Friday, June 17, 2011

THE GOOD GUYS: If These Posts Won't Make You Watch An Episode Of This Show, Nothing Will

Here is the moment you've all been waiting for.  Okay, you probably haven't been waiting for it.  You might not even know anything about this show, even though I pumped it up many times in facebook statuses.  However, if you were looking for a reason to check out the unique entry into FOX's 2010 summer line up, The Good Guys, these blog posts should make you run over to The Good Guys at Hulu.com, and check it out.  Even if you never have heard of the show, or never had any interest in checking the show out, I hope this post will make you change your mind.  Of the four episodes still available at the link above, the best one, in my opinion, is Episode 19, "Cop Killer".  It has a crazy title, but the title doesn't, at all, mean what you thought it did.

The Good Guys appeared in the summer of 2010, following original episodes of Lie To Me.  I would routinely see the beginning of the show at the end of our DVR recordings of Lie To Me, and thought the show, at first glance, seemed over the top stupid.  FOX ran the show during the summer to try to build an audience for its fall run.  The summer run didn't go as successfully as FOX had hoped, and FOX ended up ending it a little early, to save up episodes for the fall.  The show also went through a fairly minor re-tooling during the summer to fall hiatus.  It never ended up picking up a bigger audience in the fall, and was ultimately canceled after the 20 episodes had run.  It was pushed into the Friday night wasteland, and was originally supposed to run with Human Target, which would have worked fine for me.  Except, with the failure of Lone Star, that never happened.  The Good Guys was orphaned, and it had no success in picking up an audience, and probably only held the people who watched it during the summer, and loved it.

I'm not even sure this show will ever become a cult classic, but I hope these blog posts will at least make a few people think about seeing the show.  If you're looking for a bit of escapist entertainment, you can't go wrong with this show.  I had to do a tremendous amount of pre-production work to make these blog posts happen, so I hope you appreciate what I went through.  The main focus of these blog posts is video clips.  I figure the best way to make you want to watch a show you haven't seen before, or possibly didn't like, is to show you the essence of it in bits and pieces.  I don't own the rights to the clips I am posting, but I do own the episodes.  I hope no one will ask me to take them down, as I am doing this solely in hopes of promoting the show, to the point that it attracts more fans.  I am not profiting, in any way, from this blog, or these posts.  I am just doing it out of my love for one of the more unique entries I have seen on TV, in the last several years.  If you do decide you want to watch the show, after these blog posts, it's available for purchase on iTunes, and you can't go wrong purchasing it, as nearly every show is solid.

Right now, I'll give a little background on the show, and its typical "formula", and then we'll get to the fun.  The Good Guys was created by Matt Nix, the guy who brought us Burn Notice.  If you like his sense of humor, and the texture he brings to the characters he develops, then this show should be a no-brainer for you to check out.  Just because you like Burn Notice doesn't mean you will like The Good Guys, but it will give you a much greater chance of enjoying the show, if you know the spirit of that show.  I think it was a mistake for FOX not to let people know the show was from Matt Nix, as it might have brought over a wider audience.

Here's the basic premise of The Good Guys, and I may get some of it slightly incorrect, but this should be very close.  Following this description, I will give each of the important characters a little bio video, to give you insight to each character, with a written description, as well.   Our heroes are Detective Dan Stark (Bradley Whitford) and Detective Jack Bailey (Colin Hanks).  They are the bane of just about everyone's existence, in the Dallas Police Department.  Dan Stark shot to fame for his heroism in rescuing the Governor's son from a kidnapping, with his partner Frank Savage.  Dan Stark is still reveling in his heroism, and the TV movie that came out of it, even though it all happened 25 years ago.  He dresses in the same clothes, has a ridiculous mustache, drives a car from the era, has no clue about modern technology, drinks a ton, and doesn't listen to any modern music.  Those were the best days of his life, and he continues to live his life in those days.  He's an 80s reject, everyone says so, but he just doesn't care.  Not caring about much of anything is also one of Stark's flaws.  He's reckless, and absolutely will do whatever it takes to bring down the bad guys, even if he's not supposed to be anywhere near the case.  He's also a hopeless womanizer, so if you'd like to combine him as two characters in TV and movies, his name would be "Dirty Larry" (a combination of Clint Eastwood, and the guy who played Larry on Three's Company).  Detective Jack Bailey is an ambitious young cop.  He's Felix to Stark's Oscar.  Similar to Stark, he bugs the crap out of his superiors.  He could have a bright future, if he would stop pissing everyone off.  These guys are the butt of everyone's jokes in the Property Crimes Division.

