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The Good Guys Review: "Bait and Switch"

by at . Comments

Somewhere in The Good Guys, there's a quality television show.

But it's yet to fully reveal itself through two episodes, simply giving viewers teases here and there of what it might become.

For instance, let's go through last night's installment, "Bait and Switch," and determine what worked, what did not work and what could eventually work...

A computer machine?!? I love the idea of Dan Stark, an old school detective hesitant to change his ways. It's a nice twist on the typical cop show partnerships we see across our TV dial each week - but he's just a caricature at this point. The writers should let Bradley Whitford convey this character's quirks in his own, more subtle ways... as opposed to shoving examples down the throats of viewers, such as his constant use of the term "computer machine."

Come on. The guy would clearly know the proper term for computer. The scene (below) where he confronted the laptop like a suspect was humorous and well-done and I'd like to see more of Dan quietly struggling to catch up to the 21st century, not over-playing every line to prove that he's from a different era.

He'll Shoot!

Jack and Liz: Do we know anything at all about the former, except that she's cute and has the only believable Texan accent in the cast? The show has thrown this romantic storyline into each of the first two episodes, offering no background on it, except to say Jack and Liz dated for awhile and now she's engaged to someone else.

Who is her fiancee? Why did she and Jack break up? How did they eventually arrive at such a comfortable, friendly relationship? It's safe to assume we'll eventually learn these things, but it's difficult to be invested until we do.

Also: Jack and Liz?!? Sorry, but I can only think of 30 Rock when I hear those names together.

I did enjoy the show's use of flashbacks and time cuts more this week than on the pilot. Probably because I expected them this time. The point, it seems, is to drive home the fact that the outcome of each case isn't really the point of each episode.

We knew from the outset, for example, that Dan would come to Jack's rescue this week. But The Good Guys wants us to focus more on the partners' adventures than their actual conclusions, which is refreshing. It's clearly a light-hearted show that isn't asking viewers to solve any mysteries or who-dunnits.

But if the partnership between Jack and Dan is at the center of the show, the writers need to tone down the latter a lot more. He's just too over-the-top, making any moments that attempt to humanize him (such as Jack confronting him over the fate of his former partner on the premiere) fall flat.

I can't take Dan seriously in any way, can you? His amazing mustache says so much, we don't need hin chomping on gum and saying "busting punks" every other line.

What did you think of the episode and the series so far? Below, we've posted a few The Good Guys quotes from "Bait and Switch."

Dan: It's like your the computer machine whisperer. | permalink
Dan: Sounds to me like quid pro, no quo. I want my quo. | permalink
Dan: You don't celebrate a bust with a ladyfriend, you celebrate it with your partner.
Jack: You do know we're not life partners, right? | permalink
Dan: It doesn't matter what her name is, you're never gonna see her naked. | permalink
Dan: After she took your manhood, where did she put it? Did she put it in a jar or something? | permalink

Review

Editor Rating: 3.1 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (41 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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I love this show! I love the back and forth formatting, the sharp, snappy dialogue, the clever storylines and mostly, I love the character Dan Stark. I predict there will someday be quote-a-day calendars of Dan Stark-isms.

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I work with law enforcement--Texas law enforcement, no less (that happens to be, logistically, one hour outside of Houston but may as well be The Wild West)--and I can tell you that the whole "computer machine" thing is NO exaggeration.

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For only two episodes, they hit the ground running with good storylines, clever idea of minor crimes developing into something bigger, and two opposites who are partners no matter what happens; it's a great buddy show, with enough humor and action to keep you entertained.

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There is a running joke with the "computer machine" and Dan. Last week he called the humidifier the "humidifinder" the entire episode. Sorry you missed it. Also, having worked with police officers I can tell you that Dan is not that much of a charicature, or alternatively, no more so than his real life counterparts are.

The Good Guys Season 1 Episode 2 Quotes

You think it's a sign when the check-out lady asks paper or plastic.

Jack

After she took your manhood, where did she put it? Did she put it in a jar or something?

Dan
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