A new sitcom on FX starring Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence sounded like it could be promising, but the first episode of “Partners” that recently aired proved to be little more than a bigoted attack on priests and the Catholic Church. Even the New York Times called the show “painful” and said “the proceedings mostly make you wince.” Variety likewise called it “woefully flat” and “depressing.”
The show revolves around two down-on-their-luck lawyers who team up. Lawrence’s character decides to investigate his ex-wife, who has found religion and moved into the rectory of the parish where she is a bookkeeper. The protagonists believe that she is now sleeping with one of the priests. They break into the rectory in the middle of the night hoping to confront the priest, but end up searching his empty room. They find rosary beads that they insinuate are used for sex as well as a box of condoms and other clues that help them conclude that the woman is sleeping with the priest.
After this the sexual jokes abound. For example, “I can’t believe my ex-wife was getting broke off by the one straight priest in Chicago”; and, “This is the woman I lived with for 22 years … and the entire time she’s sleeping with Fr. Francis giving him a second coming.”
This is not the Catholic League’s first go-around with FX. Now they have a new problem: it’s bad enough that the critics trashed “Partners,” but FX can now be assured that practicing Catholics who mistakenly tuned in for the first episode won’t be back.