- Hamish Hart
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013-2021) TV Series Review
Updated: Oct 18, 2021
AFTER eight years and over 150 episodes, fans have said goodbye to beloved comedy series Brooklyn Nine-Nine; a show which has kept itself relevant thanks to amusing writing and consistent character development, but has the final season upheld the show's beloved qualities and created one meaningful last ride for the squad? (title of your sex-tape).
NBC's erratic comedy follows the lives of detectives working Brooklyn's 99th precinct, primarily goofball Detective Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) who acts as the series protagonist. Their personal and professional lives soon change after the introduction of their new Captain Raymond Holt (Andre Braugher), a battle-hardened officer who is determined to cleanse the precinct's disregarded nature.
One of the main reasons Brooklyn Nine-Nine has gained a loyal fanbase, aside from the show's calculated comedy, is its wide diversity of characters. Much of the main cast are represented in the series as being from different cultures and orientations, including African-American, Latino, and bi and homosexual; all of which are handled with the upmost class and respect, utilising these traits not for comedy, but for intelligent character development as their backgrounds are simply apart of their character and never overshadow their entire personality.
Each character is afforded adequate character development throughout the eight season series, with their personalities shrewdly developing from the premiere to the finale. Examples include series lead Jake Peralta evolving from an egotistical man-child so certain of his own genius into a successful father who slowly learns the value of family and unity through his Nine-Nine cohorts and his co-worker-turned-wife Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero). Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz) also sees multiple conflicts throughout the show as she's first perceived as a collected heroine before slowly, and gloomily, expressing moments of out-of-character rage and sadness which we learn is due to her conflict with her own sexuality. She goes through multiple partners as she can't fathom why anyone would love her; a somber, realistic tale only made better by the interactions Diaz has with Captain Holt who is an openly-gay man. He continually provides concise, heavy advise to Diaz, giving her someone to aspire to and open up with during her darkest times. Unfortunately, while the show nails its emotional moments majority of the time, there was one controversial episode which dealt with the Black Lives Matter movement in a disheartening manner. Season 8's "The Good Ones" motivation was in the right place and was a subject that needed to be touched on, but the approach of which it was handled felt incredibly forced, boring, and most importantly, unamusing as the show is known for balancing the most bleak subject matters with earnest comedy; a major factor which was needed in this disappointing and critical episode.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine isn't all doom and gloom though as the show features and revolves around cleverly-written humour which makes full use of the ensemble cast. Episodes that utilises each character are often regarded as the series' best as they make every cast member feel crucial to the plot's progression. A key example of this are the annual Halloween Heist specials which split the crew into pairs in order to claim an object before the end of the day where they will be crowned as Heist Champions, a title which holds no value except for the honour of rubbing it in other's faces. These episodes give side characters who don't often get central episodes such as Charles (Joe Lo Truglio), Gina (Chelsea Peretti), Hitchcock (Dirk Blocker) and Scully (Joel Miller) moments to shine and presents them with new challenges, and in some cases, new perspectives on life.
Nine-Nine has gone through quite alot during its 8-year lifespan. From being cancelled by FOX in 2018 to being renewed by NBC that same year, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been on a steady decline in terms of survivability, inevitably reaching its end with Season 8, and with it all said and done, the show managed to be a memorable comedy which touched on important subject matters with dignity and class. Although the series felt slightly repetitive with its comedy from time-to-time, particularly from Samberg's eccentric detective persona, Brooklyn Nine-Nine will always stand as one of the greatest television sit-coms, rivalling pillars of the past and present, and standing out thanks to its well-balanced focus on humorous writing, purposeful diversity and matter-of-fact melodrama; Nine-Nine!