Private Practice Review: "Pushing the Limits"

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Last night's episode of Private Practice was actually quite touching at times, despite a large dose of After School Special caliber cheese and some eye-rolling moments.

For the full rundown of what happened, follow the link for a recap of "Pushing the Limits." Now, here's our take on last night's episode, the fourth of the third season:

At times, watching Private Practice is like pulling teeth, as if they're trying to beat you senselss over the head tying medical stories into the characters' personal lives.

That said, it's what Grey's Anatomy used to be about, and if you like the characters, there is something to be said for this. Case in point? Violet's story line last night.

Working with a woman who had just been raped - and was carrying the rapist's baby, and whose husband wanted her to abort it - just hit too close to home for V.

The woman, who had been trying to conceive for some time, wanted to keep it. Violet went way over the line and told her it would be a living reminder of the rape.

Ultimately, she got a grip and told the couple they had to decide on their own. We don't know what they did, but it's network TV, so no way they had an abortion.

Side note: Why is abortion still taboo, even on ABC, the official network of hot same-sex couples? We're not implying this couple should have had one, just saying.

Homeless Mother and Child

The most touching moment of the night, even if the cheesy lines elicited some audible groaning, was when Addison reunited a homeless mother and her mother.

The two had been estranged since - surprise, surprise - the 13-year-old refused to abort her pregnancy. Now she's got a two-year-old of her own and needs help.

With the help of the sentimental doctors of Oceanside ... Pacific ... whatever the heck they want to be called ... the two patched things up and the boy was saved.

These stories were good and at least consistent with what Private Practice is all about, and made it more enjoyable than Grey's Anatomy last night in many ways.

Other things didn't quite work, though. Dell may be really cute, but seems to show up here and there and never really produce much in the way of notable stories.

Also, the job switching seems like forced drama. Pete's moving upstairs, Naomi's not being replaced, Charlotte's moving downstairs ... it's all a blur after awhile.

When Private Practice sticks with what it's good at, it can be downright enjoyable. They've got a good cast and good writing. They just need to trim the fat a bit.

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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