Common Law: Five Reasons Why This Great Cop Show Should’ve NEVER Been Cancelled.

Kendall Rivers
5 min readFeb 25, 2023

When Common Law premiered on the USA Network back in 2012, it was essentially Starsky & Hutch meets The Odd Couple. The pairing of Michael Ealy and Warren Kole was pure magic and made the show so much fun to watch. Here was an unlikely duo that ended up making so much sense.

When the USA Network ultimately cancelled the show after a twelve episode season I was heartbroken. The show had a lot going for it and deserved multiple season runs, so it does my heart good to give you all five reasons why this grossly underrated and sadly short lived cop show should’ve NEVER been cancelled.

5. Great Comfort Good Tv.

Common Law was light and fun, an unusual thing for a police procedural at that time. The tone of the show ranged from light and bouncy to serious and action packed giving us as the viewers a wide range experience watching it. Here were two cops cracking robbery\homicide cases while attending couple’s counseling, the fun to be had from that premise knew no bounds.

4. Lovable and Well Developed Characters.

The characters of Common Law were all such funny, compelling, relatable and deeply human characters that we saw develop more layers as the seasons progressed. Wes and Travis both grew individually and together as partners from the pilot to the series finale as well as Captain Sutton and Dr. Ryan, both of whom the writers planted some nice seeds of their characters’ own struggles, background, quirks etc. Even Wes and Travis’ therapy group provided plenty of fun and laughs. These were all characters we all either knew in our own lives or wish that we had the chance to know in real life.

3. The Therapy Aspect.

The most unique element of this show is the couples counseling premise. The idea of two cops being put into couple’s counseling due to one partner pulling his gun on the other is a fresh and exciting take on the buddy cop genre. While a lot of great comedy was mined from this premise a lot of great emotional and soul searching aspects came from it as well. Wes and Travis benefited from therapy as characters and as partners and we as the audience got to see the deeper aspects of their characters through therapy. We got to know them better which made us love them all the more, and of course the bonus was getting such great fun with the group as well as some good old fashioned wisdom from super therapist Dr. Emma Ryan.

2. The Incredible Cast.

When they put Michael Ealy, Warren Kole, Sonya Walger and Jack McGee together they knew they had something special. Four very strong and magnetic actors that elevated the already very well written scripts they were given. This was a show that boasted a lot of talent, which is why television is worse off for losing them.

  1. Wes & Travis, A Iconic and Perfect Duo.

Wes & Travis were a pairing that had the potential to be the next Starsky & Hutch; Crockett & Tubbs; Stabler & Benson (Which one’s Benson? They’d debate that in a heartbeat) etc. the chemistry between the two guys was both familiar and unique. While these two goofballs would argue like an old married couple or two bickering siblings, when it came to their job they were the very best. Captain Sutton knew that his two top detectives needed each other: Without Travis, Wes would never get out of his own head long enough to actually solve a case. Without Wes, Travis would most likely get himself or someone else killed. Wes was the yin while Travis was the yang and together the bad guys never stood a chance. I would have loved to have seen much more of Wes & Travis kicking butt, taking names and verbally sparring with each other for years and years. These two guys were just two fun and lovable characters who I as well as the other Common Law fans (all ten of us, apparently) loved spending time with.

In closing, Common Law was a great cop show and deserved far better than it got. With such talent in front of and behind the scenes the show had a lot more going for it then half the shows that never seem to go off today. But who knows, with this reboot\revival madness going on maybe we’ll get to see Wes, Travis, Dr. Ryan, Captain Sutton and the therapy group on our screens again. A guy can hope, right?

All twelve Common Law episodes can be found on YouTube. ’Til next time, folks! Thanks for reading.

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Kendall Rivers

Kendall is a screenwriter who’s a huge fan of classic tv and movies. He enjoys creating good stories and characters. https://www.facebook.com/kendall.rivers.3