Netflix’s ‘The Good Cop’: The cop may be good, but the show is great

Bang! Pow! Crash! Josh Groban bursts onto the Netflix scene with his starring role as Tony Caruso, Jr. in the new series “The Good Cop.” The show follows Tony Jr. and his father, Tony Sr. (Tony Danza), as Tony Jr. solves crimes with the New York Police Department (NYPD) and Tony Sr. just tries to stay out of trouble.

A former cop who fell from grace after getting involved in a crime, Tony Sr. lives life more mischievously and spontaneously than his son, who is a rule-following goody two-shoes. This characterization of Tony Jr. could easily make him an annoying, moralizing presence in the show, but the writers do a good job of showing why Tony Jr. is like this and making him a really lovable character. He is truly a good cop, both in intelligence and ability to solve mysteries, as well as his morally upstanding character.

The actors who portray Tony Sr. and Tony Jr. make their characters truly believable. Groban’s clean-cut public image works to his advantage as he plays a dutiful, law-abiding cop. Danza’s confident swagger and New York accent make Tony Sr. an endearing scoundrel.

The show constantly pokes fun at Tony Jr.’s insistence on good behavior, and the father and son sometimes butt heads over matters of principle. For example, when Tony Jr. sits down to breakfast and reaches for some sugar for his coffee, he discovers that his father has taken a bunch of sugar packets from IHOP, so he refuses to use them. His father explains that everyone does things like that and then teases Tony Jr., pulling napkins from Dunkin Donuts out of the napkin holder and promising to mail them back to the restaurant.

“You break one rule, they all break,” Tony Jr. says then. These are the words he lives by.

Though father and son may not always get along, they definitely have each other’s backs. (Spoiler alert!) In the first episode, when Tony Jr. and his father are suspects for a crime, Tony Sr. preemptively takes the fall (though neither committed the crime) so that his son can continue to serve honorably as a detective. Later on, Tony Jr. proves that his father did not commit the crime and gets him released from jail.

While the show is quite heartfelt in terms of portraying the father-son relationship, it also has some crime-solving and detective-sleuthing. Tony Jr. works on a homicide squad and is among the best of the best when it comes to figuring out “who done it.” As a cop, he is very observant and detail-oriented. Cracking the case hinges on his figuring out how one little detail connects to a bigger picture.

There are some action scenes, likewhen a murder takes place or when Tony Jr. confronts a bad guy, but they are pretty minimal. Such scenes are quick-paced and suspenseful, which I thought kept the plot moving along and the action relevant. I truly feel that every scene in the show served a purpose and developed the story, as opposed to just fluffing up an empty narrative. On the whole, “The Good Cop” was well-paced and well-developed.

I really enjoyed “The Good Cop.” The show was witty and funny and kept me interested as Tony Jr. solved crimes. Unlike some police dramas, “The Good Cop” was not sinister or very dark. Yes, crimes happen in each episode, but the show focuses more on the relationships between the characters than on the methods of crime-solving. Truly, “The Good Cop” is a feel-good show.

Perhaps this was the one thing that irked me: the crime was neatly solved over the course of one episode. I understand that it’s genre convention (crime occurs at the beginning, detectives scramble to find the perpetrator, one sharp cop cracks the case, the day is saved), but sometimes this can feel too simple.

Other than that, the show was engaging and even heartwarming. I fell in love with the characters and hope to see more of them soon!

Rating: 5/5


Stephanie Santillo is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at stephanie.santillo@uconn.edu.