TV First Impression: “Partners”

Written by First Impression, Television

Partners will seem so very familiar to anyone who was even a casual fan of Will & Grace

My first impression of Partners (Mondays, 8:30 PM) is that I was watching a show about Will and Jack, two of the central characters from the longtime hit series, Will & Grace. This makes perfect sense since Partners was created by, written and produced by David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, the men who also created Will & Grace. Furthermore, the pilot was directed by Will & Grace‘s director, the legendary James Burrows, who is essentially the Steven Spielberg of television sitcoms; practically everything he touches is gold.

Partners strikes a similar tone and pace as Will & Grace, except the straitlaced, uptight character in this series isn’t gay, he’s engaged to a gorgeous woman. David Krumholtz, who has a long career in film and television, stars as Joe, an architect who has trouble following his gut and a tendency to over analyze everything. In the pilot, Joe’s girlfriend Ali (Sophia Bush, One Tree Hill) tells him that she’s ready to get married and have kids; he panics and prepares to break up with her. Of course, once he takes pause and thinks about it, he realizes that Ali is his true love and ends up proposing. Joe’s best friend since childhood is Louis, played with high energy by Michael Urie, the scene stealer from Ugly Betty. Louis lives in the moment and must constantly deal with the wreckage his spontaneity ccreates. Louis has a handsome, dim boyfriend who is a nurse. His name is Wyatt and he’s portrayed by Brandon Routh, who once upon a time was Superman.

These four characters make up the core of Partners. The pilot had some funny moments, thanks primarily to Urie, but also (surprisingly) Routh. Krumholtz is the straight man (ha, get it) in the show, so his prime objective seems to be to react to Urie’s high jinks. In the pilot, Bush made Ali smart and independent, quite an accomplishment since she wasn’t given much to do. Because the tone and pace and the characters of Partners will seem so very familiar to anyone who was even a casual fan of Will & Grace, this is the type of show that should hit it off with the viewing public right away. Given that it follows the romantic comedy, How I Met Your Mother, and precedes Two Broke Girls, the odds are in the favor of Partners. It’s not a bad show. In fact, if Burrows stays on as director and the writers are given the time, I can see this developing into a very funny series. It’s just not that original. That, my friends is quite a statement when you think about it. That a TV series featuring two gay characters seems kind of “been there done that” means that we’ve actually made gains in our culture. Yea.