You may have heard more about the humble little show Brooklyn Nine-Nine, amid uproar earlier this summer over how Fox canceled the show, only to have it picked up by NBC the next day. Now that the cast is filming the next season and viewership is higher than ever, you may be wondering: why is the show worth the buzz? Should I give it a try?
Your unhelpful friends might just say “it’s just so good,” or confusingly try to compare it to The Office or Parks and Rec. So here is your quick and dirty guide — the whys and hows — of getting into Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Why watch B99?
- Simply: the show is hilarious as hell and such a feel-good escape, but it’s not dumb either. Although it nails moments of slapstick humor and has few longterm plotlines, the show neatly avoids cheeky drama (like entangled love plots) and even attempts to tackle larger issues as it develops.
Here, just check out these gem:
- On the note of addressing complex issues, the show also implicitly makes a statement with a cast that is diverse in race and sexuality — it’s not the fact that these groups are represented, but the fact that the characters are so fleshed out and developed. For example, Captain Holt is known as a gay character since episode 1, but
- B99 also for the most part lacks jokes purely at the expense of other characters, groups, cultures, etc. — it is just wholesomely funny.
So now you’re convinced, right?
B99 right now is available in Hulu and Fox (fingers crossed for getting onto Netflix!). Of course I recommend watching from start to finish for the ~development~ , but here is a list of episodes you can watch in isolation as a taste test!
Episode 1, Season 1 : to know the characters, but they have lots of room to grow
Episode 2, Season 1 : a good sampler of the dynamics between characters, has winning one-liners.
Episode 12, Season 1 : the first part of a multi-episode arc across seasons, with the beloved debut of a reoccurring guest actor.
Season 4, Episode 16 “Moo Moo” : an excellent example of B99’s more serious side as it addresses racial profiling.
Season 5, Episode 14 “The Box”: an episode with a unique structure — more like an actual investigative crime show — that highlights Jake and Holt’s dynamic and is just so suspenseful and satisfying to watch.
Keep in mind as you watch:
The show is pretty good and funny from the start, but it definitely gets better. I, for instance, almost gave up on the show during season 1 because I didn’t like Jake’s personality, but now I am a religious fan. That is because over time the characters and relationships develop so much. Also, longer story arcs and experimental episode structures emerge.