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Series “preview”: The Good Guys starring Bradley Whitford and Colin Hanks

In television on 05/19/2010 at 7:45 am

Series name
The Good Guys 

Debuts
“Debuts” is what I usually write here, but in truth, it “previews” Wednesday, May 19 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox and Global. 

Regularly airs
Starts up again Monday, June 7.

Premise
It’s a buddy cop setup, with a third “partner”, if by “third” you accept this lookit-us-we’re-being-retro-cool tagline from the Fox promo:  “Hanks. Whitford. Moustache.” So we have keener new cop, retro old cop who’s a bit crazy and in love with … let’s go with the 1970s.

Primary cast and crew
Bradley Whitford (Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, The West Wing) is Dan Stark. He’s the older, crazier part of the buddy-cop scenario, with the moustache.
Colin Hanks (Numb3rs, Mad Men, Band of Brothers) is Jack Bailey, who’s ambitious, but keeps getting in his own way, hence being shackled with the booze-hound, hasbeen partner.
(*Please note I am resisting giving the Moustache its own cast credit because that would be very cliche.)
Matt Nix and Jeremiah S. Checkik (Burn Notice) are exec producers.

But what do I know anyway? After NOT having seen the pilot I predict…
I loved Studio 60, but Bradley Whitford was playing the same character he played in West Wing, though it was a great character — all tortured and funny and brilliant and angsty and professionally agile but emotionally stunted. Here, we have a completely different beast. Make us proud and make us laugh. Colin Hanks? Intrigued. The Burn Notice credentials of a couple of the exec producers? Very intriguing. If you are unfamiliar with the Burn Notice, make it your summer DVD viewing project. (Oh come on! Nobody can be outside getting fresh air all summer.) It’s about a spy who’s been “burned”, or radically let go by his employer, leaving him to figure out why and who’s trying to kill him. Add Sharon Gless as the mom, Bruce Campbell as his raggedy (often semi-unwilling sidekick) and Gabrielle Anwar as the legs. Funny, occasionally scary, sharp. 

Other reviews 
The blog Monsters and Critics says it’s “not to be missed”, and the piece includes a longish Q&A with Whitford and Hanks, being occasionally funny.
The Los Angeles Times says that while “it isn’t soup yet”, the nimble mix of 1970s and ’80s buddy-cop sendups and comedy with occasional drama will soon be very good.
Metacritic has a bunch more reviews that average out at 63 per cent approval, with some critics uncertain that Hanks can shoulder his role with the same ease as Whitford.

Official website
Meh. Video (only some of which can be viewed on a Canadian computer), bios, wallpaper and icon downloads. No social media links on the page (and no social media presence I could find on Twitter and Facebook; if you’ve found them, please share).

— Denise Duguay

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