The Goodwin Games: Will You Keep Playing?

The Goodwin Games Season 1 Premiere Recap

“Congratulations! You are the winner!” Benjamin Goodwin (played by Stargate SG-1‘s Beau Bridges) announces at the opening of Fox’s new comedy, The Goodwin Games – moments before dying in his office desk chair.

The next time we see the dearly deceased – via video tape – he’s outlining the terms of his will for his three adult children, all of whom had been estranged from their father for some time.

There’s Henry (played by Felicity‘s Scott Foley), an overachieving doctor who has perfected the art of the humblebrag; Chloe (Ugly Betty‘s Becki Newton), an actress whose departure broke her dad’s heart; and Jimmy (Cloverfield‘s T.J. Miller), a recently out-of-prison screw-up with a cute, young daughter who’s more mature than he is.

The Goodwin siblings are shocked to learn their dad was worth $23 million. They’re even more surprised to find out that one person will take it all – provided they compete in a series of games he devised.

“You’re each living in your own metaphorical prison. Or, in Jimmy’s case, prison,” Papa Goodwin says from the beyond. The competition, which begins with a family-tailored round of Trivial Pursuit, is designed to bring them closer together.

When the sibs finally put aside their differences long enough to get through the board game, they’ve got another surprise: Trivial Pursuit was just the first step in a long journey toward the money – and they’re all going to have to move home to keep playing. “It’s time to be a family again,” Benjamin tells them from a video planted in a bar’s photo booth (?). “Who’s in?”

After watching Fox’s newest comedy, are you in? Grade The Goodwin Games via the poll below, then hit the comments to back up your choice!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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42 Comments
  1. It wasn’t bad; it was somewhat cheesy but still worth watching, and I have no other TV shows that play in that time slot, so why not?

    • jenna (different than the one from May 20) says:

      @Taelor
      Agree 100%.
      But then again, I was so excited to see Becki Newton, I would have watched her in “Splash!”

      Seriously: I would have watched “Splash!”

      I’m hoping, now that the ground rules are established, we can get into character development for the supporting cast. I’m already loving that “more grown-up than the parents” little girl.

  2. jenna says:

    I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would! I remember T.J. Miller from a Happy Endings episode and thought he fit the role quite well. Albeit I agree that the concept is a bit cheesy, i’m intrigued enough to keep watching

  3. belinda says:

    I’m just glad to see Becki Newton and Scott Foley on the small screen again! I thought it was pretty funny and has a lot of potential

  4. Billy says:

    I actually laughed at this comedy and that’s rare with some of the new comedies on TV recently….I’ve been waiting for this show ever since it was announced last year and after seeing the first episode I hope it stays on for the whole run and gets picked up for next year :-)

    • Balaji K says:

      I think the show will only air 6 episodes. We might not even get a proper ending. Beau Bridges is on the new CBS show “The Millers” and I believe Scott Foley has also moved on to other roles. This is essentially a summer burnoff.

  5. Eric says:

    I was really hoping to like this show…and I did! It’s an interesting concept, and I’m really looking forward to see how it plays out over a few seasons! (Yes, I realize I’m being quite optimistic)

  6. Sonia says:

    Wasn’t sure about this show when I read the premise, but while watching the episode my mom and sister and I all laughed out loud which I find rare with the first episodes of new shows. Hoping this show keeps what the same vibe from the first episode and at least it’s not on NBC grim reaper network like the hysterical Go On.

  7. Anna says:

    I really love Becki Newton, so I was hoping that this wouldn’t be a dud, and I found myself laughing out loud a number of times throughout the pilot. It was a bit cheesy at times, but I will definitely watch again.

  8. jfritz says:

    Absolutely LOVED IT! I can’t wait to see more! This feels like a new comedy favorite… Love the cast, Love the story, it is wonderful.
    Before seeing the show, I was never even going to watch it, because the summary of it sounded boring. It actually almost sounded like it was going to be another lame reality show, but I am really happy I gave it a shot – great fun comedy.

