Parents' Guide to

Partner Track

By Monique Jones, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Bland rom-com fails at tackling racial themes.

TV Drama 2022
Partner Track TV show: poster

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 1 parent review

age 16+

Common Sense Reviewer was too hard on this show; cast is diverse and writing intentionally engages with social issues and flawed characters

The main reason I am reviewing Partner Track here on Common Sense Media is because I was surprised to see that Common Sense's reviewer neglected to note a significant Latino character when provocateur fashion designer Valdo, who is an immigrant from Cuba. Without getting to spoilery, it seemed to me that if we were to get a season 2 of Partner Track, it would be logical for Valdo's character to become more significant to the ensemble. While we're discussing diversity, one might also note that while it's not written as central to her character, Rachel Friedman, the third character in the show's little trio, is Jewish. The Common Sense critic's complaint that Ingrid Yun's character is too focused on how she's perceived by her white peers and toxic leadership at her law firm seems very strange, as that is an intentional storyline. The closer she and Tyler get to making partner, the more their characters have to struggle to achieve their goals without losing their self-respect or stepping on the backs of others. Honestly, I was impressed by how willing the show was to "go there" when it came to exploring issues like ethics, societal and parental measures of success versus self-actualization, racism, sexism, classism, white fragility, solidarity (or not in a couple of notable, spoilery instances), toxic environments, relationship negotiation (Tyler and Anthony's more so than Ingrid's), holding oneself accountable, making amends, etc., etc. While it's certainly not a perfect show, perhaps most notably suffering in the consumerism department, the writing is very intentionally having its characters engage with a number of heavy topics even as it does the typical whirlwind romance love triangle stuff. I do think any parent watching this with teens would have a lot to talk about, especially with regards to sex, consumerism, toxic workplace, racism, and sexism, but honestly it doesn't strike me as a show marketed for teens or like it would be of particular interest to most teens I know.

This title has:

Too much consumerism

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This rom-com is passable at best, and forgettable at worst. It's most annoying quality is how Partner Track wants to be a frothy, breezy rom-com in the vein of the best Meg Ryan movie and make a sincere statement about people of color in predominately White spaces, but fails at both. A meaningful storyline about how certain professions in America function as a White man's club would be spectacular, even more so if it could exist in a genre that people might not take seriously. But the series isn't interested in the nuances of such a conversation. Instead of it stays on the very top of the surface, focusing more on played-out, 1990s-esque fashion montages than a serious discussion about racial politics.

Even more troubling is that Ingrid (Arden Cho) is in an extremely White version of Manhattan. She and her friend Tyler (Bradley Gibson) are seemingly the only people of color aside from the Latina janitors at the law firm. To top it off, Ingrid appears to date only White men, with another friend (Alexandra Turshen) even making a joke that she has dated more Asian men than Ingrid. The statement, plus the optics, takes a ton of wind out of Partner Track's message. Of course, you don't need to date within your race to be considered down with your race, but it's strange when the main character seemingly wants to live in a fantasy of the White gaze and engage in racial politics only when it's relevant to her success.

TV Details

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