"The bad guys are a bunch of guys running around with guns. The good guys are a team of guys running around with guns."
—Dan Stark "$3.52"The Good Guys
is a 2010 summer Buddy Cop Show
starring Bradley Whitford and Colin Hanks, from the creator of Burn Notice
. The Pilot
aired as a sneak-peek on May 19th of that year, and the series began its first season on June 7. Unfortunately, the show struggled with low ratings via something of a cult audience, and was cancelled after one season
Dan Stark (Whitford) is a former brilliant detective who still works as if life were in The Eighties
, while Jack Bailey (Hanks) is his By-the-Book Cop
partner. The show's tone is very much like Burn Notice
, but unlike Burn Notice's
, The Good Guys runs on distilled Rule of Cool
. Over-the-top shootouts and car chases are a regular occurrence, and in general, the show's writers seem to plan the plot purely around what's fun
Much like Glee
, The Good Guys
tends to use its Troperiffic
premise to build up subversions of the genre's conventions. And, also much like Glee
, this gives the frequent impression that the show doesn't know if it's a parody, a deconstruction, or a reconstruction at any given time.
- AB Negative: Dan's blood type.
- Adorkable: Samantha, especially in the first episode in which she's introduced.
- Lampshaded in the 20th (and last) episode. "The oddly hot chick with the Urkel glasses."
- Affably Evil: Almost every bad guy there was.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: One of Dan's more irrational ideas about computers.
Dan: Computers. I can't get used to 'em. Aren't you worried they're gonna, you know, turn on you?
Jack: I'm not particularly worried my computer's going to attack me, no.
Dan: Sometimes I just...I look at the one in the office. It's like it's thinking, you know, making plans.
Jack: Well, until it decides to rise up and overthrow humanity, it's a pretty good tool for police work.
- The Alcoholic: Dan
- Anachronic Order: Every episode! A rewind effect is used to go back and explain things.
- Anti-Villain: Nearly all the villains on the show. Which of course makes Kyle seem even worse.
- Armed Altruism: Jack does this in the pilot, despite being specifically told by his superior not to.
- Arson Murder And Life Saving: Jack and Dan clearly expect this after they complete their first case. Then, Da Chief tells them they caused over a million dollars in property damage and violated over 30 procedural rules, and they're lucky they still have their jobs.
- Back for the Finale: Frank Savage.
- Badass Mustache: Dan Stark. The mustache even got its own billing in some of the promos. Frank Savage too.
- Batman Gambit: The villain's plan in "Hunches and Heists", using a bank heist as a feint by setting up one inept, unarmed crew so he can get the cops on the wrong side of the river. Then he detonates explosives on the bridge and sends his real crew after a jewelry store. It works perfectly except that Dan and Jack get there and scare the jewel thieves off, but they still don't manage to catch them.
- Though it ends up working against them, when the jewel thieves see Bailey and Stark at the site of their intended crime they believe that their boss had an even MORE twisted and brilliant scheme that involved throwing them under the bus too. It doesn't go well for any of the bad guys.
- Berserk Button: As Dr. Laviolette found out, Stark hates it when another man sits in his desk.
- Betty and Veronica / Tomboy and Girly Girl - Samantha and Liz.
- Big Damn Heroes: Julius and Skeeter in episode 3.
- Also, the Strike Force in "Supercops."
- Big "NO!": Dan lets out three of these when his trailer blows up.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Kyle
- Bittersweet Ending - Episode 7. Stark & Bailey foil a heist but no one believes them.d Willie, the bumbling getaway driver who helped them, is sent back to prison for his involvement and breaks his promise to his daughter to go straight.
- Bland-Name Product: In the show, the local paper is called the Dallas Daily News. The actual local papers in Dallas are the Dallas Observer and the Dallas Morning News.
- Blatant Lies: In 1x03, Dan is forced to put a toy gun to Gemini's head since his is in the car. Gemini holds up his hands, then looks in the anti-theft mirror.
Gemini: That's a toy gun.
Dan: It's not! It's an orange gun!
- Brick Joke: Played straight... and literally, in the episode "$3.52". At the start of the episode Dan vows to take down the drug smuggling ring with the $3.52 in his pocket. Fast-forward to the last minute of the episode, when everyone believes that the brick of Heroin is long gone. In comes Dan with a flashback to where he buys a brick for three bucks and a nougat bar for fifty cents, loses the two pennies somewhere along the line, and swaps the bricks.
- The Brute: Sasha, the Georgians' muscle.
- Buddy Cop Show: Either an Homage, a parody, or both.
- Buffy Speak: A lot like in episode 4.
"So the dog poisoner is actually a meth-lab-exploder-man?"