  9. Temperance says:

    I loved the pilot, and found it quite moving at points.

  10. Emma says:

    This show is fantastic! I thought it was very engaging and funny! I’ll look forward to watchiing this on Monday nights!

  11. Sg. Grant says:

    So far, the comments in the post look like plants from the show. Perhaps not, and the people with negative comments will simply not click the thread. I will probably watch all of the new episodes, since it is not like anything else new is coming on.

    • Mike says:

      What, since when are people not allowed to like a show, do they have to have some complain in order to not be seen as show plants.

      • GK says:

        Shhh dude. Don’t feed the troll. Grant is notorious for his hating around these parts for years.

        • Sg. Grant says:

          You must be confusing me with someone else? The only people I rag on here are those that write posts that are almost unreadable because of poor grammar and spelling/punctuation, like Jules and Kevin Tran 2.0. Otherwise I never say anything negative about shows themselves. I actually enjoyed Goodwin Games enough to watch the rest of the episodes. HIMYM started a bit slow, and it is from the same creators, so I have hope that the episodes get exponentially better. Based on the ratings though, it will be a one summer kind of show, then be dead forever.

  12. Frank L. says:

    What a charming show! I really like the premise and the characters, and am very interested in seeing how this story unfolds. The show also seems to have a lot of heart while still being smart and funny — a refreshing break from a lot of the mean-spirited “comedies” on TV. I am looking forward to seeing what plot twists and games are in store next week.

  13. hunter says:

    Overall it was good, I can defiantly tell it is from the How i Met Your Mother people. I bet it gets cancelled though.

  14. NotAPlant says:

    LOL at all the obvious shills.

    I watched 10 minutes and then deleted the show.

  15. Babygate says:

    It wasn’t great but it wasn’t bad. I like it better than The B in Apt. 23 and Happy Endings. It was kind of corny but it has heart and its not over the top which I think is such an unappealing quality in a show. But the little brother has got to go. He’s awful.

  16. Amy says:

    I was so excited to see Scott Foley and Becki Newtwon back on TV. I really wanted to like it. I liked the initial previews. I liked the show’s premise and story. I was excited to see the episode. I’m sad to say I did not enjoy it. I was not a fan of the TJ Miller recast. The sibling chemistry felt off and TJ was just annoying. Scott and Becki were not at their best either. Beau was the only highlight. As much as I want to give in another episode I’m not sure I can stomach another half hour of this.

    • rowan77 says:

      Shows often get retooled between the pilot and the second episode. I wasn’t wowed by the pilot either. It tried too hard and the actors didn’t seem settled into their roles yet – but I also thought that about Haven when that started and after a while it found it’s stride.

      I’m giving Goodwin Games a second (and maybe a third) go because I really enjoy Beau Bridges, Scott Foley and Becki Newton. Let’s see if this is another Bent (a show NBC stupidly buried last year because it was too quick and smart instead of obvious and broad).

    • mdtindc says:

      hopefully we’ll still get to see Scott Foley on Scandal next season.

  17. JT says:

    It was actually good. I’ll keep watching.

  18. Mandy says:

    Interesting premise, superb cast. I would watch Becki Newton in anything and after loving him on Scandal, Scott Foley gets a pass on PVR as well.

  19. Polly says:

    From the trailers looked way worst than it actually was.
    It totally has a “himym” vibe.
    I’ll keep watching.

  20. Ram510 says:

    I liked it and will be watching again. Happy to see Scott Foley in a comedy cause I always felt like he should have been on Cougar Town longer

  21. QuinnMallory says:

    Much better than I anticipated. Hope we get some closure in season 1 since its fate might have already been sealed given the really poor premier date.

  22. Mila says:

    I will watch everything Scott Foley is in/on, lol… love that guy…

  23. Amanda says:

    The show was “Ok”, it wasn’t bad, but I expected a little better. I think my main problem was T.J. Miller, he kinda was too “over the top” with his role. He was haha funny, not BWHAHAHA funny. Since he replaced Jake Lacy (who was orginally cast for the role), I wonder if they changed the role as well. And why wouldn’t the father leave something to his only grandchild? And why wouldn’t the other two want to see their neice? That part didn’t make sense either, I hope they explore why the family was so estrange and wait 9 seasons to get there like HIMYM!

