Monday, September 24, 2018

Pilot Review: The Good Cop

The Good Cop (Netflix)
Premiered September 21

As Netflix gets bigger and bigger, its slate of series gets all the more diverse. Some of its series are creative and cutting-edge, fine-tuned to the times and to the tastes of young viewers. Others, namely “Grace and Frankie,” skew considerably older, bringing back veteran stars for more sedated and standard fare. This show, which is adapted from a successful Israeli series, falls into the latter category. It makes perfect sense that it comes from creator Andy Breckman, whose previous series, “Monk,” had a long and prosperous run and generally played it safe, weaving it clever content to a relatively appropriate and universal show. This show marks the return of Tony Danza to scripted television for the first time in decades and singer Josh Groban’s first regular television role. They’re certainly an odd couple, with Danza having a blast as the charming convicted corrupt cop and Groban as his straight-arrow cop son. This kind of buddy comedy isn’t all that unusual or creative, though this particular spin hasn’t been done in a while. Most of all, this show feels dated, not because its laughs haven’t evolved as is the case on a number of new broadcast network sitcoms, but instead due to the way the policework is portrayed and the plot plays out. Danza is charismatic and this is obviously fun for him, while Groban doesn’t seem to have the right energy for this type of part, one that hardly seems believable since he’s just so subdued and unenergetic. This show isn’t bad; it’s just not terrific.

How will it work as a series? Having the elder Tony go to prison for a murder his son was accused of in the first episode was rather sensational, and given that he’s not supposed to have any contact with law enforcement, it’s going to be hard to find a legitimate way for him to be involved in cases going forward. I’m sure this show will skip over that technicality and find a way to create some worthwhile storylines.
How long will it last? The reviews aren’t great, but I’m not sure that’s going to matter in the long run. Ultimately, it’s going to depend on the strength of two very different audiences: classic fans of Danza’s and younger devotees of Groban’s who are willing to watch him in anything, even if it’s not typically what they would watch. I think it will earn a second season.

Pilot grade: B-

No comments: