Print Edition: July 16, 2014
Andy Samberg has weaseled his way into the hearts of his viewers yet again. It’s something about his class clown personality, or his inability to take anything seriously in any of the roles he plays. He is always “that guy:” not following protocol, saying “no” to the boss, and showing up to work without a tie. This is his role as Detective Jake Peralta in the TV series Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
This sitcom had me laughing within minutes of watching thanks to Samberg’s ridiculously casual treatment of the stereotypically regimented detective / cop role. This is depicted well by his counterpart Captain Holt (Andre Braugher): the African-American, gay television representative (a current standard requirement for any modern TV show), and commanding officer of their 99th precinct.
Jake continually clashes with the rules as he is constantly pushing the boundaries. Speedos in the office, pigeons in vents: each episode is packed with quick-witted slapstick comedy. Jake’s devotion to the precinct makes him a surprisingly good detective, and his humour makes him completely lovable in spite of his “annoyed” colleagues. Andy Samberg is the big name of the show, and certainly the most familiar face, but the entire cast of Brooklyn Nine-Nine is strong.
Enter Detective Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio): he is your Dwight Schrute, your Buster Bluth, your Ron Swanson; every show has a Boyle. We love him for his oddities and his obliviousness to the world. Boyle is endearing, caring, and absolutely worships Jake.
Then there is Jake’s partner, Detective Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero). She’s your typical overachiever who has a love-hate relationship with Jake. She encourages his juvenile behavior by engaging him in bets and he loves her for it.
Sergeant Terry Jeffords, played by Terry Crews, is a machine of muscle and protein shakes. He refers to himself in the third person when he gets upset, a character tic introduced when he went gun crazy on a mannequin.
Detective Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz) baffles everyone with mystery. She was kicked out of a Catholic convent in high school, but no one really knows why. Her smiles are limited, and often sporting a black leather bomber and heels, her outfit alone says “don’t mess with me.” Boyle’s unapologetic love for Diaz is like oil and water — another great twist to the show.
Last but not least (and by far my favourite) is the big and jazzy Gina Linetti, office administrator and right-hand lady to the chief. Gina is a badass and queen of the backhanded compliments. She wears cat sweaters, colored skinnies, and is a strange combination of skill and inappropriateness (much like Jake) — in every episode you wonder how she’s not fired. She skips work, speaks in emoticons, and is constantly on her phone, yet in many episodes it’s Gina who saves the day. Oh, did I mention she has a dance troupe named Floorgasm?
Brooklyn Nine-Nine was nothing more than a happy late-night Netflix accident for me. But these 23-minute episodes will not let you down. Before you know it, Netflix will shamefully pause and they will ask you if “you’re still there?” and if you want to “continue watching?” Don’t worry, no one’s judging you — it’s just that good.