Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pilot Thoughts: Partners and Ben and Kate

Partners is a show about two childhood best friends, one is gay and the other is straight, who also happen to be business partners. The thing about Partners is that it was a pretty groundbreaking show back in 1998 when it was called Will & Grace. Not shockingly the creators of both shows are one and the same and unfortunately they really didn't give us something we haven't seen before making the pilot feel stale at points and dated. The cast is solid enough, but, like most pilot episodes, the actors and the writers are clearly still trying to figure these characters out. What they needed was to quickly establish the strong bond between the two leads played by Michael Urie (gay Louis) and David Krumholtz (straight Joe) and I'm not sure they did. I think for me it's because both actors are bringing two different energies to their role and it's coming off a little "James Franco and Anne Hathaway at the Oscars." That's the point of course with these two friends who are so different from each other who still love one another like they're brothers, but it all just came off a bit forced. Perhaps in time both will be able to gel together more. The show also has a problem with the side characters (aka their significant others) in that they are a bit bland. They're certainly no Jack or Karen. Overall, I really wanted to like the show, but it was a bit underwhelming. C

Pleasant. That was a word that kept bouncing around my head when I was watching the pilot episode of Ben and Kate. Pleasant, to me, says that I have positive feelings about the show, but no real strong reaction to it, and I think that's pretty accurate. Nat Faxon and Dakota Johnson play the titular siblings who impressively from the get go made me believe they are brother and sister which is a big plus. Kate is a single mother with a super adorable daughter while Ben plays the free-spirited big brother who jumps back into their lives to help them out or create some much-need chaos. The chemistry between these three are great and it's reason enough to tune into the show, but they need better jokes. I'm also looking forward to a less frenzied-feeling episode, which in their defense, they needed to do to setup all of the characters. It's a work in progress and again, it's pleasant enough... but is it enough to keep me tuning in? Here's an idea... more Lucy Punch! B

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