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We Can Work It Out (Vid)

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by lamardeuse

A fanvid exploring the homoerotic subtext in a "bromance"-oriented television show.

The “bromance” theme in television and movies is not new, but lately it has become more prevalent. Sources that center around a homosocial relationship between two men will often tease the viewer with intentional homoerotic subtext, though (particularly in American television) there is rarely a question that the relationship will ever actually cross the line.

Common Law (2012) is a USA Network "action comedy" based upon the premise that two Los Angeles police detectives have been placed in group couples therapy to work out their differences. This leads to a wealth of situations in which their partnership is compared to a romance or marriage. Similar in many ways to Neil Simon's The Odd Couple, the show pits two contrasting personalities against one another - one anal retentive and rules-based, the other instinctual and gregarious - and watches the sparks fly. The chemistry between the two actors, Michael Ealy (Travis Marks) and Warren Kole (Wes Mitchell), is a key ingredient of this program, as it is for all successful bromance pairings.

In selecting clips for this vid, despite only having ten aired episodes to work with, I was not lacking for material. My emphasis was on the moments of camaraderie, which can easily be interpreted as homoerotic, and on the comedy elements of their conflict. The Stevie Wonder version of the Beatles' We Can Work It Out seemed a natural fit both for the therapy premise and the relationship between the specific characters.