Two Guys, a Girl and a TV Set

Three college friends out in the world, filling the void with television…and loving it.

The Good Guys: Premiere Review

Posted by CJ Cregg on June 7, 2010

Dan (Whitford) and Jack (Hanks)

This little gem is from Matt Nix, the creator of Burn Notice.  It’s produced by and starring one of my faves, Bradley Whitford (The West Wing, Studio 60).  NBC showed a sneak peek of this show a few weeks back, and I found myself liking it, so we’ll see how I feel after I watch episode #2.

The show always seems to start with a cliffhanging scene and then flashes back 30-odd hours earlier so we see how our courageous cops got into that tricky situation (which is a cool gimmick, I think).  Our main characters are Jack and Dan who deal with minor crimes like broken windows and stolen humidifiers.  Dan in particular is a washed up, mildly overweight, somewhat alcoholic cop.  His quirky investigative methods, such as getting in bed with a victim to see the crime scene from their point of view, seem to work.  His relationship advice does not seem to work as well.  (Funny, Bradley Whitford sucked at relationships in the West Wing too.)

In this episode, we’re dealing with a car thief.  Jack and Dan try to bait the car thief with Dan’s own car to track them down.  (Dan: I heard tell, if you love something, set it free.  And then track it down.)  They hire a guy, Julius, to hide in the trunk of the car because he’s on parole and has a tracking device on his ankle.  However, Dan gets a computer virus by looking up porn when he’s supposed to be tracking the bad guys, and his car disappears.  They stumble on a lot (like where you park them, not just a great deal of them) of stolen cars, but the cars have all been moved when they go to make the arrests.  Turns out the cop lady who just asked Jack out is sleeping with the car thief and she tipped him off that they found his lot.  Dan figures it out and goes after Jack who is on a date with this cop (Dan: She’s a dirty cop!  And not in the good way!), who has put Julius’s tracking device on his ankle so Dan can track him.  Some rogue truckers want to protect America and storm in to the warehouse full of the stolen cars to foil the car thief’s plan.  Dan continues to be baffled by the tracking computer, so he can’t find Jack until the last second, of course.

Whitford’s character Dan is a likeable old timer who doesn’t understand “computer machines” (and yet knows how

Fighting some crime, Whitford style

to download porn?).  He’s trigger happy, brutally honest, funny, and always about two steps behind Jack–except when it comes to women.  Recurring criminal Julius always seems to get screwed over, but he’s a humorous addition to the cast.  Jack is an earnest young dude with an adorable smile (in my opinion) who does not understand when women are flirting with him.  Hanks plays this character well.

There was a lot of jumping around in time this episode, which got to be annoying.  As soon as one of our main characters would ask a question, we’d get a flashback and get the answer right away (for example, as to how the cars disappeared, we immediately see our dirty-in-a-bad-way cop tipping off the thief).  This show is clearly more about the characters and humor than the cop stuff, but building some mystery and suspense would make this show even better.  On second thought, although unconventional, I kind of like this idea in this show.  We always know who the bad guy is, so watching Dan and Jack’s antics, although frustrating, becomes less so because we have the information and know they’ll come through in the end.  Perhaps.  I’m not sure.  Still trying to work out how I feel about this.

Parts of this episode were confusing.  How exactly did Jack and Dan go from broken windows to stolen cars?  Who exactly were these rogue truckers?

There are some good one-liners, and I like the characters, but I remember liking the sneak peek better than I liked this episode.  It dragged a bit.  It was clever, like when Dan used the confounding computer to hold the gas pedal down so Jack’s car could go crashing into the warehouse where he was being held to throw off the car thieves and rogue truckers.

The show has a great classic rock soundtrack, though.  I will give it that.  Explosions, cool cars, hot chicks.  Pretty sure I’m not the target audience for this show.

So, all in all, I guess I’ll give this show a B+ for good dialogue and solid acting.

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