The Light from the TV Shows: At long last, “Common Law”

You may remember – or you may not, given how long it’s been – that way back in December I offered a sneak preview of an upcoming USA Network series called “Common Law,” the set of which I’d just returned from. Almost immediately after posting the story, however, I was forced to add the following post-script:

I’ve just gotten word that the show’s premiere date is being shifted. Instead of January 26th, USA has decided to hold off the premiere of “Common Law” until the summer, as they believe it’ll draw a bigger audience then. Sometimes you get skeptical about the reasons behind schedule changes like these, but given that everyone on the junket seemed to enjoy the pilot, I’ll buy what they’re selling as the real deal. Sorry about the additional wait. Let’s hope it’s worth it.

Well, the time has finally come for the show’s premiere. “Common Law” arrives this Friday night, which makes this a perfect time to revisit that trip to New Orleans and give you a few comments offered up to us at the time from the show’s stars about their characters and the show itself.

Michael Ealy (Travis Marks) and Warren Kole (Wes Mitchell)

Michael Ealy: I think we definitely try to keep up the energy off-camera similar to the energy that’s on camera.  Like, just today we were about to do a scene, and we like to pencil-fight in between takes, so we tried to incorporate that into the scene because it’s something that we do. And now it’s something Travis and Wes. We can’t help it. We spend every day together, every day.

Warren Kole:  I’m very thankful that I’m working with an actor like Michael. He’s easy to work with every day. So we don’t end up killing each other.

ME:  I think, this whole process has felt completely unique because of the therapy component of the show.  When you get into therapy and you start talking about how we make each other feel and stuff like that…I mean, I’ve just never seen that before. Yes, we are a buddy/cop show.  That’s a component, as you can tell. That’s because we’re buddies and we’re cops. But the minute we get into therapy, I think we’re going into uncharted waters in terms of the buddy/cop dynamic.

WK: The dynamic in couples therapy, not that I’m speaking from experience, is often “I’m okay, but he or she has issues. “ There’s that, but there’s often a recognition of, y’know, “Maybe I have something to work on…”

ME:  That’s coming slowly. We’re starting to identify with our own flaws, if you want to call them that.

WK:  It’s like a sibling relationship in that way, because there’s a feeling of you’ve been so together with someone for so long and they don’t appreciate what you do and it’s their fault that they don’t appreciate what you’re doing for them. “And if you’d just respect me and recognize how much I do for you, then maybe I would swallow my pride and say the same thing back.” But we never really get there. Yet.  Haven’t got there yet.

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The Light from the TV Shows: Sneaking a Look at USA’s “Common Law”

When you’re a TV critic, sometimes the coolest opportunities come up at the very last second, and you’re put in a position where you have to scramble to take advantage of them. Such was the case on Monday of last week, when the boss-man of Bullz-Eye forwarded me an email and asked, “Is this something you would be interested in?”

In this instance, I was being offered the opportunity to fly to New Orleans, visit the set of the upcoming new USA series, “Common Law,” be among the first people to view the pilot for the series, and meet and participate in roundtable interviews with a few of the cast members. The only catch: the trip was taking place on Thursday.

Rationalizing that I could surely finish up all of the assignments on my plate before my departure, I said, “Sign me up!”

As it turned out, I could not finish up all of the assignments on my plate before my departure. In fact, I didn’t even come close. I ended up having to finish one of them late on Thursday night, after having had a couple of Abitas, a couple of glasses of wine, a bourbon and ginger ale, and a Pimm’s Cup. That was possibly not my best work. Then I woke up Friday morning and finished two more assignments. And in the midst of the set visit, between roundtable interviews, I finished the last of the deadlines that had to be completed before the weekend. Of course, I still had two more that had to be finished by Sunday night, but I finally just had to say, “Screw it, I’m in New Orleans, that shit’s gonna have to wait ‘til I get home on Saturday.”

But I digress.

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