Martin Lawrence and Kelsey Grammar were two of the biggest names amongst 90’s sitcoms stars but such polar opposites. While Lawrence often displayed wild, and sometimes offensive humor, on his show, Grammar took the more subtle and intellectual approach with his show’s material. After their sitcoms ended, they enjoyed good careers in movies and behind-the-scenes work. But the thought of Grammar and Frasier coming together on screen seems like an idea beyond any reasoning. Now they have defied all reason and have come together for their new show, Partners.
Partners is about two Chicago lawyers from different walks of life who have come together to open a law firm. Marcus Jackson (Lawrence) is a community activist lawyer coming off of a divorce and lives in a house with his daughter, Laura(Daniele Watts), and mother, Ruth (Telma Hopkins). He operates his office below the townhome in which he stays with his paralegal (Rory O’ Malley) and office assistant Veronica (Edi Patterson) Jackson is Allan Braddock (Grammar) is a lawyer, who was just fired from his father’s law firm, is a corporate lawyer married to his second wife and has a conceited stepdaughter Lizzie (McKaley Miler).
The two lawyers cross path in a courtroom as Marcus is negotiating his divorce case and Allen is summoned for his actions during a previous case. Allen approaches Marcus in a bathroom and offers his help to re-negotiate his divorce settlement. In exchange for his help, Marcus agrees to take on pro-bono cases that Allen received because of his previous courtroom behavior. After successfully renegotiating his deal, Allen is brought in as a partner in hopes of bringing more revenue to Marcus’ law firm.
Lawrence and Grammar both seem to take on a role reversal of their previous pidgeon-holed on screen personas. While Lawrence is usually been known for his physical comedy, his character is more passive and carefree; Grammar’s character is actually the more aggressive and upbeat part of the duo as opposed to the high-brow subtle characters he has played. It also shows up in the way that they deal with their families on the show. Marcus seems to be intimidated by his mother despite the fact that she lives with him. Allen also shows a reckless care of disciplining his stepdaughter and seems to have bitter feelings toward his parents.
The supporting cast is average at best and it may take a while for them to fully develop some comedic distinctions. Miller and Hopkins seem to stand out as immediate staples to the show as based on the personalities of their characters. Both are strong-willed females who can clash and bond, even as early as a couple episodes into the season.
Partners is slowly becoming a good show that could be a great show. It would be surprising to see it get cancelled after this season but it remains to be seen if it lasts for more than three seasons. Has the season goes on, the writing is getting better and the characters are getting more involved in the storylines which brings variety and freshness to the show. The verdict is in: Partners is the show to fucks with.