When you look at police procedurals nowadays, you're inevitably going to think of something along the lines of 'Criminal Minds', 'Law & Order', maybe even something like 'NCIS' or perhaps even 'The Shield' back in the day.
Running parallel to these, you have the darker stuff like 'True Detective', 'The Wire', 'Homicide: Life On The Street' and the Scandinavian noirs like 'The Killing' and so on. In short, police procedurals are well-served nowadays and there's really something for everyone. Therefore, if you have all the flavours out there, you're going to need something that's bland, middle-of-the-road and not too offensive for anybody.
That's where 'The Good Cop' comes in, a genial and well-meaning police detective series, from the mind behind equally genial and well-meaning police detective series 'Monk'. The story opens with the always likeable Tony Danza being paroled from prison after serving several years on corruption charges. Previously, he was a free-wheeling and gifted NYPD detective who took a few too many backhanders over the years and wound up being caught for it. As part of his parole, he's assigned to live with his fastidious and straight-laced son, played by Josh Groban - yes, the singer Josh Groban - who's also a gifted NYPD detective.
If this sounds like it's some sort of sitcom setting, that's exactly how the creators of this show want it to feel like. It has a laconic charm, an easygoing nature, there's never anything violent or crazy on the horizon, and all it wistfully rolls along its story until it comes to a relatively predictable conclusion. Each episode poses a question in its title - 'What Is The Supermodel's Secret?', 'Will The Good Cop Bowl 300?', 'Why Kill A Busboy?' - and each question is definitively answered by the end.
In a lot of ways, you have to marvel at how neatly 'The Good Cop' wraps up each and every episode. It's a callback to a time when episodic television needed it so that people could tune in and out as they liked, and so that the story didn't progress any further than it needed to. Tony Danza's of that era; he starred in the likes of 'Taxi', 'Who's The Boss?' and made a career out of playing loveable rogues with broad New York accents, and it's the same thing here. He's doing what he's done countless times before, and he does it so well that it's hard not to enjoy watching him do his thing.
Josh Groban, sadly, is utterly miscast against him and not just because of the 'Odd Couple' dynamic between. While it's difficult to play someone so scrupulous and finicky and then make the audience like them, Groban's performance is flat and lacking in energy to the point where it's just irrelevant - and the supporting cast makes up his shortfall, including Monica Barbaro and 'The Wire' alum Isiah Whitlock Jr.
Ultimately, 'The Good Cop' delivers on what it's set out to do - make a gentle, easygoing cop dramedy that isn't going to shock, horrify or titillate anyone. While there's nothing wrong with that as such, the problem is that it becomes forgettable.