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Archive for Friday, August 10, 2012

‘Common Law’ explains its origins

August 10, 2012

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“Common Law” (9 p.m., USA) wraps up its first season with a few hints about its origins. After spending much of the season dismissing their mandated therapy sessions, bickering cops Travis (Michael Ealy) and Wes (Warren Kole) realize that they may need them after all. This brings them back to their original therapist, Dr. Ryan (Sonya Walger, “Lost”), who agrees to treat them again only after they promise to reveal just what caused them to nearly shoot each other in the first place.

This could be a good time to wrap up the whole “Common Law” story. So far, there has been no official word from USA of a season two. As I wrote earlier, this show borrows liberally from other USA series, including “Psych” and “Fairly Legal,” but adds little that’s new or special to the network’s light comedy formula. The two “buddy” cops share meager chemistry and don’t have much in common besides good looks.

All would be forgiven (by USA at least) if “Common Law” had a bigger audience. It’s unfair to judge any program that’s competing with the Olympics, but last week’s airing did not attract many more viewers than the two repeat “Law & Order: SVU” episodes that preceded it. This “Law” just may be too “Common” for its own good.

Even if “Common Law” does not return, it has become part of a recent TV trend that uses group therapy as a comedy springboard, as evidenced by the Charlie Sheen FX comedy “Anger Management” and NBC’s forthcoming Matthew Perry comedy “Go On,” debuting Sept. 11. You may have seen a few (thousand) commercials for it during the Olympics.

• “Great Performances” (8 p.m., PBS, check local listings) showcases “Tanglewood 75th Anniversary Celebration,” a salute to the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, located in the Berkshire Mountains. Look for performances from the Boston Pops, Emanuel Ax, Yo-Yo Ma, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Peter Serkin and James Taylor.

Tonight’s other highlights

• Scheduled events at the XXX Summer Olympics (7 p.m., NBC) include track and field, diving and cycling.

• Even “normal”-looking Canadian teens from a show about real-life problems can get star-struck, as they do in the 2009 musical “Degrassi Goes Hollywood” (6 p.m., Teen Nick).

• Somebody makes a killing in real estate on “Motives & Murders” (8 p.m., ID).

• A widowed bride needs special attention on “Randy to the Rescue” (9 p.m., TLC).

• A would-be victim escapes a Sunday morning killer on “Evil, I” (9 p.m., ID).

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