Take a look into the life of a straight-arrow cop with a convicted criminal father … who also happens to be an ex-cop from the same police precinct.
In Netflix’s latest detective show, Tony Danza and Josh Groban portray an adorable father-son duo that seem to seriously love and annoy each other. “The Good Cop” is a fresh take on the film noir genre. While one might typically expect a show following detectives on the homicide team of the New York Police Department to be gruesome, the show is rather light-hearted, funny and about family relationships more than anything else.
Tony Caruso Jr. (Josh Groban), or TJ for short, follows every rule in the book. Living with him is his dad, Tony Caruso Sr. (Tony Danza), a freshly out of jail ex-NYPD officer who was convicted for corruption. Throughout the show it is seen that TJ’s obsession with being good stems from his father’s corruption, and the two butt heads throughout the show. Cora Vasquez (Monica Barbaro) is TJ’s partner and also his father’s parole officer. Together, along with Burl Loomis (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) and Ryan (Bill Kottkamp), they look at 10 unique cases.
Each episode holds a different murder mystery, and some of them are obvious from the start, while others are a little more complicated. The main problems that TJ faces in the show have to do with the respect he gets as a superior officer and the trouble that his father stirs up in every episode. Almost annoyingly, TJ is so moral and “good” that he has no backbone and allows his father to drag him into messes that often hurt his career as an officer.
TJ’s spinelessness is a theme throughout the show. Cora and Burl have no respect for TJ even though he single-handedly solves almost every case. Even worse, TJ refuses to confront them about the issue. While the poor treatment of TJ is meant to be comedic, and it sometimes can be, many of the scenes are pitying and cringe-worthy. From time to time, you even resent the other characters for taking advantage of an officer who is not only a great detective, but an angelic person. The ridicule and contempt that TJ faces raises an important question about society itself: Can the world really respect and accept people who are completely and totally good?
The show fails to answer this question, but it does manage to create a cheery world with an adorable main character. Additionally, the classic jazz music that is the backtrack throughout the entire show is reminiscent of Sinatra and what the show characterizes as a simpler time. The jazz music paired with the newspaper’s silly titles that appear at the beginning and the end of each episode are a goofy and entertaining indicator of the passing of time.
Although the show has a few kinks, director Andy Breckman managed to create a show that is incredibly sweet and easy to watch. Tony Danza’s own musical moments warm the heart, and TJ’s unbreaking devotion to rules and goodness is both admirable and mildly comedic. That paired with murder mysteries, makes the show enjoyable and a great watch.
“The Good Cop”
Rating: TV – PG
Running Time: 10 episodes
Score: 3.5/5 stars