The Good Guys (2010)

The Good Guys (2010) Information

The Good Guys is an American action-comedy series about an old-school cop and a modern-day detective that premiered with a preview episode on Fox on May 19, 2010, and began airing regularly on June 7. The series stars Bradley Whitford as Dan Stark, a mustachioed, former big-shot detective with the Dallas Police Department, and Colin Hanks as Jack Bailey, a young, ambitious, by-the-book detective who has been assigned as Dan's partner because of his snarky attitude. On December 15, 2010, The Good Guys was cancelled by Fox Television Studios.


Dan Stark (Bradley Whitford) is a former big-shot detective who once saved Governor Sanford Davis' son Andy, but is now all but washed up and spends most of his time reliving his glory days. However his hunches about the "bigger picture" of crimes and odd ways of doing his job still seem to get the job done. He is shown to have a friendly relationship with the criminals he has arrested. Series creator Matt Nix describes Dan Stark as being "actually a fantastic 1981 cop. He just hasn't moved along with the time. CSI stuff is like black magic." Stuck in the past, he has a difficult time adjusting to new technologies, such as "computer machines" and "smarty phones," also known to him as "cellular testicle shrinkers." Dan lives in a trailer located "in the shadow of" the Texas Star Ferris Wheel in Fair Park. He often retells stories to Jack of the old days with his former partner Frank Savage (Gary Cole), with whom he had a close buddy-cop relationship. These stories sometimes seep in, and Jack sometimes finds use of them to save lives of victims. He is reckless and unpredictable, and does not hesitate to use his handgun for any trivial matter, such as "using his service revolver to open a mayonnaise jar" and shooting a radio because of the loud noise, or even running through a $300 window to stop a dine and dasher. His overzealousness on a prior case cost him any chance of ever being promoted past detective. He enjoys eating peanuts with the shell on, listening to Foghat, and chewing gum.

Jack Bailey (Colin Hanks) is an ambitious by-the-book detective whose attitude has made him few friends on the police force. He was assigned to "baby-sit" Dan on the Property Crimes desk after correcting the captain's grammar in front of the chief. He still has feelings for his ex-girlfriend Liz Traynor, whom he usually musters up the courage to talk to, and finds useful to obtain stuff such as warrants. Jack is usually calm-headed, preferring not to get his hands dirty at times when it is unnecessary. He admits to having attempted to grow a mustache to look tougher, but, because only the middle part grew, it looked like a "Hitler mustache." He gradually learns from Dan about the importance of a partner.

Liz Traynor (Jenny Wade) is an assistant district attorney and former girlfriend of Jack. She apparently broke up with him because "she didn't want to date a cop", though it is quite obvious that the two of them are not over each other and continue to harbor romantic leanings, leading to rather awkward conversations and situations. After Liz realizes that her boyfriend Kyle was involved in a crime in "The Whistleblower", she breaks up with Kyle and decides to give another shot to a relationship with Jack.

Lieutenant Ana Ruiz (Diana Maria Riva) is Jack and Dan's boss, who sees to it that they keep themselves and the police department out of trouble by investigating seemingly minor crimes. She is Dan's ex-partner and they had a one-time fling. She starts out being somewhat cold to Jack and Dan, but she helps the two out, and starts to rekindle a friendship with the two.

Julius Grant (RonReaco Lee) is a petty criminal who used to run a pawn shop but is now a bartender. He is constantly getting in trouble, which Dan usually takes advantage of with a bribe in order to get him to play the role of a snitch. Dan believes that their relationship as detective and snitch is "a sacred bond", and does not hesitate to call on him when his criminal abilities are needed, whether for information or to act as a human tracking device. Though reluctant to help Jack and Dan with their dangerous and unorthodox plans, he often goes above their expectations to save them in times of need. Overall, he sees Dan as a true friend.

Samantha Evans (Angela Sarafyan) is an offbeat and socially awkward assistant crime scene investigator. Though assigned to lab work, Samantha has a desire to do field work and jumps at the chance to help Jack and Dan with their cases, often without them asking for her assistance and doing some things illegally. Due to not following procedures, the evidence collected by Samantha often cannot be used in court, but it does lead Jack and Dan to the bad guys. Samantha has a romantic interest in Jack which he is completely blind to until a kiss in the Series finale. Jack does not feel the same way towards Samantha, but still considers her a good friend.

Elton Hodges (Joel Spence) is a somewhat inept rival detective who holds a dim opinion of Dan's police methods. He was the first to jump at the chance to name Dan a criminal when he was framed. Despite the fact that he is next in command when Lt. Ruiz is unable to perform, no one seems to respect him. He also has a more "evidence before hunches" personality, which is why he does not like Dan's style of work, and often will insult others the first chance he can when what he believes he is right. He also seems to be a poor judge of character; he openly distrusted Julius despite him being a CI while unable to believe someone like a doctor could be a criminal. Though he often tries to insult Dan and the others, most of the times his insults will make him look stupid.

