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Old 01-03-2014, 03:15 PM   #1
billypritchard
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The Official Good Guys of TV Thread

So, are good guys really that boring these days? Is every show about the anti-hero? Does every female character need to reform the 'bad boy'? Can the good guy be interesting on a tv show?


I've got a current example.

Ben Wyatt, Parks and Recreation. Never was such a good guy found, and yet the show continually finds hilarious things for him to do, and interactions with Leslie.

Another one.

Nick Miller, New Girl. Granted, Nick isn't a 'catch'. But there isn't a bad bone in his body either.

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Old 01-03-2014, 03:26 PM   #2
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If done right. See, Friday Night Lights.
I would also argue that Marshall on How I Met Your Mother is one of the most appealing characters. I'd rather be friends with him than Ted, Barney, or Robin.

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Old 01-03-2014, 03:29 PM   #3
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Is Leonard on BBT an anti-hero?

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Old 01-03-2014, 03:29 PM   #4
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If done right. See, Friday Night Lights.
I would also argue that Marshall on How I Met Your Mother is one of the most appealing characters. I'd rather be friends with him than Ted, Barney, or Robin.
Interesting observation. FNL gives us examples of both types. Riggins is definitely the stereotypical 'bad boy with a heart of gold.' But Saracen (and later Vince) fall into the good guys category for sure, and still bringing lots of drama and interest.

Of course Coach would be in the Good Guy Hall of Fame!

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Old 01-03-2014, 03:34 PM   #5
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Captain Nice and Mr. Terrific lasted about a dozen episodes each in 1967. If nice & terrific guys finished last in the flower power days of the 1960s, I don't think they have much chance today.

No, Lucas Hood in Banshee is the model 21st century hero, a logical extension of the original Logan character in Veronica Mars. And there are no longer any good women to reform him; they're just about as bad!

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Old 01-03-2014, 05:57 PM   #6
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If done right. See, Friday Night Lights.
I would also argue that Marshall on How I Met Your Mother is one of the most appealing characters. I'd rather be friends with him than Ted, Barney, or Robin.
Coach Taylor was my first thought when I saw the title of this thread.

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Old 01-03-2014, 07:05 PM   #7
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Is Leonard on BBT an anti-hero?
Nice guys are easier to pull off in 1/2 hour comedies.

Most dramas these days with a nice guy also contain a bad boy too. Probably so they can appeal to the broadest audience.

A lot of shows have a similar theme for women in TV. It's the beautiful girl who doesn't realize she's beautiful and/or has the jerk boyfriend who doesn't deserve her.

If TV had average looking people with average lives it would be boring.

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Old 01-03-2014, 09:09 PM   #8
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I think Hank Lawson (Royal Pains) is an official good guy.

Oh, so is Jesse from Burn Notice. Classic good guy against Michael's bad boy.

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Old 01-03-2014, 09:23 PM   #9
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When I saw the thread title I was wondering if it was about the far too short lived show on Fox entitled The Good Guys, although that was sort of the classic one straight arrow and one rascal/charming rogue/sometimes jerk.

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Old 01-03-2014, 09:40 PM   #10
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Ken Cosgrove, the only good guy on Mad Men (if you can overlook some leering in season 1, they ended up taking his character the wholesome route).

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Old 01-04-2014, 07:18 PM   #11
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Coach Taylor is at the top of my list, too.

I'd also put Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs and Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard, both on NCIS, on my list.

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Old 01-06-2014, 08:39 AM   #12
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One show which pulls off the bad guy vs. good guy as partners really well is White Collar. That was my first thought when I saw this thread.

This is pretty much in all media these days. Consider someone like Snowden. Is he a bad guy because he stole government secrets or a good guy because he exposed government spying? There's no such thing as a clear cut hero anymore. Look at our comic book characters and how they are being portrayed in the movies. All of them seem to be dark characters who do some good things, but have bad simmering just below the surface. I guess we just find those characters more interesting.

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Old 01-06-2014, 09:37 AM   #13
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One show which pulls off the bad guy vs. good guy as partners really well is White Collar. That was my first thought when I saw this thread.
That's not really a good guy and a bad guy. That's a good guy and a mostly good guy who occasionally wants to do bad things but never actually does.

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Old 01-06-2014, 09:42 AM   #14
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That's not really a good guy and a bad guy. That's a good guy and a mostly good guy who occasionally wants to do bad things but never actually does.
I would classify him as a "lovable rogue". Still a bad guy by nature, but very likable. And he justifies all the "bad" things he does, which is what a lot of lovable rogues do.

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Old 01-06-2014, 10:04 AM   #15
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One show which pulls off the bad guy vs. good guy as partners really well is White Collar. That was my first thought when I saw this thread.
Sure, and if I had to pick one to marry my sister it would be Peter. But to drool over on TV? Neal wins any day.

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Old 01-06-2014, 10:39 AM   #16
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Coach Taylor is at the top of my list, too.

I'd also put Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs and Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard, both on NCIS, on my list.
Coach for sure tops
Ducky def

Jethro, not so much, he's a pretty good guy overall but he has huge skeletons and is not afraid to "go dark"

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Old 01-06-2014, 12:36 PM   #17
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Old 01-06-2014, 12:52 PM   #18
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I admit I don't watch many of these, but aren't the LEOs in most crime procedurals white hats?

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Old 01-06-2014, 02:34 PM   #19
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I think Hank Lawson (Royal Pains) is an official good guy.

Oh, so is Jesse from Burn Notice. Classic good guy against Michael's bad boy.
When I read this, I read it as "Jessie from Breaking Bad" and I thought WHAT? How is Jessie a good guy? Only in comparison to Walt...

Ooops. Wrong show!

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Old 01-06-2014, 04:14 PM   #20
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When I read this, I read it as "Jessie from Breaking Bad" and I thought WHAT? How is Jessie a good guy? Only in comparison to Walt...

Ooops. Wrong show!
With Breaking Bad you have to grade on a curve.

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Old 01-06-2014, 05:10 PM   #21
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I would say Breaking Bad/Mad Men/Sopranos are all firmly in the anti-hero camp, but there is something different about them. Maybe it's just pure quality that lifts them out of cliche.

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Old 01-07-2014, 08:52 AM   #22
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I would say Breaking Bad/Mad Men/Sopranos are all firmly in the anti-hero camp, but there is something different about them. Maybe it's just pure quality that lifts them out of cliche.
I think there are good guys in all of those (well I'm not sure about BB because part of the reason I stopped watching was because I hated ALL of the characters who have NO redeeming values). Mad Men, I would say Peggy would be a "good guy" Sure she's shown a dark side at times, but overall, I think she's mostly good. The Sopranos is a little harder to find a good guy per se. I always thought maybe Bobby Bacalla or Big Pussy would be considered good guy, in that I always got the feeling that they were "in the life" but really didn't want to be.

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Old 01-07-2014, 03:01 PM   #23
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Coach Taylor was my first thought when I saw the title of this thread.
Me too. He's a first ballot Good Guy (and great TV character) HOFer.

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Old 01-07-2014, 03:04 PM   #24
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Most procedurals and sitcoms are populated with good guy characters. It's the more serialized dramas that have the problem with finding interesting things for them to do.

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