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Dan, despite his Cloud Cuckoo Lander nature, is still good at his job.
- The Duke, a hitman who lives in his mother's basement, is skilled enough to outwit and overpower two U.S. Marshals and Dan.
- Butt Monkey:
- Julius, especially in the first few episodes.
- Perry, played by Wayne Knight, spends his appearance getting verbally abused by cops, criminals and even children.
- By-the-Book Cop: Jack. Initially, anyway - the longer he spends with Dan, the more he bends the rules. He's still way more by-the-book than his partner.
- California Doubling: Averted completely. The series was filmed entirely within the DFW Metroplex. Real-life locations in Dallas are used; Dan lives in a trailer next to Fair Park, and the Cotton Bowl is used as a plot point in one episode.
- Car Fu: When in doubt, drive a car through a building.
- Catch Phrase: "Let's go bust some punks!"
- Character Filibuster: Dan spends the last two minutes of the final episode calling all CSI techs stupid and how his method is more fun. Bittersweet when you realize this show is getting canceled while the forensic genre of cop shows still is going strong.
- Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends: Double subverted in "Whistle-blower", to excellent effect.
- Chronic Villainy: Walter DiParco.
- Clear My Name
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Dan has his moments; see the quote under A.I. Is a Crapshoot, above.
- Cool Car: Dan and his old partner Frank had a 1979 Pontiac Trans Am back in the day, according to Dan. By the end of the pilot, Dan and Jack have one.
- Lots more show up in the second episode.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Special mention has to go to Kyle, Liz's (currently ex-) boyfriend.
- Covert Pervert: Samantha was going to draw the Murderin' Jane next in a leather cat suit.
- Cowboy Cop: Dan is one of the ultimate examples.
- Also played with, Dan clearly knows the rules inside and out and can twist them to suit whatever he wants to do.
- Cowboy cops are often loners but Dan is the one who often reminds Jack that they're a team.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Nigel.
- Curse Cut Short
Dan: Crime is like women. When they demand attention, you just gotta whip out your gun and- (car peels away)
- Da Chief: While not technically an actual chief, Ruiz fits most of the conventions of the trope.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: The Duke, antagonist of episode 1x09.
- Dark Action Girl: The "Murderin' Jane".
- Deconstructive Parody: To the idea of the Cowboy Cop. See trope entry.
- Description Cut / Ironic Echo Cut
- Documentary Episode: Episode 11.
- Dirty Coward: Kyle, complete with instant loss of all audience sympathy. It didn't help that he blamed all of his cowardice on Jack. This later bites him in the butt when Liz realizes that Jack would have never acted in such a cowardly way and breaks up with Kyle
- Drunken Master: Dan can take on the world's second best assassin in a gunfight while heavily drunk. Which is handy, because he's heavily drunk at all times.
- Dynamic Entry: Dan tries to kick down a door in 1x03, "Broken Door Theory". His technique is horrible; he keeps kicking the door too high, on the hinge side of the door instead of the handle. And then, of course, Jack just pushes the door open.
- And, of course, any time they drive a car through a wall.
- Lt. Ruiz gets one in "The Whistleblower". She appears from behind a tree and clotheslines a guy hard enough to flip him over.
- Epic Fail: Jack empties two clips at his opponent at point blank range and manages to miss every shot. The assassin shrugs and comments, "It's harder than it looks."
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: The Duke again.
- Evil Vegetarian: The Big Bad of episode 7 is a vegan.
- Exact Words: After being told not to get within a mile of a case, Dan and Jack wait at a drugstore exactly 1.01 miles from the criminals house.
- Extreme Melee Revenge: After a hostage situation where it is revealed that Jack's former partner is a Dirty Cop and took him hostage Jack beats him while venting out his pent-up frustrations until Dan and Frank pull him off. Frank gives him one more kick while he's down.
- Every Car Is a Pinto: Subverted hilariously when we find out the guy who was in the trunk of a car pushed off a cliff was not blown up. But he was pissed. What was his Madness Mantra again?
- Justified in one episode when Dan shoots at a van full of explosives using his "Sunday Gun".
- Fan Disservice: Dan wearing nothing but lime-green underpants for a sizable portion of "Silvio's Way".
- Liz doing the same only in a lacy nightgown in "The Getaway", however, is not.
- Five-Man Band
- Firing One-Handed
- Fluffy the Terrible: The Georgians' muscle, Sasha, is treated like he's a cherished pet.
- Friend to All Children: Dan. He has kids doing exercises and pushups as part of a community outreach program, and they love him for it. They apparently join the police force at a rate that Lt. Ruiz can only describe as "Alarming."
- Fun with Subtitles: Similar to Burn Notice, it features rather snarky informational subtitles. As with Burn Notice, later episodes start to have more fun with them such as making them a part of the scene they show up in and interact with objects.
