The Good Guys, “Don’t Tase Me, Bro!”

I have to admit, this episode was after my own heart based on its title alone. Please tell me you all catch the reference. If you don’t, watch this video.

It is disappointing that The Good Guys is saying goodbye for fall for a number of reasons, but most importantly, because it has hit a creative stride of sorts. The last few episodes have been much goofier, but also much funnier. I think that after “Don’t Tase Me, Bro!” we now know that this series is more worried about the humorous, parody of a cop show execution instead of a kind of funny cop show that uses the same elements seriously that it often parodies. And if we get more episodes like this one, I’m all for that approach.

In general, it’s not that this episode featured a revolution of the series’ execution or elements, but it just feels like the actors and writers are getting more confident in how to play everything. Colin Hanks has especially grown into his role as Jack and been given more comedic material to work with instead of just playing the straight-laced eager beaver, young cop. The tasing might have been totally slapstick and obvious, but it worked because Hanks sold the effects just as Bradley Whitford nailed the delivery. In this instance, Dan’s aversion to technology wasn’t completely annoying or too far on the stupid side because what kind of cop would want to carry a taser if they’d had a gun and holster for decades?

The U.S. Marshall is basically the female Dan and again, though we could see how their relationship was going to play out as soon as it was set up, watching the story unfold was a delight. I hope she returns.

But here’s my question: Does The Good Guys really have a chance of surviving in the fall? The ratings have not been good this summer, the ratings were not good when FOX aired the pilot episode after American Idol and it’s going to be stuck on Fridays after a middling ratings-getter in Human Target. I’m not sure how short of a leash FOX has for the series, but putting it on in the fall has to be read as some sign of confidence. Of course, that happened before the series’ ratings tanked this summer. I believe a full season has been shot and I can’t imagine it won’t air. But would FOX let the series finish that season and call it quits? Or perhaps burn through them all before 2011 and then bring the series back next summer? Does anyone but me actually care?

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