A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this witty but formulaic action comedy -- which follows two bickering police detectives -- pulls laughs from the antics of a washed-up rogue cop who frequently drinks on duty, seduces crime victims, and often breaks the rules (with much success). The cops frequently engage in gunplay, and characters sometimes die, though nothing graphic is usually shown. There are a few major drug deals and also a good bit of sexual innuendo.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Detective Jack Bailey (Colin Hanks) has ticked off his supervisors one time too many, so now he’s stuck investigating the most insignificant incidents. Worse, he has to babysit his new partner Dan Stark (Bradley Whitford), a veteran cop who follows his gut no matter how many rules he has to break in the process. Stark was lauded as a hero for saving the governor’s son -- three decades ago. Now he’s a washed-up cop, who drinks on duty and cruises on his fading glory because the department can’t get rid of him. Together, they set out to solve the city’s inconsequential burglaries, which seem to regularly lead them to major crimes.
Is it any good?
There’s nothing especially original about THE GOOD GUYS. Rogue cop with a straightlaced partner? Seen it before. Detective that refuses to follow the rules, yet still manages to make the big bust and infuriate his superiors in the process? Yep, been there too. But a lack of originality doesn’t mean the show is no good. The witty scripts make it clear the series doesn’t take itself too seriously, and Hanks and Whitford breathe new life into this standard formula.
Hanks is fun (OK, maybe a bit stiff, but that’s the point here) as the frustrated, by-the-book cop, but Whitford is the best part of the show. Stark still thinks he’s a hero who can do no wrong; it doesn’t help that women still swoon when he tries to take their statements, and his ridiculous decisions still lead him straight to the bad guys. The two bickering partners have enough chemistry to elevate this predictable series.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about cop shows. Do the partners here seem similar to the officers in other popular police series? What about their characters is drawn on other classic buddy-show stereotypes, and what do you think is original?
Why do you think the “rogue cop” character is so common? Does a series carry more dramatic heft when one of the main characters is a rule-breaker? Do you think these characters are as common in real life as they seem in television and movies? What do you think the real consequences of Dan Stark's behavior would be?