Brooklyn Nine Nine: Season 1 Review

ninenineOkay, so its no secret that I am a big fan of juvenile humor (Adam Sandler) and physical comedy (SNL). So it comes as no surprise that immediately got hooked to SNL alum Andy Samberg’s precious new show Brooklyn Nine Nine, a hybrid of a workplace comedy and a cop show. In its first season, it surprisingly pulled off a win in the Golden Globe for Best television show-Comedy and for its lead star Samberg, his first Golden Globe trophy for Best Actor in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy. Even Andy was taken aback by the win, seeing as he was pitted against bigger stars, but in my opinion, he deserved it.

Jake Peralta (Samberg) is the best detective in Brooklyn’s 99th Precinct. The old chief practically let him do whatever he wanted so long as he closed his cases but with the arrival of new chief Ray Holt (Andre Braugher), a no nonsense leader who wants his command to be the best precinct in New York, Jake is gradually forced to grow up and become a team player. The series revolves around Jake’s adventures with his team which includes the softhearted bodybuilding sergeant Terry Jeffords (Terry Crews), uptight detective Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero), scary and violent detective Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz), the adorable doofus Charles Broyle (Joe Lo Truglio), Holt’s acerbic and streetsmart assistant Gina (Chelsea Peretti) as well as the precinct’s mascots Hitchcock and Scully.

What really got me hooked to this series was just the humor. Everybody plays a stereotype, true, but time and again, they get to step out of character and do things that totally prove that they are multi-faceted. The good thing about the show’s development  is that the series managed to establish early on the strengths of each character. The rapport of this ensemble cast is truly one of the show’s major assets. This is why no matter how the writers mix up the partnerships for each case, everyone is as comfortable in doing anything. And this is good news for the audience because viewers never know what’s coming next.

The jokes are really funny. It isn’t pedal to the metal laughter all of the time but the script is always fun, sharp and witty. Because Samberg spent years on SNL, his characterization is so on the money that Jake comes off as a very natural goofball that has excellent skills for his job. His overconfidence and wisecracks is a great contrast to Braugher’s Ray Holt, whose poker face and straightlaced delivery of his zingers is just as funny if not made more funny because of his character’s stoicism. Comedy gold, especially his interactions with Peralta. I love their weird mentor student relationship because they’re so different. I love the rest of the cast, as well. They have effectively carved their own niches in the picture that its hard to imagine the show being as hilarious without any of them in it. My favorite so far, is Boyle , whose earnestness and kindness is adorable. I liked how the detectives tease Boyle (or Scully or Hitchcock), but aren’t bullies about it. At the end of the day, each member of the team is still embraced as part of the precinct.

I also like the budding romance between Jake and Amy but I’m glad that the writers didn’t really go there straight away in the first season. It makes for a good cliffhanger for the second season.

At the end of Season 1, I have this to say — Brooklyn Nine Nine is a pretty great show because it has a lot of heart. Its not just about the comedy and eliciting laughs but it has a charm about it that is brought on by the collective effort of the group and not just one or two individuals. In its own twisted way, it also carries a moral in every episode. For example, Jake may be far from a role model, but he does have his moments where he is just so charming and awkward (#romaticstylez) that you just want to root for Team Peralta. Same with Amy, Rosa, Terry, Broyles and even Gina, who has at one point or the other showed their vulnerable side with at least one member of the team.

Brooklyn Nine Nine is an endearing and heartwarming watch. While it does not set out to be deep and profound, there is great story progression and character development, which is good for any series. Despite the lightness of the material, the show is decidedly evolving with each episode, and along with it, the characters’ relationships. The season finale promises a lot of possibilities when the show returns. I for one, hope it runs for a long time because its really interesting and its different from the serious cop shows out there. Its nice to see the guys in blue (or in this case, in ties) letting their hair down and having fun in the workplace, although in real life, not as much fun as the gang in 99, I hope.