Friday, September 21, 2012

CBS Fall Pilot Review: Partners - Premieres September 24; Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of September 24, 2012)


Partners

Partners - Mondays at 8:30PM ET/PT on CBS
Premieres Monday, September 24, 2012 at 8:30PM ET/PT


by skees53

Remember the NBC series Will & Grace, the successful sitcom about a heterosexual woman and gay man sharing their lives together in New York City? Well, 14 years later, creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick have come together once again to create a new series for CBS, this time about two guys, one heterosexual and the other homosexual, sharing their lives as lifelong friends and "partners" in an architectural firm, fulfilling their lifelong dreams.

Louis (Michael Urie) and Joe (David Krumholtz) had been friends for as long as they can remember, starting out designing homes out of popsicle sticks in 1988 (as the series tells us at the very beginning). They've both lived their own lives and have different views on many things, including their love lives, but through it all, they've managed to stick together as friends through it all while running their own business as Partners.

Cast Details:

For the first time in a while, we've got a cast of established actors. They are as follows:

* Michael Urie as Louis
* David Krumholtz as Joe
* Sophia Bush as Ali
* Brandon Routh as Wyatt

Michael Urie plays Louis, the gay partner of the firm. Urie has played in a few movies, including Beverly Hills Chihuahua, but is probably best known from his role of Marc St. James in the ABC series Ugly Betty. Most recently, Urie has made his debut on the Broadway stage in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

David Krumholtz plays Joe, the straight partner of the firm. Krumholtz has appeared in movie franchise such as The Santa Clause and Harold & Kumar, as well as movies such as 10 Things I Hate About You, Superbad, and Ray. Krumholtz may be best known, however, from his role of Charlie Eppes in the CBS crime drama Numb3rs.

Sophia Bush plays Ali, Joe's girlfriend (and fiancé by the end of the first episode). She has appeared in the movies Van Wilder and John Tucker Must Die, but is best known for being one of the few cast members to appear in all nine seasons of the series One Tree Hill.

Brandon Routh plays Wyatt, Louis' "Jewish doctor" (he's really a nurse and not even Jewish) boyfriend. Routh has made one time appearances in series including Will & Grace, Chuck, and Cold Case, but he also has the distinction of being one of the few actors to play Superman/Clark Kent on the big screen, as he did in the 2006 film Superman Returns.


Pilot Plot:

"Pilot" (airs Monday, September 24 at 8:30PM ET/PT)
Directed by James Burrows

The pilot episode begins with a little bit of history of the relationship between Louis (Michael Urie) and Joe (David Krumholtz), going back to 1988. Through flashbacks, we discover that as kids, the two friends had big dreams in life to be architects. Fast forward to 2012 (and we do that in just a few short minutes), Louis and Joe are together. In the pilot episode, we learn about the love lives of Louis and Joe, which is the first (of many) things that we see that they don't have in common. Louis is in a relationship with Wyatt (Brandon Routh), a nurse who is Presbyterian (don't worry, Louis is letting the entire world know that his boyfriend is really a Jewish doctor...), and Joe is in a relationship with Ali (Sophia Bush).

Joe doesn't quite know where the relationship with Ali is going, and decides to turn to Louis for a little bit of help. The conclusion? It is time to break things off with Ali. But when the time comes to actually do that, he ends up going in the complete opposite direction and ends up proposing to her. Unfortunately, Louis didn't quite get this message and ends up fouling up everything after he reveals Joe's real intentions to Ali, and now Louis is no longer in the good graces of Joe... unless of course he can figure out a way to fix the situation he fouled up.


Analysis:

I actually came out a bit more impressed with this series after watching the pilot than I was going into watching it. Before watching it, the only thing that really grabbed my attention was that David Krumholtz was one of the stars, and I really enjoyed watching him as the genius mathematician Charlie Eppes in the CBS crime drama Numb3rs. But something that bothered me a bit was the early comparisons to Will & Grace, and personally, I always found that series to be like a person scratching a nail across a chalkboard. Fortunately, I have to say that this series really does seem to work.

