Dark toned TV shows were trying to explore less-trodden paths, but with the number of grim and brooding TV shows we have seen, it might be the most trodden path. With the atmosphere like this pushing viewers to experience grey characters, here comes a comedy with the most colorful cast ever. It is rightly called an Ensemble comedy because, it is always about the characters. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is set up in, well, a precinct in Brooklyn where Jake Peralta (played to perfection by Andy Samberg, born for this role) is this smart-ass childlike cop who wishes every moment of his life to be as cool as ‘Die Hard’, a film he worships. He shows exceeding intelligence but targets them on humor. He is still a little naughty kid with abandonment issues.
That is when the precinct gets a new Captain in the form of Holt, played by André Braugher, who is the exact opposite of Jake with his deadpan expressions and Vulcan like approach. Jake tries to outsmart him all the time and Holt responds with a dead expression every time. His robotic character arc is given a twist with interests in the most uncommon art. He was once taken out for gasping loudly during John William Weichselbraun’s performance of Bach’s Boe sonata in G minor. Yep. Weird. It would be criminal to not talk about the other characters as they join the show in equal terms. In fact, this entire text will be about the characters. All that you need to know about the story, plot, screenplay is that: It doesn’t matter.
Some shows have such well fleshed out characters that you don’t even need a story. Just put them all in a room and let them talk to each other, Ta-Da, you’ve got yourself a comedy. This show pushes the level by teaming up different characters in different teams with their own ridiculous story arc for every episode. Ridiculous situation + Crazy characters = Laugh Riot, is the golden rule of comedy. This show has unsurprisingly bagged a few awards, which I believe is solely because of its old-fashioned fun approach to comedy as opposed to making them realistic and relatable. Heck, sometimes the entire precinct looks like an amusement park.
Terry Crews plays Sergeant Terry is the normal one in the entire cast, but he does bring his own absurdity by being a hulking yet soft-hearted father caring about his girls and his calories. He loses his nerve at the prospect that his daughters might not see him. His task is to save every other character when they get into trouble and devour as much yogurt as possible. He is considered “normal” unlike Gina Linetti who is Pheobe to the power of Pheobe. She hangs out in the men’s room because the “acoustics are amazing”, she dances with the group Floor-gasm, she never puts her phone on airplane mode (even when she is on an airplane). These are just 1% of her entire character, and every episode surprises us, making us go “wow, she is weirder than I thought”. There is a scene where a bunch of psychologists at a party are awed by her and start taking notes! She actually works as an assistant to Captain, and we never see her doing any real work. But we do see her leaving us in chuckles.
But the person who works the crap out of the office is Amy Santiago, the love interest of Jake. She played with ease by Melissa Fumero, is the classic Nerd of the precinct trying to impress the captain at every moment possible so that “he can be her mentor” and offers us large doses of awkward humor. She was the President of the Stenographer’s Club in her school because she was the only member. Get the idea. Someone similar to her nerd like features is the hilarious Charles Boyle, who is the most pompous, optimistic yet intensely critical of everything around him and bumbling member of this circus. Truglio plays this part with impeccable timing that you’re guaranteed to have a joke every time this man opens his mouth. The one true foodie on Earth. He worships Jake as an elder brother but shows surprising courage during danger (which he happens to say is his maiden name). He is the undisputed Bubble weight (an invented weight class) champion and had a crush on the teapot from Beauty and the Beast.
Rosa Diaz, is the bad-ass, secretive and emotionally unavailable cop of the precinct who punches her way through everything. She believes every woman must own an axe and she doesn’t ask people out, she just tells them where they’re going. She’s the only character you might’ve come across in other comedies. Hitchcock and Scully are the ageing and useless (unrelated to the age, they’re incredibly stupid and creepy). The chemistry between them and the dynamics with the entire precinct gets great with every episode.
Recurring gags, exceptional one-liners and the overall fun atmosphere that the show creates adds to a relaxing entertainment. The point is, the show is about the characters and the characters get a perfect score. I can’t possibly write about everyone considering the number of weird facts they have. The characters, as the show progresses, become more than just funny ones by exploring their growth and their relationships with the others. You’ll not care for the characters in the same way like every other show, but you’ll get angry when a few are not given the spotlight to shine. That is the show’s style of letting you realize you’re in love with them.