- Genki Girl: Sam's habit of skipping around the Dallas PD and waving her arms around, not to mention her "getting into the moment" and greeting Liz like a best friend, definitely qualifies her as this.
- Gentleman Thief: The Tech Bandit who just does that for a living to support his real love, blogging about food.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: In Cop Killers, Jack and Dan "cop-block" Julius in the middle of a date.
- Gilligan Cut: at least once an episode, usually more often - and all too often involving the equivalent of someone saying "Even Stark wouldn't do X"
- Glory Days: The '80s, for Dan.
- Good Cop/Bad Cop: Or as Dan likes to call it: Good Cop, Sick Cop. He means this literally.
- Good Old Ways: Dan's philosophy, which is perpetually stuck in The Eighties.
- Grammar Nazi: Apparently, Jack got partnered up with Dan because he couldn't resist informing the captain that there's no "statue of limitations" while in front of the Chief.
- Guns Akimbo: Pedro is highly trained and very good at trick shots so he can pull this off. When Jack tries this it results in the Epic Fail of missing with every round from only a few meters.
Jack: Not even one?
Pedro: It's not as easy as it looks.
- Hello, Attorney!: Liz, the Assistant District Attorney and Jack's ex-girlfriend.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Not only was Dan Stark actually Josh Lyman in a past life, his ex-partner was VP Bob Russell!
- Hideous Hangover Cure: Dan's cure for hangovers is a "Guacamonut" (a cinnamon donut dipped in guacamole).
- Hitman with a Heart: Pedro, the world's second best assassin. He's got two kids and is a pretty nice guy who frequently tells people that he doesn't want to have to kill them.
- That's most likely why he's the world's second best assassin.
- Ho Yay: Some believe there's some of this between Jack and Dan.
- Hollywood Nerd: Sam, a new lab tech, is also Hollywood Homely due to a ponytail, coveralls, and thick glasses. And Nerds Are Sexy by pretty much any other standard.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: The one from episode 3. Averted by Zoe.
- Hot-Blooded: Stark.
- How We Got Here
- Hypocritical Humor: In 1x03, Jack and Dan are in a store when the suspect walks in. Dan asks where Jack's gun is; in the car. Dan chews him out for it, then is asked where his gun is. It's in the car.
- I Call It "Vera": Frank Savage's gun Stella.
- Idiosyncratic Wipes: Normal visually, but accompanied by the sound of a revolver spinning. Occasional variations, such as a Taser sound effect in episode 9.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: The loan shark from episode 10.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Walter, the worst getaway driver in the business. Also a Minion with an F in Evil. He is such a bad getaway driver his favorite getaway car is a station wagon.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: In Small Rooms, Dan shoots out the tire of an escaping vehicle with one shot while he's also doing the driving.
- Is It Something You Eat?: Inverted in episode 18 when a Middle Eastern restaurant being used as a front for diamond smuggling is robbed and the owner tries to cover it up.
smuggler/restaurateur: It's a Middle Eastern restaurant. What's there to steal, falafel?
Dan: Depends. What exactly is falafel? Is it a drug, 'cause if it is you're under arrest-
Jack: It's a food, Dan. It's fried chickpeas. It's safe to say no one was here to steal that.
- It's All About Me: Gemini the pimp.
- Jerkass: Assistant Chief Guthrie of Internal Affairs is this full stop, since his Pet the Dog moment at the end of the episode in which he first appeared occurs rather begrudgingly and up until that point he was a completely unlikeable Smug Snake.
- A.D.D. Gordon and Dr. Laviolette.
- Karma Houdini: Liz's BF Kyle in the whistle-blower episode. He does get dumped by Liz for lying to make himself good (and Jack look bad), though, so he doesn't go completely unpunished.
- Karmic Death: In one episode, the villains get away because Jack and Dan's ride is totaled, but then they kill each other in a shootout.
- Kavorka Man: Dan.
- Well, he is Josh Lyman. The ladies, they can sense it.
- Lampshade Hanging: The show is very self aware.
"And there was a giant explosion, which, as far as I can tell, is a recurring motif in a staggering number of your cases."
- Large Ham: Brad Whitford.
- Le Parkour: Done by a graffiti tagger who Jack and Dan are
chasing attempting to chase in the opening sequence of "The Getaway".
- Magic Plastic Surgery: Played with in the pilot. Escalante demands that the plastic surgeon make him look exactly like Erik Estrada. The surgeon is somewhat afraid to tell him that it doesn't work like that.
- Male Gaze: Liz as a hooker and US Marshal Justine Marino.
- Man Child: The Governor's son. Doesn't help that Dan still sees him as the child he saved all those years ago.
