Partners: New CBS TV Series; Is It Worth Watching?

CBS TV series PartnersTonight, CBS unveils Partners, the second new sitcom in two weeks that includes two gay characters. The New Normal looks like it will be a moderate ratings success for NBC. Will Partners last more than a season for CBS or will it be cancelled instead? Is it even worth watching?

Partners revolves around a pair of best friends — Joe (David Krumholtz), who’s straight, and Louis (Michael Urie), who’s gay. They’ve known each other since grade school and are now partners in an architecture company. Louis’ mate is Wyatt (Brandon Routh), a vegan nurse. Joe is dating Ali (Sophia Bush), a beautiful jewelry designer. Can Louis and Joe’s friendship and working relationship survive the addition of two more “significant others?”

Will audiences care enough to stick around to find out? Here’s the critics are saying:

LA Times: “Partners, which premieres Monday on CBS, is impossible to review without comparing it to other shows… Yet despite, or perhaps because of, its derivative nature Partners is, if not revolutionary, then a monument to the fight: It proves, more than The New Normal or even Modern Family, that being a gay man on TV is no longer a big deal. At least not a big enough deal to serve as the primary story of the show or, unfortunately for CBS, to create any sort of buzz. …

It’s difficult not to hope Partners survives the season. It’s not a bad show, it’s just a bit too familiar. Which is why it’s important. The gayness of Louis and Wyatt here means nothing more, or less, than that characters too often relegated to separate tables have been invited to the big one. There, the chicken may sometimes be a bit chewy and the flowers less than perfect, but the more the merrier, and about darn time.”

Vulture: “I can’t be too hard on this show because (1) the lead actors are appealing and seem like they’re actually friends, (2) their characters are unabashedly based on Kohan and Mutchnick (sorry, guys!), and (3) the pilot is helmed by master sitcom director James Burrows, which means it has Swiss watch timing and a dash of shtick. With its stock supporting characters (Ali and Wyatt are attractive blanks) and its lame central contrivance, this is not a great pilot, but it’s far from an awful one.”

USA Today: “Funny on TV is not the same as funny in life. When it comes to writing sitcoms, David Kohan and Max Mutchnick are clearly capable of being very amusing men, as they proved with Will & Grace. True, they did come a cropper with $#*! My Dad Says, but you’d have good reason to expect more from Partners — a show based on their own partnership, and the show they say they’ve long wanted to do. If only they had done it better. Because while Partners may be many things, ‘funny’ isn’t one of them — or at least not often enough to matter in either of the two episodes made available for preview.”

Salt Lake Tribune: “There are some laughs in the pilot, and the cast is very likable. But Kohan and Mutchnick quickly run out of ideas – Episode 2 is a hot mess.”

Boston Herald: “Successful TV producers — David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, who is gay, decided to create a sitcom based on their real-life bromance. The problem with Partners, as you’ll discover if you watch the first two episodes, is that they already made that show years ago and it was called Will & Grace.”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “An episode of Partners CBS made available for review was interspersed with shots labeled ‘stock’ where establishing shots will be placed prior to the show’s premiere tonight. But the ‘stock’ material in Partners isn’t limited to missing B-roll footage on critics’ screeners: This comedy is full of stock jokes, stock characters and even a stock premise. Partners isn’t the worst new sitcom of the season — NBC’s Guys With Kids earned that title hands down — but it is disappointing.”

Partners TV show supportBoston Globe: “Like The New Normal and Modern Family, Partners wants to help move TV into relatively unconventional groupings of friends and family. But the stubbornly conventional scripts, the overfamiliar characters, and the old-fashioned, machine-gun comic timing undermine any possibility of freshness. There are worse sitcoms on TV, for sure, but the ones with potential sometimes hurt the most. They lure you in, then leave you flat.”

So, what do you think? Do you agree with any of the critics above? Have you watched Partners? What did you think? Will you watch again?

Canceled and renewed TV show

30 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Gigi says

    I think the show is very funny. Hope it’s not cancelled. I’m tired of reality shows and violence on TV. I want to watch something that helps me relax after a long day at work!!