To start with, the main characters are very likable people. They're sort of like a Felix and Oscar or even a Larry and Balki duo, where one is like the adult and the other is the child. And like those previous sitcom duos, they do have their bad times as we see in the pilot, but in the end, they manage to get through it, because they realize that they need to stick together despite it all. There is one thing that does throw me off a bit about this duo, though, and it is seeing David Krumholtz's character as the "adult." Perhaps that is because this is one of Krumholtz's first real mature roles. After all, he's played an elf in The Santa Clause movie franchise, he was the "younger brother" in Numb3rs, and he played in the Harold & Kumar movie franchise... which I don't think I need to say a whole lot more about that. Michael Urie does an excellent job as the more childish one (though honestly, in the flashbacks, it seems to set him up as the more mature one). The moment at the end of the pilot where Louis goes to Ali to try to repair the damage that he caused with her relationship with Joe really shows how this series wants to make it clear that this series is going to make sure that they stick together no matter what.

The writing on the pilot is above average, with a well-written script and some funny moments to be found throughout the episode. I honestly can't say that I've seen too many new well-written sitcoms in a while (although I like some of them, I'm honestly not overenthusiastic about any of the new sitcoms from last season, even the ones that were successful), but this is certainly one of them. One thing that did bother me about the production of the first episode, though, is that I felt that the "audience reactions" were a bit overplayed. No, it wasn't one of those obnoxious "let's use a laugh track after every word" things as made popular by Tyler Perry, but there were just too many effects going on, and it isn't really necessary for a sitcom that would appeal to a more mature audience.


Conclusion:

I have to admit that I liked this pilot, but I'm hoping that we get a little more diversity than just relationship issues as we move past the pilot. The series really doesn't strike me as a series that has to be all about relationships, and I think that there are a lot of directions that the series can go in from here. It'll also get old if the series continues to play on the sexual orientation of the main characters. Again, this is fine for episodes about relationships, but it would be really nice to see a series have a leading character who is gay without making his character just be the gay guy. The pilot, though, did do a decent job of not making that the focus of the character Louis, and focused on him just trying to be a good friend to Joe. Hopefully, that will continue.

So, will the series last? I kind of hope to see it go on for a while, although in a way, it reminds me a bit of the ill-fated CBS series from last fall, How to Be a Gentleman. I think that the Monday night time slot will help this series gain the viewers that it needs to at least make it through long enough to see if this is what viewers want to see. I'm rooting for this series for now, but I think a lot remains to be seen as to how it develops through the next few episodes.


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 4/5
Funniness: 3.5/5
Overall: 4/5

Discuss the show after you watch it on Monday, September 24 on our message board.

Related Links:

  • CBS.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Partners Photo Gallery

    Preview:





    It's Friday, so it is time for "Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows" for the coming week. This is where we list what sitcom stars are appearing on talk shows for the coming week, the stars are both current and past sitcom stars, so this is for all sitcom fans of all eras!
    For the week of September 24-28, 2012, we have many current sitcom stars and past sitcom stars on TV talk shows! All times listed are Eastern. So get your DVR's (or whatever you use) ready! Ready? Here is all what you need to know for the coming week!

