- Exceptionally well-written scripts
It is easy to make people cry or to scare them, but to genuinely make people laugh— that’s hard. Good writing however, is a strong starting point. Brooklyn Nine-Nine has a brilliant team of writers who pack a solid punch in a twenty-minute episode. A lot of things happen in these twenty minutes: investigations, pranks, slapstick humour, dramatic monologues, and unending banter. It’s this mix of comic tools that together creates great TV moments on B99— engaging, eclectic, smart and silly.
- The perfect onscreen chemistry
The actors in B99 fit seamlessly in the roles they play and complement each other perfectly. Thus the central character of the goofy but good-at-heart Detective Jake Peralta is a perfect match to the deadpan gravitas of Captain Raymond Holt.
They are beautifully supported by the talented bunch of actors bringing to life the whimsical and sassy Gina, the adorably geeky Amy, Jake’s super fan and the hopeless romantic, Boyle, the enigmatic fireball Rosa Diaz, the mother hen Terry and the odd couple, involved in their own entertaining tangential sub-plot, Scully and Hitchcock.
All together, they form a very believable set of colleagues and friends. It’s a treat to see them interact, engage and create a beautiful, heart-warming comedy.
- Andy Samberg
The casting of Andy Samberg in B99 was a masterstroke. His monologues, infectious enthusiasm, cheerful charisma and the seamless manner in which he becomes Jake—combining the goofiness of a jester with the surprisingly smart skills of a cop— all make Andy one of the strongest points of the show. Even when he does not have dialogue but is essentially reacting to something someone else is saying, a twitch of his face will make you laugh! No one else could have played JP with such conviction.
- Fast-paced plots with a refreshing feel good factor
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a big bundle of happiness and a refreshingly warm reminder that there are good people around. It is funny but smart about it. It doesn’t pause after delivering a punch line, but immediately follows it with another. The comedy is alternately obvious and nuanced, but always entertaining.
Even more so, it’s heart-warming to watch a show where people are essentially good and care about each other. The cop comedy has an undercurrent of warmth and positivity, that at the end of each episode leaves you with a lingering smile.
- Skillful portrayal of serious issues
By portraying Captain Raymond Holt as an openly gay black man in an inter-racial marriage, the show has subtly made a point that someone’s sexual orientation or race is immaterial in the larger scheme of things. The other members of the team rally around their Captain, and both his race and sexual orientation are non-issues with them. They also send a strong message to others who try to make it an issue.
Gay relationships are not shown to have any idiosyncratic traits. Holt and Kevin have the same issues as heterosexual couples: the same worries, insecurities, similar joys and warm moments. The show also courageously tackles the topic of racism. To do this in a comedy show is extremely difficult, for to show it with humour would be to dilute the issue, yet dealing with grave matters might be incongruent with the comic tone of the show.
But the episode that dealt the most specifically with racism was skillfully handled, as the issue of racial profiling was dealt with the gravity it deserved while the humour was provided situationally by Jake and Amy babysitting Terry’s kids. The balancing act was done with a unique and commendable flair.
- The Jake and Amy relationship
In the age of over-the-top romances where characters fall in and out of love at the drop of a hat and relationships are marred with misunderstandings, the subtle, underplayed romance of the Jake-Amy relationship in B99 is a breath of fresh air. Be it the moment Charles makes Jake think about his relationship with Amy (I am curious to see what happens), or his first confession (I was kinda hoping something could happen between us romantic styles), Jake and Amy’s story gives us beautiful glimpses into a compelling, everyday love story. They embrace each other’s quirks, and are just better together than apart. That their story does not overpower the show adds to its charm.
It would be a grave omission to talk about Peraltiago without mentioning Boyle— their very own cupid. Since the first time Boyle made Jake evaluate his relationship with Amy (I think you like Amy. I mean like, like…) to calling the error of Amy and Jake’s ways in entering the relationship with a no-risk attitude (You started this with one foot out of the door, that’s what doomed you not the universe..), Charles has been there at every pivotal moment of their relationship. He is the super nosy, super-involved, yet indispensable thread in the Peraltiago fabric.
With so many good things in one show, it is no surprise that Brooklyn Nine-Nine has emerged as a clear fan favourite. It is hard not to feel that Fox’s loss is NBC’s gain. In a world where TV shows with indistinguishable plots are aplenty, Brooklyn Nine-Nine stands tall and delivers high quality entertainment. It’s heartening to see such a hard-working bunch of creative people work in tandem to deliver such an endearing, believable and honest comedy full of heart and happiness. Here’s to many more seasons of unceasing joy! Nine Nine!
Aastha is a 33-year-old married woman living and working in Mumbai, India. She has a bachelor’s degree in electronics engineering and is presently working as a civil servant. She writes poems, short stories, novels and articles related to television shows and movies in her free time. She has posted her poems and articles online for Your-Poetry and Buzzfeed, respectively. Her first novel, which is a romantic fiction, has been accepted for publication by the publishing house The Write Place. She has also completed the first drafts of two additional novels, belonging to the drama and supernatural thriller genres, in addition to working on a short story collection.
Featured Image Credit: Melissa Fumero’s Twitter Page.