THE GOOD GUYS “Pilot” Early Review


I’ve had an opportunity to get an early sneak peek at THE GOOD GUYS, Fox’s new cop comedy show, created and produced by Matt Nix, who also created Burn Notice. The show is centered around Jack Bailey and Dan Stark, detectives in the Dallas Police Department that follow up on routine investigations (small property theft and the like). Stark, played by Bradley Whitford, is an old school, follow-your-gut, wild card cop who is past his prime and worries mostly about where he gets his next drink. The only reason Stark is still in the department is that back in 1985 he had saved the Governor’s son, so he’s basically bulletproof from being fired. Bailey, played by Colin Hanks, is the smart, by-the-book detective who wants to get out of his current assignment in routine investigations (and babysitting Stark) onto bigger and better things. He finds himself in this predicament because of his missteps with others in the police department. They form the classical odd couple, Stark reliving his good old days while Bailey tries to get on the good graces of anyone who can help him transfer out of routine investigations.

In the pilot episode of the show (called, surprisingly enough, “Pilot”), Stark and Bailey are on the trail of a stolen humidifier (the crime victim being saucily played by guest star Nia Vardalos). As the two detectives follow up a lead on the crime, generated after Bailey convinces Asssitant District Attorney (and ex-girlfriend) Liz Traynor to push evidence through the lab, it becomes clear that there’s something bigger going on. Soon they find themselves facing the second best and best assassins in the world, chasing after a golf bag in a strip club, and learning how to do sick-cop/good-cop. As the different storylines converge in an exciting climax, Bailey begins to respect Stark’s methods, while Stark realizes he needs more scotch.

Overall, I like The Good Guys, its a fun show to watch that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Hanks does a great job as Bailey, being straight laced and serious but with enough looseness to let you enjoy the character. During the pilot there are times where you just think you’re watching a younger Tom Hanks on screen, and his acting backs it up. Whitford’s Stark was good, but I think the writers overplayed some of the “I’m an old-school cop without the need of new technology to help me solve crimes” aspects of the character. Liz Traynor, played by Jenny Wade wasn’t really onscreen a lot, but the character has promise for good future storylines, especially if they explain her relationship with Bailey. The casting for guest starring roles in the pilot was also well executed, again with Vardalos playing the crime victim and an excellent performance by Andrew Divoff (one-eyed Mikhail from Lost) as the world’s second best assassin.

Make sure to watch Fox’s special preview event of The Good Guys starting at 8 PM on Wednesday, May 19, then come back here and tell me what you think!