Pilot Watch: FOX’s ‘The Good Guys’

“Boy, you wake up one morning and it’s nothing but lasers and robots and shaving where hair used to grow free.”
Dan Stark

– – –

I knew almost immediately that I would love The Good Guys. I knew the moment I saw Bradley Whitford in that ridiculous moustache, from the moment that Foghat’s “Slow Ride” blared to life in one of the promos. And before you finish reading this review, I just need to confess to you that I am completely incapable of evaluating this show with any kind of neutrality. You’ve been warned.

The Good Guys, created by Matt Nix (Burn Notice), tells the story of two cops in Dallas, Texas, who are stuck doing routine investigations. Bradley Whitford plays Dan Stark, a has-been detective who is mentally frozen in 1985, perpetually reliving his glory days. Colin Hanks is the know-it-all Jack Bailey, who is stuck with Stark for a partner as punishment for correcting his boss’s grammar. Together, they solve ridiculously inoffensive crimes, like the theft of a woman’s humidifier, or “humindifier,” as Stark calls it. Stark has a penchant for re-telling stories, like the time he shot a sock monkey, or the time he saved the mayor’s kid. He refuses to go by regulations and is paranoid about technology, at one point calling the computer a “computer machine.” All of this sounds over the top, but that’s the point, and Whitford knows how to sell it. Hanks, of course, is his straight man, and performs his part adorably.

I’ve read pretty much all the reviews from everywhere on the internet I could, and all the critics are pretty much saying the same thing: it’s fun, but it’s uneven, and the parodic nature of the show is going to turn people off. I firmly but respectfully disagree. I have never seen a single episode of Dukes of Hazzard, Hawaii 5-0, Simon & Simon, Charlie’s Angels, The Rookies, Kojak, The Mod Squad, S.W.A.T., Starsky and Hutch, or even Magnum PI. Supposedly you need to have seen those shows to appreciate this one, but I gotta tell you, I laughed my frickin ass off. This show is funny as hell. HI-larious even. And it treats the villains with the same lighthearted affection that it has for its titular “good guys.”

If you are a fan of having fun with television, or just having fun at all, then I highly recommend that you check out The Good Guys. The pilot is up on Hulu, and episodes resume Monday June 7 on FOX, continuing throughout the summer. I think it’s a very smart move on FOX’s part in airing this show in the summer first (it will follow Human Target Fridays in the fall). It’s the perfect kind of stress free entertainment needed after the manic binging of SFS (Season Finale Season, of course), a show that is purely just for fun (not unlike Nix’s other hit creation, Burn Notice, which did for spies what The Good Guys is attempting with cops).

Obey the moustache: watch The Good Guys.

3 Responses to “Pilot Watch: FOX’s ‘The Good Guys’”
  1. Dan says:

    I loved this show as soon as I saw the first promo. End of story. It didn’t matter if the pilot was written by a dozen near-sighted, palsied monkeys. I would love this show.

    Stark’s diatribe about DNA may have been the highlight of my week.

  2. myoctober says:

    I’m SO glad you liked it too. I love Bradley Whitford.

    Also, SFS is KILLING ME.

  3. Cassandra says:

    I actually just saw my first promo for this during Glee last night and was shocked and astonished at the Bradley Whitford ‘stache action. I’ll probably be checking this out when I’m not catching up on Mad Men, Chuck, and Community this summer. Thanks for putting it on my radar.

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