Stuff I Like: “The Good Guys”

Dan Stark (Bradley Whitford) and Jack Bailey (Colin Hanks) in "The Good Guys."

Summer replacement shows, on the whole, suck. Like, a lot. (If I have to see another episode of Wipeout and John Henson saying how much he loves the “big balls”, I will throw my television out. Via medieval-style catapult.)

But The Good Guys, which was just picked up for Friday nights in the Fall on Fox, is different. It’s different largely because there are lots of explosions and gunfights (at least one shoot-’em-up an episode, almost guaranteed). But it’s also due to the strange synergy of Colin Hanks as the by-the-book cop Jack Bailey, and producer Bradley Whitford as Dan Stark, a cop who’s cemented in the 1980s, complete with Magnum P.I. mustache.

Hanks is kind of lame in the show (with his off-again, off-again relationship with Liz (Jenny Wade) continuing to be an annoying side-story) but serves as a good straight-man to Whitford, who is absolutely hilarious in the Stark persona – he’s gross, brash, and oblivious to any bit of police protocol, yet in a way idealistic in fighting crime.

And fight crime, they do: it’s great how in every episode, they have to cover a small crime which explodes into a major – and on occasion, international -case being solved. It’s kind of hokey, yes, but sometimes a bit of hokum and mindless drivel is necessary.

If we always focus on intelligent pursuits, we all would go insane (which is why radio host Thom Hartmann, whilst fighting for the American worker, on occasion reports a story of pigeons destroying the world on “Pigeon Watch”). We need some stupid stuff to keep us in mental health. The Good Guys is perfect for that, as it’s not some smart, witty show (much like Rubicon, which I’ll be recapping later tonight); it’s just plain old fun television.

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