I first heard of Brooklyn Nine-Nine when it pulled an upset and nabbed a Golden Globe for Best TV Series – Musical or Comedy back in 2014. It was quite a shocker because Brooklyn Nine-Nine was a very young show back then, virtually an unknown with just one season under their belt. They were able to topple longer-running, more popular shows including Girls, Modern Family, Parks and Recreation and The Big Bang Theory. So naturally, I was curious. But not enough to get on it, not right away, no. For one, I have very little interest in policing. Just hearing about shows like Blue Bloods and Shades and Blue, and all those other NCISessesess, my brain goes into shut down mode. Well there’s BBC’s Sherlock, but I think that one is a different animal altogether because it is less about the crime being solved but more about the absolutely delightful charm of Sherlock and his weirdo ways, and with Watson’s steadfast character acting as a great counterbalance. Second, I didn’t think I could take Andy Samberg being Andy Samberg, which during the many times I channel surfed and came across Brooklyn Nine-Nine, is just Samberg being goofy in manner and speech, relentlessly.
But thanks to the glowing and very irresistible recommendation of fellow WAM contributors, Fern and Bliss, I gave in. And Brooklyn Nine-Nine is the absolute best thing! Okay, maybe I am exaggerating a tad. But I was wrong about it in so many ways.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine isn’t technically a police procedural show. Of course it touches on policing. But at its core it is a workplace comedy. And sure they solve crimes, but it’s really about the characters and how they interact with each other on a daily basis. And like all great workplace comedies, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has clearly established that you don’t find colleagues in precinct nine-nine, you find a family. A dysfunctional one, but a family nevertheless. Credit has to be given to the awesome writers for creating such a diverse ensemble cast in terms of race, gender and personality, and props to the actors for bringing them to life in the most silly but earnest way possible. Captain Holt makes me smile like a maniac. Andre Braugher does deadpan comedy to perfection. And Gina Linetti, the self-obsessed, self-assured assistant with the most merciless mouth in the entire world is both joyful and fearful to watch. Chelsea Perreti is fantastic at it. And The Sarge! Terry Crews is so endearing, contrast that to his looming physique, which makes his character even funnier. Andy Samberg’s Jake Peralta, I didn’t take to that much during the first few episodes. But he’s a grower. And I am now Team Jake all the way. I have to stop myself from enumerating the rest of the cast because I don’t want to turn this into a mile long scroll. So I just have to say this: They are all fun and lovable in their own right. And their personalities bounce of each other really well. Vague, I know. Just trust me on this.
I also realized that Brooklyn Nine-Nine has a comedy sketch vibe. But it doesn’t forget that it’s a sitcom. The storylines progress, and the characters grow every season, which makes it all the more fantastic. Anyway, back to the sketch vibe thing. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is very joke dense. Jokes that are a combination of whip-smart one-liners and banter, and goofy but well-executed physical gags. Even the long-running ones never run out steam. The whole “title of Amy Santiago’s sex tape” bit gets me every time.
I just finished watching the last episode of Season 2 a couple of days back, and I choked up during Capt. Holt’s speech. And I realized how obsessed I have become with this show. I mean, I already know I am obsessed with it, judging from the circles under my eyes from all the nightly binge-watching. But it was that fateful last episode night when it dawned on me that this show is special! Vague I know. Just trust me on this.
What old thing have you discovered lately? And nope, the sandwich you found under your couch doesn’t count.