Rob Sheffield's 2012 Fall TV Preview

Your day-by-day guide to the 21 new and returning shows worth watching

'Animal Practice'

'Animal Practice'
Chris Haston/NBC

NBC, Wednesdays at 8 p.m.

It definitely says something about the sorry state of the sitcom when one of the best new ones is about a sex-starved veterinarian. Is Animal Practice groundbreaking comedy? No. Is it aggressively insulting to any functional human cortex? Well, yeah. In other words, it's an old-school lunkhead sitcom out for cheap giggles, and it proves why that kind of sitcom is often superior to the quippy mock­umentary-style clever-clever kind. The doctor even gets a zany monkey for his sidekick. (Does this monkey know how to give people the finger? Let us pray.) Justin Kirk, so under­used on Weeds, heads a cast full of hungry shoulda-beens who have to realize this could be their last shot, always a promising scenario. As the doctor, Kirk romances his boss, who owns the hospital. But he's a better match for the monkey.


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