The formula of the show is not that unlike an Inspector Gadget cartoon.  In those cartoons, Inspector Gadget would get lots of help from Penny and Brain to solve the crimes he was supposed to solve himself.  Inspector Gadget wasn't any good at that stuff, so he would just typically stumble into a way that helped him solve the crime, and catch the criminal.  There's no one helping Stark and Bailey, and they're usually hurting themselves.  Property crimes are supposed to be the lamest, most boring crimes in the Police Department, yet somehow, through circumstance, or through Stark doing something wrong, the crime ends up leading into a much larger plot.  The initial minor property crime is basically a MacGuffin (MacGuffin Definition) that gets each episode started on its path to destruction.  These guys find and solve huge crimes purely by accident.  If there's one thing Stark knows, it's to listen to his gut, and his gut often takes them on wild goose chases that just so happen to turn into something big.  Of course, everything they do in the pursuit of solving the crimes would get them suspended in a real Police Department, but we'll give them a pass, until the episode they actually get suspended in.  The name of that episode is "Vacation", which is how Stark views his suspension.

If you're into classic rock, there's a lot of it, in the show.  The music licensing rights for this show must have been ridiculous, as they liked to use so much of that type of music.  Maybe that hurt the show financially.  For people who don't like that kind of music, it probably hurts the show for them, too.  I don't like that type of music, but it was very easy to get past it.

When you view the show, you have to look at it as a farce.  It's basically one big joke, I think.  It's a parody of 70s and 80s cop shows, but the only person who's like those shows is Stark.  Every other sensibility is modern.  Stark will often dominate the show, and gross you out, too, but the show works in spite of his character.  Some people thought his character was way over the top.  I agree with that, but there is so much other good stuff there, that his character is more someone you laugh at, not with.  Yet, he always seems to get the job done.

The thing that is most unique about the show is that the bad guys are more than one dimensional.  They all have quirky issues that make them fun to watch.  We know how every episode will end, but the bad guys make it fun to get there.

That's the basic premise and background of the show.  Now it's time for the video presentations.  I will give little character bio video clips for most of the main characters.  You'll see the character A.D.A. Liz Traynor (Jenny Wade) in the clips for the episode "The Getaway", but I thought this character was a major downer for the show, so I won't be giving her an actual character bio video.  Wade was fine in her part, it was just, by far, the weakest character in the series.  Her character is almost a MacGuffin as an in to the D.A.'s office for our heroes, as Bailey used to be in a relationship with her.  So, other than her, and Frank Savage (Stark's original partner), I have put together character clips for you to enjoy.  I left out Savage because I think his character is pointless, and would have been better off not being shown.  He appears in two episodes, and I prefer the idea of his character not being around, as him not being around feeds more into the delusions of grandeur Stark has about his previous exploits. 

Posting the video part of this has proven to be traumatic, and enormously time consuming.  First, there will be video clips of the basic main and supporting characters, broken into three parts.  The first one will be for our two heroes, the second one for the supporting heroes, and the last one is dedicated to my favorite character and actor in the series Julius Grant (RonReaco Lee).  All the rest of the video clips are to let you get a glimpse into the bad guy characters for each individual episode.  All of the bad guys have somewhat humorous character affects and back stories.  If I did it right, the "full" blog post will comprise of 24 posts.  Sorry it's done this way, but the difficulty of uploading the stuff made me need to break it up this way.  As I said earlier in this blog post, please support this show, by buying it, if you enjoy what I have put together.  A tremendous amount of effort went into it, and I only hope it will be allowed to stay up.  Only time will tell.  Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy reading and watching this stuff as much as I enjoyed making it (DVD Commentary joke). 

The way you should look at each post is by going straight down the list of clips.  That will give you proper context, and everything is clearly numbered to be able to see which way it should be done.  I had to build this whole thing, in reverse order, so it certainly wasn't fun to do.

UPDATE:

Here's the consolidation of all the links in one post, if you don't want to just go down the pages to hit play on the clips.

Heroes Video Clips

The Supporting Heroes Video Clips

Julius Grant, Criminal Informant Character Bio and Video Clip

The Bad Guys Video Clip Episode 1

The Bad Guys Video Clip Episode 2

The Bad Guy Video Clip Episode 3

The Bad Guys Video Clip Episode 4

The Bad Guys Video Clip Episode 5

The Bad Guys Video Clip Episode 6

The Bad Guys Video Clip Episode 7

The Bad Guys Video Clip Episode 8

The Bad Guys Video Clip Episode 9  

The Bad Guys Video Clip Episode 10

The Bad Guys Video Clip Episode 11

The Bad Guys Video Clip Episode 12

The Bad Guys Video Clip Episode 13

The Bad Guys Video Clip Episode 14

The Bad Guys Video Clip Episode 15

The Bad Guys Video Clip Episode 16

The Bad Guys Video Clip Episode 17

The Bad Guys Video Clip Episode 18

The Bad Guys Video Clip Episode 19

The Bad Guys Video Clip Episode 20

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