I’d been all excited about The Good Guys, it sounded a bit like Life on Mars, but without the brain twistiness – a collision of modern and retro policing all bundled up in one partnership. The straight guy played by Colin Hanks (Roswell, son of Tom) and the not-so-straight guy played by Bradley Whitford and his moustache (West Wing, Studio 60, Revenge of the Nerds II). And I really thought to myself that I didn’t care what type of show it was, I would love it because I loved both of them.
I’ve been struggling with this review for over a month now and even watched the pilot again in an attempt to work out what I really felt about the show. After a lot of agonising the only conclusion I can be forced to draw is that it’s very good, but I didn’t like it.
The thing is, I’d vowed not to watch any more comedies, because I don’t really like them. I have to be in exactly the right mood to watch them, mostly with sitcoms that involves settling in with dinner, a crossword or a magazine and paying minimal attention. I don’t mind things that fall into the (painfully named) middle ground of dramadies – shows that manage to capture the fact that life is both funny and dramatic all at once, but even those, if the humour relies too much on silliness or cringe inducing embarrassment, I tend to switch off.
The Good Guys I guess could best be described as an ‘action comedy’, but it leaned too far into comedy for my tastes. It’s similar in philosophy to Burn Notice (probably because it’s created by the same guy), but that show comes down closer to the action side than the comedy. Burn Notice’s humour relies on sarcasm and a very dry voice over. The Good Guys’ humour too often drifted into ridiculousness and going over the top. There’s nothing wrong with that kind of humour, and The Good Guys does it with considerable style and talent – I just don’t really like it.
The Good Guys is a good show. It’s cleverly constructed with smart dialogue,, actors with a lot of charisma and chemistry and an overall lack of predictability that’s quite refreshing. I’m definitely in the minority not liking it*, the reviews have been spectacular and it will start its second season almost immediately after finishing its first. I really do recommend everyone to at least give it a try, because I’m certain that it’s my loss that I just didn’t like it.
* TV Squad, CliqueClack and The Watcher to name a few.
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