Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Good Guys “Bait and Switch” Recap & Review

All photos from Fox

I have to admit that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to watch “The Good Guys” (Fox). I was a little worried that I wouldn’t like Bradley Whitford in another show that was so far removed from his role on “The West Wing.” But the fact that I always liked Bradley Whitford in “The West Wing” was what eventually compelled me to watch “The Good Guys” and I was not disappointed.

Whitford plays a Dallas, Texas cop, Dan Stark, who is partnered with a much younger detective, Jack Bailey, played by Colin Hanks. (Colin is the son of actor Tom Hanks.) Whitford steals the show, with a thoroughly enjoyable portrayal of the seasoned cop. (Personally, I found it even more enjoyable because Whitford closely resembled a guy I used to work for, down to the mustache and receding hairline, and who was also from Texas, but he was very straight-laced, not at all like Dan Stark.)

Jack and Dan are investigating what seems to be a simple case of vandalism – a rock thrown through the window of the home of two attractive girls. Dan recreates the scene by laying in bed with one of the girls and notices that the street light was also broken. He realizes that it was the light they were really aiming for. When he finds a vintage car was stolen in the area, he is able to make the connection that someone is actively stealing vintage cars. When they can’t get approval from Kiersten (Lauren Stamile) to get more resources to set up a sting, Dan sacrifices his own Trans-Am, using it as bait.

All their plans go wrong when their attempt to track the car using the ankle monitor on Julius (RonReaco Lee) - who is hiding in the trunk of the car – flops. But Julius, who escaped the car, knows where the car was taken and they all go to a warehouse and see several vintage cars in storage. When they get the license numbers and head back to the precinct, they confirm the cars have all be stolen.

But there is a wrinkle – it seems Kiersten is in on the stolen car ring, and she’s helping out the car thief, Nigel, who is played by Steve Valentine. There must be something in Valentine’s contract that says he must play a person named Nigel in every show he’s in, because I think he’s been in several shows playing characters of that name.

When Jack gets captured by Kiersten it looks like Nigel is going to kill him but of course Dan comes in and saves the day, and he saves his beloved Trans Am.

It’s not so much the case but the way they tell the story that is entertaining. They use flashbacks – sometimes only flashing back a few minutes – to tell the story as to how each character reached each point in the story. It’s a fun way to see the story unfold. But Whitford IS the show with his portrayal of Dan Stark. He’s fun, he’s over the top, he’s the perfect balance to the dry and dull Colin Hanks. “The Good Guys” is good fun and should be a part of everyone's summer viewing schedule.

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