Monday, June 16, 2014

My Indisputable Love for the First Season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Yes, the new crop of sit-coms from the 2013-14 season had some high points. CBS's Mom, ABC's Trophy Wife (a show that due to bad scheduling, ended up not being renewed for a second season), and NBC's midseason replacement, About A Boy. But it was FOX's Brooklyn Nine-Nine, the best comedy to show up on TV since Modern Family premiered five seasons ago, that takes the proverbial cake. In fact, I would even dare say it is a funnier show than the aforementioned Modern Family, especially as the latter began to waffle a little bit in it's fifth season. Granted, it may not be as intricately written as Modern Family, and even as Modern Family ages, it still remains the best comedy on TV, but for straight-up old school laughs, you could not beat Brooklyn Nine-Nine this season. A deftly written single camera comedy from the makers of Parks & Recreation, this comedic cop show vehicle for ex-SNLer, and genitalia-boxer-upper Andy Samberg, was the hooting and howling highlight of the season.

At first, one would think that putting Andy Samberg into the middle of a cop show, and casting him as a brilliant and unorthodox rebel cop at that, would be a so-called recipe for disaster (he's a funny guy, but can he carry a show?), but good for him, and good for FOX, and really good for us, inevitable disaster has been thwarted by the combination of wry satire of cop show tricks and tropes, witty writing and an ensemble full of actors who know just what to do with said witty writing, and not least, the goofball charm of the aforementioned SNL alum, in the improbable yet seemingly perfect fit role of bad boy detective. Taking a cue from such shows as Barney Miller (it does have a procedural feel to it), the cult flop Police Squad! (though it never delves into that kind of silly), 30 Rock (another SNL-related show) in it's off-kilter, satiric feel, and shows like The Office and the aforementioned Parks & Rec, in their sarcastic, modern take on the American situation comedy. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is simultaneously a classic comedy cop show and a new millennial creature of the modern world. Yup, that's right. And the improbable Andy Samberg, as roguish detective Jake Peralta, is at the center of the fray.

But this isn't just the Andy Samberg show here, as the comedian is surrounded by quite the stellar cast of characters. The show also stars former One Life to Live-er, Melissa Fumero, as Amy Santiago, Peralta's uptight, by-the-book, suck-up partner, who also acts as antagonistic foil to Samberg's cocksure funnyman cop; strongman Terry Crews as Detective Sergeant Terry Jeffords, who plays against type (or possibly right on a sort of anti-type) as a desk jockey with a fear of panic attacks on the job; Argentinian Stephanie Beatriz (she occasionally plays Gloria's sister on Modern Family) as Detective Rosa Diaz, a mysterious, tough-as-nails cop, who is just as sexy ans she is scary; Joe Lo Truglio, one time cast member of MTV's sketch show, The State, as Detective Boyle, a tiny laughable, high-fiving cop who idolizes Peralta and is not-so-secretly in love with Diaz; and funnywoman Chelsea Peretti (the writer-turned-stand-up-turned-actress has not only appeared on shows such as Louie and The Sarah Silverman Program, but also has written for The Village Voice as well as Parks and Rec) as the squad's sardonic civilian administrator, and all-around button pusher. Peretti also has the distinction of being an elementary schoolmate of Samberg. The show also features long-time character actors Joel McKinnon Miller and Dirk Blocker, son of Dan 'Hoss' Blocker, as Detectives Scully and Hitchcock, respectively, though they are both relegated to non-opening credit status.

Still though, the biggest surprise of the show is funnyman Andre Braugher. That's right, funnyman Andre Braugher. Yeah yeah, we all know him as the kickass Captain Frank Pembleton on the cop drama, Homicide: Life on the Street, but whoulda thunk it that the guy could do straight-up comedy!? Taking a riff on his Homicide character (he, like Samberg's Peralta, was an eccentric, unorthodox detective), Braugher plays his hard-as-nails police Captain in a straight, serious manner - which makes it even funnier. And the straight part is an ironic turn of a phrase, as Braugher's Captain Holt is an openly gay police detective. And about this characterization, the character's sexuality is not played for laughs, nor is it used as a message-in-the-medium kinda way. It is just part of the show. Neither a good thing nor a bad thing - just a thing, which is the way it should be, dammit! No right or left, just another character - just like everyone else. But enough of the socio-political rant. I digress. Let's get back to the reason we are here. So, what Brooklyn Nine-Nine is, is the funniest damn cop show since Barney, Wojo, and the gang left the air back in 1982. Hey, and not to hoot hoot the awards shows, but the two Golden Globes won by the show (Best Comedy and Best Actor in a Comedy for Samberg) were kind of surprising, but also well deserved. And, as the title of this post clearly states, that cannot be disputed. So there. Now we just have to wait until the Fall, and season two. That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.


5 comments:

  1. The only time I get to see new shows is if my friend John watches them. I only watch TV when I visit him. I have no satellite nor cable. I own a television, but I only watch DVDs and VHS tapes.

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  2. You need neither cable nor satellite to watch new shows. I watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and other shows on either Hulu or the network websites.

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  3. I have never seen the show. I used to watch all the new ones but there is so much to see that I miss the basic comedies and dramas and watch documentaries and movies. I should check this out

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  4. Yes, you should check it out. There, an official reccomendation - as if the post was not enough of one. Seriously though, it is a fun show.

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