on Amelia while Charlotte is being raped. Cooper finds out he had a son years ago. Cooper's son's mom dies, Cooper gets custody of his son. Cooper's wife gets pregnant, which he always wanted. Things are actually pretty good for Cooper, except for the one triplet being born at 26 weeks.

Sam Bennett: Sam is played by Taye Diggs, so things are pretty good for him. Sam's teen daughter has a baby. Sam's girlfriend adopts a baby and they break up.

Sheldon Wallace: Sheldon never gets the girl, but also never has his eye socket broken by a rapist. Sheldon's pedophile patient kidnaps a child.

Naomi Bennett: Naomi's best friend constantly sleeps with her ex-husband. Naomi's teen daughter has a baby, is in a terrible car crash.

Pete Wilder: Pete has a heart attack. Pete is mad. Pete dies of a second heart attack.

Honorary Mention for Nurse Dell Parker: Dell's addict ex cooks meth in, blows up his house. Dell's addict ex dies, leaving him to console their child. Dell dies in a terrible car crash, leaving his daughter an orphan.

Honorary Mention for Nurse Dell Parker's Daughter, Betsy: Betsy's addict mom dies. Betsy's dad dies. Betsy has to go into foster care, because all of the characters on "Private Practice" are too busy humping each other and being punished for it by Shonda Rimes to take her in. Betsy is not heard from again until Naomi finds out about it and is a person and adopts her.

68 Comments / Post A Comment


jesus christ


@breccia Why would someone watch these shows? I mean, yeah this stuff is spread out over multiple seasons, but seriously - WTF?!? Life's chitty enough in reality without wallowing in faux crap a couple of hours a week!


@TheCheesemanCometh 1. Kate Walsh's hair. 2. Taye Diggs. He's crazy charming! 3. There was a chance Audra McDonald might have something to do.

That said, I only watched like half of the first season. But I probably didn't stop for a good reason, I probably only stopped because it was on against something I was more committed to.


Love this soo much!@j


Darkest Dick and Jane book ever.

Lily Rowan

Poor, poor Betsy.

A. Louise

Not to mention all the horrible moral quandaries in EVERY episode dealing with patients, mostly pregnant ones. At least in the beginning of Grey's there were funny/odd cases to lighten the mood. Here? Nope.


I'm trying to decide if the Grey's Anatomy rundown would look even worse but I do think maybe things have been a little more gender-neutral-terrible for those guys. I mean, not entirely, because if you're a female intern there's like a 1/5 chance Shonda's gonna kill you horribly but like, George got hit by a bus.


@tessmcgeer Yeah, but George died a hero, you know? I feel like the women just suffer needlessly most of the time.


@hallelujah oh, definitely. like Meredith has a miscarriage while her best friend is operating on her husband who was shot by a crazed gunman inside of a hospital? because all of that wasn't already enough? okay, Shonda, okay.


@mangosara genuinely shocked I managed to miss that. thanks!


@tessmcgeer My personal favorite - Bailey goes into labor while her husband's getting his brain operated on next to a guy with an unexploded bazooka in his chest. Shonda, girl. C'mon.


I couldn't even read past the end of the Amelia section.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

Sidenote: I did not know babies could even form without brains. I'm not even bothering to Google it, because I think I'll be traumatized.


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Oh yes, they can, along with all other manner of horrific and fatal defects. Which is the main reason those assholes who want to ban abortions after 20 weeks are so evil and heartless - most of those defects can't be detected until then, so women are forced to continue to carry fetuses with zero chance of survival outside the womb and watch them die once they're born.

Faintly Macabre

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Yup! I know this because it's one of the risks with Accutane, which is why they're so obsessive about patients not getting pregnant while on the drug. I've been on two rounds of Accutane, so I got a glossy, full-color book about the ways in which my baby could be deformed, as well as a fold-up paper the size of a highway map in the prescription box every month.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@hallelujah @Faintly Macabre
Well shit, I Googled it and now I'll never be able to unsee those poor fetuses and babies. Nightmare fuel.