    Monday, September 24, 2012

    • David Spade (Rules of Engagement/8 Simple Rules/Just Shoot Me) - Watch David on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno at 11:35pm on NBC.
    • Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family/The Class) - Jesse appears on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 12am on ABC.
    • Ellie Kemper (The Office) - Ellie visits The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
    • Andrew Rannells (The New Normal) - Andrew is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:37am on NBC.
    • Vicki Lawrence (Mama's Family) - Vicki, Carol Burnett and Tim Conway chat with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
    • Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother/Doogie Howser, M.D.) - Neil stops by The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
    • Billy Gardell (Mike & Molly) - Billy is a guest on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
    • Demi Lovato (Sonny with a Chance) - Demi will discuss the emotional battle with anorexia and bulimia that nearly ruined her career on Katie, so check your local listings.
    • Margaret Cho (All-American Girl) - Margaret drops by The Jeff Probst Show, so check your local listings.
    Tuesday, September 25, 2012
    • Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory/8 Simple Rules) - Catch the lovely Kaley on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
    • Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy/American Dad!/The Cleveland Show) - Seth stops by The Tonight Show with Jay Leno at 11:35pm on NBC.
    • Jerry Seinfeld (Seinfeld) - Jerry appears on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:37am on NBC.
    • Anthony Anderson, Zach Cregger and Jesse Bradford - The cast of Guys with Kids are guests on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:37am on NBC. Anthony and Jimmy Fallon will also be on NBC's Today between 7-9am, while the trio will be on between 10-11am. Finally, the trio appears with Jimmy Fallon on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
    • NeNe Leakes (The New Normal) - NeNe appears on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings. She will also be on NBC's Today between 10-11am.
    • Zooey Deschanel (The New Girl) - Zooey visits The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check listings.
    • Maggie Elizabeth Jones (Ben and Kate) - Maggie is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check listings.
    • Suzanne Somers (Three's Company/Step by Step/She's the Sheriff) - Tune in to see Suzanne on Current TV's Joy Behar: Say Anything! at 6pm ET and 9pm ET.
    • Ty Burell (Modern Family/Back to You/Out of Practice) - Ty kicks off Modern Family Week by hosting ABC's Good Morning America between 7-9am.
    Wednesday, September 26, 2012
    • Sofia Vergara (Modern Family/Hot Properties/The Knights of Prosperity) - Watch Sofia on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS. She also talks about the long road to her overnight success on Katie, so check your local listings.
    • Kirstie Alley (Cheers/Veronica's Closet) - Kirstie is a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno at 11:35pm on NBC.
    • Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) - Jim visits The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
    • Penny Marshall (Laverne & Shirley) - Penny is part of the panel on Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
    • Joseph Gordon-Levitt (3rd Rock from the Sun) - Joseph drops by The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check listings. He will later be on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
    • Julie Bowen (Modern Family) - Julie guest co-hosts ABC's Good Morning America between 7-9am. She later chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
    • Ty Burrell (Modern Family/Back to You/Out of Practice) - Ty appears on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
    • Justin Kirk (Animal Practice/Weeds) - Justin talks about Animal Practice on NBC's Today between 7-9am and 10-11am.
    • Anthony Anderson (Guys with Kids/All About the Anmdersons) - Anthony is a guest on The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
    Thursday, September 27, 2012
    • Sofia Vergara (Modern Family/Hot Properties/The Knights of Prosperity) - Sofia guest co-hosts ABC's Good Morning America between 7-9am. Catch Sofia on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:37am on NBC.
    • Penny Marshall (Laverne & Shirley) - Penny discusses her book, My Mother Was Nuts, on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT. She will also be on Tavis Smiley on PBS, but check listings for time.
    • Cloris Leachman (Raising Hope/The Facts of Life/The Mary Tyler Moore Show) - Cloris stops by The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
    • Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men) - Jon is a guest on The Jeff Probst Show, so check your local listings.
    • Ellen Barkin and NeNe Leakes (The New Normal) - Ellen and NeNe appear on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
    Friday, September 28, 2012
    • Sherri Shepherd (Less Than Perfect/Sherri) - Watch Sherri on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno at 11:35pm on NBC.
    • Lenny Venito (The Neighbors/The Knights of Prosperity) - Lenny stops by Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 12am on ABC.
    • Selena Gomez (Wizards of Waverly Place) - Selena visits ABC's Good Morning America between 7-9am. Later she visits The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check listings. Finally, she appears on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 12am on ABC.
    • Martha Plimpton (Raising Hope) - Martha is a guest on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
    • Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother/Free Spirit) - Alyson appears on a repeat of Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
    • Chelsea Chandler (Are You There, Chelsea?) - Chelsea chats on Katie, so check your local listings.
    • Soleil Moon Frye (Punky Brewster/Sabrina, the Teenage Witch) - Soleil appears on NBC's Today between 7-9am.
    • Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family) - Eric guest co-hosts ABC's Good Morning America between 7-9am.
    Leave us comments on our message board or Tweet/Facebook us to let us know what you think of this Friday feature! We do listen!

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    When Dave accidentally knocks out the Butlers’ power during a heat wave, Calvin and Tina spend the night at the Johnsons’ home, where Calvin makes a surprising discovery about Dave. Also, Malcolm has some fun at Marty’s expense when he crashes at his little brother’s refurbished apartment.

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    Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 13)

    Monday, July 13

    • Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) - Watch Andy on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
    • Stanley Tucci (Central Park) - Stanley appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
    • America Ferrera (Superstore) - America is a guest on a repeat of A Little Late with Lilly Singh at 1:35am on NBC.
    • Lauren Lapkus (Crashing/Clipped/Are You There, Chelsea?) - Lauren will be on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
    • Regina Hall (Black Monday/Grandfathered/Second Generation Wayans) - Regina appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
    • Rob Lowe (The Grinder/Parks and Recreation) - Rob is a guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
    • Bill Engvall (The Bill Engvall Show) - Bill will be on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
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