'The Good Guys' has mild charm, cartoon-like characters


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Fox programmers seem determined to drag viewers back a few decades. First there was "Human Target," a generic action-adventure that would have been at home airing after "The Incredible Hulk," and now there's "The Good Guys," a series about a cop whose comfort with all things modern ended in the mid-1980s.

"The Good Guys" has its mild charms but nothing about its characters is believable; they're stock TV characters.

Veteran detective Dan Stark (Bradley Whitford) isn't convinced DNA is real science and he thinks his computer may rise up against him. His young partner, Jack Bailey (Colin Hanks), criticizes his superiors to their faces.

"It's just that there's no such thing as a statue of limitations," Jack says in his defense.

This cliche-riddled odd couple is assigned to routine investigations -- in the first episode it's a stolen humidifier -- that balloon into something bigger that usually involves car chases and gunfights.

The show does give more character development to the bad guys than most series but these antagonists are cartoons compared to the more sophisticated, better drawn baddies on FX's recent "Justified."

"The Good Guys" isn't really good but it is OK if all you seek from TV is bland, comfortable entertainment -- the same type of program you were watching 30 years ago.


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