I just got finished watching my first episode of Partners, a new comedy that follows two lifelong BFFs, one straight and one gay, starring Michael Urie and David Krumholtz who play partners at an architectural firm. Their “bromance” complicates the other relationships in their lives – especially with Joe’s fiance’ (played by Sophia Bush) and Louis’ partner played by Brandon Routh).
The series is based on its co-creators, David Kohan and Max Mutchnik, the Emmy Award winning duo behind Will & Grace who also happen to be real-life best friends. Instead of a man (gay) and woman (straight) who are best friends, we have two men, but the issues that Will & Grace faced are similar here. From relationship to work, everyday life, decisions, food, love – they share everything.
I have to preface this piece saying that I adore Michael Urie. I saw him recently in How to Succeed in Business on Broadway and just fell in love with him all over again. I was also an Ugly Betty fan and when that series was cancelled, I was in mourning. He’s got comic timing and charisma and I love the way he acts all innocent but is quite snarky. He’s got some GREAT one-liners and he delivers them splendidly (like “Whenever anything comes out a closet, it’s a gay event.”) I also have to say how thrilled I am that network television is finally embracing gay and lesbian issues. Ryan Murphy’s The New Normal, is another show of this nature that hit the airwaves a few weeks ago. I saw the first episode and was intrigued but have yet to tune in again.
I watched episode #3, which airs tonight on CBS at 8:30pm EST. In this episode, Joe’s fiancée is moving in and he’s unpacking her boxes. When he gets to one marked “Private”, he commits to not opening it but does, finding a photo of her with Derek Jeter. Louis convinces him to concoct a game of “Celebrity” to sneakily find out about their relationship as he’s clearly intimidated by her relationship with the famous athlete. But it all backfires when Wyatt, Louis’ partner, draws Jeter and can only muster up “he had hot desert sex with Ali” as his clue. Meaning that Louis has a big mouth and told his boyfriend about the secret.
How many times have you been in that situation where you stupidly and inadvertently told a friend a secret that you had been sworn to secrecy to someone else? I won’t lie that I have…more times than I’d like to admit. It’s never fun getting caught and sometimes the friendships recover and sometimes they don’t. It depends how strong the relationship is. I’ve had friendships survive and friendships dissolve because of miscommunication or a slip of the tongue and I never deal with the loss well, to be honest, especially when I’m at fault. Louis clearly can’t hold his tongue and disagreements happen often as a result of it, and they will carry many future story lines in upcoming episodes, I would assume.
But Joe and Louis are also business partners, and Urie has rightly called his character the “sh—stirrer”. He clearly likes to get into every affair of his parter’s life, both business and personal. I run a business with someone and we are friends just as much as we are partners. We balance the two by having weekly catch ups. We keep the two worlds separate and when we’re busy and have deadlines, and we keep the conversation business focused. We actually don’t live in the same town and don’t know the same people, so we can’t really get anyone in trouble when we do vent. Neither of us are really like Louis, but we’re not around each other as much as they are. The dynamics of mixing friendship and business are very interesting and I like that this show explores it in a deep and meaningful way.
The cast has unique chemistry that helps carry the show and each actor has good comic timing, complimenting each other and the writing. I look forward to watching future episodes and am glad I was given the opportunity to review the show.
Tune into catch the show tonight on CBS at 8:30pm EST and see it for yourself. At the same time, there will be a Twitter party going on over at #Partners (from 8:15-9:15 EST) and they’ll be chatting w/ real-life bffs & biz partners, Vera Sweeney and Audrey McClelland, two people I know and respect in real life. RSVP here.
Disclosure: I have partnered up with One2One Network to promote this episode. They sent me a screener copy but all opinions expressed are my won.