REVIEW: BROOKLYN NINE NINE
Over the past few years cop shows have been exclusively stolen and locked away by the rulers of Drama, a world where no laughter can be heard and crying/bloody death induces awards and prestige. WELL NO MORE. Comedy has gotten its grubby little hands all over that shit with Brooklyn Nine Nine which tackles the somewhat tricky territory of robbery and murder with a surprising amount of laughs.
In the same week that Seth MacFarlene’s new sitcom, Dads, premiered to almost exclusive critical hatred, Brooklyn Nine Nine would have had to have shown a hedgehog being flung into the Pacific in order to have not looked like the greatest show ever made in comparison.
It is, then, a promising start. It’s based in a fairly successful NYPD precinct whose top detective is Jake Peralta, played by Saturday Night Live’s Andy Samberg. He manages the tricky balance between being a brilliant and ridiculous human being. He’s not so good with authority, refuses at all costs to wear a tie and is currently risking his car in a bet to solve the most cases. He’s the guy everyone hated at school, tarting about for the whole year and then scribbling out an A* in Physics. Pop a new, super strict, old school, openly gay new Chief into that mix and an unlikely partnership begins to take shape. It’s not exactly The Wire, but who cares.
From the pilot alone, it’s clear to see that the show is already sure of itself. This is partly, I’m sure, to do with the brains of Michael Schur. From The Office (US) to Parks and Recreation, Schur has the capacity to create distinct, self-sufficient micro-worlds that endear and charm us. Brooklyn Nine Nine looks to differentiate itself slightly with the broadness of its comedy, finally giving Samberg a lot of room to play with.
It has proper gags, already recognisable characters (keep you’re eye on Charley Boyle played by the satisfyingly name Joe Lo Truglio) and a hefty sense of stupidity. Whether the show can have the same heart and emotion as Parks and Rec can (all hail Amy Poehler) is yet to be seen and could perhaps be a stretch for Samberg, whose more known for his faux dumb characters and dick jokes. At the same time, it could also be his opportunity to finally silence the doubters that see him a limited performer and assert himself as a worthy SNL alumnus alongside the likes of Fey, Meyers and Fallon. In a year that has seen many sitcoms end or enter their more senior, tamer years, Brooklyn Nine Nine appears to be starting off the next generation with the right kind of daft sophistication.
It was announced today that Channel 4 have bought the rights to the show. Brooklyn Nine Nine is set to appear on E4 in January.