  2. Love it says

    I loved it. I watched the third episode tonight and frequently was laughing out loud to the point that my husband told me to be quiet so I wouldn’t wake up the kids. You can’t judge a show on the pilot alone. I agree the pilot wasn’t te best thing ever but I even liked that episode as well. There were some very cute funny moments in the pilot, the second one (other then the new assistant for Ali- didn’t really love her) was also funny and started to help you get to know the characters a bit more. I think people need to give shows a chance. That is the problem nowadays. You watch one episode and blow off a show as crap and nothing ever gets past season 1 or if they are extremely lucky season 2. I am so sick of shows being cancelled after 6 episodes when they are just finally finding their footing and getting good. Ringer was fabulous and they dropped it in favor of hart of Dixie and 5 new shows that will all more then likely be cancelled by next season. give a show a chance to introduce characters and get a chance to start telling the story before you write it off. If the writers just jumped into a story without giving people a chance to meet te characters and learn the dynamics of the relationships everyone would freak out that they don’t understand what’s going on and they went to fast into the body of the show. Patience is a virtue so maybe if people weren’t so quick to huge and gave new shows a chance our tv’s wouldn’t be full of shows that last 1 season and then are gone. What happened to the days of shows that lasted close to 10 years on a regular basis? Friends, seinfield, will and grace, gilmour girls, according to Jim, home improvement all shows about friends or family with no crime or death or over the top drama just a fun half hour to have a few laughs and forget the seriousness of real life. I hope this show last for years as I for one am sick of every show turning to killing off main characters for ratings or completely changing a
    Characters personality for one episode to add some dramatic effect. Just give us some good old fun the way it used to be!

  3. sandie says

    Wow, I think PArtners is a great Rom-com. It is cute, funny and witty. The game of celebrity is one of the best scences I have seen lately. It was wonderful. I hope the 10 year guess is correct. This is the new HIMYM.

  4. Toulouse says

    I love it. The pace of the conversation is great. All 4 actors are fun and while the gay partners are there, a lot of it is just about relationships with some hilarity added.

  5. diane winicour says

    My husband and I thought it was adorable, no comparison to will and grace
    which I watched all the time. I think it will be successful.

  6. Paula says

    The show was not good. I will not be back next week to watch. I can not understand Sophia Bush doing this show. She is more talented then the show.

  7. Ted says

    I am a bit confused. The article says: “Tonight, CBS unveils Partners, the second new sitcom in two weeks with a pair of gay men as main characters. ” Then the next paragraph says: “Partners revolves a pair of men — Joe (David Krumholtz) and Louis (Michael Urie) — who’ve been best friends since grade school and are now partners in an architecture company. Louis’ mate is Wyatt (Brandon Routh), a vegan nurse. Joe is dating Ali (Sophia Bush), a beautiful jewelry designer, and he decides to propose.” So, are they gay or not. Doesn’t sound like it.

    • says

      Ted » There are four main characters, two are gay. The main friendship is between two men — one gay and one straight. It is confusing so I’m going to reword it. Thanks!

  8. says

    wow, was I watching a different show than everyone else was? I giggled throughout the show, even tho most of it was on CBS’ fall preview! I loved Michael Urie, and I thought his comedic timing was fab! I was thoroughly entertained, which was my whole reason for watching sitcoms.

  9. Max says

    Thanks for the great rundown about Partners; it’s good to see what the critics are saying about a show before becoming fully invested in it. I missed last night’s premiere, but I will watch it later.

  10. Melinda says

    I swear I saw better acting at my high school. There was no chemistry between these actors, and that’s what made “Will & Grace” great. Of course, it’s stupid sitcom dialogue. I expect that. But I don’t expect amateur OVER-acting.
    What a let down.

  11. Chris West says

    Ughh!!! I have seen this sitcom when it was called Will and Grace. it comes across as several five minute skits. Yawn. Won’t be around long which is the best part of the show.

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