This is the second-to-last edition of our Midseason Report Card series that we will be doing before December comes to a close, but we are picking one of the best shows out there to help get us into the home stretch: Fox’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” This is one of those rare shows that we went into the season having high hopes for, and it somehow managed to find a way to meet all of those expectations and then some. It’s just a heck of a fun show that does a ton right, and doesn’t really do much wrong.
So rather than pull a Jake Peralta and waste a bunch of time here, let’s dive straight into the pluses and minuses for what is a show so ambitious, Fox is giving it the post-Super Bowl treatment.
What worked – Quite a bit. For starters, casting was genius almost all around. While most of the female cast was probably unknown to you before this show, they’ve all done a stellar job of standing alongside the show’s “big names” in Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher. Also, you can’t forget Terry Crews, some of the older “background cops” like Hitchcock and Scully, and also Joe Lo Truglio, probably the unsung here of the show as Det. Charles Boyle.
But just as important as the performances are the scripts, and every one of them has been solid. This isn’t necessarily a show that has done anything crazy, but it hasn’t had to. These have just been consistent, funny standalone episodes that explore the characters and why we find them funny. It’s the standard way to set up a comedy; let us know who the characters are in the first 11 or 12 episodes, and then get to what makes them who they are.
What didn’t – While we love Crews, and Gina, at times the characters don’t seem to have as much to do as some of the others. The former at times delves into doing what Crews has done in other shows, and the parallels between Gina and April on “Parks and Recreation” are huge. But these are very minor complaints; while we would like to see some deeper storylines soon, we’re not going to fault the writers at the moment for just establishing the tone before they do anything else.
Overall – We never want to anoint any comedy as a classic so early on, since just a few little things can disrupt the energy and make the world come crashing down. But “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” has everything needed to be a great show that could last for six or more seasons: Funny people doing funny things both onscreen and off, interesting characters, a premise that feels both old and new, and a network in Fox that is committed to them. So long as episodes stay this strong, we’ll match that level of commitment every step of the way. Grade: A-.
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