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'Partners' recap: Smoking the bong of justice and going to space on a budget

Season 1 | Episode 8 | “The Law School Reunion” | Aired Aug 25, 2014

Allen immediately starts the episode by setting Greek-life stereotypes back a good decade. He shows Michael and Marcus his old fraternity jacket on which a logo is featured drawn up by a sorority girl, “Betsy ‘Rug-Burn’ Ross… That girl was gifted.” On the logo is “a Supreme Court judge smoking the bong of justice.”

Not to be outdone by this, Lizzie quickly shows up to send some even worse messages to viewers: She realizes that the consequences of sending a boy a photo of you in a teddy are “you have millions of followers, everybody’s talking about it, you get a fragrance and a reality show.” Based on the facts in front of her, it’s obvious she should send it and she does so quickly. This topic never comes up again, so young girls are told sexting is in fact a positive thing all in the service of one unfunny, poorly constructed joke.

Allen has brought his fraternity jacket out because there’s a law school reunion coming up, and he asks Marcus to join him so they can potentially land a meeting with JP Buchanan (guest star Family Ties patriarch Michael Gross), his father’s direct competitor. Marcus asks why they can’t just donate money to the school instead of going, and Allen replies, “It’s more about clothes, jewelry, finding the appropriate person to cheat on your spouse with.” Marcus retorts, “Oh, we call that church.”

They head to the reunion, and Marcus is talked into bidding on a trip to space. He somehow thinks he’s only spending $500 for A TRIP TO SPACE. It turns out that the bidding actually starts at $5,000 for A TRIP TO SPACE. A quick Google search shows that a trip to space would at minimum be $250,000. What Marcus was possibly thinking is beyond me. $500 can’t even get you to Europe!

Marcus ends up being the only bidder despite trying to get others to outbid him and agrees to take the trip instead of donating the money to “build a heated barn for the schools’ dressage horses.” Allen sulks in a bathroom stall because no one likes him, and because this is a sitcom and certain things happen in sitcoms, he of course overhears some colleagues talking rudely about him. It’s meant to establish sympathy for him, but he’s been so unlikable and crass up until now that it doesn’t play that way.

Marcus accidentally meets JP at the bar, and he gets a meeting with him. Marcus tells Allen that he took the meeting because he heard Allen say that he’s partnered with Marcus “for now.” Marcus goes to the meeting, and for some inexplicable reason decides not to take the job offered to him. He’d rather stay partnered with Allen, who’s never really done anything nice for him. So be it.

Other thoughts:

– This gem was directed by star Kelsey Grammer.

– It feels like the studio audience is being held at gunpoint and required to laugh incredibly hard at every single line delivered. The laughs are so overpowering and constant. Or is it again the world’s worst laugh track?

– There’s got to be some sort of contract stipulation about Martin Lawrence making weird faces in each episode. He gets to do it twice here: once impersonating JP and once flying into space.

– Allen’s middle initial is “X,” which he says stands for Xstephen. “The x is silent.”

– At the end of the episode, Allen lights his fraternity jacket on fire and then drops it on the floor of the office when it catches. He runs away, making no attempt to put the fire out. He is the worst.

– Marcus overhears an alumna at the reunion say, “The problem with the poor is you can teach them how to fish, but then they’ll just sell what they catch and collect their welfare checks anyway.” They love to paint everyone in broad strokes.

– I was looking around on the Internet earlier today, and it appears I may be the only person recapping Partners week to week. I am so lucky.

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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