Tele-Tuesday: Why Common Law Deserves a Renewal

Everyone is familiar with the term opposites attract.  Heck, many of us even remember Paula Abdul’s hit song from the late ‘80s, early ‘90s.  Usually, people think of romantic couples when hearing the phrase… but television has taken it to an entirely different level, especially when creating cohesive and lovable partnerships—detective pairings to be specific.

These duos usually have different backgrounds: familiar, economic, social, racial, educational, etcetera.  But more often than not, these partners make for some of the best in the field.  One of the first pairs that comes to mind is Sonny Crockett and Rico Tubbs (Miami Vice).  Another is Christine Cagney and Mary Beth Lacey (Cagney & Lacey).  And a more recent example would have to be Peter Burns and Neal Caffrey (White Collar).

There is nothing ground-breaking about these types of pairings on television, which is why when a new police procedural airs, the characters need another sort of twist to make it stand out among all the others.

Common Law does just that.  The USA series follows two Los Angeles robbery/homicide detectives with an immense love for the job—a job they’re good at—great at, actually—they just don’t like each other very much.  And when one partner draws his gun on the other, the police captain insists the two attend relationship counseling, or couples therapy to use a term we’re familiar with today.

Let’s start with Travis (Michael Ealy).  Travis was raised in the foster care system and has many mothers and brothers around the L.A. area.  He is a bit of a womanizer—he loves women and they love him—but he shies away from dating any one woman for more than, well, a night.  Perhaps this has something to do with his unstable childhood, but for whatever reason, it works for him… for now.

Next, we have Wes (Warren Kole).  The series hasn’t shared much about his childhood, but one can assume he hails from a wealthy enough family.  Before joining the LAPD, Wes worked as a lawyer and was married to another lawyer.  But when he quit to become a policeman, he lost more than his job—his wife left him too.  He hasn’t really dipped his toes back into the dating waters, but he’s taking baby steps toward the pool.

Travis and Wes bring these differences to their partnership, but only one thing matters—they are the best at what they do.  They bicker; they fight; and then they bicker and fight some more.  But when on a case, they rock it.

This scenario isn’t very fresh, is it?  No—but this is where the couples therapy comes in.  Travis and Wes do NOT want to attend therapy, but they don’t have a choice.  They’re joined by three heterosexual married couples and led by Dr. Ryan (Sonya Walger).  The therapy sessions really are great, and each episode’s opening quote always ties into the detectives’ lessons for the week.

For example, “Responsibility is the price of greatness.” ~Winston Churchill

Of course, Travis and Wes feel the group’s conversations don’t apply to them because they aren’t in a romantic relationship with one another; yet every single session relates directly to what the duo is experiencing, including: discussions about respecting each other’s personal property, or more specifically, Wes’ stapler and Travis’ inability to return it; co-parenting, or more specifically, working out a shared-custody arrangement of another policeman’s dog; and dealing with the in-laws, or more specifically, managing time between former, divisional bosses joining the current investigation.

“This session just took a detour to crazy town.” ~ Wes

The freshman series was very enjoyable for the most part, but the series finale sealed the deal for me.  After watching the last episode of the first season, I immediately hopped online to see if it had been picked up.  I was saddened to see it had not… not yet anyway.

In the finale, viewers watched Travis and Wes share with Dr. Ryan the story as to how they met and how their partnership began.  But more importantly, we learned why the two were assigned to couples therapy in the first place—why Wes drew his gun on Travis.  And let me just say, FANTASTIC.  I loved the finale so very much.  Not just because it gave the entire season purpose, but because we saw honest-to-goodness character growth from both Travis and Wes.

And I applaud the writers.  I noticed the tiny attention to detail inside the evidence warehouse; I saw the baby masks that the thieves wore in an earlier episode.  Everything came full-circle, including what I now consider to be Travis’ and Wes’ signature take-down.

“I can see a storm front coming through… a cloudy, cloudy storm front.” ~Travis

Watch the video attached to this article for a better understanding of Storm Front.

This partnership has a future, but does Common law?  I sure hope so…

C’mon USA!  Just renew it already.  Friday night is a tough spot, and even I’m guilty of not watching it live.  But I do watch it.  And I love it.  Please bring it back.

Oh, and did I mention the eye candy?

Travis and his baby blues…

Not a great shot, but just imagine baby blue eyes… because they are!

Wes and his killer dimples…

Again, not a great shot, but it gives you an idea of how cute his dimples are…

And one more thing that makes me swoon…  Warren Kole’s voice—it’s very sexy, ladies!

What do you think?  Did you watch Common Law?  Have you ever been so-so on a series until one particular episode drew you in for-keeps?  I’d love to hear from you!

