Telma Hopkins

'Partners' misuses Kelsey Grammer, Martin Lawrence

'Partners' misuses Kelsey Grammer, Martin Lawrence

Here are Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence, two talented TV veterans, co-starring in a three-camera sitcom. It's called "Partners" and it premieres Monday on FX. It's funny at times, as it would almost have to be. But it's more often vexing, like an out-of-tune guitar.

Grammer, the erstwhile Frasier Crane, plays Allen Braddock, a highly successful but ethically dubious Chicago attorney. Pop culturally, "highly successful but ethically dubious" is just another way of saying "lawyer." That Allen has been fired from his father's firm and is being blackballed all over town — for no stated reason — is just the series' first occasion to say,...