Monday | 8:30 pm | CBS
Partners is would have been an edgy, clever show about a decade ago. The format and styling of the show are truly of the 90s, and the portrayal of gay stereotypes is from around then too. The schticky humor, the laugh track, is not something that appeals to my particular tastes, but I wanted to give it a go anyway for the very appealing cast and my confidence in showrunners Max Mutchnick and David Kohan (Will & Grace is one of a limited number of shows I will always watch a rerun of if I flip past it). It was really too bad, then, that this was one of the most unfunny pilots that I’ve seen this year.
Michael Urie and David Krumholtz were definitely the strongest elements of the pilot. They have an easy rapport as BFFs and just seem like a natural fit for the aesthetic the show is going for. I wish I could say the same for Sophia Bush and Brandon Routh as their significant others. I will always follow what Bush does, as my favorite character on the first show I ever really got addicted to. Brooke Davis (whose full name we must ALWAYS use) went through more drama than most of the other characters combined, probably because Sophia Bush could always sell it. However, I don’t think her talents really lie in straight sitcom; she was always more appealing when she was crying about something. Brandon Routh, bless his heart, seemed utterly out of place as well. His turn as Superman was poorly timed, and done, and his career never really took off and matched that movie star handsome look he’s got. He was pretty decent on Chuck though and his small part in Scott Pilgrim, so I imagined he had some comedic timing. Nope. His line delivery on Partners was the only thing that made me laugh last night, and not in the on-purpose way.
However, I still like all these actors, and I find the central premise of the show mildly appealing. It’s always great to see a more representation of LGBT characters and relationships on television, although it’s a shame there’s absolutely no nuance there. Joe and Louis are conform to the standard archetypes of sexuality that network television producers are comfortable with showing, as Seitz noted over at Vulture. The A.V. Club’s review also mentioned that this pilot has been shopped around since almost the 1990s, so maybe now that’s it finally off the ground they’ll be able to adjust to be more relevant to today? That and the potential for gifs of shirtless Brandon Routh will bring me back next week.
Long Term Prediction:
I will continue to watch this for the requisite five episodes, maybe more if Bones isn’t on, and I’m too lazy to change the channel between How I Met Your Mother and 2 Broke Girls.