The tagline for USA Network’s new series Common Law is “It’s like marriage, only with bullets.” This is the perfect description of the two lead characters, Wes Mitchell (Warren Kole) and Travis Marks (Michael Ealy). They are cops who have been ordered to couples therapy by their superiors after a major falling out in a court room. Think “Lethal Weapon” or “Bad Boys“.
Wes Mitchell is an OCD, no-nonsense cop who leans more toward going by the letter of the law than his impulsive partner. He used to be a lawyer, but after making a mistake, decided on this career change. I can’t wait to find out the details of this mistake, which also cost him his marriage. Whatever it was, it is defining him now and I’m not sure that’s a good thing. I am sure that it’s part of his problem.
Travis Marks is the complete opposite of Wes. He’s a former juvenile delinquent and knows the hard side of growing up. He’s very easy to figure out because he hides nothing about himself. He’s a hit with the ladies (and ladies, come on, it’s Michael Ealy!) cares little about consequences, and has commitment issues. I don’t even know how he’s managed to remain partners with Wes for seven years.
The differences between these two explosive personalities actually make them the successful team that they are. They balance each other out so well, but it’s really inevitable that they are constantly at each other’s throats. With all their differences, they have a couple things in common: stubbornness and passion. Both of these things cause them to always be at each other’s throats.
The beautiful thing to watch in this show is how Wes and Travis come together to fight crime and catch the bad guys. It’s the most wonderful transformation when you watch them bickering back and forth, and then turn around and work seamlessly together when they run down a suspect. Like sprockets in a machine.
From the pilot episode you can detect the many layers in Common Law. Travis had it rough and made some interesting relationships along his road, but his carelessness and impulsiveness gets him into trouble, and I’m sure we will see how far that trouble reaches. We find out right away why Wes gave up the life of a lawyer but we don’t know the whole story. It’s clear that he and his ex-wife still love each other, they certainly respect each other. However, was what happened in his past so horrible that it ended this marriage or were there other issues that will be uncovered throughout the series?
Common Law is fun and captivating. I know, you’re thinking that it’s just another crime show. Honestly, I wasn’t sure I was going to be interested enough to want to get involved with another one of these. But this one has comedy and lovable characters right from the start. It’s fun! Warren and Michael are easy on the eyes, and I also need to mention that Andrea Parker, who I first knew from “The Pretender” and then “Less Than Perfect“, is in the pilot. Jack McGee plays the chief and Sonya Walger plays Dr. Ryan, the therapist. It’s a great cast!
Common Law premieres Friday, May 11, at 10/9c, on USA Network.