Book-inspired series includes Amy Poehler among executive producers
In terms of appearance, mannerisms and backgrounds, you can’t get more polar opposite than Tony Danza and Josh Groban. Which has to make their roles as oil-and-water father/son New York City police detectives in a Netflix series premiering this week a case of inspired casting.
In “The Good Cop,” an hourlong dramedy from “Monk” creator Andy Breckman that begins streaming Friday, Sept. 21, Danza (“Who’s the Boss?,” “Taxi”) stars as “Big Tony” Caruso Sr., the type of New York cop who didn’t have a problem skirting the rules or busting heads if it meant apprehending a perp. The trouble is, he bent them once too often and wound up paying for it with his career and, for a time, his freedom.
Living with him in his Brooklyn home is Tony Jr. (music’s Josh Groban), a straight-laced young detective who ascended the ranks of the NYPD thanks to sheer brilliance but whose pathological obsession with following the rules irritates those around him, especially Dad.
Together, this odd couple forms an unofficial partnership, with Dad offering wise counsel on life and detective work to his anal retentive son and Sonny wowing Dad with his formidable skills as a deductician. That is, when they’re not getting on each other’s nerves.
“I fell in love with the character right away,” says Groban of T.J. “… I think that’s just a side of myself that I’ve tried to fight a long, long time. The anal retentive side. The anxiety of trying-to-follow-the-rules-and-try-to-do-the-best-I-can side, absolutely, especially in the music business and how nutty that is and being in that for the last 20 years. So there was a lot to draw on and then there was a lot to leave at the door and just dive into from an acting perspective, which was such a great challenge.
“So look, I like to be scared,” he continues, “I like to find things that challenge me and challenge my audience and widen my lane, and so to have an opportunity to work with Andy, who’s such a genius and writes such fun shows and good shows, I was thrilled for the opportunity.”
Though the two actors look nothing alike, their performances and ease of banter make it easy to buy into them as father and son, and Danza indicates that chemistry came very early on thanks in part to his happy relationship with his own son.
“I took that relationship and just overlayed it on the relationship with me and Josh,” he explains. “And Josh, being the kind of actor he is, he just bought into it. And so that’s why it works so great, I think. And it’s been a lot of fun to sort of portray that relationship, a father and a son. … And so it was immediate. It really was. And I think it’s a quality that we share a little bit and that is that we are willing to jump in with both feet.”