May 22, 2014

[TV] Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 1

We still watch a fair amount of Saturday Night Live on and off again, and it's hard to forget Andy Samberg's long term involvement with the show in recent years. And with his inevitable "graduation" from SNL, a lot of folks were wondering what he'd be up to. His movie career has been a bit of a mix of good and meh and a television project seemed inevitable.

I don't think any of us could have fully expected Brooklyn Nine-Nine to work out as well as it did. Andy can be a bit of a ham and the premise felt a tad confused at first. But something happened once the show started to pick up steam and it even managed to get some degree of interest from the critics.

I wasn't sure if I was going to like it at first, but then I really got into things after the first few episodes. Sure it had a bunch of somewhat repetitive moments and tired jokes, but the mix of the good and the bad make for a hilarious show as a whole.

Synopsis: Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a US police sitcom created by Dan Goor and Michael Schur. It airs on Fox and the show managed to win two Golden Globe Awards - one for Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy and Best Actor - Television Series Musical or Comedy.

The show takes place in a Brooklyn police station (hence 99) under the command of Captain Ray Holt (Andre Braugher). He has been recently assigned to the precinct and his rather stoic demeanor and his desire to make his first command  a good one may come into conflict with the rather quirky individuals who make up the station crew. Chief among them is Detective Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg), who is one of the most talented detectives at the station but his skill is only matched by his childishness. His primary "rival" of sorts is Detective Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) is a bit of an over-achiever and quickly tries to figure out a way to impress Captain Holt - although she's not very good at it.

Detective Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) is probably one of the quirkiest ones around given his well-meaning yet highly clumsy nature. He show starts with him pining after Detective Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz), who is rough around the edges, horribly anti-social and rather prone to violence. Detective Sergeant Terrence Jeffords (Terry Crews) is their squad leader who has been away from field work for some time due to some past incident. And finally there's Gina (Chelsea Peretti), the precinct's administrator who is terribly sarcastic, smart in weird ways but less than bright in others.

Normally I'd describe the primary premise of the show, describing the characters is really all that can be done. Similar to The Office, the show really relies on the interaction between all these crazy characters (and everyone else who wanders into the scene) and that's where the stories are. Sure, we don't have the mockumentary interviews with some mysterious camera crew, but everything else is like the The Office  in terms of logic and treatment. And I'll admit, it sort of works.

Sure, they're still trying to figure out how the relationships between the characters are going to fully realize in terms of who might hook up and who are really friends and all that good stuff. But it's certainly trying given the different ways they've been pairing folks up seemingly at random. Boyle is having the worst time, I feel, given he's been thrown this way and that.

I have to admit, at first I was very worried with the angle about Captain Holt being gay and how Samberg's craziness might take advantage of things. And while there have been a few statements flung around left and right, for the most part they've managed to keep things balanced and not overly offensive. There are still those episodes that remind me why I can only take Samberg in small doses. But the show has some clever moments that keep me interested well enough.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is crazy fun, but it may take you a while to get into things. So you just need to take a little time to understand the different characters then just watch the sparks fly. The show as a whole gets 4.5 instances of Santiago trying to hard out of a possible 5.


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