I’m sure many of you were saddened when you heard that Andy Samberg, the man responsible for hilarious projects like The Lonely Island and Hot Rod, was leaving Saturday Night Live after nearly seven years on the show. I personally do not watch SNL very often, but I still was not happy to hear that he was leaving. Of the skits that I have seen from the show, his are some of my favorites. But he had outgrown the show, and like many SNL actors before him, he decided to try something new.
And now I am so glad that he did. Because in September 2012, a year after Samberg left Saturday Night Live, his new show, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, premiered, and it is hilarious. I was introduced to the show shortly after it premiered, and I was immediately hooked. I’ve watched every week since, and it has consistently kept me entertained. But if you don’t want to take my word for it, just ask whoever’s in charge of the Golden Globe Awards. Brooklyn Nine-Nine won the award for Best Comedy, and Andy Samberg himself walked away with the award for Best Actor in a Comedy. Obviously, this show is making a buzz.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a comedy about the lives of detectives working at the fictional 99th Precinct in Brooklyn, New York. But this isn’t your everyday detective show. Sure, the main characters solve mysteries and catch criminals, but the show also focuses on the inner workings of the precinct, especially their reaction to their new captain. Detectives compete to catch the most perpetrators, bargain with each other to solve cases, and ultimately work together for the greater good.
The ensemble of characters on this show is just perfect. Andy Samberg plays Jake Peralta. He’s probably the best detective on the squad, but he’s also immature and unmotivated. There’s also Sergeant Jeffords, payed impeccably by Terry Crews. Jeffords has been stuck doing desk work for a while due to PTSD and an overprotective wife. Other characters include Amy Santiago, the overachiever; Rosa Diaz, the precinct’s resident bully; Charles Boyle, a quirky detective with a self-destructive streak and thing for Rosa; Gina Linetti, the self-obsessed secretary; and Captain Holt, the precinct’s new captain, whose history of overcoming prejudice in the police force has made him stern and unsympathetic. There’s also Hitchcock and Scully, two best friends who serve as the scapegoats for the series. Each character is hilarious in his or her own right, and I can’t imagine the show without each one of them in it.
Just as much as the character’s themselves add humor, the relationships and interactions between the characters really give the show some heart. The characters play off of each other in interesting and fun ways. The show plays with all kinds of different match-ups throughout the series. The characters push each other in different ways, and each of them shows some growth throughout the series.
But even though the relationships between the characters are important, they never distract from the plot or the main point of the show, which is of course to make you laugh. One overarching plot throughout the first season so far has been the potentially romantic relationship between Peralta and Santiago. There are hints every now and then, and a couple of episodes have featured it pretty prominently. But the writers handle the story in a way that doesn’t make the relationship the central focus of the show or bog the viewer down in emotional stuff when really all he or she wants is to laugh.
And that’s what this show does best. It makes you laugh. It’s a nice break from the dramas and mysteries on TV, which are great. But sometimes I just want to watch something that makes me smile and laugh. Brooklyn Nine-Nine does that in a way that’s not crass or over-the-top. It’s a witty show with a lot of heart and even more potential. Brooklyn Nine-Nine will be around for a while, and you’ll be hearing about it more and more, so do yourself a favor and start watching it early. You won’t be disappointed.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine aires on FOX Tuesday nights at 9:30/8:30c. Several episodes are available for free on Hulu, and you can watch the entire series if you have Hulu Plus. The first season finale is set to air March 25, with a second season coming this fall.