Partners: Did You Have a Gay Old Time?

Partners Premiere RecapOne thing we can all agree on: Michael Urie is back on TV and that’s a very good thing.

But was the Ugly Betty scene-stealer’s comeback vehicle, CBS’ Partners, firing on all cylinders?

First, a brief refresher: Written and exec produced by David Kohan and Max Mutchnick (Will & Grace), the sitcom — which debuted Monday at 8:30/7:30c — follows two architects and lifelong friends — the straight Joe (David Krumholtz) and the gay Louis (Urie) — and their significant others (Sophia Bush and Brandon Routh, respectively), who often play second fiddle to Joe and Louis’ marriage-like relationship.

The double entrendre-laced series doesn’t exactly break new ground. And yes, some of the punchlines land with a thud (see: “I have a heart on!”). But there’s enough chemistry between Urie — who makes the scheming, self-obsessed Louis far more likable than he deserves to be — and Krumholtz to earn a cautiously optimistic stamp of approval.

What did you think, TVLiners: Hit the poll below to let us know what grade you give Partners, then back up your pick in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Mo says:

    It was so cute!!! I’ll definitely catch it next week. Anything that makes my wait for Castle seem less long is fantastic!!

  2. luli says:

    so should i watch it?

    • Esaul says:

      All depends on what kind of sitcoms you’re into. I think it’s worth a few more episodes.

    • jdurbs says:

      I really wanted to like it but the attempt at comedy was ridiculously forced and fell completely flat to me. I don’t think I laughed once during the entire episode (despite the laugh track telling me I *should* be laughing). Too bad…I was hoping for more from Sophia, David & Michael.

  3. Kate says:

    I want to like it, but it Michael Urie was a bit too spastic. I will give it a few more episodes though because I love David Krumholtz. It just felt like you were watching them act because you could see them wait for the set up and punchlines coming. Maybe with a live audience for the first time they were nervous? Hopefully they settle into a more natural rhythm.

  4. Sarah says:

    I loved it!! So great to have Sophia Bush on my TV! It think it definitely needs a few more episodes to find its footing, but it was really good!

  5. lariet50 says:

    Love David Krumholtz, Michael Urie is hilarious. Sophia Bush and Brandon Routh were both dull as tombs. And some of the jokes were very forced. I’ll give it another shot, for sure. There’s the potential for a good show there.

  6. Deion says:

    I enjoyed it. I think Urie and Krumholtz play off of each other nicely. Sophia Bush was likable outside of One Tree Hill. Brandon Routh is the weak link. The character needs tweaking.

    • the girl says:

      Yeah, I didn’t think it was Brandon Routh’s fault, his character hasn’t been written yet. Its like, he’s just kind of there so Michael Urie has a boyfriend. But they need to tweak a lot of things, IMHO.

    • lorna says:

      Disagree, I loove Brandon Routh. He is my fave on here.

    • godzilla's foil says:

      It’s simple. Brandon Routh is not and has never been an actor (will probably never be, but let’s give the guy some time). If you put an underwear model to read lines and “look good”, that doesn’t make him an actor. He’s being pushed to us as such, but make no mistake.

      • Deion says:

        He’s not a great actor, no, but he was better than this in Chuck and I HATED him in Chuck. If all they needed was “dumb hunk”, there were other actors out there,

      • ghidrah says:

        You should write an acting book. I’m sure you’re an expert. Better hurry cuz the internets is full of experts who can spot bad acting practically wherever they look.
        He’s fine as an actor, maybe not a fantastic range but I’ve bought him as a homicidal villain and the last freaking son of Krypton.

    • Jimi says:

      Brandon Routh looks too much like Superman/Clark Kent (Yes, I know.. that’s why he played the part that one time).. Every time He’s on my screen, I keep waiting for him to rip open his shirt and fly off.. :)

    • TheBeach says:

      I thought that was kind of a funny twist to make Superman gay. Is he a great actor…no. Is he great eye candy…absolutely.

  7. Ana says:

    I wasn’t even planning to watch but I can’t stay away from Michael Urie. I’ve missed seeing him since Ugly Betty was cancelled. It was actually better than what I had expected. Not great, but it was fun and light. Some of the jokes fell flat but Michael it’s still a joy to watch. I liked it way better than 2BG which started their season with a schtick about a big kid breastfeeding at the restaurant. It was so awkward and gross I had to change the channel immediately. Too bad, I really like the girls. Anywho, Partners is definitely I keeper, IMO.

  8. Carling says:

    BTW his name is Joe not Charlie, Charlie was the mathematician on the CBS show Numb3rs (RIP) also played by David Krumholtz.

  9. tvaddict says:

    I will continue to watch. It wasn’t great but there is chemistry but I think Routh is a bit stiff and he seems to just be there to look hot(which I don’t totally object to). HIMYM and 2 Broke Girls had better premieres tonight

  10. I guess I was the only one who thought it was terrible. It seemed like a rehash of Will and Grace (the “do you need the girls scene” could have been directly lifted from a Jack/Karen scene) but with two guys and no laughs.

