Recurring Cast: Andy Samberg, Melissa Fumero, Terry Crews, Stephanie Beatriz, Joe Lo Truglio, Chelsea Peretti and Andre Braugher
I wasn’t expecting to like this show, but seeing as each episode clocked in at twenty minutes each and I felt like a weekly laugh, I gave it a chance and it became the surprise hit of the fall season for me.
The premise is so simple, it might dissaude new viewers. It is essentially a police station filled with amusing characters. Andy Samberg leads proceedings as Jake Peralta, a cop more in love with the Hollywood depiction of cops than being an actual cop. I expected Samberg to be a bad side to the show. It hasn’t done too well in the movie industry, starring in some absolute awful comedies (let’s blame Adam Sandler for those, though). I felt that his comedy genius was limited to Lonely Island and his comedy rap videos. However, here, he is exactly what the show needs. Brooklyn NIne Nine thrives off madness and Samberg brings the energy that kickstarts the whole show. He doesn’t even play it as manic as he usually does, simply using some excellent comedy timing and just enough of his own personality, so we are not disappointed if we did come here solely for Samberg. The show knows that comedies usually fall on the first hurdle, taking too much time to set up the universe and characters, so they shove Samberg at us. We spend three episode with him, laughing at his outrageous antics and then we realise we have accidentally connected with the supporting cast, who sweep in to help Samberg with some of the jokes.
Everywhere you turn there is a great laugh. There are all of the in-jokes that I love in comedies (any accidental innuedos become the titles of Amy Santiago’s sex tape), and then there are just the character quirks. At first, Andre Braugher seems to be coasting with a typical grumpy police chief role, but he takes the idea further and by the end of the season, he essentially becomes a robot. Some of his deadpan jokes are perfectly written and timed. On top of all of this is the more slapstick and in-your-face humour, but it all works. I am embarrased at how much I laughed watching this show. It feels so effortless and, I warn you that the jokes are so easy to make that at times, I felt that it shouldn’t really work. But like all good twenty minute comedies, if you embrace the style, it will catch up with you and become infectious.
There aren’t too many ongoing storylines just yet. Brooklyn Nine NIne is just enjoying its debut season. There aren’t even too many mysteries or murders, as I initially thought there would be. Sometimes, it is just about a group of people sititng in a police station and getting up to no good at their boss’s dinner party. No, the season arc is mainly to do with character development and the relationships between certain people. The show likes spending an episode shoving two characters together and experimenting with how they would bounce off each other. The typical romance blossoms up and I admit that it feels so routine, it did make me doubt the show’s staying power. But, then as the two of them began to dance around the idea of coupling up, I realised that, in holding back on this story until the midway point in the season, we had already fallen in the love with each character and we actually want them to work as a couple. The show ends on an interesting note and, while I think that it is more an excuse to end the season and the plot point will be swept under the rug when the show returns next year, I am still interesting seeing what the next season will entail. More of the same sounds perfectly acceptable to me.
Final Verdict: Despite competiting with Arrow, Walking Dead and True Detective, Brooklyn Nine Nine became my highlight of the week, easily winning me over at every joke. Highly recommendable.