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Review: USA's 'Common Law'

5/07/2012 12:01 AM Eastern

USA
Network’s new series
Common Law
continues
the “Characters
Welcome” network’s
run of buddy police
dramedies, but with
a slight twist. The series stars Michael
Early and Warren Kole as Los Angeles
police detectives and partners Travis
Marks and Wes Mitchell, who have a
less-than-cordial working relationship —
so much so that they’re enrolled in
a couples counseling group headed by
Dr. Emma Ryan (Sonya Walger.)

The series pilot actually begins and
ends with the two detectives in Ryan’s
couples counseling center, which feels
a bit awkward given that the rest of the
show turns into a traditional police procedural
similar to USA’s White Collar or
Psych, with comedic banter between the
main characters wrapped around a storyline
of murder or crime. Both Early’s
portrayal of Marks, the nonchalant,
free-spirited ladies’ man, and Kole’s
depiction of the intelligent and obsessive
but caring Mitchell are strong and
believable.

The chemistry between the two
actors works for the show, even as
their characters are often at odds
with one another, whether they’re
bickering during a counseling session
in the midst of several other classic
couples or competing out in the field.
In one memorable scene from the
pilot, Marks asked a wounded perp to
settle a dispute over which one of the
two detectives shot him.

Supporting-cast members such as
Walger and Jack McGee (the detectives’
captain, Mike Sutton) help to round out
the show’s appeal. It will be interesting
to see whether the novelty storyline
of two detectives in couples therapy
holds up over the course of a season,
but early indications are that Common
Law
will not disappoint fans of USA’s
scripted-series formula.

September