How to Get Into Brooklyn Nine-Nine

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.

Behind the “GPA”

After a bout of difficult exams, I’ve found myself a little disappointed in my academic performance, but at the same time wondering why I don’t feel more stressed about upcoming tests — which is probably the reason why I find myself with these lackluster grades.

In a college of high-achievers, I’ve realized I’m not very ambitious — I truly do not feel dismayed when my grade falls slightly above the class average, and I don’t worry about getting into the most prestigious internships or labs.  I’m not upset with my level of ambition, but it has made me make the assumption that if my peers performed better on exams, it was because they either worked harder or were simply just smarter than me.

Tonight, I’ve made the decision to deconstruct what’s behind someone’s “good grade” and, instead of assuming that they are more ambitious and intelligent than I am, asking what motivates them to push for that A. Continue reading

a memory

pushes against the haze of my subconscious, straining the membrane of forgetfulness.  It was you, you telling me…your biggest fear?  That sounds right, but how was that brought up?  Was it a group conversation?  It’s a loaded question, and you don’t like sharing your inner thoughts with me. …I thought I knew you, your mannerisms and your favorite songs, but you actually didn’t share anything with me…

“I’m afraid of being lonely” you said, or “I’m scared of being alone.”  Time has jumbled the precise footing of the dance that waltzed our friendship into something deeper.  Continue reading

Monthly Me (Sept. ’18)

I’ve been forlorn after a dramatic cutoff from someone close to me, so blogging has been hard.  I’ve been busy with school and the student newspaper too, but those are actually helpful in distracting me from my emotions.

I thought it’d be disingenuous to write about my month without details about the Fuckening*, but I don’t know if I should/how I can verbalize it all, so I’ve decided to make this extremely moody post for me, to help get me in the swing of blogging again and for future reference. Continue reading

The Expulsive Power of a New Affection

I recently started going to church, and the week before Easter, the pastor related the story of Zacchaeus, a greedy tax-collector who changed his ways, to the teachings of Thomas Chalmers, a professor in theology.  It’s called the “expulsive power of a new affection.”

“You can’t just stop a bad habit,” the pastor said. “You can’t just stop something that you love or to turn from, in the language we use at church, an idol in your life just by sheer willpower. ‘Don’t be stingy, don’t be stingy, be generous, be g — .’  It doesn’t work like that. Continue reading

4. our remix

“Hey,” you said quietly from a deeper part of your throat, finally turning to face me after  sitting close together on your bed for a tantalizing hour; our lips softly met.

We kissed for a few seconds before you pulled back and said, “I’m so glad I met you.”

That was a turning point, but I still never expected to think about that moment as often as I do now.  I replay it aggressively in my head, riffing until it’s like dubstep, scratching the disk until it’s unrecognizable.  Hey…I’m so glad I met you.  Hey-hey-h-hey I’m so glad I met you.  H-h-h-h (so so glad I met you) I’m so I’m so (hey hey) glad. Continue reading

Church-going during College

In February, I started going to church weekly for the first time.

I decided to attend sermons because I always thought I would spend my college free time exploring my religion, and because I didn’t like my first appointment with the school therapist.  My dad told me about Jesus when I was young, and I went to Vacation Bible Camp for a few summers, but we never went to church regularly.  I accompanied my friend Tiffany to her Presbyterian church.

The college stereotype is that kids get less religious once they’re away from home.  I think this is only true if you come from a background with very structured religion.  I found myself on a bus that exclusively shuttles college students to a church that is a 20 minute walk away.  The bus was almost full of mostly Korean-Americans, chattering loudly like any other young group of people.  Christianity is actually very accessible to students, I realized, because of college-age fellowship programs that are very much social facilitators.  I was intimidated by their ease with each other, but they were welcoming and nice to me when Tiffany introduced me.  It was clearer to me how Christianity is the most popular religion in the world — it’s quite ensnaring.  I don’t mean that in a critical way, but it can be good or bad depending on how you look at it. Continue reading