So I've Been Watching "Common Law" (2012)....

Some of you already know why.

Now that we're all caught up, let's move on.

Actors Michael Ealy (*sigh*) and Warren Kole portray Detectives Travis Marks and Wes Mitchell respectively on USA's Common Law.  After recent roles, Ealy (*sigh*) chose the role of Travis because of the light-hearted comedy.  Travis and Wes are partners who - as partners - work well together in that their styles are complementary.  However, they hate each other so much their boss sends them to couples' counseling because he just doesn't know what else to do with them.

At first, I didn't like the show.  It's yet another police procedural replete with the dedicated, skilled, honorable cops who don't exist in real life.  And I really didn't like the fact that yet another show was trying to exploit bromance, when perfectly good gay actors and characters could've sufficed.  But the truth is, I don't really see the bromantic angle on this show.  Aside for the opening mix-up, where the other couples in their therapy group initially mistake them for a gay couple, these two hate each other, sometimes to the point of violence.  Though their boss realizes that professionally, they complement each other, personally...these two hate each other.

Then, there was the casting/characterization issue.  Kole looks like the bastard lovechild of Hayden Christensen and Ryan Philippe.  He has Philippe's upper class stiffness in Cruel Intentions and Igby Goes Down, and Christensen's overall blandness.  Kole's character, Wes, is divorced and you can clearly see why.  But then I realized, that's the whole point.  He's an anally retentive obsessive compulsive.  Kole acts this way...because he's written that way.  It's his chief character flaw; he over-thinks everything and then makes the wrong decision.  Their boss says that without Travis, Wes would go on thinking too much and never make an arrest.

But what really got to me was Ealy (*sigh*).  Understand that like many people, I'll watch Michael Ealy (*sigh*) in everything.  Ever since I first saw him in the first Barbershop movie, it was over and done (*fans*).  However, I don't appreciate the stereotypical characterization of Travis.  While Wes is the former lawyer with the posh ex-wife and house, Travis grew up in foster care.  Never adopted, he's not even sure how he got his name.  Some of his foster siblings are now street thugs who sometimes feed him information.  In keeping with the Black male stereotype, Travis sleeps with anything that moves, especially if it's a Becky.  He has commitment issues and all the women at the precinct hate his guts.  The medical examiner, after the first two eps, quit her job because Travis slept with her and never called.  Travis is ghetto-ish, materialistic, relying mostly on instinct rather than intellect, and doing his best to show off his swag.  His boss says that without Wes, Travis would get himself killed.


If this were any actor other than Michael Ealy (or Aldis Hodge, or Lee Thompson Young, or Leonard Roberts), I would've stopped watching midway through the pilot, especially since it's implied that Wes is sort of in charge and the alpha male.  For example, now that the medical examiner has been replaced with another Becky, Travis is interested.  However, nuBecky only has eyes for Wes, and Wes only has eyes for his ex-wife who's spent the past year dating new people.

*rubs temples*

Be that as it may, I intend to go on watching Common Law.  I tried to watch Sleeper Cell, Ealy's other show with Oded Fehr (*fans*), but it was too gritty and intense, which is probably why it got cancelled.  So I'm hoping things work out this time around.  I hope Ealy's character Travis meets a fly woman of color - African, really dark-skinned Latina or Asian (gimme something) - and I hope it all works out.


  1. Why HELLO Mr. Ealy and hellooooooooooooooo Captain Bland. *grins*

    *catches side-eye from Ankhesen*

    *clears throat* I mean, Uptight preppy blondy is soooo not my type.

    I actually downloaded the free pilot on iTunes. Like many USA shows, I'm hoping this is also a case where the characters grow and evolve overtime and as the two go from hating each other two annoying buds, they'll both grow and learn from the other as they better themselves. Which I'm HOPING that's the case, because otherwise.........*smh*

    Sadly, I'm almost willing to bet that one of the reasons (aside from the obvious) that Ealy was cast as the bad boy slacker while Captain Bland was cast as the uptight one, was because someone would've compared them to Psych.

    Because two intelligent uptight brothers on television would just royally frak the space time continuum or something.

    I'll check out the pilot this weekend while I'm downloading shirtless pics of Ealy and Capt Bland.

    I mean just Ealy because ick, blandy preppy blonds makes me hurl.



    1. Kole is actually very attractive to me as well, and I can see being stiff actually takes a lot of effort for him. I'm looking forward to watching him loosen up because he could very easily become one of the white boys I like.

      It's like the Hollywhite gave us Ryan Philippe and I was like, "Uh....". Then came version 2.0, aka Hayden Christensen and I was like, "Uh....". But 3.0 just might be the charm.

    2. I completely agree. I never cared for Ryan Phillipe or Hayden Christensen. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't kick either of them out of bed but *coughs* I've had hotter and better *coughs* neither did it for me.

  2. I wished that they would of have two POC actors than a white actor and a POC actor.

    1. Real talk. For the character of Travis, what...Peter Jae just wasn't available? He didn't want a paycheck? No one thought about calling Jay Hernandez or Kuno Becker or Adetomiwa Edun? How about John Cho? He looks sexy as hell when armed with jeans and a gun? For real...either Lee Thompson Young or J. August Richards or could've been an excellent Wes Mitchell. Same goes for Kal Penn or either of the Rains brothers.


    2. You know The show did't have to be a police show. It can be two people doing something simple or somthine outside the police force.

  3. Like you I'd watch just about anything with Mr. Ealy so I'll check this out.

  4. That whole paragraph on the characterization...all I could do is smh and ask "why".

  5. Nice review, and I expected the show to be like that.

    Also, I was wondering if you could do a review for another USA show called "Necessary Roughness". I have my suspicions about the show, and those point to the old "White Savior" trope.

    1. Necessary Roughness? Already the title is a turn-off.

      *makes a mental note*

  6. It is. It's a spinoff of the movie; neither of which I watch. Savior complex indeed.

  7. "Kole looks like the bastard lovechild of Hayden Christensen and Ryan Philippe." --- great description! I'm with you for the most part. I've only seen the first three episodes and it is well kind of boring. I feel Ealy at times tries too hard and Kole is just...well he's that bastard lovechild... To "Sleeper Cell" I will say this, I felt Ealy did a good job as well as Fehr in their roles, but honestly, gritty aside, I couldn't see the show lasting more than one season. If it had then it would be called "24". *wink*

    1. I couldn't see the show lasting more than one season. If it had then it would be called "24". *wink*

      Oh snap!!!


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