So! The first promo for The Good Guys aired last night during American Idol. I finally saw it tonight. Some thoughts:
First of all, it seems like the main purpose of this sort of promo is to draw in random TV viewers who don't know anything about the show. They already have US. They don't have to impress the fan base here. What they have to do is get a big audience for the show's premiere. To evaluate how well they drew in new people, I watched the promo with someone who watches a lot of TV but isn't particularly a fan of anyone in The Good Guys, and who didn't really know anything about the show other than that I was interested in it. As the promo drew to an end, she said "Okay. They got me." Success!
They billed the show as "Whitford. Hanks. Mustache." Brilliant. Whitford's mustache got so much buzz during the press tour that it would have seemed weird if they didn't acknowledge that somehow. I like that they're embracing it that way rather than trying to gloss over all the comments it has gotten. By making fun of it themselves, they're owning it rather than leaving it open to ridicule.
The promo was heavy on action and comedic moments, as you might imagine. There were actually fewer explosions than I had expected, but plenty of gunfights. They were well done, and so far it looks like the filming is quite clever: there was a moment at the end when Hanks is shown shooting at a bad guy, a lot, and the viewer doesn't realize until the next shot that none of his bullets hit. Hanks: "Not even one?" It's definitely one of the funniest moments. I'll leave the other funniest moments for you to see for yourselves, eventually - don't want to completely spoil things.
One drawback of the focus on action was that Jenny Wade and Diana Maria Riva didn't really appear. The focus was definitely on the guys (and the mustache). While I was sad not to see the ladies, it made sense - with such a short amount of time, it's best to keep things simple and leave your message clear in the viewer's mind. Introducing more characters would have confused things.
(WARNING: The next two paragraphs are me - well, not quite making stuff up, but reading a lot into the very little we've been shown. Proceed at your own risk.)
It's hard to get much of a sense of character relationships in such a short time, but what was shown of the Dan/Jack interaction was very promising. Right at the beginning, Dan (Whitford) says something like "There are no small crimes, college boy." (The "small crimes" part might be off - I didn't actually sit there and transcribe, although now I'm sort of wishing I had.) The "college boy," and his tone, nailed the relationship right there, I think. He's trying to sound over-the-top, completely patronizing and contemptuous, but there's an underlying jaded understanding and even a hint of compassion.
Dan's been where Jack is now, and he knows what can happen, and as much as he'd like to just out-and-out hate Jack, he doesn't. And Jack gets exasperated with Dan, certainly, but he doesn't quite seem to hate him either. Which is good. If they were totally adversaries, things would likely get boring quickly. Personally, I'm hoping for some sort of complicated, codependent love-hate thing - an emotional core to balance the explosions and witty dialog. And from this promo, it looks like that's exactly what we're going to get.