The Good Guys, “Pilot”: Let’s bust some punks.

Fans of The Shield will know that Shawn Ryan has another cop show coming down the pipeline. Fans of Bradley Whitford and big, gross, 70s-style mustaches will wish that his new cop show, The Good Guys, had instead been titled Free Mustache Rides.

The Good Guys stars Whitford (who’s aged terribly) as grizzled veteran Dan Stark and Colin Hanks as his partner, Jack Bailey, the young idealist who likes to play things by the book. The show also stars just about every cop cliché you’ve seen in movies and television over the past thirty-some-odd years, and very obviously enjoys wadding them up and throwing them in your face.

Take all of these things, put them together and what do you get? Well, at least until the show figures out exactly what it wants to be, you get a pretty uneven hour of television. It’s obviously a comedy, but what sort of comedy? There were times when I felt that the show was trying to go over the top, venturing into that realm where only comedies like Arrested Development and 30 Rock dare tread. I don’t think that’s the sort of show The Good Guys is trying to set itself up as, so it’s going to have to bring those beats down a bit, especially when you take into consideration the healthy dose of good, old-fashioned drama it’s hinted at.

Uneven though it may have been, I enjoyed it. Bradley Whitford and Colin Hanks have good chemistry between them and are obviously having fun in their new roles. Some might find the dynamic between the by-the-book rookie and the has-been old-timer a little played out, but that’s exactly what the show has going for it. The Good Guys never forgets that it’s a walking, talking stereotype, and more importantly, it doesn’t care. In the end neither do you.

Much like Justified, The Good Guys pays a lot of attention to the criminals Dan and Jack are chasing. I’m not sure if this is something the show will keep up in the future, or if it will follow a strictly procedural format, but in the end I don’t think it matters. The show has so much fun with itself that I’m willing to just sit back and see where it takes us. And if that weren’t the case, I’d come back just for Bradley Whitford’s mustache.

Stuff I liked:

  • Mo Ryan had it right when she said that The Good Guys is just the music video for The Beastie Boys Sabotage turned into a TV show.
  • “Let’s bust some punks.”
  • PO-lice that MOO-stache!

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