Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Episode 1464: Partners (Or How CBS Simultaneously Tries Too Little And Too Much)

So Tuesdays are back to being my busiest TV day of the week, although the only new show I've added to my viewing schedule is Partners from CBS. I've slagged CBS off in the past for being content to produce middle-of-the-road fare that gets the network solid ratings, without actually being solid television, e.g. Two And A Half Men, or that is just inferior to something else on the air, e.g. The Big Bang Theory (which laughs at geeks) versus Community (which laughs with geeks). Partners sort of suffers from this problem. It's got all of the ingredients for decent comedy, but it's oppressed by a laugh track that shows a complete lack of trust in the audience's sense of humour. This isn't a huge problem on other CBS comedies like 2 Broke Girls, which is so shamelessly crass that the laugh track just seems like part of the package, or How I Met Your Mother, where Neil Patrick Harris's comedic timing and delivery that have made him the breakout star of that series also buy it a lot of my goodwill. The problem is that because the core cast of Partners all arguably still exist somewhat in the shadow of their previous work (David Krumholtz for Numbers, Sophia Bush for One Tree Hill, Michael Urie for Ugly Betty, and Brandon Routh for Superman Returns), the comedy ends up feeling like it's trying too hard to prove these people can play new characters, hence the overbearing laugh track to make sure anyone watching gets just how funny they are. It's unnecessary, and although Partners has been critically savaged, I personally think it could actually develop into something that will plug the gap left when the oldest CBS comedies go off the air.

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