Bust Some Punks – “The Good Guys” Review

October 8, 2010 | By More

Every week their are two shows that cause some controversy in the Nerd household. The first is on Tuesday and is Glee. Mrs. Nerd loves the show. The plethora of Eighties songs has helped fuel this I suspect. It’s not that I hate the show, but I put up a protest mainly to keep my man card. Well, that and it’s kind of become a routine.

Next up is Friday night. At the nine o’clock hour, Fox rolls out “The Good Guys.”  Every week, the airing is acompanied by some mild protests from Mrs. Nerd. Usually, these lamentations end with, “Why do you love this show?”

I got thinking about this on my daily commute and came up with an epiphany. I get this show because it’s the shows I grew up with. Series creator Matt Nix (the guy behind “Burn Notice”) was born the same year as me and I suspect grew up watching similar things.

“The Good Guys” is a buddy cop show. It’s the typical opposites working together type of partnership. One is a washed up old school cop whose day was about 20 years ago. The other is a modern educated straightlaced police officer. The magic is made somewhere in the middle.

The show is billed as the most dangerous comedy on TV. While it is funny, it’s not jokey laugh tracked funny. It harkens back to some of the more popular cop & detective shows of the eighties. There was always a case, but there was another story thread that normally had some humor to it.

I’m thinking of shows like “MagnumPI,” “Simon & Simon,” “Hunter,” and I’d even put shows like “Knight Rider” in there. None of them broke new ground, but each created memorable crime fighters. There would be a something to solve, a car chase, a joke at the end, and then a photo montage under the end credits. I truely suspect that is the feel that Matt Nix was going for with this show.

Bradley Whitford’s character is the washed up cop, Dan Stark. Stark drives a ’70’s Trans Am, plays eight tracks and completely echoes the late seventies to early eighties cops. Behind the aviator sunglasses is a guy that believes a gun and machismo is the solution to the solving crimes. He’d rather follow his gut than the clues.

His partner is Jack Bailey, played by Colin Hanks. He’s the by the book detective that uses the clues and modern technology to solve the case. I have to say that his pedigree really helps him  with this role. It’s hard not to look at him and hear his voice and not be reminded of all of the mild mannered characters his father has played. I always am reminded of Woody from Toy Story when watching this show.

These two have been assigned to the property crimes division of the Dallas Police Department. Which is kind of like bellow AAA league. Each week a rather minor crime is assigned to them, and they some how manage to break a big case. Along the way, they will peel out in the Trans Am at least once, and somebody will utter a variation of the line, “Let’s go bust some punks!”

And that’s what I love, there’s no real mystery to the crimes. It’s pure and simple resurection of the eighies cop formula. While I  understand some people might not get it right away, you have to let it grow on you. I think people have grown so used to the modern police dramas like CSI and Law & Order shows, they’ve forgotten how to just sit back and enjoy ride.

So let you’re mind drift back to the eighties, dig out the Foghat cassettes, and give it a try. Remember it’s not a cop drama. It’s part comedy, part detective story, and part buddy show. In the end, it’s just good entertainment.

Engineernerd Score: 4 Slushies out of 5

On Twitter:

Official Good Guys Twitter Account

Matt Nix

Colin Hanks


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  1. Newt says:

    I need to give this show another shot, but I was underwhelmed the two times I did. I got what they were going for, but I wished it was a little more Stroker & Hoop I guess. It seemed like Dan Stark was a Homer Simpson in the real world and it just came off as disjointed to me.

    I was watching the episode where he smashed the computer and went on a Homer-like rant to the computer machine and it just, I dunno, it made me cringe. I thought it could have been funny if more subtle. Or if the whole world was a little more satire, but everything else seemed serious enough except for him.

    But I keep hearing good things and I like Matt Nix’s stuff. I dunno.

  2. Engineernerd says:

    You know, I watch so many “drama” things during the week (CSI, Mentalist, Chase, House…etc) that I like this because it’s a little lighter, but not like a sitcom.

    The suspension of belief is something I had to relearn when a watched a bunch of vintage A-Team episodes recently.

  3. Newt says:

    Well I agree with that. I kind of like the Defenders (New show this season) because it’s light and fluffy. A good dose of suspension of disbelief helps.

  4. Engineernerd says:

    We figured with Jerry O’Connell it wouldn’t last more than a season. Not that we dislike him, quite the opposite, just he hasn’t had much luck in recent years.