THE SHOW "The Good Cop"
WHEN | WHERE Starts streaming Friday on Netflix
WHAT IT'S ABOUT Big Tony Caruso (Malverne's Tony Danza) is a disgraced former NYPD officer, just out of jail, who now lives with his son TJ (Josh Groban). TJ is a straight arrow and a by-the-book former Eagle Scout, and pretty much everything his old man is not. TJ's crusty partner, Loomis (Isiah Whitlock Jr.), is counting down the days until retirement. Big Tony's parole officer, Cora Vasquez (Monica Barbaro), is counting the days until she can become a full detective. Big Tony's out of the force now, but that doesn't mean he can't help the kid solve some crimes. He does, or at least he tries to.
Based on an Israeli series, "The Good Cop" was created by longtime "SNL" writer Andy Breckman, best known for his other creation, "Monk."
MY SAY With "Cop," Breckman plays to his strength ("Monk") and Danza plays to his, which is pretty much all the "Tonys" he's ever played, from "Taxi" to "Who's the Boss?" It's impossible to say what strength Groban plays to because he's best known for singing love songs that set middle-aged hearts aflutter. That doesn't happen here but give him time. "The Good Cop" is that hokey.
In fact, or despite himself, one of the chief appeals of "The Good Cop" is Groban, with his scrubbed-behind-the-ears demeanor and Eagle Scout affectation. You don't quite buy him as a cop, but you will as Josh Groban playing one on TV. That's flaky, but at least not off-putting.
What's especially idiosyncratic about "Cop," however, is format and venue. This is an old-fashioned serial playing on a new-fashioned network. It conspicuously embraces television's past, where the murder takes place before the first commercial break and the big reveal just before the last. The cop cliches are so broad they almost write themselves. It's a plate of warmed-up spaghetti topped with Ragù. Nothing fancy, nothing surprising, but it does get the job done, whatever the "job" is, exactly — maybe just a pleasant, nostalgic, occasionally amusing stroll down memory lane, with some funny lines and broad setups. "Monk" managed the same feat over many seasons, so you could certainly ask for worse.
Netflix does like to call this an "Odd Couple"-type show, but the real odd coupling is Netflix with "The Good Cop." The show doesn't demand to be binged, but sampled. It could air on USA just as easily. Danza, who doesn't break from type, is another steady reminder of TV past, specifically his own. Why this is on Netflix is a mystery bigger than any the Carusos will tackle this season.
BOTTOM LINE Good-natured, light as air and prehistoric by Netflix standards.