Tele-Tuesday: May Flowers, aka TV in Bloom

Just as most television programs wrap up the 2011-2012 season, a few networks plan to launch new series this month.  It’s like a never-ending game of “What’s on TV?”

May is no different.  Our revolving door of television is back.

We haven’t introduced any new programs since March because many have accused us of adding too much to their already full TV schedules.  For that, we apologize.  But that’s not going to stop us from talking about even more!  Sorry – but we feel it’s our duty here at Tele-Tuesday.

So sit back and try to relax…

What will you watch?


The L.A. Complex

We’re actually late to this party — The L.A. Complex premiered April 24th on the CW.  The show follows a group of twenty-somethings living in the same apartment complex who are trying to make it in Hollywood.  Sound familiar?  Melrose Place comes to mind…

The series stars Cassie Steele (Degrassi: The Next Generation) as Abby Vargas, a Canadian who dreams of becoming an actress.  Abby meets other struggling artists at The Lux Motel, one of the few places they can all afford to live: Nick (Joe Dinicol), a comedian; Tariq (Benjamin Charles Watson), a musician; Connor (Jonathan Patrick Moore), an Aussie actor; Alicia (Chelan Simmons), a dancer; and Raquel (Jewel Staite from Firefly), a television actress.  Will they survive Los Angeles?

Most of the cast are relatively unknown, but viewers will see many familiar faces throughout the season in recurring and guest roles, like Krista Allen (Days of our Lives), Alan Thicke (Growing Pains), and Mary Lynn Rajskub (24).

The L.A. Complex airs Tuesdays on the CW.


White Heat

Normally we wouldn’t look to BBC America when searching for new television series, but because of the success of many British television programs here in the United States (Doctor Who, Being Human, and Sherlock to just name a few), we thought we’d change it up a bit.

White Heat follows seven friends (Lilly, Jack, Victor, Orla, Charlotte, Alan, and Jay) who first meet in London in 1965.  The six episodes will flash-forward and feature these same seven friends in the years 1967, 1973, 1979, 1982, and 1990 as they maneuver through personal and political times.

Because we don’t frequent British television, most of the actors and actresses are not recognizable by name, however many have a favorable resume: young Lilly, played by MyAnna Buring (The Descent); current-day Lilly, played by Lindsay Duncan (Rome); young Jack, played by Sam Claflin (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides); young Edward, played by Jeremy Northam (The Tudors); young Jay, played by Reece Ritchie (The Lovely Bones); and many others.

One aspect of White Heat that really captured our attention was the music associated with each episode, featuring artists Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Queen, The Clash, and Culture Club.  The tunes alone make the series worthy, right?

White Heat premieres Wednesday, May 9th on BBC America.


Common Law

Common Law follows two Los Angeles detectives with an immense love for the job – and they’re good at it; they just don’t like each other very much.  When a new police captain (Captain Phil Sutton, played by Jack McGee from Rescue Me) moves in, he sends the seven-year partners to relationship counseling or couples therapy as we’re familiar with today.

Common Law stars Michael Ealy (Flashforward) as Travis Marks and Warren Kole (The Chicago Code) as Wes Mitchell – two partners stuck in a “marriage with bullets.”

Viewers can expect to see a few other familiar faces: Sonya Walger (Lost) plays Dr. Elyse Ryan, the detectives’ therapist; Alicia Coppola (Jericho) plays a forensic pathologist; and Nora Zehetner (Grey’s Anatomy) is a new detective on the force, specializing in the digital world.

The USA Network is known for their fantastic original programs: the older and never forgotten Monk and The Dead Zone; the current and favorites Psych and Burn Notice; and the sophomore hits Suits, Necessary Roughness, and Fairly Legal.  Because of the network’s track record, Common Law is probably the series we’re most looking forward to here at Tele-Tuesday,

Common Law premieres Friday, May 11th on USA.


Men at Work

Another channel we don’t usually watch for, TBS is launching a new sitcom this month created by the great Breckin Meyer (Franklin & Bash).  Men at Work follows four friends who all work together at the same magazine as they help a buddy get back on the dating horse after a disastrous breakup.

The series stars: Danny Masterson (That ‘70s Show) as Milo, the recently dumped friend; James Lesure (Las Vegas – we are big fans of Mike Cannon here at Tele-Tuesday) as Gibbs; Adam Busch (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as Neal; and Michael Cassidy (The O.C.) as Tyler.

Rarely do we see a comedy centering around all men, and funny character actors we’ve missed for years at that.  Add the funny-man creator to this, and we can’t help but feel Men at Work could potentially be summer dynamite.

Men at Work premieres Thursday, May 24th on TBS.


What do you think?  Do you plan to watch The L.A. Complex, White Heat, Common Law, or Men at Work?  Which show has the most promise and why?  The least?  I’d love to hear from you!

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