The Good Cop

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
The Good Cop TV Poster Image
Mild violence, language in endearing throwback cop sitcom.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Themes of redemption, commitment, obligations, the ties that bind friends and family, and the limitless love of a parent (that's not always appreciated by their child) predominate, with an overall sweet, light, witty vibe. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Tony and TJ are endearingly loving to each other, though Tony's behavior frequently exasperates his son. Yet they express their affection in many ways: making food, hugging, saying "I love you." On the other hand, TJ is a bit of an uptight scold; Tony is louche, with an untidy past in terms of sex and crime. Cora is a strong female character, even if she doesn't seem like she'd exist if TJ didn't need a love interest. 


Though this series centers on a homicide detective, violence is downplayed. Dead bodies are briefly shown; we see a little blood, and sometimes violent acts briefly depicted in ways that downplay the violence (e.g., in a fuzzy flashback). 


Characters are single and looking -- expect romantic complications, kissing, references to sex. Tony tells mildly racy jokes: "Half of Brooklyn would like a ride on that pony," he says about a woman. 


Language is mild and infrequent: "bastard," "hell," "ass." Language is sometimes colorful, yet not profane: "holy crispy crap," "verkakte."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Scenes take place at bars with adults drinking; nobody acts drunk. Drugs play a part in investigations. Tony occasionally smokes cigars. A woman has a glass of wine at the end of her day. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Good Cop is a dramedy about a buttoned-down NYC homicide detective (Josh Groban) whose disgraced-cop dad (Tony Danza) comes to live with him as a condition of his parole. Though the show's setting and characters mean there will be death and violence, it all has a light tone, and gruesomeness and grief are played down: Murdered people are usually presented as bad people, and their deaths and bodies are pictured briefly and in distancing ways (e.g., in a flashback). Language is similarly mild: "hell," "ass," "bastard." Romance figures into plotlines, and Tony tells racy stories in veiled terms, but again, the content is light and suitable for teens or even mature tweens. A father and son have an endearing relationship, and sweet bonds with other friends. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byGroc December 20, 2018

Old fashioned family viewing

The charm of this show lies in the essential kindness and easy relationships of the main characters. There is humour and the show does not take itself too seri... Continue reading
Parent of a 8-year-old Written byThe Professor December 20, 2018

Great family show

Family from 4yrs-adult enjoyed it very much. Some of the murder scenes were a bit grizzly (like getting cut in half by an elevator), but much was left to the im... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byspenlock October 9, 2018

Fun comedic cop show for the family.

I watch this show with my brother and parents and we all love it. It's a little too much for young kids, as it is still a cop show, but for 12 and up I... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bylitkarl September 28, 2018

Not Innapropriate, Just Made to Entertain Adults, Not Teens

This is a fun, quirky cop show that is overall really clean; it has hardly any sex, goes light on the language, and keeps the violence real but tame. But when... Continue reading

What's the story?

THE GOOD COP centers on TJ Caruso (Josh Groban), an earnest perfectionist of a homicide detective whose home and work life are thrown into disarray when his dad (Tony Danza), a former NYC officer, has to come live with TJ as a condition of his parole. Solving crimes is easy. Living with Tony Senior, not so much. Monica Barbaro also stars as Tony Senior's tough-but-tender parole officer, Cora. 

Is it any good?

On paper, this detective series/sitcom is high-concept stupid -- They're cops! They're roommates! They're father and son! -- but you'll fall in love with it anyway. Tony Danza still has it. And he's once again playing a character with his own first name, lending his performance a meta quality that will instantly make viewers of a certain age want to settle back and keep watching that guy who made them laugh on Taxi or Who's the Boss? (notable Tonys both). His chemistry with Groban is top-notch too. When Tony Sr. scrambles his son's eggs to prepare him for a big day, or sends him off to bed with a "I love you, son," you believe in their relationship. It feels lived-in -- and lovable. 

Creator Andy Breckman is particularly adept with snappy dialogue, which won't come as a surprise to anyone who enjoyed his work on Monk (a series that shares a similar light-and-breezy tone with this one). When TJ and Cora race across town to find a case-breaking clue, Cora wonders if they might be going to "Professor Xavier's mansion to pick up the other mutants." "Yes," says TJ, deadpan. "We're going to Professor Xavier's mansion to pick up the other mutants." The Good Cop is a throwback to vintage detective shows like Murder, She Wrote and Magnum, P.I., where the murders aren't terrible, investigating crimes is a lark, every character boasts a host of endearing quirks, and bad guys have really terrible aim -- shows that are easy to watch and hard to stop.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how The Good Cop is similar to and different from other crime dramas. Why do you think some shows have upped the blood-and-guts level? Are there any shows that are like this one, or are they all a lot more serious and graphic?

  • Why do TV shows so frequently revolve around crime and police work? What dramatic or comedic possibilities does the setting hold? Do you think these officers look and act like real cops? 

  • TV characters are commonly given personal quirks. Think about some of your favorite characters. What are their quirks? Do they seem realistic? Or like something a TV writer would make up? Why? 

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comedy

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