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TV Review: FX’s ‘Partners’

FX premieres Partners—starring Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence—on Monday Aug. 4, 9 p.m. ET with two back-to-back episodes. The following are reviews from TV critics around the web, compiled by B&C.

“Like Anger Management, featuring Charlie Sheen, the show itself is practically an afterthought, inasmuch as it’s designed to feel like an instant rerun — something that can help fill the sitcom-starved syndication pipeline. But yikes, watching these two comedy veterans trying to keep such a leaky, woefully flat vehicle afloat is more depressing than nostalgic.”
—Brian Lowry, Variety

“A forced setup doesn’t necessarily doom a sitcom, and no sitcom with Grammer and Lawrence lacks potential. The first episodes have problems, though, including the biggest one in the whole sitcom world. Too often Partners feels like it’s being written to the jokes, not the characters.”
—David Hinckley, New York Daily News

“There is great chemistry between old pros Lawrence and Grammer, even if the scripts are spotty and feel about 20 years old, same-sex marriage references notwithstanding. Of course, it's great to see Grammer back in the sitcom harness.”
—David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle

"Partners, by contrast, feels like some crusty vaudeville relic that was propped up, given a couple shots of cheap booze, then pushed onto a stage and told to perform. Failure is a given – or in this case earned, because it not only manages to insult Catholics in the first episode, but gays in the second. That kind of equal opportunity denigration is rare, even by primetime standards.”
—Verne Gay, Newsday

“The new FX sitcom Partners might have you doubting your own memory. The series, which stars Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence, is so labored and unfunny that you may find yourself asking: ‘Wasn’t Frasier sharp and urbane? Didn’t Martin have some spunk? Where are those two guys?’”
—Neil Genzlinger,New York Times