One’s a dark-suit-wearing, everything-by-procedure kind of guy, while the other is a loose cannon. One’s a long-time veteran, the other is a newcomer, played by that Hanks guy. They may not play well together, but they get the job done. That, of course, the 1987 movie Dragnet as well as the new Fox series The Good Guys, which aired an early “preview” episode last night.
My first impression of the show is that it’s very full; there’s a lot packed into the episode; when my brain said the hour was about up, the show was actually nearer the halfway point. My next impression is that the general tone is very strange. It’s far from serious, it is intentionally over the top (to the degree that it will be hard to invest one’s self in the characters), and yet it’s obviously trying to have some heart, some pro-humanity core that will make it lovable. It has a lot of action that seems to be trying to be both over-the-top and invest-yourself-in-the-risk adventure. All of that just left me feeling uncertain how I was supposed to react. This may well be one where if you let yourself soak ina few episodes, you’ll buy into its rhythms.
There’s some good casting here. Colin Hanks plays the button-down young cop with charm and intelligence, a good beleaguered acceptance of the situation he is in. Bradley Whitford plays disheveled nicely, giving him a strong contrast from the roles he played on West Wing and Studio 60 without coming across as a different actor.
I was momentarily surprised to see Nia Vardalos as a “Special Guest Star”, and for a moment there I thought it was her doing a favor (Colin’s dad and stepmom were producers on her breakout film success, My Big Fat Greek Wedding). And then I thought about the path of Ms. Vardalo’s career, and wondered who was doing who a favor… and that’s probably too ungenerous.
Overall, The Good Guys is at this point for me a befuddlement, although at least an energetic enough one that I’ll give myself another episode or two to soak in its odd mix.