Partners: It’s like Will & Grace, except now it feels dated! The show premiered last night in CBS’s plum spot between How I Met Your Mother and 2 Broke Girls, and it does seem like the midpoint between the two — not nearly as earnest and sweet as HIMYM, but not even close to as vitriolic and hammy as Broke. Credit where it’s due: The four lead cast members are extremely charming, and the old-school comedy rhythms of the show are dead-on. But the pilot felt like it was cobbled together from scraps of 100 other sitcoms. The whole episode was one massive déjà vu, but let’s break it down. Here are all most blatant clichés from last night’s Partners:
- Gay men love Bette Midler
- A character being told “you know what your problem is? You think too much.” (See: Don’t Think. Feel.)
- A character has an embarrassing tattoo
- Latina women wear tight clothing and threaten violence — but in a sassy way!
- Using the “implausible deniability” dialogue model to show how darn spunky one of the characters is. “I introduced the two of you!” “You were out of the country when we met.” ” … When legend becomes fact, print the legend!” Sure, he’s lying and being a jerk, but isn’t it kind of fun?
- Yiddish = punchline
- Gay men and straight women don’t know sports terminology and apparently can’t use context clues to figure out what a pretty obvious term — in this case”play me or trade me” — might mean.
- Two characters seem on the verge of breaking up … but instead get engaged!
- Except a third character thought they broke up, and inadvertently reveals to the thrilled woman that she was almost dumped instead of proposed to.
- Gay men can touch breasts with impunity
- “This time you crossed a line.”
- “[Long involved specific phone conversation.]” “Who was that?” “Wrong number.”
Sitcoms don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but jeez, do they have to roll it through the same exact ruts?