Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Violation of the Spin-Off Rules

The conceit of a spin-off is that the new show and its predecessor exist within the same reality. For Private Practice, this means that the woman who, in our reality, is Kate Walsh is actually Addison Montgomery within the reality of Grey's Anatomy and all its descendants. She is Addison Montgomery whether she is in Seattle, LA, Alberta or Auckland. Were Kate Walsh to play a different character within the world of Grey's Anatomy (which includes Private Practice), it would mean that Addison must have a long-lost twin walking around somewhere.

This rule, if broken, has the power to undermine the credibility of the world that the writers have created.

So imagine my surprise (or lack thereof, considering how much faith I have in Shonda and co.) when I finally get around to watching the season finale of Private Practice and find that Tessa Thompson is guest staring- as someone completely different from her role as the Chief's niece Camille on Grey's Anatomy. Oh well, Addison's always so caught up with her own drama maybe she didn't notice that Naomi's patient Zoe was identical to an important person in her life back in Seattle.


Rachael said...

Far be it for me to criticize Joss Whedon, but Angel/Buffy used to do this all the time, albeit not quit as egregiously as the Chief's niece. But astute viewers can see quite a few "reused" guest stars between the two series, including Doyle's ex-wife's husband who was also a different demon in a Buffy episode, the actor who played the Judge (who was actually three different characters throughout the two series), and actually Andrew, who also appeared as a vampire, I believe, in an earlier episode of Angel.

Kelly said...

yes but in most of those cases there was heavy makeup involved, rendering the actors unrecognizable in their new role. In fact, if Joss didnt bring it up in the audio commentaries, I doubt anyone would ever notice the Adam=Judge thing.

Rachael said...

The actor who played the Judge also played Luke in the first episode, not that that matters.

But I noticed the Andrew thing all on my own.

Kelly said...

really? I can never recognize people when they're in vamp face. And either way, you have to be a repeat watcher to catch that (he played Luke, Adam and the Judge right?- or am I wrong about Adam?)

Basically what it boils down to is that Joss can do whatever he wants, while Shonda has yet to earn that right. Im biased.