What Makes Brooklyn Nine-Nine So Great
Brooklyn Nine-Nine comes back tonight with its sixth season. The show that was cancelled and saved within 31 hours, the one that is moving from Fox to NBC, the one that’s been getting more and more buzz as it progressed. Before the 99 come back for more shenanigans, I wanted to take the time to discuss just what makes this comedy so appealing and why were fans up in arms the moment they heard of the cancellation.
I’d imagine the first thing that comes to mind when asked “what makes Brooklyn Nine-Nine so good” would be that it’s funny. As a comedy show, it’s ought to be, you might say. But B99 is a perfect example of how comedy has been on the rise lately: it’s not just funny but clever. What makes the 99’s jokes so funny is that they tend to be a kind of humour that rarely relies on slapstick or being as outrageous as possible. And how does it become clever? By using its characters.
That’s right, the standout aspect of Brooklyn Nine-Nine is character. It’s the cast of the talented main characters and the many, many brilliant guest stars that the show has had over the years. More than that, it’s the relationships between characters that makes watching the show so enjoyable, so easy to binge, so addictive. Personal storylines are intertwined with the whole squad and everyone gets to have a dynamic with everyone else.
Think about any two characters on the show, from our resident sweethearts Peraltiago (Jake Peralta and Amy Santiago, played by Andy Samberg and Melissa Fumero) to unlikely siblings Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) and Gina Linetti (Chelsea Peretti). Detective Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz) and Captain Holt (Andre Braugher)? Badass stoics uncomfortable with emotions but caring very much for each other. Hitchcock (Dirk Blocker) and Scully (Joel McKinnon Miller)? Name a more iconic duo. Probably all of them but that’s the point. Sergeant Terry Jeffords (Terry Crews)? Mama bear to everyone in the precinct. Name any two characters, or three, or the whole squad, you know exactly how they relate to each other and what makes that particular dynamic unique and fun to watch.
Much of this is down to the simple plot structure that most episodes follow. Usually, there’s an A plot featuring Jake and one to three others and a B or sometimes a C plot featuring the rest of the squad. This in itself allows for the pick and mix of characters and for everyone to interact with everyone else on a regular basis. Some popular episodes like Season 2’s “Beach House” feature the whole squad in one setting but even then there’s place for unique dynamics like Gina getting Amy drunk and then caring for her. Simple yet effective.
That’s not even mentioning some of the overarching and more complicated plotlines like the ones we usually get at the end of the season or recurring themed episodes like the Halloween heist. Brooklyn Nine-Nine, like many other successful comedy shows, challenge the status quo and develop their characters while still keeping familiar settings. The show even has notably poignant episodes such as “Mo Moo” and “Game Night” that highlight how capable the show is to deal with character and different issues that affect them.
Of course, there list of “great things about Brooklyn Nine-Nine” would just go on and on. But for now, just before Season 6 begins, I wanted to highlight one aspect that makes me want to watch the show all day. The dialogue between characters is dynamic and clever, in part down to the actors’ improve and in another part down to their delivery. It’s a well-oiled machine that would have been a shame to break up. Thankfully, we can catch more best friends moments between Jake and Boyle and the Sleuth Sisters in Amy and Rosa. The mutual respect of Terry and Holt, Gina doing whatever she feels like doing… More of the 99 being a family.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 6 premieres on NBC at 9/8c.
Images courtesy of NBC