FX's new comedy brings Kelsey Grammer ("Frasier") and Martin Lawrence ("Martin") back to television, and we should all give zero f---s. Grammer and Lawrence had hit television series back in the '90s, so centering a multi-cam comedy on the two seems like an OK idea - if you're OK with lazy multi-cam comedies. The main problem with their new show "Partners" isn't the series' obtuse conception, but its dreadful execution.
FX’s new comedy brings Kelsey Grammer (“Frasier”) and Martin Lawrence (“Martin”) back to television, and we should all give zero f---s. Grammer and Lawrence had hit television series back in the ’90s, so centering a multi-cam comedy on the two seems like an OK idea — if you’re OK with lazy multi-cam comedies. The main problem with their new show “Partners” isn’t the series’ obtuse conception, but its dreadful execution.
First, let’s deal with “Partners’” ill-advised throwback-to-two-decades-ago model. “Partners” is ostensibly an odd-couple comedy where two different lawyers — Grammer’s Allan is a blue-blood elitist, Martin’s Marcus is a man of the people — form an unlikely bond. I could go into how these two cross paths and join forces, but it’s so typical it doesn’t matter.
Now to “Partners’” biggest blunder — how utterly rote and phoned-in every aspect of the series is. The characters are barely archetypes — Marcus is going through a divorce, Allan is a rich dickhead. The jokes are so bad I’m surprised the laugh track actually laughed. The performances by Martin, and especially Grammer, are apathetic at best.
I barely made it through two episodes. I was offended by how awful the pilot was, and literally mad at myself for choosing to watch the second episode.
I understand the viability of using (formerly) big name TV stars in Lawrence and Grammer. They bring cache and experience, but their chemistry is completely forced.
I’m not quite sure why FX — one of the most forwarding-thinking networks, especially when it comes to comedies — continues to invest in dinosaurs who’ve long lost their appeal (see also: Charlie Sheen’s “Anger Management” and George Lopez’s “Saint George”). It’s a jarring juxtaposition for FX to air these shows along with the likes of smart, innovative and edgy stuff like “Louie” and “You’re the Worst.”
So if you’re in the market for something akin to “Family Matters” or “Step By Step” — yes, those are credits for one of the showrunners — give “Partners” a shot. If you want something entertaining and clever — and, dare I say, funny — seek out other FX (or FXX) comedies.
Photo courtesy FX