What’s a busy mother to do?
Monday should be the night you get to catch up on all the shows you DVR’d on Sunday night. But the networks aren’t giving you much of a chance, particularly if you happen to be a fan of “The Voice” or “Dancing With the Stars,” both of which soak up two-hour blocks on Mondays.
There are fresh temptations, too, for viewers who like the traditional TV fare of sitcoms and dramas.
Hammocked between “How I Met Your Mother” and “2 Broke Girls,” CBS has the peskily charming “Partners” at 8:30 p.m.
Joe (David Krumholtz — Jeff Daniels’ psychiatrist on “Newsroom”) and Louis (“Ugly Betty’s” Michael Urie) are inseparable lifelong friends, despite their differing sexual orientations.
Now, they’re partners in a pop-and-pop architectural firm. Joe is engaged to Ali (the breathy Sophia Bush of “One Tree Hill”). Louis is partnered with Wyatt (Brandon Routh, the Man of Steel in “Superman Returns”).
Office life keeps colliding with personal lives, and shenanigans ensue as Louis simply cannot restrain himself from meddling in Joe’s affairs.
Krumholtz, who is proving to be a wonderfully versatile actor, and Urie make a great comic duo, bouncing off each other with acrobatic timing.
It helps that they both get good lines to wallop. In bemoaning Urie’s impulsiveness, Krumholtz says, “You only think with your gut. That’s why you have a tattoo of Clay Aiken on your ass.”
And Urie greets his Latina office assistant (Tracy Vilar), “May I just say, Roseanna, that the way you’re presenting your bosom this morning is sure to make Bernardo the envy of every Shark at the rumble.”
After bombing with the William Shatner sitcom “$#*! My Dad Says,” producers David Kohan and Max Mutchnick storm back with the “Partners” concept, which they have intimated is based on their own relationship (and certainly closer in tone to their biggest success, “Will & Grace”).
The humor, heavy on the double entendres, is a heady mix of gay and Jewish shtick. This is personified in Urie’s Louis, who is half queen, half yenta.
There are pop references galore, all the way from Mamie Eisenhower to Ann Romney, and all of them hit the mark.
The show needs some tonal and content adjustments. Early on, it feels a little desperate to please — or maybe the soundtrack is just cranked too loud. The sets look so stale you could swear you’re watching “Caroline in the City.” And they’re obviously going to have to augment the roster of secondary characters beyond Jillian Bell as Bush’s nutjob cousin Renata.
But Urie and Krumholtz alone make this a half hour worth watching.
Over on NBC at 10 p.m., it’s the end of the world as we know it on “Revolution.”
The show debuted last week to solid numbers (11.65 million viewers). Understandably so. Slickly directed by Jon Favreau (“Iron Man”), the pilot introduced us to a diminished world 15 years after all the electricity — in fact, all forms of technology — stopped working on the planet.
It’s an agrarian, somewhat Orwellian world, where small communities of survivors live in fearful isolation, beset by scattered marauders and regional warlords commanding militias, one captained by “Breaking Bad’s” Giancarlo Esposito.
With his dying words, patriarch Ben (Tim Guinee) sends his plucky teenage daughter Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos) off on a quest to find her uncle Miles (Billy Burke, the demonic Phillip Stroh on “The Closer”).
She is joined on her pilgrimage by Maggie (Anna Lise Phillips), a woman with (conveniently) medical training and (oddly) an Australian accent. Their fellow traveler is Aaron (Zak Orth), a pudgy geek with a storied past. (“$80 million in the bank,” Aaron moans at one point, “and I would trade it all right now for a roll of Charmin.”)
Actually, all these characters appear remarkably well-kempt for people who have spent the last 15 years roughing it. I look a good deal scruffier after a single night of camping.
Aaron, by the way, is secretly carrying a USB stick that Ben forced on him shortly before his death that apparently holds the solution to the Great Blackout.
Charlie’s mother also perished in the chaos, we are told, but I seriously doubt you would hire an actress the caliber of “Lost’s” Elizabeth Mitchell for a 30-second flashback in the pilot. I foresee a mother-daughter reunion. And soon.
“Revolution” (wouldn’t the more apt title be “Devolution”?) has a blue-ribbon pedigree, with overseers such as J.J. Abrams (“Person of Interest”), Bryan Burk (“Fringe”), and Eric Kripke (“Supernatural”).
They put a number of balls in play in that first hour, including the mysterious Grace (Maria Howell), who has both electricity and a computer that can communicate with unknown parties.
Wait, if electricity can still exist, why haven’t others found a way to produce it? Did all the world’s scientists and engineers blink out with the lights?
“Revolution had better worry about generating some voltage of its own. The pilot was excellent, but where does it go from here? This type of low-tech, postdiluvian saga (“Break out the slingshots, boys!”) bogs down quickly, as series like “Jericho and “Falling Skies have proven.
Viewers may soon discover that a world without electricity makes for some very long nights.