In the fleeting moments that I actually watch TV, it’s usually filled with high-tension and high drama, whether it be from big haired housewives on Bravo or the serious dramas on AMC, it’s not often that you’ll hear a chuckle in my apartment when the TV is on (at least from me).
That changed with the airing of the sublimely irreverent buddy cop series, The Good Guys. While I did miss the official season opener on June 6, I was able to watch the special preview episode that FOX ran during the final weeks of American Idol back in May.
The premise is simple, super cop turned stuck-in-the-80s mustachioed drunk Dan Stark (The West Wing’s Bradley Whitford) and his uber straight laced and reluctant partner Jack Bailey (Colin Hanks) investigate very small crimes that somehow turn into big crimes. It’s a generic formula- odd couple cops bicker but eventually gain mutual respect for the other in the midst of gunfights and explosions.
Yet, what makes this show so good is it’s light-hearted tone. The combination of Hanks and Whitford is fantastic. Whitford just cuts loose, a possible catharsis for all his years of being so serious on West Wing or being frustrated over the promising Live from Studio 60 never panning out. His constantly sozzled Stark is one part The Dude, one part Jim Rockford. Rough and tumble yet usually under the influenced. Hanks plays the straight guy to the letter which of course makes the few one-liners he gets so much more funny.
The amount of levity (and gunfights) in The Good Guys should come to no surprise to audiences, especially if they are fans of the hit show Burn Notice. The shows share the same producers, however (and here comes the bad part of the review), I doubt the two shows will share the same television fate. Burn Notice has become the crown jewel in USA’s prime time schedule — combining laughs, espionage, action and a dynamite cast. The Good Guys, if it had debuted on USA, would be an instant smash, however it’s status as a Monday Night summer replacement series on FOX is worrisome. Sure, it received the Idol rub, but only for one week. Summertime is never a good time for a series to debut and with it’s quirky premise and characters, it’ll be hard to see this show as a main stay in the FOX line-up.
But let’s not count this show out. It’s a rock ‘n’ roll filled action comedy series that has an endless arsenal of comedy that audiences who are looking for a break from series crime dramas, reality tv and gameshows can enjoy for one hour every week.