  11. Frankie b says:

    It was like watching Jack and Will and Will was Straight.

  12. Alex says:

    Very disappointed with the show…. I enjoyed Michael Urie so much on Ugly Betty, but this show’s premiere was a mess. Urie’s character was completely one-sided and unlikeable and Brandon Routh’s character was basically a throw-away part (And he was always saddled in those ill-fitting scrubs!) And one more thing… Did anyone else notice the crazy excessive use of hand gestures by nearly everyone?!

    For the plain sake of comparison, look at another new show, ‘The New Normal.’ It started off so strong with a lot of laughs and I’ve consistently enjoyed the past three episodes. I have very few issues with the characters, format, or humor.

    ‘Partners’ stumbled so much tonight and I never found myself willingly laughing at a single joke. Will I tune in again? Yep, because I want so desperately to like this show. But the outlook is pretty grim after this pilot.

  13. Martin says:

    I liked and laughed at the “I have a heart on” joke – every time.

  14. Chris says:

    I’m disappointed. I like the cast and I really want to like this show but I didn’t enjoy the pilot at all. I’ll give it a few more eps and hope it gets better.

  15. Courtney says:

    Seeing comments like “I’m disappointed” never makes sense to me. I just don’t get how anyone could be after one episode. Thinking of any shows I really love (I love some dumb ones and I love some great ones), they are always better than their pilots. Shows need to grow and get better over time. Writers need to get feedback from viewers and critics to see what people want out of them and the show, and they need time to develop the characters. Some jokes worked, some didn’t. Michael Uries character was too ‘out there’ but I’m sure his character to will get serious moments. Similarly, the pilot just wasn’t focused on Wyatt, but when his character gets his time perhaps Brandon will shine. I think it was a solid start, and noone should write off a show after one episode.

    • Shelbee says:

      If someone thinks a shows pilot is bad, why should they be forced to continue watching it? In the super off chance it might get better? In this day in age, pilots have to be strong, or viewers will turn out.

      • Courtney says:

        Who said anything about force? You don’t HAVE too.. I just think to say a show is bad after one episode is stupid, and alot of times, just not true. Some great shows started off terribly. Tune out if you want, of course, I just don’t think it’s fair to judge a whole series on one episode ever (considering every series has their filler episodes, or just ones that aren’t up to par with the rest) and definitely not the pilot.

  16. Shelbee says:

    What an awful show. Hard to imagine it’s written by the Will & Grace creators. And it’s too bad, cause I really like Urie and Krumholtz.

  17. Tricia says:

    It was OK, for a CBS comedy.

  18. Jay says:

    Horrible show…cancelled within a month.

  19. Gina says:

    “Who knew gays could drive stick?? How ironic” seriously had to pause my tv to stop laughing!! I hope this show sticks! I thought it was great! Been a fan of David Krumholtz since the first Santa Clause movie!!

  20. Den says:

    Sophia Bush is SO much better in dramas, some of her line deliveries here were just… eeek! not good. but she does have great chemistry with both Urie and Krumholtz, especially Urie.
    Brandon Routh did nothing for me.
    I’ll give it another shot.

    • I feel like Sophia Bush would be wasted in a comedy. She’s so much better at drama. I think she wanted a break from drama though. I’m going to watch this just for her and Michael Urie, but I’m doubtful of its quality after reading the comments.

  21. sam says:

    I loved Michael Urie on Ugly Betty but unfortunately, this show is really bad. I didn’t laugh at all. As for anyone writing off a show after one episode… if it’s a comedy and you’re supposed to laugh but you don’t, why would you expect it to be funny in the next episode?

  22. samaxe794 says:

    It wasn’t horrible, but I’m not sure it can last on CBS. Not the right audience for this show.

  23. Emma says:

    I didn’t like it all, I really didn’t find it very funny. Brandon Routh was terrible (can’t tell if it was bad writing or bad acting..). I won’t be watching it again..

  24. Emily says:

    micheal Urie was great, but everything else just fell very flat, *maybe* it needs time to find its stride or whatever, but pretty lack luster effort really

  25. Mellie says:

    Should have been a dramedy as opposed to a sitcom. They wouldn’t have felt it necessary to shoehorn in the obligatory jokes in specific moments, would have served everyone’s talents more effectively. I’ll give it an episode or two more of a chance, though.

  26. Jennifer S says:

    Wasn’t great right out of the gate, but not a lot of shows are. Only a few hit on all cylinders on the pilot episode. There is too much trying to be done most of the time. They are trying to introduce characters and back stories. I will give this a second watch to see what happens. I love Brandon Routh and am glad to see him in something else, but he came across as kind of the dumb oaf so I am hoping that improves. Michael Urie, while I loved him in Ugly Betty, not sure what he’s trying to do here. Like I said. I am going to give them another shot. Did that with Go On and it’s now one of my favorites. Just think about all of your favortie shows….did you love the pilot???