- Meganekko: Samantha.
- Memento Macguffin: When trying to convince Frank, who had tossed everything from his and Dan's partner days away, to help him save the governor's son, Dan notes there's one thing he didn't get rid of... his mustache. This is what convince him to help.
- Mexican Standoff: With actual Mexicans!
- Meaningful Echo: Much of the scenes in "Silence of the Dan" between Jack and Hodges mirror the first few episodes of the series. You have the uptight, fastidious, by the book cop (Hodges) with a more senior partner (Jack) who reminisces about stuff their old partner did.
- Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: The higher-ups paired Dan with Jack and send them to investigate minor crimes to keep them out of trouble, but they always stumble across something much bigger.
- Mistaken for Badass: Maxson from episode 4 who was blowing up every meth lab in Dallas was just a concerned father, who cries a lot.
- Mistaken for Dying: Stark turned out to have gotten a toxic reaction from his indigestion meds which have been out of circulation for 20 years.
- Mistaken for Gay: In episode 18, when Dan and Jack track down the stolen diamonds to a strip mall jewelry shop and the owner blows them off.
- Dirty Cop / The Mole -
- Ms. Fanservice:
- Liz. Although naturally, it's far from all she is. Her hooker outfit from "Common Enemies" counts in-universe as well, turning the heads of everyone in the room and rendering Jack unable to stand up.
- Samantha too, thanks to Nerds Are Sexy.
- Most of the female guest stars seem to be aiming for this, really.
- Newscaster Cameo: Several episodes featured news reports from local Fox affiliate KDFW Channel 4, being read by long-time anchor Clarice Tinsley.
- No Name Given: "The Murderin' Jane".
- Noodle Incident: Stark and Ruiz blowing up a taco truck (implied that it contained evidence) and whatever Stark tried to do with the Dallas Task Force's battering ram, and the time Dan almost made lieutenant and decided to go out with Frank to celebrate.
Dan: At the end of the night, they found us trapped in a city garbage truck... buck naked. We did not make lieutenant.
- Once More with Clarity
- One of the Boys: Samantha
- Product Placement: Bailey distracting Hodges by talking about his lunch from KFC.
- Production Posse: Many actors who guest starred on Burn Notice also guest starred here.
- Professional Killer: The world's best and second best assassins, who appear in the first episode.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni / Sensitive Guy and Manly Man
- Retired Badass: Frank
- Right Behind Me: Done with style in episode 2
(Kiersten flirts with Jack, giggles and walks away)
Dan: What is your freaking problem? Kristen is offering herself up to you on a platter. It's like this woman is in heat.
Dan: Hey, man, doesn't matter what her name is. You're never gonna see her naked.
(camera pans up to reveal Kiersten's returned)
Dan: I know I won't.
- Rousing Speech
Stark: You wanna make a movie about lab wienies or do you wanna make a movie about cops?
- Salt and Pepper: Hodges and Lang. By later in the series, Julius and Dan also fit this.
- Scenery Porn: Well, sort of, for Dallas natives anyway. If you're familiar with the Big D you will squee at least Once an Episode as you recognize some landmark.
- Shown Their Work: Very accurate regarding North Texas geography and life. The working title, Code 58, is the real Dallas PD code for "routine investigation."
- Sick Episode: Episode 3.
- Sitcom Archnemesis: Hodges & Lang.
- Status Quo Is God: No matter how heroic Stark and Bailey are, they will never be promoted.
- Straight Edge Evil: Dolph from episode 7.
- Take That: Ep. 1-20, "Partners" there's an ambiguous one, which is why it's here and not on the main page
Jack: I had a beer with you, George. It wasn't that great.
- Thirty Gambit Pile Up: In Episode 5, Paco arranges to double cross Young to their buyer, Young arranges to do the same to Paco, but the buyer decides to kill them both and steal their drugs.
- This Is Reality: In "The Dim Knight."
- Those Two Bad Guys: The Georgians. Alfredo & Tico aka, Matt & Phil.
- Three Lines Some Waiting: Frequently employed.
- Title Drop: Dan does this twice in episode 6, "Small Rooms."
- Trash the Set: Dan's trailer gets blown up in episode 19.
- True Companions: The Georgians and Sasha.
- The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: Molly DiParco.
- Villainous Breakdown: Buddy Haverton.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Hodges' partner Lang who disappeared for many episodes. He said he was on vacation.
- Who's Laughing Now?: Escalante.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Dan Stark acts as if life is an Eighties Buddy Cop Action Comedy, which nearly everyone else on the show disagrees with him about. He's actually right more often than not - although not all the time, since the show is an Indecisive Parody that runs on Rule of Cool and Rule of Funny.