Isn't it a statutory requirement for doctor shows that by season 2 every single doctor and everyone they love much have a serious medical crisis that the other doctors are forced to deal with?

If this is anything like real life no wonder health care is so expensive, what with half the doctors being in a coma or recovering from gun shot wounds at any given time.


@stuffisthings My husband will suspend a huge amount of belief for medical dramas, except for when it comes to a doctor operating on someone they are related to or friends with, and then he worries about ethics codes.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@SarahP That's like how I'll go along with a crime procedural until they get to collecting evidence with their long, flowy hair hanging and shedding all over the damn place. That's where I draw the line! You found your own DNA! Get a ponytail holder!


I saw 'Mark Sloan' and immediately went to Diagnosis Murder in my head...


The thing that always amazes me is when they operate on each other. Really, Sam is the only cardiologist in all of Malibu (or wherever they are) who could possibly help Pete? C'mon.


"Pre-Code female audiences liked to indulge in the carnal lifestyles of mistresses and adulteresses while at the same time taking joy in their usually inevitable downfall in the closing scenes of the picture."


@tales Please someone write me this paper.


I got through the first person, and part of the second and passed out from exhaustion. Jesus.


@katiemcgillicuddy Oh my god, and then I read some more and oh my god, why did I read some more?


Terrible things always happen to Amelias. :(


@frigwiggin Take it back...you know Nicole's wicked awesome baby's name, right?


@Bittersweet Yes, and I also know MY wicked awesome name. :(


@frigwiggin (it is Amelia)


Maybe Nicole's baby will be the combo breaker, though!


@frigwiggin Nooooo...I hope this doesn't mean that your bf died in a plane crash or you had a baby with no brain. And Amelia is an awesome name. If I ever had a 2nd daughter (not happening) that would be in the running.


@Bittersweet Oh, compared to all these people I've gotten off pretty light.


@frigwiggin AMELIA BADELIA. Your argument: thwarted.


@wee_ramekin I know this is terrible, but I hate Amelia Bedelia. Just want to slap her and say, get it together, girl.

Nicole Cliffe

WHILE WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THIS, remember how she confused "drawing the curtains" with, like, sketching them? To this day, I use "draw the curtains" to refer to both opening and closing curtains. I think it means close them??


@Nicole Cliffe I think it depends how you use it, because if I said "I drew the curtains back," that'd mean I opened them.

But maybe I'd be doing it wrong.


@Nicole Cliffe I had no idea what that meant when I was a kid, so I didn't understand what she was actually supposed to be doing! Same with "dressing the chicken."

I did know that I hated her because everybody--and I mean EVERYBODY--called me Amelia Bedelia from first grade onwards. Ugh.

Nicole Cliffe

@frigwiggin You have a beautiful perfect name. It is also the name of my very best friend, who is the most wonderful person in the world.


@Nicole Cliffe Awww. The only other Amelia I knew in high school punched me in the face, so I'm glad there are some nice ones out there!


@Bittersweet Even as a kid I thought it was BS how quickly her employers forgave her just because of her baking. So what if she makes good pie? She's still not going to know how to dust furniture tomorrow, people.


@SarahP I would forgive a lot for pie, personally.


THIS IS EXACTLY WHY I stop liking dramas after a couple seasons. Things that are intruguing-bad in the first seasons start to escalate to absurd levels of intensity and I mostly watch TV shows to ease my anxiety, not increase it exponentially each season!


@SarahP I tell people all the time that shows like this STRESS ME OUT and everyone thinks I'm crazy. But c'mon! I can't just watch people make their lives shittier without feeling some anxiety. This does not apply to Game of Thrones though, because it is medieval fantasy.


@SarahP I can just about watch one of these shows at a time without getting too anxious. Game of Thrones, though, you know it's gonna get so much worse....


oooh can you do Law and Order: SVU sometime?


@Mira yessss but it is not the same without Stabler.

Siobhan Perricone@facebook

Betsy was eventually taken in by Naomi when she found out no one else took her in.

