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'Partners' is best of new sitcom trio
Only a few pearls in slew of new sitcoms on broadcast channels this fall

Date published: 9/30/2012

By Rob Hedelt

ONE new sitcom tries to mine laughs from a different sort of "odd couple" friendship.

Another goes for the old "wacky brother" approach.

And the third? I'm still trying to figure out the appeal of a middle-aged OB/GYN who acts like a promiscuous, dysfunctional 16-year-old.

CBS' "Partners," which airs tomorrow night and puts a new twist on the old "odd couple" formula, is the best of the bunch.

The show benefits largely from star David Krumholtz ("Numb3rs,"), who is solid enough to play all the permutations of straight man the role requires.

He's Joe, in a friendship and work partnership with his childhood buddy Louis (Michael Urie from "Ugly Betty").

Toss in Joe's fiancee, Ali (Sophia Bush from "One Tree Hill"), who has long since realized that loving Joe means she gets a life that includes Louis. She's spot-on for the role of the beautiful if somewhat shallow girlfriend.

To complete the circle, add Wyatt (Brandon Routh of "Superman" fame), who earns grins for his somewhat doltish portrayal of Louis' hunky boyfriend.

Yes, we've seen this "friends who are different but care for each other" theme since Felix and Oscar did it so long ago. But this version has the chance to shine, at least if things flow solidly from last week's funny pilot.

I hope they make Louis the crazy, funny character who happens to be gay, instead of the crazy gay guy who is occasionally funny.

Krumholtz is a great actor, and the ability for comedy he displays here is somewhat surprising. His role on CBS' "Numb3rs" was so different--a mathematical whiz who struggled with emotions and regular life.

This new show proves the range he has.

SIBLINGS INSUFFERABLE

I don't have similarly nice things to say about "Ben and Kate," airing Tuesdays on Fox.

It isn't the premise that doesn't work.

There's something sweet about a brother and sister who support each other as young adults.

The problem here is that neither one of them is very interesting or likable.


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WANT TO WATCH? What: "Partners" When: Mondays at 8:30 Where: CBS What: "Ben and Kate" When: Tuesdays at 8:30 Where: Fox What: "The Mindy Project" When: Tuesdays at 9:30 Where: Fox