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Series / The Good Cop

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Son's on Patrol, Dad's on Parole

The Good Cop is a Netflix comedy series, starring Tony Danza and Josh Groban, which premiered on September 21st, 2018 and ran for a single season. It is a Foreign Remake of the Israeli TV series of the same name.

The show revolves around the relationship between Tony Caruso, Jr. (TJ), a straitlaced NYPD detective, and his father, Tony Caruso, Sr., a corrupt former NYPD detective. While TJ tries to seek justice for murder victims, Tony invariably finds himself entangled in the plot somehow and tries to take advantage of these situations to help out and try and redeem himself in his son's eyes.

Rounding out the cast are Cora Vasquez, newly minted detective in TJ's unit and Tony's former parole officer, Burl Loomis, a veteran detective who tries to exert himself as little as possible, and Ryan, a nerdy NYPD tech expert.


A sub-plot throughout the first season is Tony and TJ's shared desire to find more information about the death of Connie, Tony's wife and TJ's mother.

Tropes in this series include:

  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: When TJ is getting increasingly obnoxious over his bowling record, Cora snarks that she's starting to hate him enough that she might consider dating him. The first season finale also has the two of them being described by a relationship councelor as having this - much to both of their discomfort, as they're not actually in a relationship.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Cora, after realizing that Sherman is disguised as Elke, she and the other cops raid the Caruso household, just as Quinlan is about to blow up the house with the Carusos and Sherman inside.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Defied. Mr. Knight makes sure that TJ doesn't have any hidden surveillance on him before giving his Motive Rant, and then he brags that TJ can't turn him in because TJ doesn't have any evidence that he just confessed and it would look personal since he humiliated Tony Sr. the other night.
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  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Loomis is a good detective but he makes it a point to put in as little effort as possible and absolutely refuses to move faster than a leisurely stroll.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Ryan is, if not a genius at his highly qualified job, then at least perfectly competent at it. However, in every other way he's a supreme Ditz who rarely seems to have a clue what's going on.
  • By-the-Book Cop: TJ is the personification of this trope. He's so by-the-book that he will try to find the rightful owner of a quarter he found on the floor rather than keep it for himself.
    TJ: Break one rule, they all break.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • At the beginning of Episode 3, the Carusos are struggling to pay the bills, which is why TJ wants to rent out a room. In the climax, when the Carusos and Sherman are held captive in the basement by Quinlan while he seals the house and turns on the oven so that the house will explode from the gas, Tony Sr. says it won't happen because he didn't pay the gas bill. Subverted when TJ reveals that he paid it. They end up being saved by Cora and the cops.
    • The presentation on replacing trash bags with paper bags at the beginning of one episode becomes important later when the detectives call in the presenter, who explains that you can identity that a trash bag is from the same roll as another trash bag, allowing them to crack the case of that episode's murder as the suspect used a trash bag from the same roll that a trash bag was used to bag the victim in.
  • Corrupt Cop: Tony, Sr., had a lucrative side career as a crime boss before he was finally caught and imprisoned before the events of this series.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Tony Danza sings the theme song.
  • Foil: TJ is a humourless stick-in-the-mud who refuses to break a rule, ever, while Tony is a charming rogue who seems to break them almost on principle. However, they are both brilliant investigators in their own ways.
  • Generic Cop Badges: TJ and Loomis usually wear NYPD detective badges (medallion with number) instead of the badges appropriate to their respective ranks of lieutenant (medallion without number) and sergeant (golden shield with eagle).
  • Gentle Giant: Sherman is a huge and imposing man, but Tony insists that he doesn't have a mean bone in him. He's right. While Sherman is a criminal, his crimes are caused more by stupidity than malice.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: TJ always does what he thinks is the right thing, no matter what. Deconstructed in that all the more realistically grubby characters find him insufferably stodgy and self-righteous.
  • Insistent Terminology: Big Tony likes to call himself an "adjunct detective" whenever he tries to elbow into one of TJ's cases, to his son's annoyance. This gets an Ironic Echo later when Big Tony finds himself being treated by an "adjunct doctor" at an acupuncture clinic and can't help but panic at the term's implications.
  • Kick the Dog: Mr. Knight brings Tony Sr. to sing on his talk show, promotes him to a main role, then humiliates him the next night by calling him out while he sings "My Funny Valentine" because the song's lyrics contain seemingly sexist connotations and kicks him out midshow. TJ suspects that it's all because Mr. Knight is trying to get on his nerves and to make his possible arrest look like a personal attack thanks to Villain with Good Publicity.
  • Manly Tears: Sherman, disguised as Elke, cries when he inadvertently learns from TJ that his daughter Brooke hates him and wants nothing to do with him.
  • My God, You Are Serious: When TJ announces at the beginning of The Knight Time that Mr. Knight is currently being arrested, the audience thinks it's a part of a skit and laugh even as TJ gets into detail.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Mr. Knight tricks Tony Sr. into helping him burn his car as a part of a skit in his show, even though we know it could very well contain evidence about Beth Landau's murder. TJ arrives too late to stop them and argues about it with his father later.
  • Reality Ensues: One episode has Cora outraged that TJ has given her a bad performance review and takes every chance to make him miserable in retaliation. They eventually solve a case together and seem to gain a greater respect for each other... and then it turns out that while TJ raised his evaluation of Cora's professional skills, he lowered her scores in professionalism and respect for authority, because what else is going to happen when you go out of your way to disrespect your boss?
  • Restaurant-Owning Episode: Tony and TJ try to run a restaurant in one episode. They turn out to be absolutely terrible at it - an investor marvels that he's not sure who's the worse businessman, the one who Can Not Tell A Lie or the one who can't seem to stop cheating, lying and stealing.
  • Serious Business: If Tony or TJ want to show the other he is being deadly serious, they'll invoke Connie, Tony's late wife and TJ's mother.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Tony acts like he's still a big man who everyone's in awe of and who can make anything happen. That used to be true, but these days he's mostly famous for how amazingly corrupt he turned out to be.
  • Spicy Latina: Cora is hot-tempered, and hispanic on her father's side.
  • The Teetotaler: TJ doesn't drink, preferring to sip on ginger ale.
  • Undercover as Lovers: TJ and Cora have to pose as a married couple in one episode, something that isn't made easier from the fact that they're currently arguing.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Richie Knight.
  • Wacky Parent, Serious Child: Tony is a gregarious wheeler dealer who likes to play fast and loose. TJ, on the other hand, is socially awkward and lives by the rules.

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