3
Oct
2012
Partners, Season 1: Episodes 1 and 2
Pilot/ Chicken and Stuffing
Sarah
Usually, when someone has to spend an inordinate amounts of time justifying something she has done or is about to do, I think that person should just not do that thing. That being said, let me justify why I cant stop watching Partners even though it is not good.

First, I love Sophia Bush, a lot. I watched One Tree Hill to the bitter end pretty much just for her. I stuck with One Tree Hill through twist after unbelievable and poorly thought out turn. I actually learned of the existence of Partners because I imdb-ed (imdb'd?) Sophia Bush and saw that she had a new show.

So the initial choice to watch Partners was not a controversial one. It had my number one girl crush, the annoying guy from 10 Things I Hate About You (the one who bought his Izods at an outlet mall), Michael Urie and a hot guy that looked vaguely familiar.

At this point in time, I have to admit that I have never written a review before and wasn't thinking about writing one when I was watching the first and second episodes. But I have lots of thoughts about the merits and problems of the show and I am going work out my personal issues under the guise of "reviewing" the first two episodes.

The premise of the show (which was somewhat inelegantly revealed in the pilot) is that Louis and Joe are partners in an architecture firm. Louis is dating Wyatt and Joe is engaged to Ali. Joe and Ali get engaged in the pilot. Louis screws up and then fixes it and all is forgiven. And that's all you really need to know (there were also some entertaining moments between Louis and Ali in a yoga studio).

The problems potentially started in the first scene of the pilot when the child version of the character that would grow up to be Michael Urie (Louis) did not deviate one iota from the stereotype of gay child (see Kurt Hummel on Glee). I was willing to let this slide because "endearing gay" is Michael Urie's bread and butter and it is a delicious snack even if it is high in trans fat (just to be clear by trans fat I mean offensive stereotype, Michael Urie probably does not approve of actual butter).

The stereotypes continued. I don't remember all of the little things that got my goat in the pilot, but the absolute worst was when the sassy Latina receptionist (c'mon really, we aren't done with those?) let Louis put his face in her boobs for comfort. I'm not sure how that bit got started, but I have had a lot of gay friends and, while they have been curious about boobs, they have never wanted to be up close and personal with them when they were feeling low.

That's not to say that there is never any humor in the differences between people of different genders and sexual orientations, and Partners occasionally gets it right. Especially in the second episode, which why it is safe to assume that all of the snippets from this point on come from that one. When Louis tells Joe that he and Ali cant just go to bed without having sex, he says "you're not lesbians." Joe responds along the lines of "straight men and gay men have very different ideas about what lesbians do." This is true and funny, but I didn't feel guilty laughing at it, like I did at a couple other jokes that got a guffaw from me. Louis also had a great running joke about trying to get laser hair removal on his balls. You gotta love testicles, they are the great comedic equalizer because no one really knows what to do about them but everyone loves to talk about them.

Ball jokes aside, I am also a sucker for touching moments between friends and lovers. Partners has plenty to keep me coming back for more. The premise of the second episode is that Louis always gets involved in Joe and Ali's love life to try to help Joe even when Joe doesn't want him to. Louis does this twice over the course of the episode, and Joe gets pissed. Then we find out that Joe does the same thing for Louis and they realize that each of them is grateful for the others' meddling. Perhaps my favorite scene of the episode is when Louis comes home to find out that Joe sent Wyatt a cake to celebrate his 5th sober birthday (uh-oh a sober character on a show I love; this does not bode well). Wyatt believes the cake is from Louis and is touched. When Wyatt comments on the sweet card, composed by Joe, Louis says "read it to me, I want to make sure they got it right." Louis then becomes very teary eyed by Joe's kindness, but of course Wyatt thinks he is being overly into his own nice gesture, which would not be out of character for Louis. The gag was the obvious one to make there, but it was well done.

So, I'm going to keep watching. My excuse is that I told Jordan I was going to review it weekly, but I would keep watching anyway. I find that as shows progress and we get to know the characters better, the jokes become less stock and more personalized to the characters. This already happened between the pilot and the second episode, so I have hope. But I am naively optimistic (I think the sports team that wants it more will always win), so I could be super duper wrong. I'll let you know ☺

Grade: B (grading on an easy curve because Partners is basically still a kindergartener in the TV world)

Thought vomit:

-Architects are so much more prevalent on TV than in real life that The Mindy Project (another show that thinks it is more progressive than it actually is) made the profession into a punch line. I wish there had been some of that self awareness here.

-God, Sophia Bush is so hot! And Brandon Routh"¦THERE IS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE HERE PEOPLE

-"I don't want you to bone a chicken. I want you to de-bone a chicken!"

-I appreciated that it was Joe, not Ali, rushing to get in shape for the wedding.
Tags: Partners
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