New Show on the Block: Partners

Brought to you by the creators of Will & Grace, this is a CBS sitcom about the dysfunctional yet incredibly sweet gay/straight bromance between two 30-somethings, and their own relationships. The title in itself is a double entendre – the story revolves around two BFF architects Joe (David Krumholtz) and Louis (Michael Urie) (=PARTNERS in business) and their loved-up and somewhat jealous other halves, Ali (Sophia Bush) and Wyatt (Brandon Routh) (=PARTNERS in lurrrve). Geddit? Original, I know.

Photo: Matt Kennedy/CBS

As expected, the first episode consists of punchy one liners, an over-used laugh track, and a very predictable story line. Although the show seems like an obvious product of recycling Mutchnick and Kohan’s 90s hit Will & Grace, there is still something quite promising about the show. Be it the catchy opening titles song (On Top Of The World by Imagine Dragons, as featured in my Song of the Day section), or the return of endearing and charismatic Michael Urie to our TV screens (we all remember Urie as Ugly Betty’s bitchy fashionista rival, Marc St James), or the simplicity of the tried-and-tested 90s sitcom formula combined with a slightly more ‘current’ line up of main characters – the first episode definitely entertains, but may fall short of some people’s definition of ‘quality television’.

Verdict? It’s the type of show I’d have on in the background when pottering about the house. Although funny and light-hearted, the characters aren’t the sort you’d fall in love with instantly (with the exception of leading man, Urie), the plot lacks in the WOW factor and originality most successful US shows possess (having a gay lead stopped being a big deal a loooog time ago) and the storyline seems very forced and over-simplified (a best friend meddles and temporarily ruins everything, but later fixes things by meddling some more, and everyone goes to the local coffee house for a cuppa – sounds a lot like Friends, no?). Maybe because I’ve been spoiled with the dramas like Mad Men and hilarious sitcoms like New Girl, but although my love of Urie’s character will probably force me to sit through a couple more episodes, I don’t think I’ll be pencilling this one in my diary any time soon.

Oh, and if the stuttering and endearing lead, the chirpy gay best friend, and the moody primadonna girlfriend aren’t stereotypical and familiar enough for the audience at home, the dim gay straight man and the sassy black receptionist complete the circle of lead characters. It’s a shame that the first episode has shown such a lack of imagination – it seems like the project is very close to the creators’ hearts, given that it’s largely based on their own friendship. For their sake, I can only hope that it gets more interesting soon.

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