That said, the undisciplined nature of the human mind — which Fukunaga seeks to illustrate — can present a frustrating maze to navigate. While the leads, especially Stone, are fine, their performances sometimes struggle against the off-kilter nature of the material.
“I know it doesn’t make sense … but it will,” Owen is told early on. As it turns out, that’s a fair appraisal of the series itself, which finally locates a reasonably satisfying exit, but requires considerable patience in order to get there.
As for “The Good Cop,” it isn’t a bad show, but such a weightless one as to feel pretty disposable. Tony Danza gets all the good lines as a disgraced former cop, while the title refers to his grown son, TJ, played by Josh Groban, who’s as much a straight arrow as his dad is a corner-cutting bent one.
Created by Andy Breckman (“Monk”), the show features the same breezy qualities, focusing on an individual case — usually quirky — in each episode. In that respect, it feels like the sort of light crime procedural that has found a home on USA or TNT, at least before they took somewhat darker turns, falling prey to FX envy.
Indeed, unlike most Netflix dramas, there’s nothing especially serialized about the show. The only binge-friendly aspect of it — if you can call it that — involves mock newspaper headlines, which tease the case that will be featured in the next episode at the end of the previous one.
“The Good Cop” does provide a toothy role for Danza, but not much of a stretch from his well-established TV persona. Then again, Groban probably commands more screen time, playing a detective so buttoned up and by the book he won’t even run a red light in the middle of the night when nobody’s around, which irritates his old man to no end.
Netflix’s burgeoning original lineup allows for all kinds of programming, aimed at various tastes. Even by that measure “The Good Cop” represents the kind of mild pastime that can readily be found elsewhere — without a subscription.
“The Good Cop” and “Maniac” premiere Sept. 21 on Netflix.