  27. Joel says:

    The laugh track was too egregious. They need to keep their finger off the button. That might help the show. And I realize sitcom acting is a little heightened but it they need to relax because there was some overacting going on.

  28. Larc says:

    Michael Urie needs to pull back a little. He’s overplaying his character to the point of being a caricature. That worked better on Ugly Betty when he was in a supporting role. But he comes off as a supremely shallow in Partners.

    For another thing, I find the laugh track obnoxious. It drew attention to itself, which is bad.

  29. Mark C. says:

    I enjoyed it – wasn’t sure at first but by the end, I was a fan… and unlike many, loved Brandon Routh …

  30. Tara says:

    Best line was “There are four people at this table, but there are three couples.”.

  31. Lauren says:

    I watched because I like all these actors – but it was not good. Not sure I will tune in for a 2nd ep. Shame.

  32. I turned away…I was awful. Will and Grace revised….and not in a good way. Will is straight and Grace is now a gay man.

  33. Michael says:

    I would literally watch Brandon Routh stand for 30 minutes, shirtless, and read the phone book. Love Sophia Bush and Michael Urie. With all that said, I laughed three times in 30 minutes and one of those times was for a commercial preview of Two Broke Girls. I’m sad to say I didn’t love this show and I HATED the transition music between scenes. WHAT IS THAT? Anyway, my love of the creators of the show and the cast will allow me to watch one more episode and hope for the best.

  34. January says:

    Y’all, It was the PILOT episode. How many of those are actually good? I really love the potential it has. It managed to make me laugh a few times, and fall slightly in love with the characters. Were things and acting over done? Yes. Were the jokes somewhat mediocre? Yes. Was the story line pretty far-fetched? YES. (C’mon, we saw a girl get proposed to, break it off, get re-proposed to by a gay best friend.. all to be patched up OVER THE PHONE.) But, that being said- it was enjoyable. These days there are only a handful of light hearted, happy-go-lucky tv shows on and Partners is both. I will definitely be tuning in next week.

  35. Nicole says:

    Wow, people are never satisfied… The pilot wasnt great, but there are few pilots that are. Partners fell into the same problem that most new comedies fall into, that they try too hard to be funny, and end up not being so. The “heart-on” joke wasnt very funny, but I laughed when Brandon said he could give David one, and his reply was “he really couldnt”. That was great. I’ll definately keep watching. it has the potential to be a really good show, I hope CBS gives it a chance to find its footing.

  36. Kristina says:

    Loved the two main characters, they have great chemistry and were really funny. I love Brandon Routh, but I didn’t care for him in this…hopefully he settles into the role a bit and grows on me. Didn’t care for the fiance at all, but again, maybe she’ll grow on me. Overall I think it has potential. Hope it gets a decent shot.

  37. Ashly says:

    I tuned in because I love Michael Urie and Sophia Bush. They both brought heart to their characters. The dialogue got pretty bad (the heart on), but if that can improve, this show has a lot of potential. Overall, I liked it and I would watch it again.

  38. EFPaisley says:

    Making fun of gays – Not Funny
    Just being gay – Doesn’t make you Funny
    Tired old cliches – Weren’t Funny the first time
    This Show – Not Funny enough to watch again…. I will be watching something else next week.

  39. Ella says:

    Eh, it was just okay. I like the cast and I think Urie actually played what would normally be a neurotic self-centered character in a manner that was funny and likeable (see Megan Mullally who was awesome, take notes Debra Messing who SUCKED) but it needs a LOT of work. The chemistry between Urie and Krumholtz is really what’s holding it all together because Brandon Routh’s character needs to be fleshed out a LOT more (I know it’s just the pilot but he was like a brick wall) and honestly, I think I laughed out loud maybe once. It has potential so I’ll tune in for a few more episodes but the humour is just too forced and sloppy at this point to be enjoyable long term.

  40. Char says:

    Meh. Compared to the other incredible new comedies this season, Partners is just not that funny. It’s ok. Mildly entertaining, passes the time I suppose. But it definitely wouldn’t get me to set my DVR.

  41. jen says:

    Would someone PLEASE give Michael Urie and Becki Newton a show!
    I wanted to like this, but I didn’t.

  42. Alicia says:

    Awful show. Didn’t laugh once. Everything about the show is unoriginal.

  43. Marc says:

    I LOVE THIS SHOW! So good to have the “Will & Grace” gay/friendship/relationship presence back on TV! While I know a significant part is over stereotyped, the message of care and friendship and goodness is ever-present. With all the other crap shows, reality tv that isn’t real, and crime shows, it’s nice to just laugh and relax with people that I could easily see myself being friends with. I think the show is EXCELLENT and I have laughed my ass off with every episode and recommended the show to my friends!