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Partners: Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence (FX)

Image Credit: FX

Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence team up for 'Partners'

Season 1 | Episode 1 | “They Come Together” | Aired Aug 4, 2014

FX has an interesting split of shows these days, with the majority being critically acclaimed darlings (like Fargo and The Americans) or loud and exciting audience favorites (like Sons of Anarchy and American Horror Story). Partners falls into the smaller category of broad multicamera sitcoms that FX has recently been generating, starting with Anger Management and Saint George.

“Truth and facts certainly have their place in society, but do they really have a place in a court of law? … No.” So says Kelsey Grammer’s Allen Braddock after being fired from his father’s law firm at the beginning of “They Come Together.” Partners establishes early on that Allen is an unethical man, even having him come right out and say it later on: “I’m well versed in legal ethics. How do you think I’ve avoided them for so long?”

Martin Lawrence’s Marcus Jackson is a down-on-his-luck lawyer, a man who’s supposed to be seen as the polar opposite of Braddock. The problem is that while everyone continually says what a good man Jackson is, there’s little evidence to back this up. Jackson is a smartass, insulting almost everyone around him. This is supposed to be explained away by his ongoing divorce with his ex-wife, Renee, who’s currently trying to take all his money in the settlement. When his daughter, Laura (Danièle Watts), admits she is staying celibate until marriage because of her parents’ divorce, Marcus’s mother, Ruth (Telma Hopkins), responds, “Honey, you can only save a pork chop for so long before it dries up and won’t attract anything but flies.” Yup, Partners establishes early that it has no problem sending poor messages for the sake of a joke.

Jackson and Braddock meet by chance in court one day, where Braddock is given pro bono cases to work and Jackson sadly sleepwalks through his divorce settlement (which his ex-wife doesn’t even bother to show up to). Sensing Jackson’s vulnerability, Braddock corners him in the men’s room and convinces him to help with the pro bono cases in exchange for some fresh eyes on his settlement terms. Jackson refuses at first, but is worn down by Braddock and reluctantly admits he needs help.

Braddock does some digging and suspects Renee of having left Jackson for a local priest: “Looks like Renee’s been giving her little heart-shaped box to someone else.” They break into the priest’s room and find that Braddock’s theory is correct (“She gave him a second coming!”). This allows Jackson to finally stop feeling guilty about the divorce; he decides to take a hold of his life. Braddock gets him a better divorce settlement and they sort of become friends in the process.

After the divorce is taken care of, Braddock proposes joining Jackson’s firm. He needs a job and Jackson needs more money coming into the firm. Jackson declines because he recognizes what a terrible human being Braddock is. He can only resist for so long before Braddock passes a large check to him. He takes the money and agrees to the partnership.

Partners stars two comedy legends who’ve never been seen together before. If you like the multicam style, broad sitcom humor and one or both of these guys, odds are you’ll dig the show. This first episode spent much of the time convincing Braddock and Jackson to team up, but once we see a few episodes of them working together, their chemistry will make or break the show. What did you think? Was the pilot what you had hoped it would be? Will you be watching more episodes?

Other thoughts:

– Braddock is not respected in the courtroom at all, and the judge remarks, “You used air quotes every time you said ‘the law.'” He says he’ll bring a lot of money into the firm, but there doesn’t seem to be much evidence supporting this. The characters who know him seem to agree that he’s a joke.

– The office assistants don’t get much time in this episode, save for short introductions to both. Edi Patterson is easily the funniest part of this episode as the seductive Veronica, who is as quirky as she is boisterous. Rory O’Malley’s Michael doesn’t make much of an impression besides allowing Braddock to make another offensive joke by stating, “I’m guessing [your favorite legal film] is ‘Legally Blonde.'”

– Braddock also discusses intimate details of his sex life in front of Laura, Jackson’s teenage daughter. He is pretty despicable.

Partners, rated TV-14, airs Mondays at 9/8C on FX.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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