TV Recap: Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Series Premiere

AlmostHuman

Plot: Detective Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) is the finest detective on the 99th Precinct of the NYPD. He is also a complete man child. This doesn’t sit well with Sergeant Terry Jeffords (Terry Crews) and newly appointed Captain Ray Holt (Andre Braugher) who attempt to turn the man into a respectful adult. Meanwhile, Detective Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) tries to ask out the tough but scary Detective Rose Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz).

Photo Credit: Matt Hoyle/FOX.
Photo Credit: Matt Hoyle/FOX.

Ah, the fall broadcast season is officially upon us. This is the magical time of year when new television programs test their might in the market in hopes of becoming the next popular series. It’s become a yearly tradition of mine to take a good look at what’s coming and to predict which shows will succeed and which will inevitably fail. The overwhelming majority of shows that premiere don’t continue past a first season after all, so having an accurate prediction isn’t exactly difficult. Among the wave of total crap that pops on television year after year, the occasional gem pops through that makes this whole endeavor worthwhile. One such show that I had my eye on was Brooklyn Nine-Nine fronted by Lonely Island and Saturday Night Live star Andy Samberg. Samberg is hilarious as it is, but it also helped that the show genuinely looked funny in early previews. After watching the Series Premiere, I’m happy to say that Brooklyn Nine-Nine is definitely a nugget of television gold that can’t be missed by anyone looking for a new comedy to follow.

The premise behind this show isn’t exactly new. Immature man child who is good at what he does? A strict, by the books boss who likes to butt heads? We’ve all see that countless times. Yet despite this Brooklyn Nine-Nine is carried by two excellent leads that are able to make these cookie cutter roles shine. Samberg is perfect as the immature Jake Peralta, a role that he just embodies so well. When you look at Samberg’s background on the Lonely Island and SNL, his clear strength as a comedic actor is being a total child. Putting Samberg into his obvious comfort zone makes his transition to scripted comedy practically seamless. As for Braugher, his ability to give a stern deadpan stare that seems to eat at your soul fits the bill of an uptight captain to a tee. I’ve seen Braugher in other programs too like his brief stint on House M.D. and he played a similar role there as a therapist. The interactions between Holt and Peralta were some of the best moments of the episode.

Photo Credit: FOX
Photo Credit: FOX

Then you have the rest of the supporting cast who all fill necessary roles but don’t outshine the main stars. Terry Crews and Joe Lo Truglio are easily the most recognizable faces here outside of Samberg and Braugher, and their characters were two of my favorites. Crews especially was great as the insanely jacked sergeant who would rather stay in the records room so he doesn’t have to put his life on the line anymore. It was one of those “visual irony” moments that are by no means rare but still work in the right context. When you see Crews scream like a girl and unload a full clip into a mannequin at the slightest noise, you have the right context. That was also one of the better moments tonight too. Melissa Fumero works well with Samberg as Amy Santiago, Peralta’s partner, and I look forward to seeing their relationship get fleshed out in future episodes.

Despite the strong cast and premise, Brooklyn Nine-Nine wasn’t a 30 minute laugh fest that you can get with other comedies. Yeah the show was really funny and I laughed a solid amount throughout, but there weren’t any moments that really made me buckle over from laughing so hard. It just wasn’t as hilarious as it could have been which is alright considering that this is the Series Premiere. The fact that this show made me laugh as much as it did while being a brand new sitcom is clear proof of its quality as a program. I have complete faith that in due time this can become one truly hilarious show that people will turn to for a good time.

There is always a wave a crap with a few gems that rush in once the fall broadcast season gets underway. With a strong cast, excellent chemistry, and genuinely funny moments, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is one of those gems. Andy Samberg does a spectacular job in his first role on a scripted comedy show that doesn’t air live Saturday nights/Sunday mornings. This premiere wasn’t as hilarious as it could have been but it’s clear that there is still room for this show to grow. As far as I’m concerned, this is definitely must watch TV for anyone looking for a new comedy to get behind.

Rating: 8/10

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