Sunday, June 6, 2010
"The Good Guys" returns -- could you please give it a look?
When Fox's new series "The Good Guys" premiered a few weeks ago, few people took notice -- as evidenced by the episode's fairly dismal ratings.
I can only hope that this show -- which stars Bradley Whitford and Colin Hanks as a pair of mismatched cops -- fairs better when it makes its regular time period debut at 9 p.m. Monday. Admittedly, "The Good Guys" is disposable entertainment. It doesn't require a lot of deep thinking, and its characters are pretty broad. But it's also funny, quick moving and possessed of two engaging lead performances by Whitford and (especially) Hanks.
The joke of the show is that Dallas cops Dan Stark (Whitford) and Jack Bailey (Hanks) are charged with investigating petty crimes that often turn out to be something much bigger.
In the premiere, it was a stolen humidifier that ended up being linked to a drug ring. In this week's episode, a series of broken street lamps leads the guys to unearth a car theft ring.
As in the pilot, Whitford's Stark is a quasi-creepy throwback who hates computers, spouts off about "busting punks" and appears to be permanently hungover. The shtick can be tiresome at times, particularly when he refers to computers as "computer machines" (I'm sorry -- I just don't buy Whitford as a guy old enough to be mystified by computers).
But I guess Dan is supposed to be a little tiresome. Besides, the character does land quite a few good lines, as in his description of the British in this week's episode: "I can't understand a thing they're saying unless they're singing." Plus, Whitford appears to be having such a swell time in the part, I'm inclined to roll with him.
Hanks, playing the more realistic of the two characters, is the anchor and heart of the show. It must be hard to stand out when your father is Tom Freakin' Hanks, one of the most famous and well-liked movie stars of the past 30 years. But the younger Hanks is managing to carve out a fairly nice career for himself, simply by being funny and appealing (hey, it worked for his dad). He's a fine leading man, and he and Whitford have a nice chemistry.
"The Good Guys" is fluff, but it's charming, well-crafted fluff that's highly capable of entertaining TV audiences during the hot summer months.
Give it a shot, won't you?