The Good Guys

Are you watching the Good Guys on Fox? I think some people are a little confused by it. What does the tag line "Kick some badge" mean? Is it funny? Is it a serious procedural? If it's funny is it supposed to be funny?

I think it's one of the funniest shows on network television. I follow one of the writers on Twitter and was looking forward to the show starting, and was not at all disappointed. The Good Guys is about Detective Dan Stark, who has been on the force for quite some time, and Detective Jack Bailey, his partner, who is younger and not as jaded. They're both stuck in the small crimes unit as punishment for something that isn't specified, but after you watch an episode or two you'll have a pretty good idea. Detective Stark isn't exactly wedded to following the rules and Detective Bailey isn't able to rein him in. Stark is also fond of saving the day at the last moment by driving his car through various buildings, which is enormously expensive and generates considerable paperwork (as Simon Pegg's character in Hot Fuzz is fond of saying.)

The Good Guys has hilarious one liners that often leave me wondering just why they're funny. For instance in one episode someone offers Stark a pen but he turns it down, saying he doesn't like writing. When I try and deconstruct the joke it falls apart. Part of the humor comes from the delivery of course and both of the actors who play our heroes are excellent comedians with impeccable timing. Much of the rest of the humor comes from the characters themselves, which is how it should be. While Stark and Bailey might look like clichés at first glance, the writers of this show riff off our expectations of clichéd cop characters and spin them around.

When I first started watching the show I was more of a fan of Bailey, but now I'm a strong fan of Detective Stark. He's sleazy, but in a funny way, and has a weird magnetic charm that makes him appealing to the ladies, although his pickup lines are so terrible they should all ignore him. He gets away with the most outrageous behavior, including climbing into the bed of the victim of a minor crime, ostensibly to reenact the crime but really because she is cute and scantily dressed. Because he has ridiculous luck he actually spots a clue, which leads to a huge case and much mayhem.

In a recent episode Stark got the bright idea of locking an informant in the trunk of his car and waiting for the car to be stolen. This way he and Bailey could follow the tracking data from the leg bracelet of the informant and bust up the car thief ring. When the informant ends up on the street, the car nowhere in sight and Bailey held prisoner by the ringleader, Stark rages against the "computer machine" that keeps him from finding his partner. His complete ineptitude with the computer (he doesn't even know how to turn it on) is hilarious while still adding dramatic tension to the scene.

You can watch full episodes online, at the official Fox Good Guys site.

One-Paragraph Review

This week's one-paragraph review is from CBL, who says, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice movie isn't as bad as you'd think it would be." Do you have a one-paragraph (or smaller) review you'd like to share? Send it in to me for consideration. You can reach me at