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The Blue & Gray Press | February 18, 2018

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New Show 'Partners' is Mediocre at Best

By NANCY BELLE

Although CBS seemed to have high hopes for the new TV show “Partners,” placing it in the time slot that was occupied by last year’s big-hit comedy “2 Broke Girls” and directly after long time favorite, “How I Met Your Mother,” it proves to be, at best, mediocre.

The show centers around the relationship between Joe, played by David Krumholtz of “Numb3rs” and Louis, played by Michael Urie of “Ugly Betty.” Joe and Louis have been best friends since childhood, and are now business partners, hence the show’s name, in an architectural firm.

While Joe is straight, Louis is gay. Most of the show’s jokes are based around this fact.

It is not that “Partners” is necessarily bad; it’s just that everything on the show seems to have been done before. The characters, in particular, are unoriginal. There is Wyatt, Louis’ sweet, but somewhat clueless, boyfriend, and Ali, Joe’s slightly obnoxious girlfriend.

Louis’s character is also problematic. He straddles the awkward line between “gay” and “straight,” talking to Joe like they are brothers in one scene, before quickly flipping a switch and becoming a drama queen.

In another he has a ‘girl talk’ with Ali in the midst of a predominantly female yoga class.

Louis also causes most of the tension on the show, leaving viewers to wonder at times why he and Joe are dating anyone but each other. This creates a dynamic of four people, and three couples, on the show: Joe and Ali, Louis and Wyatt, and Louis and Joe.

Despite sharing the same creators as the mid 1990’s hit, “Will and Grace,” the show is miles away from its predecessor. Perhaps they have not realized that TV has changed since their last hit.

While many of today’s hit comedies no longer use laugh tracks, “Partners” does. This would be fine if it was funny, but when all of your jokes fall flat, hearing canned laughter does nothing to make the audience join in.

One joke running throughout the episode poking fun at Louis’ is impulsiveness and how he once got a “tattoo of Clay Aiken on [his butt.]” This is referenced to multiple times in the episode, each time accompanied by the canned laughter, but it is never funny.

“Partners” is like an egg salad sandwich, awkward, yet stuck between two pieces of phenomenal bread, “How I Met Your Mother” and “2 Broke Girls.”