A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Intimate male friendships are rare on television, and this one is portrayed positively. The characters care about each other and spend time on-screen worrying about the right thing to do and the proper way to treat friends.
Positive Role Models
Though Joe and Louis often mock each other, they're supportive and close. All of the leads on Partners have professional careers they seem to enjoy and do well, and viewers see them at work, getting things done.
Violence & Scariness
At one point Louis jokingly threatens to kill himself after making a mistake.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Expect kissing and other displays of affection from couples both gay and straight, plus casual references to unmarried couples having sex. There's some innuendo and sexual language, as when Louis talks about when he and Joe were both 12 and Louis would tell him "which girls were getting boobs."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Some cursing or racy language: "ass," "boobs."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some references to drinking.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Partners is an innuendo-filled sitcom about two thirtysomething male friends, one gay, one straight, who run a successful architecture firm together. The innuendo comprises both gay and straight sexual humor. There are also references to drinking (Louis says about himself that "girlfriend likes her liquor") and racial quips, as when Louis tells his (Latina) secretary that the way she's "presented her bosom" today will make "Bernardo the envy of every Shark at the rumble." Viewers will also notice the close and supportive friendship between the two men -- uncommon for TV.
Is It Any Good?
While canned laughter is rarely welcome, it's even more oddly intrusive than usual in Partners. Did the producers happen to hire some weird laughers for this gig? What it comes down to is that, if we're noticing the laughtrack, it's because we're not laughing ourselves. Though every single one of the lead actors in Partners has great charm, and Urie and Krumholtz have chemistry that's by turns comedically zingy and sweet, this material is so predictable it's annoying. Not only are there tired gay-stereotype jokes aplenty (adolescent Joe vows he'll marry Alyssa Milano, while Louis claims his future wife is Bette Midler), there are sitcom-y plot drivers, such as when Louis blitzkriegs Joe and Ali's engagement by revealing that Joe originally intended to dump her before he went ahead and proposed. Why don't characters on sitcoms just talk to each other like real people so there are no Big Misunderstandings? Oh yeah, because that would spoil the joke.
In addition, though the dialogue has a quip/counterquip quality similar to that on the funnier Will & Grace, the pop culture references are curiously dated: Clay Aiken, "raise the roof," Britney Spears? Did Kohan and Mutchnick's pop-culture consciousness get frozen in amber sometime in the early 2000s? All that said, the cast's natural likability makes the show not a complete disaster; fun-to-watch Urie even stirs some occasional actual laughs. Put better lines in this guy's mouth! He's ready for them.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Our Editors Recommend
Best Sitcoms for Your Next Family Binge-Watch
Comedy TV Shows for Teens
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate