Grey’s Anatomy spin-off Private Practice returns to Netflix


I like medical dramas. 

As a fan of these type of shows, it was no surprise when I decided to start Private Practice.

Private Practice follows neonatal surgeon Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh) as she leaves the rainy city of Seattle to join a private practice in Los Angeles with an old friend from medical school. As a surgeon, she has to adjust to a new outlook on medicine when the members of her practice are internists, psychiatrists, pediatricians, fertility specialists, and alternative medicine specialists. 

Following a show like Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice had high standards to live up to if it was going to be a success. 

Private Practice aired in September 2007 on ABC and ran until January 2013. It went to Netflix soon after the finale but was removed a few years later. 

This past December, Addison Montgomery and her Private Practice co-stars returned to Netflix user’s screens, with the goal of keeping Grey’s Anatomy fans and others hooked. 

When I initially began watching Private Practice, I was not sure how I was going to feel about Addison Montgomery outside the walls of the fictional Seattle Grace Hospital. However, I soon came to realize that this show brought a whole new layer to the character while introducing new—and no less intriguing—characters. 

Naomi Bennett (Audra McDonald) has recently divorced her husband—and fellow colleague—Sam (Taye Diggs) and they are learning to juggle the complicated situations that are divorce, kids, and demanding careers. Addison returns to her friend Naomi when she worries that she won’t be able to have children. During this visit, Naomi is able to convince her to leave her job—and the drama—back in Seattle and join the practice in Los Angeles. 

Addison is introduced to psychiatrist Violet Turner (Amy Brenneman) and pediatrician Cooper Freedman (Paul Adelstein). Recently-divorced Violet and unmarried Cooper share a unique, platonic friendship. Finally, she meets an alternative medicine specialist, Pete Wilder (Tim Daly) who has also recently lost his wife.

At first, I was sitting there thinking “of course everyone is single,” but I was surprised to find that this fact actually contributed to the complexity and depth of the characters. Ironically, psychiatrist Violet is struggling with her mental health, following her divorce with her husband. For all of the doctors, juggling patients and relationships make it more challenging for them to take the time to take care of themselves. 

As the show progresses, viewers become just as interested in the lives of the patients as they do with the lives of the doctors. Patients come to the practice for a multitude of things from pain and pregnancy, to annual checkups and fertility clinics. 

In addition to the patients, viewers meet Dr. Charlotte King (KaDee Strickland) who is the Chief of Staff at the closest hospital—St. Ambrose Hospital. Throughout the first season, the doctors of the practice find themselves arguing with Charlotte’s call on her treatment plan for their patients. 

Walsh is able to deliver both comedic and dramatic lines with profound skill, contributing to the overall tone and angle of the series. ”

Kate Walsh does a phenomenal job as the lead role and brings such a comfortable and familiar aspect to the show. Walsh is able to deliver both comedic and dramatic lines with profound skill, contributing to the overall tone and angle of the series. 

Alongside Walsh, Amy Brenneman gives one of the strongest performances of any of the characters. As Violet, Brenneman shows the complexity of her character through actions and facial expressions just as much as words. This is an important quality for an actress, and by achieving it, Brenneman delivers an even more powerful performance. 

Overall, the first season of Private Practice was very promising and leaves me hopeful that the rest of the series will continue to build off of what was developed in this season. Each of the characters was perfectly given unique backstories so that viewers can watch them grow and develop throughout the seasons to come.