With its Season Two premiere, "A Family Thing," ABC's Private Practice grew up a bit, eschewing flighty romances for bigger drama and ethical dilemmas.
Paul Adelstein promises more of the same, while also previewing what's ahead for Cooper and his strange romance, in a new interview with TV Guide:
TVGuide: It's so good to see the show back....
Paul Adelstein: It's nice to have it back.
TVG: The gang was a little rough there on Naomi, at the end of the premiere.
Paul Adelstein: Hey, man, she left us all high and dry! Although in her defense, we probably should have been paying a little more attention. [Laughs]
TVG: Apparently one and only one partner had their eye on the ledger.
Paul Adelstein: And the rest of us were in the kitchen snacking when we should have been seeing patients.
TVG: Is that one of the themes this season, that we'll get a bit more into the business of the practice, versus pretty people just flitting around and flirting?
Paul Adelstein: That’s a major thing, that the practice itself is in trouble. We have a high-concept idea of what the practice should do, but that butts heads with financial realities. So there are some splits in the ranks about how we should proceed. On top of that, [series and Grey's Anatomy creator] Shonda Rhimes has added a lot of issues of medical ethics that aren’t so black-and-white.TVG: In that one case from last week, is that the real deal, that an underage kid's parents can keep him from knowing he has HIV?
Paul Adelstein: That was based on a real case that a doctor brought to the writers. That is a case in which you would have doctor-patient confidentiality on both sides. There are more cases along those lines coming up. There's an episode that deals with a lot of issues surrounding abortion, there's euthanasia.... a lot of medical decisions that aren’t cut-and-dry, but are very important.
TVG: On the lighter side, Cooper and Charlotte have been going to some very amorous places. Who has more trouble "going there" for those scenes, you or KaDee Strickland?
Paul Adelstein: Well... I wouldn’t say either one of us has "trouble," but you will see this week that KaDee has to don some rather... "interesting" outfits. She has to be a better sport than I, let's put it that way. [Laughs] I'm in my jeans and T-shirt and she has to... well, you'll see.
TVG: Dare I say that things between the two of them might get more real?
Paul Adelstein: Yes. Cooper has decided that he wants to give it a go and have an adult relationship for the first time in his life.
TVG: But at what expense to his friendship with Violet?
Paul Adelstein: That’s a good question. Again, him not having been in an adult relationship before, I don’t think he knows how to handle that exactly – and that comes to a head pretty quickly.
TVG: Has Violet put two and two together to deduce that he's seeing Charlotte?
Paul Adelstein: She knows that he's involved with somebody, given the changes in his behavior. But Cooper is unwilling to fess up to that.
TVG: Are you, as I am, of the thought that Prison Break's Kellerman is not necessarily dead?
Paul Adelstein: I am definitely of that mind, although there have been no indications that he is not dead.
TVG: When that van door popped open [at the end of Season 2], I always took it that he was expecting to see whomever he saw.
Paul Adelstein: That's why it was a fun piece of writing, because it could play either way. I'm either being rescued... or I'm being deep-sixed.
TVG: Do you ever cross paths with your Prison Break "boss," Patricia Wettig (Brothers & Sisters), over there at ABC?
Paul Adelstein: I have, I've seen her a couple times. She's no longer president, you know.