Even better than the 3 minute previews I kept watching over and over again. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (BNN) was fresh, funny, engaging, and touching. Yes you read that right, touching. I’ve heard many comparison to this show and old classic, Barney Miller. I was too young to watch Barney Miller so I can’t comment but I do know how highly regarded Barney Miller was so for BNN to get that type of analogy is a HUGE compliment. I just laughed the whole time and throughly enjoyed each and every character.
BNN follows Detective Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) and his fellow team of detectives as they figure out just how their new CO, Captain Ray Holt (Andre Braugher) will lead their precinct. See their last Captain let them have fire extinguisher races, so JP is hoping Holt will be just as deferential. Yeah, not so much. In a hilarious meet cute, JP is doing his best robot impersonation of the CO while Holt is standing right behind him. You think Holt is just going to rip into him. Instead, he tells him that he does a terrible robot impersonation and that he’d like to see him wear a tie. This back and forth, power play between the two men continue throughout the episode with Holt telling JP he’s been doing too much manscaping and being relished to the records room by not following orders, to JP telling him he’ll dress more appropriately while he’s wearing the tie but no pants and speedo.
The best part of the Holt/JP relationship is that this isn’t the typical smart ass cop getting one over on his boss. Holt is smart, driven, and very in tune with his crew even though he’s only been there for a few days. So just when JP thinks he’s gotten one over on his new Captain, Holt turns the tables on him and gets the upper hand. I love that! And I think it helps that Samberg and Braugher have fabulous chemistry. They play off of each other very well with Samberg’s razor-sharp wit and silliness and Braugher’s monotone and stone face delivery. What makes this work is that Samberg is playing JP as a guy who likes to have fun yet takes his job very seriously. And while most people want to hate the guy who’s the best and who is also a jokester, push the envelope type of guy, Samberg has such charm and a good balance between the silliness and seriousness that you can’t help but love him and wish you worked with him. And Braugher, with his deep, commanding voice and huge presence on-screen, is able to play off that because he takes his job just as serious but also has a sense of humor that can have his people relax around him, but also know, they need to follow his command.
The touching moment came at the end of the episode when they are on a stake out and we learn that Holt captured the notorious disco killer in the 70s (loved the hair and suit on Braugher by the way) and JP wants to know why it took him so long to have his own command. Holt tells him it’s because he’s gay and that the NYPD, at that time, wasn’t ready for a gay commanding officer but when they were, they used him as a publicity stunt and put him in roles that would promote the NYPD as a gay friendly organization. Now that he finally has his own command, he doesn’t want to blow it. JP, apologizes to Holt and tells him he feels like a jackass. This is the type of scene that let’s me know what a great show this will be. I love comedies when they have heart. They can take a step back from the humor and give us a real moment with these characters that draw us in and then can find a way to seamlessly and subtly bring the humor back to return us to the comedic element of the show without being disrespectful to “the moment.” And that’s what happened here. Holt beared his soul and we got some good insight into why he is the way he is and JP was honestly upset for how he’d been behaving. Samberg played this scene so well because it could have come off as insincere when after his apology he immediately sees the killer they are targeting and he announces how awesome he is. But it didn’t. JP was very genuine in his remorsefulness but Samberg found a way to make that stick when he was very careful about the tone he used in bragging about how he spotted the killer…it even made Holt laugh.
As far as the supporting cast, I was interested in each one of them and can’t wait to find out more. You have tough as nails Det. Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz) who is as scary as they say and absolutely perfect in her delivery. Det. Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) who has a crush on Diaz and is as clumsy and awkward as they come, but a hard worker and sweet man. I’m sorry but that muffin scene has me howling every time I watch it. Sgt Terry Jeffords (Terry Crews) is a former field detective turned sergeant because once he had his twin girls, Cagney and Lacey (LOL!), he was fearful of losing his life…cue the scene where he shoots up a mannequin at a department store because of his sheet panic…priceless. Gina Linetta (Chelsea Peretti) is the office manager and a civilian who is the eyes and ears of the office who has yet to learn she has a filter. And finally Det. Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) who is partners with Peralta and has a contest with him to see who will have more arrests. She’s very driven and just wants to prove she’s one of the boys and tough as they come. I love this girl already and let’s face it, it’s only a matter of time before she and JP are together romantically.
It’s a fabulous cast, a great show, and I can’t wait for next Tuesday already. If you haven’t checked this show out, this is a must watch!
DVR RATING: 5