Private Practice and Total Depravity

A television show or film does not need to be redemptive in order for it to be good or enjoyable. Furthermore, I would contend that if a show or film is to quickly or easily redeemed, it will not appeal to the masses.

You can call it a guilty pleasure, but I enjoy Private Practice on ABC. Now, I’m not religious about watching it, but I appreciate that most episodes are not redemptive.  In other words, everything isn’t always peaches and cream when the credits roll.  (By the way, Carly introduced me to the show, because it’s a spin-off of Grey’s Anatomy, one of her favorite series.)

Paul Adelstein plays Dr. Cooper Freedman, the pediatrician. He’s a straight shooter and a bold guy, but he has more issues than Rolling Stone. He wears his emotions on his sleeve. He’s angry and proud. He’s impulsive.  He had childhood troubles.  He can’t hold a steady relationship.  He’s broke: he couldn’t afford to pay $50,000 to be a partner in the practice, even on a doctor’s salary because, as he said, “I like porn too much.”

That’s not what you see when you take your kid to the doctor for his sore throat. If you knew that your child’s doctor was that screwed up, would you still take him? Something to think about.

Some people might think that their doctor is a model citizen, a good family man whose relationships, emotions, and finances are in order.  Cooper Freedman, and the other characters of Private Practice tell us otherwise.

What does Private Practice and every other television show depict? It depicts a particular reality. The producers and directors know that humanity as a whole has problems. Reality tells us that there are relational, social, sexual, financial, emotional, and professional problems in our lives and in the lives around us.

These problems are caused by sin. Our sin. Even if Hollywood doesn’t use that word, I will. These problems need a solution. These people need to be redeemed.  These sins need to be forgiven.

To be continued.