Frank Savage (Gary Cole) is Dan Stark's partner during their "glory days". He left the force after having a nervous breakdown. In the pilot episode, this breakdown is blamed on Dan, who persuaded Frank to leap from Dan's car when they were in pursuit of a car driven by the people who kidnapped the Governor of Texas's son. This same stunt was the reason Frank and Dan were "famous" compliments of a made-for-TV movie Savage & Stark, hence Dan's "glory days". Frank now teaches Art at a Special Ed school and married to a domineering wife, Cynthia (Rachael Harris), though he, like Dan, still loves to "bust some punks." He'd named his oversized revolver "Stella."

Production history

The first season was filmed primarily in Dallas, Texas, and made use of the Fair Park area as much as possible for its diverse shooting locations and so as not to disturb the residents. The show was originally planned to be set in Los Angeles until Dallas city officials convinced creator Matt Nix to set the show in Dallas. Nix said of Dallas, "It's a great city to jump on the hood of a car." Initially, the protagonists' mode of transportation is a mid-nineties Chevrolet Lumina, but during the course of the first episode, Dan Stark acquires a 1980 Pontiac Trans Am and uses it to great dramatic effect during the rescue of a hostage. By the end of the pilot episode, the new car has won the grudging respect of the uptight Bailey, and become the team's new vehicle. After the Lumina gets totaled in "Bait & Switch", it is replaced with a mid-2000s Ford Taurus, but Dan and Jack rarely use it as the team vehicle. Production work on the series began in January 2010 and principal photography of the pilot wrapped in early February 2010. Cast members spent time shadowing their real-life Dallas counterparts to prepare for their roles.

The title sequence uses the song "Slink (A Hymn)" by the group Locksley as the show's theme.

The Good Guys was originally known by the working title Jack and Dan. For several months the series was to be known as Code 58, the Dallas Police Department code for "routine investigation", and then briefly as The Five Eight before producers settled on The Good Guys title. During the January 2010 Television Critics Association press tour, Colin Hanks jokingly suggested "Opposite Buddy Cop Show".

In May 2010, Fox announced that an additional seven episodes had been ordered for the show's first season, extending the initial run to 20 episodes. The show's summer run on Monday nights at 9:00 PM ET/PT ended on August 2, 2010. The Good Guys moved to Friday nights at 9:00 PM ET/PT along with reruns of House M.D. (Human Target was originally planned as the show's lead-in, but was put on Wednesdays after Lone Star was canceled), with new episodes resuming starting on September 24, 2010.

The show struggled with low ratings, regularly ranking in fourth place for its timeslot during the summer and then fifth place from October onward; hence, renewal prospects - despite the show's low production costs - were uncertain. Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly said that although the network would not be immediately ordering new episodes of the show it had not been cancelled. The final episode was broadcast December 10, 2010 on Fox. On December 15, 2010 Robert Wilonsky of the Dallas Observer reported that Fox Television Studios, a production company for the show, informed the Dallas Film Commission that the show would not be renewed for a second season.

Starting on January 1, 2011, the entire series was being rerun on Fox on Saturday nights at 11:00 PM ET/PT. However, the repeats were pulled on January 13, in favor of Fringe.


Main article: List of The Good Guys episodes

Critical reception

The Good Guys has an average critic score of 61/100 based on 20 reviews from television critics, yet it possesses a 8.3/10 user score, on the same site (Metacritic). Alessandra Stanley of The New York Times called the show "fresh" as well as a "buddy act" that is "silly in a clever and engaging way". John Crook of the Sudbury Star found the series "a refreshing blast of laughter and almost nonstop action" that "combines a sharp visual style with a time-jumping narrative". Nancy deWolf Smith of The Wall Street Journal enjoyed the show's "Lazarus effect" of an old-school cop in modern policing that successfully does the impossible by referencing "one of the most culturally lame eras in modern memory and making it seem shiny and new." deWolf Smith went on to say "its standout achievement may be originality." Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune said, "It's not often that dramatic actors are asked -- no, required -- to ham it up, and Whitford does so with relish (ham and relish? Would it be going too far to call The Good Guys cheesy too?)." Ryan went on to say that the show that came to mind when she was watching the first episode was the late night satirical news show The Colbert Report.

Deseret News television critic Scott D. Pierce did not like the series, calling it "Very disappointing. Massively disappointing." Matthew Gilbert of The Boston Globe wished the series worked because there is "so much proven talent involved" however he felt "the hour drags." Jim McFarlin of Detroit's Metro Times did not find what he was looking for in the show. "With the economy still on the critical list and crime on the upsurge the notion of funny, drunk cops just doesn't play well these days." McFarlin compared the show to the American version of Life on Mars, an unconventional police drama which was cancelled after one season, and said, "If you're expecting another Burn Notice with The Good Guys, prepare to get burned." Hank Stuever of The Washington Post found that, "Like our own society, The Good Guys doesn't know when it is." Stuever went on to call the show "a throwback to the days when the car chase was more important than the lab analysis" and that it has "the tiniest whiff of satirical potential".

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