Nicole Cliffe

You have no idea how much better that makes me feel.


Oh man - I only watched the first season of this show, but I'm sad the Piz/Dell died in a horrible car accident. I liked him much better on that show than on VMars, where I hated him with the burning fire of a thousand suns (a method by which no one has yet been killed on Private Practice, shockingly!).
But overall - imagine the Yelp reviews of this practice: "My favorite nurse's house got blown up and my psychiatrist's baby got cut out of her, and I walked in on my OB-GYN sleeping with one of the other doctors, but they are prompt with submitting insurance claim forms."


Oddly, the Grey's Anatomy post made sense to me (I guess because I've watched them all). But Private Practice just sounds insane. Has anyone watched both since season 1? Is PP objectively crazier than Grey's, or are they about equal?

honey cowl

@kmc PP is objectively crazier. Enormously crazier.

Caitlin Young@twitter

@kmc I don't think Grey's had ever had anything quite as "oh my god why am I watching this, why would I do that to myself" as Violet's baby getting stolen or Charlotte's rape storyline, no.

Private Practice also seems crazier to me because, like, Grey's is set in a surgical hospital! You expect terrible horrible bad things to happen, even if you might expect them to happen more to random patients than to the show's protagonists! PP starts out all "Laid-back California holistic medicine! Addison is fleeing here to escape her crazy stressful life in Seattle!" and then the horror starts.


@Caitlin Young@twitter I don't know why it's billed as your standard romantic-interest drama, this shit is straight-up horrorfest TV.

honey cowl

Love it. I've been on a PP bender lately.

honey cowl

@honey cowl (formerly laurenf) Who even likes Naomi anyway. Ugh.


@Bittersweet Even as a kid I thought it was BS how quickly her employers forgave her just because of her baking. So what if she makes good pie? She's still not going to know how to dust furniture tomorrow, people.


Charlotte is brutally raped and assaulted by a guy played by the guy who played "Xander" on Buffy.

I am glad I only watched a few episodes of Private Practice, because I did not see this. NOT MY XANDER.


@Verity Periodically, when flipping through Netflix, I think, "I would watch this Private Practice show if I had the flu, or maybe when I finally get my wisdom teeth out." Now that I know this about Xander, I never ever will. Thanks, Nicole, for saving me from much vicodin-fueled heartbreak.


I stopped watching about a season and a half ago and so have not caught up with the latest CONCEIVING TRIPLETS DELIVERING ONE AND HAVING HER CERVIX SEWN SHUT? WHAT HAPPENED TO THE OTHER TWO?


@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher WHAT? (I am a third triplet. This story scares me.)


(I am watching the latest episode. FOR YOU GUYS.)


WHAT. Uhggggg I am so glad I stopped watching 2 seasons ago? When Addy got really baby crazy, I just couldn't deal with it anymore since I am a little bit terrified of wanting children? And swapped back to Greys. AHG I KNEW LEXIE WAS GONNA DIE IN THAT CRASH I KNEW IT I KNEW IT.

But this. PETE?! Why didn't anyone tell me about Pete?!?!?!? Also OMFG Amelia :( :( :( But at least Naomi is bomb, except for having to deal with oh I don't know, EVERYTHING.

I do, however, love Addison till death do us part. Her HAIR. Her sassiness. Her passion. Her HAIR some more!


Man, David Cronenberg's got some competition in the body horror department


Pete died? And that is why I stopped watching this series-I could sense the upcoming snuff show. I couldn't take the violence and masochism.


My favorite thing about these shows is that the characters seem to realize that they are trapped in a bizarre melodramatic hell hole with a sadistic narrative god who keep submitting them to horrors.

Seriously, they sit outside emergency rooms and wail things like, "WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING TO US?!" or they whisper "My life is just beyond, insane, you know? Why IS that?" to their therapists. It feels like the plots are so unbelievably insane that the only logical dialogue makes the characters sound as though they're all railing against Shonda Rhimes and their entire fictional existence. Cracks me up every time.

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