The appetite for the buddy cop genre is voracious or at least that's what TV folk seem to think. Certainly it's a fav of the USA network.
So the home of "Psych" and "White Collar" brings us "Common Law" (10 tonight, USA), a too cute, too blah show about police partners with a relationship so difficult the department sends them to couples therapy.
That's where we meet Travis (Michael Ealy) and Wes (Warren Kole); their therapist, Dr. Ryan (Sonya Walger), is having a session with them and other married couples. Naturally, there comes a point where they have to explain they aren't in that kind of partnership.
Wes is fastidious, plays by the rules and pines for his ex-wife. Travis is a former foster child who lives in a Airstream trailer and has apparently slept with every woman in the department. In between their bickering -- and their efforts to show the captain (Jack McGee) that they can get along -- they solve crimes. Honestly, I can barely remember what the crime was in the premiere, something with drugs. It's kind of inconsequential.
This is a relationship show, and while the whole couples therapy thing is precious, it's actually the part of the show that works. I also liked Ealy's character multi-racial foster kid back story.
But while Ealy and Kole handle the banter just fine -- and let's face it, they are easy to look at -- their animosity feels contrived. Whether it's bad acting or bad chemistry, the fights never ring true. It's as if the show's light tone just wasn't built for any emotion beyond bemused.
"Common Law" isn't criminally bad but it's not arresting either.