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Review: Partners 1x1 (CBS)

Posted on September 25, 2012 | comments | Bookmark and Share

Partners (CBS)

In the US: Mondays, 8.30/7.30c, CBS
In the UK: Not yet acquired

Gay men, hey? Who'd employ them? Airheads with low IQs and zero knowledge of the world outside of shoe shops and musical theatre, who'd prefer to gossip rather than work. Over-emotional racist sexual harassers who are more feminine and effeminate than the average woman.

You might as well as well sign up for your complimentary lawsuit and series of written job performance warnings as soon as you've said, "You're hired" to any one of them.

That, at least, is the message you'd be taking away from US TV this fall from shows such as The New Normal and now CBS's Partners. It's like the last 20 years of progress have just disappeared overnight. Tom Hanks in Philadelphia? Was he even gay? In those ensembles? I don't think so.

But for the network that currently has that study in prejudice 2 Broke Girls and the horror story that is Mike and Molly, Partners is a minor hate crime at worst. More troublesome is its unoriginality and almost complete lack of funny moments.

Starring the woefully miscast David Krumholtz (Numb3rs, The Playboy Club) as a semi-alpha male architect and Michael Urie (Ugly Betty) as his lifelong friend and work colleague, the show revolves around Krumholtz and Urie's dominating friendship and the relationship difficulties that their partners - Brandon "I was Superman" Routh and Sophia "I wasn't but I was in One Tree Hill - does that count?" Bush - have as a result of competing with this all-consuming friendship.

If that all sounds familiar, maybe that's because in 1995 there was a sitcom on Fox called Partners. It had the same director (James Burrows) and the same concept (two young male architects, one of whom has a girlfriend, the other vying for his friend's attention). The show's producers, who made Will & Grace, are even big fans of the original.

Who needs original ideas any more? Here's a trailer so you can bask in its desperate, unoriginal unfunniness.

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Friday's "Scarlett Johansson is Janet Leigh, no Viagra for Goldie Hawn and Minnie Driver has Lady Friends"

Posted on March 2, 2012 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

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Review: The Playboy Club 1x1

Posted on September 21, 2011 | comments | Bookmark and Share

The Playboy Club with Amber Heard and Eddie Cibrian

In the US: Mondays, 10/9c, NBC

Stop me if you've heard this one before

Playboy. Say the word and there's going to be an immediate reaction. Some people will be excited at the hint of some flesh, some people will think it anti-female and some people will instantly think 'porn' and try to ban whatever you're talking about.

So it is with NBC's The Playboy Club - formerly known as just Playboy - which had the Parents Television Council boycotting it before they'd even seen it, which had NBC's Utah affiliate saying they weren't going to show it because of its associations with pornography and which had various people saying it should be boycotted because it was demeaning to women.

The producers and stars protested that this was a historical drama/crime story/soap and that everyone was making something out of nothing before they'd even seen it. Okay, the nudity clause in the stars' contracts didn't help, but this was NBC so the chances of actual nudity, given the Janet Jackson 'Superbowl nip slip' is still being dragged through the courts, was zero, but that didn't seem to stop anyone.

Anyway, now it's on our screens so everyone can see what the fuss is about - or at least 5m people can, given the show's lackluster ratings on Monday.

Set in Chicago, 1961, it stars Amber Heard - best known in the US as "that girl in the new Guess jeans ads" and in the UK as "Top Gear's best ever but slowest 'star in a reasonably priced car'" (and on this 'ere blog as one of our regular 'random actors') - as Maureen, a new 'bunny' in Chicago's Playboy Club. She gets herself into hot water when she's attacked by a patron who turns out to be a mob boss. Naturally, she kills him with her stiletto.

Aided by Nick Dalton - played by Eddie Cibrian, best known in the UK as "that guy who took over from Adam Rodriguez for a season in CSI: Miami when he had a hissy fit" and in the US as "that scum who ditched his model wife and baby so that he could have an affair with the equally married Leann Rimes" - Maureen manages to cover up her crime.

For now.

With a scattergun approach that involves firing just about everything possible at the screen, ranging from social issues and soap opera love triangles to singing, dancing and a little bit of ultra-violence, the show has a little something for everyone. Given all those ingredients, it's a little duller than you might hope, as well as a little stupider, but it at least shows some promise.

Here's a trailer.

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