TV Review: “Partners” – Proof that Plagiarism Should Always Be Punished

Written by Guest September 26, 2012

They have really stopped trying at this point…

I always wonder how generic laugh-track sitcoms get green-lit. Like all other shows, the idea must be pitched and the pilot must be shot for a network to pick it up. It never seems like any of these shows have any plans to survive long as they lack anything truly unique beyond a quirky premise that allows them to be creative. “Partners” comes along and reminds us that you do not even need an original idea to exist in the realm of bad sitcoms.

“Partners” follows two best friends who work together as architects. They have been best buds since they were little kids and it doesn’t seem like anything will disrupt their relationship. The one friend decides to get engaged to his girlfriend complicating their relationship. Hijinks ensue. This is the premise to the modestly popular 1995 series on Fox called “Partners” that starred Jon Cryer and Tate Donovan. CBS’s “Partners” is not a remake or continuation, even though the creators are fans of the 1995 series, but instead a direct rip-off. The only difference seems to be the fact that one of the two friends is gay.

Promoting the Stereotype

This “Partners” airs 8:30 on CBS after “How I Met Your Mother”, an infinitely greater show. It has the same creators as “Will & Grace”, which is probably the reason why one of the shows leads is gay. Originality was never an option with this series it seems. It stars David Krumholtz (“Harold and Kumar”), Michael Urie (“Ugly Betty”), Sophia Bush (“One Tree Hill”) and Brandon Routh (“Superman Returns”).

I did not laugh once during the entire time I watched “Partners”. Every joke seems to be at the fact that the two leads are complete opposites yet they are still best friends. This is made even more obnoxious by the fact that one of the two is a complete gay stereotype. Jokes typically have Joe (Krumholtz playing the straight friend) saying something then Louis (Urie playing the gay friend) saying something feminine or doing something flamboyant in response. Louis’ only character trait is that he is gay and Joe simply serves as a foil to set-up zingers that only enforce stereotypes. Bush plays Joe’s girlfriend who simply serves as a plot device or for an equal for jokes that comment on how feminine Louis is. Routh plays Louis’ boyfriend, who only serves to try and convince the audience that Louis is somehow a good person and that his behaviour should be tolerated.


Oh look at how much fun they are having! They must be in a different series…

Making matters worse is the frequency of the laugh track. The “studio audience” nearly breaks a rib every time a character, mainly Louis, says anything at all. Due to the lack of quality humour, this just reminds the viewer how artificial the show is. The show attempts to have a soul to anchor the relationships and have you feel for the characters strife. However, within a few minutes of the series Joe and Louis decide their friendship is over forever. This only raises questions about why we should care about these two. Of course, by the end of the episode they are BFF’s again and reset button is set, reminding us yet again that this is just another cookie-cutter sitcom that will not last long or permeate the hearts of the audience.

“Partners” shows that plagiarising a show and trying to pass it off as different by changing the sexual orientation of one of the characters is not the recipe to creating a good show. It also serves as a reminder of how lazy TV producers have become. In a TV landscape that features so many dynamic shows, it’s shocking that a show as bad as this is able to make it so far. Do yourself a favour and right when “How I Met Your Mother” ends turn your TV off. You are not missing out on anything at all.

My Rating: 2/10

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