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Friday, April 19, 2013

Review: The Good Guys

In the Dallas Police Department, you have these two cops in the property crimes division. There's squeaky clean, by-the-book lawman Jack Bailey, and mustachioed throwback Dan Stark, who seems to be perpetually stuck in the eighties. Together, this odd couple tackles seemingly inconsequential cases which invariably turn out to be more than they appear. With the help of Assistant District Attorney (and Jack's ex-girlfriend) Liz Traynor, their boss Lieutenant Anna Ruiz, Dan's "snitch" Julius Grant, and later on, CSI member Samantha, they're ready to take on the toughest criminals that Dallas has to offer.

I loved this show. It's main focus isn't exactly on providing hard-hitting drama or clever mysteries, but on putting on a fun and funny show. This buddy cop action comedy is part of a dying breed, while the more techy CSI-style shows have subtly taken over. This show, made by the same guys who made Burn Notice, is laugh out loud funny, with elaborate, over the top gunfights and fairly outlandish plots. There's also room for character development, as Jack begins to become more like Dan and Ruiz eases up on her subordinates. Oddly enough, this show throws the decon-recon (Deconstruction/Reconstruction) switch on the cowboy cop trope, mainly sticking with reconstructing it.

That said, the aforementioned outlandish plots begin to wear a bit thin as the series closes, with the last few episodes being a little weak. I can't really blame the show's makers for running out of steam after the climactic thirteenth and fifteenth ("Dan on the Run" and "The Whistleblower") episodes, but it still shows. It probably had something to do with the show's cancellation after one season, but I still would have liked to have seen this show renewed for a second season. I also note that the show's depiction of police and legal procedures aren't exactly spot on. Warrants come from judges, show, not DAs. But in a show where that was never the point, I can understand.

This is not a show that you would watch with the family, I'm afraid. There is plenty of bad language thrown around, not to mention sexual content. As fun and silly as it is, it's also not a little crass. Combined with the heroes' flagrant disrespect for the law on multiple occasions and Dan's alcoholism, and we've got a solid case for keeping this series on the shelf. But like I said, I loved this show. It's endearing, in fun and crass sort of way, and I look forward to viewing it's more long-lived cousin, Burn Notice, soon.

RATING: 9/10

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