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The Good Cop
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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?
For kids who love comedy
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.