The dialogue aims to sound clever and funny but the personality clashes are so obvious that it soon feels, like the plot, too formulaic.  In an age where the character complexity of even stock characters like bad boy Sawyer on Lost and just about every lead character on a TNT or USA network series shows surprising depth, Bailey and Stark seem two-dimensional.  Colin Hanks, playing a priest in Mad Men's second season, showed how good an actor he is.  Here, he's reduced to doing something he must surely know reminds us of his dad Tom in any number of earlier roles playing slightly prissy or flustered characters -- like Tom's detective character Turner to Stark's slobby Hooch. 

Stark is even given the macho cop's emblem of power, a sporty car, like Starsky and Hutch's Torino, or Miami Vice's Sonny Crockett and his Ferrari, but it's also stuck in the 80s -- a Pontiac Firebird Tran Am, which Stark loves more than life itself or any of the women he makes passes at each week.  Bradford, a producer on the show, throws everything he has into the Stark character and it must have looked good in the pilot script, but I found the macho man shtick grew tiresome quickly. Maybe the buddy-cop show is better left in the 1980s, if The Good Guys is what it looks like in the 21st century.  These two guys are simply too derivative of a genre that was of its time and they bring nothing new to the table to freshen it up.

The Good Guys airs on Fox, Mondays at 9:00pm. Episodes also available on fox.com and hulu.com.


 Alex Wainer, Ph.D. teaches media and film at Palm Beach Atlantic University.  He is a regular contributor to theFish.com.