The Good Guys

The Good Guys: The Complete First Season cover

Let’s hear it for made-on-demand DVD sets, because it means I now have a copy of The Good Guys: The Complete First Season (which was the only season). This 2010 TV show was created by Matt Nix (who also created Burn Notice) and was a humorous take on cop shows set in Dallas, with the corresponding big personalities.

The Good Guys ran 20 episodes over the summer, which was the perfect time for it. It starred Colin Hanks as the by-the-book straight-edge who’s stuck solving property crimes because he annoys the higher-ups; Bradley Whitford as the stuck-in-the-70s used-to-be-famous cop with the bad mustache who still has a job only because he rescued the governor’s son from a kidnapping; Jenny Wade (Reaper, Wedding Band) as Assistant District Attorney and Hanks’ ex-girlfriend; and RonReaco Lee as a snitch/petty criminal who keeps getting pulled into the cops’ schemes.

Even though Hanks and Whitford’s characters are total opposites, they become buddies in spite of Whitford’s fondness for drink and lechery and his inability to realize the rules have changed over the decades. (His dislike of the “computer machines” is ridiculously exaggerated, up to the point where his only use for a laptop is to wedge an accelerator pedal to send a car to rescue his partner.) Hanks’ role seems easy, but he does a great job bringing humanity to a stick-in-the-mud. The characters quickly grew on us, due to the solid, well-done writing.

The Good Guys: The Complete First Season cover

In the pilot, a stolen humidifier leads to Whitford’s detective sleeping with the homeowner, a plastic surgeon taken hostage, the second greatest assassin in the world teaching a thief Spanish, and a drug cartel shootout over a golf bag full of money. Another episode winds a vending-machine vandalism into murder by pimp and attempted husband-killing by a vengeful workout queen, all while Whitford is snuffling all over everything with the flu.

The show makes us laugh a lot, mostly due to the outrageous things the time-capsule Whitford says. I’m glad to note that so far, the music (particularly the theme song, “Slink (a Hymn)” by Locksley) is either intact, or close enough that it sounds good. The mostly classic rock soundtrack is dynamite, too.

One of the most distinctive things about the show is how it winds itself backwards. We see a stupid thing happen, and then “14 hours earlier” (accompanied by a gunshot), we see how events happened to cause the problem now. Later on, the jumps range from 10 seconds to 32 years earlier. The plotting is clever, particularly for an action fest playing it light. I can truly say there was nothing else like it on TV before or since. It’s fresh, sometimes silly, sometimes hammy, but very enjoyable. This is a great show to watch with liquor and friends.

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