Strathclyde Telegraph

Flick or Stick: Brooklyn Nine-Nine

FLICK
by Mathew R Johnstone

E4 imported another shipment of American entertainment in January, in the form of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Fox’s latest sitcom set in a New York police department.

Instead of stop-and-search and institutional racism, it has Andy Samberg, of ‘Jizz in my Pants’ and ‘Saturday Night Live’ fame. He plays exactly the type of character you would expect Andy Samberg to play – a man-child who happens to be an ‘ace’ detective. His not-so-wise cracking detective is the 21st century’s equivalent of a maverick cop: not troubled or rebelling against a corrupt system, just immature. A self-absorbed, selfie-taking Serpico, if you will.

Predictably, he must go head to head against Ray Holt, the precinct’s by-the-book new boss. Andre Braugher’s straight-faced captain is probably the show’s most likeable character, and almost evens out Samberg’s smugness with his deadpan seriousness.

This dynamic joins the long list of things in Brooklyn Nine-Nine that are annoyingly unoriginal. The pilot episode features a ‘character mocking another character that’s behind him the whole time’ joke without a hint of irony or self-awareness. There is a textbook relationship arc between Incompetent Cop and Scary Female Cop and a rivalry/will-they-won’t-they relationship between Samberg and a forgettable Melissa Fumero.

All this would be forgivable if the show was funny. Unfortunately, E4 continues its tradition of putting anything even slightly amusing in the adverts, which means there’s very little left for the other twenty one minutes of the show.

Writers Dan Goor and Michael Schur created Parks and Recreation, one of the funniest American sitcoms of recent years, which makes the shortage of laughs surprising. Instead of Parks and Rec’s witty characters, you get a collection of clichéd physical gags and weak one-liners from the supporting cast, as well as Samberg’s irritating attempts to be likeable. In fact, the only member of the cast who gets a chuckle is Terry Crews. The underuse of his cowardly sergeant is comedy brutality, and if Brooklyn Nine-Nine is to continue they should give him more to do.

STICK
by Anisah Chaudhry

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a new show which premiered at the beginning of the year, set in the New York City Police Department in Brooklyn. The series revolves around a team of detectives and a newly appointed captain. The cast is led by Andy Samberg as Detective Jake Peralta, an immature detective who is regularly playing pranks on his fellow colleagues which can often be met with scorn.

Despite the fact that the format of this show could be seen as recycled and repetitive due to other similar cop-related shows, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is innovative because it takes this concept in a new and different direction by being charming and sharp with its punchy jokes and one-liners. This makes the show stand out from other detective shows which are predominantly serious: Brooklyn Nine-Nine adopts a flippant attitude and its script has a sparkly and perky humour.

In addition to this, the rapport with the characters of Jake Peralta and Ray Holt works surprisingly well, despite both characters’ noticeably different attitudes and sense of humour. The ways which the show is delivered draws parallels and comparisons with other shows like The Office because of the absence of a laughter track or an obvious audience, and the filming style.

Another reason to stick with this show is the ways in which it summons the communal spirit of shows like ‘The Office’ to not only poke fun at crime show clichés, but also reinvent them with a new comedic point of view, and an angle which is much needed in a world of over-recycled TV show concepts.

You should stick with Brooklyn Nine-Nine because although it is not necessarily instantly captivating like other shows, it does grow on you if you just give it a chance. It takes the cop-show concept in an innovative direction, which is refreshing in comparison to generic shows that constantly reuse old and worn ideas.} else {