    • JLK says:

      My impression is that the grandfather’s not leaving anything to his granddaughter because he wants his son to get his act together, get his inheritance and provide for his daughter with it himself. The siblings probably don’t have much of a relationship with their niece because her father, their link to the child, is always in prison. Considering that the father is sneaking in through the kid’s window to see her, rather than having actual parenting time, I think it’s safe to say that he probably can’t pick up the kid and bring her on over to the house for a nice little family gathering. Plus, it doesn’t seem like the siblings have the best relationships with each other either. They’re OK in small doses, but crack over longer periods of time (thus the inability to play a simple game). The father was constantly pitting the kids against each other. It made them hyper-competitive with one another, and made them resent their father. I thought that explained the estrangement just fine. Maybe I just read a lot into the show though. :)

  24. Clover says:

    I saw five minutes of it and was shocked,SHOCKED it made it on tv. It was really cheesy. Bad. Groan worthy. Scott Foley and Beau Bridges are worthy of better. The other two not so much.

  25. Laura says:

    I liked it. Yea….I agree it was cheesy, but it’s good. lol It’s not like there is a lot of shows on during the summer. So, I will definitely keep this on my dvr. :)

  26. Day says:

    I was surprised to like it, at least a little. The worst part is the criminal brother, though. He has this Napoleon Dynamite/I’m probably high right now way of acting that I hate.

  27. David says:

    1. I liked Becki Newton’s character.
    2. I didn’t laugh once.
    3. The doctor, a surgeon, who has everything (career, car, fiance, etc.) would not stoop to that level so the character is unbelieveable.
    4. The ex-con is a loser with no drive whatsoever. What makes you think he would even try in the long run? Just give the money to the sister.
    5. Given that this show is by the same losers (i.e., producers) who have given us HIMYM, it’s no wonder it’s an open-ended show with no chance of ever winning the money (until the show is cancelled and the writers need to finally write that particular scene…just like “the mother” was only revealed after the show lost all credibility after screwing around with those characters for all these years). I guess they haven’t had an original thought in all these years.
    6. I don’t care who wins (just like I don’t care who is the “mother”).

  28. I watched the episode on demand. The pilot wasn’t really all that great, just OK. However, so many shows have a terrible pilot but seem to gel around the third or fourth show. I would give it a try but won’t hold my breath. The Seinfeld pilot sucked and looked what happened in the end.

  29. samie says:

    i loved it, but i will watch anything with scott foley in it so maybe i am not the best unbiased sample.

  30. erin says:

    I really enjoyed it! I would watch TJ in anything!!! Scott Foley’s character was really annoying though.

  31. jovoxy zizylo says:

    til I saw the draft which said $5496, I be certain that…my… cousin was realy bringing home money in there spare time on their computer.. there uncles cousin had bean doing this for less than thirteen months and a short time ago repayed the depts on there condo and bought themselves a Alfa Romeo. read more at,

  32. Trevor says:

    I went into watching the first episode not too sure what to expect. The previews were kinda campy. However, it is created by the same guys that created How I Met Your Mother, a show that I love. I thought that was encouraging, so I took a peek. I was pleasantly surprised.
    All the actors are great. Especially Becki Newton, who is very good on the eyes, and whom I enjoyed in a recurring role on HIMYM as Quinn, one of Barney’s former lovers. Something tells me that her connection with HIMYM is how she got the gig. TJ Miller and Beau Bridges are the only ones that had me laughing out loud. But I enjoy all the actors, all the characters are likeable, and the show’s concept is innovating.

    I have a bad feeling that FOX will end the series after the already shot episodes are made. I hope not. They could be onto something big with this series. And I will be looking forward to tuning in next Monday.

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