The Good Guys Review: "The Broken Door Theory"

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The Good Guys is growing on me.

This week's episode ("The Broken Door Theory") was easily the best of the season so far, as the writing was a bit sharper and, despite Dan actually acting more over-the-top than usual in terms of his illness, his character was toned down just enough.

Last week, I complained that Stark was too much of a caricature. It was simply not believable that he wouldn't know the proper term for "computer."

But more subtle examples of his backwards philosophy worked well on this episode, such as his mispronouncing of "forensics" or his attempt to memorize a screen full of hotel guest names instead of simply printing it out.

The show relies on gimmicks and once you turn yourself over to that fact, it's easier to sit back and just enjoy the general hijinks delivered each week.

Vandalized Vending Machine

I laughed at the flashbacks that took place "32 years ago," "about a week ago," and when the series told us Jack and Dan were parked "1.01 miles away" from the suspect from whom the lieutenant barred them from coming within a mile.

You at least have to give The Good Guys credit for being different than every other police procedural out there. It rarely even pretends as if the outcome is the focus of each episode, as the culprits are always identified right away and the final scene even depicted at the outset.

It's just a matter of letting Dan's outlandish behavior wash over you and it works the more you realize that he may be stuck in 1985 in many ways, but he's also one smart cop that gets the job done.

Two complaints about "The Broken Door Theory," however:

First, writers really need to give the character of Liz some background. Why did she and Jack break up if they clearly seem to into each other? Who is this guy to whom she's engaged?

All we've seen so far is her pining over Jack, who may be a very nice fella and solid detective. But that's as one-dimensional as a character can get and I'm not exactly invested in these two getting back together, are you? It's too obvious at the moment that they will.

Secondly, three mustache jokes in one episode is two too many. One reference per week could be a funny gag, but Bradley Whitford's incredible facial hair was the butt of multiple jabs and puns this week. Like the character himself, it works better when it's not as overt.

After all, it's not like you can miss it anyway. It's one amazing 'stache.

What did you think of the episode?

Breaking a Case

Review

Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (21 Votes)

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

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I just wondered if The Good Guys was being reviewed and so just found these. I haven't watched the June 21 episode yet, but I want to jump in here to say I agree that this episode was the best. The lieutenant made more sense (even as a stock character). I like the prostitute in the motel room and the way she was kind of hanging with the cops. She understood the Liz relationship! No, really -- I like the Liz thing because it's as if she dated this guy, like all of as many as two times before identifying him as a loser ... and then he ends up in a position where he can try to take advantage of their brief relationship, and does ... and she's realizing that he's actually a pretty respectable cop and so couldn't really be as much of a loser as she is sure he is from having dated him. I like the conflict. I keep watching but don't imagine the show will survive ... except I've spoken to two friends who are big fans of the Dan character and only tune in to the show to see him. If he has a lot of such fans, maybe the show will survive.

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I agree that this was the best episode this season - which isn't saying much, since there's (1) the pilot, (2) last week's episode, and (3) THIS week's episode. But it actually had me chuckling out loud at least a few times. The flashbacks really worked well, and the fact that Dan's flu spread so far and wide to the bad guys was just hilarious. The best line of the episode, however, was the bad guy's line to the hotel manager - "I've got guys sleeping with their WIVES again - THEIR WIVES!" The writing was definately better. As to the 'stache jokes, I only noticed the one at the end, so I guess it wasn't really a complaint of mine. As to the Liz relationship, looking at Matt Nix's other hit show, Burn Notice, we never really learned much about "Fiona" or her background until much later in the series, other than that she and Michael were once an item (and may be again). So don't hold your breath. Besides, Jenny Wade is awfully cute, and for now, while the series only has THREE episodes, prefer to just look at her dimples and listen to her adorable accent rather than learn all about her and how she's unavailable because she's engaged to some jerk who probably doesn't appreciate her anyway. For now, just enjoy the gimicks and the view, and you'll get a good laugh and have some fun.

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