The Good Cop
By Joyce Slaton,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Mild violence, language in endearing throwback cop sitcom.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
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
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.
Violence & Scariness
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).
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
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Language is mild and infrequent: "bastard," "hell," "ass." Language is sometimes colorful, yet not profane: "holy crispy crap," "verkakte."
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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.
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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.
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The Good Cop
Based on 3 parent reviews
Old fashioned family viewing
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Great family show
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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?
- Premiere date: September 21, 2018
- Cast: Josh Groban, Tony Danza, Monica Barbaro
- Network: Netflix
- Genre: Comedy
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: February 18, 2023
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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