Inducing laughter in a viewer is one of the most difficult goals for an author and screenwriter, especially when it comes to writing a series. These difficulties do not seem to apply to Michael Schur, the golden writer of television comedy, author of The Office and The Good Place. He and the talk show veteran Dan Goor have created what we can call a comedy milestone: Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
This police is fun
Set in the fictional 99th New York Police District, the series follows a group of detectives who struggle with change in the workplace. A new captain tries to turn the police station into an austere workplace; however in each episode, he fails to do that, because of the comedy roots of the series.
The strength of this series is first and foremost the basic idea: a parody of all American crime TV series, which often seem excessively serious. From here the protagonists, well-characterized and developed, always give life to new comic gags, with excellent comic timings, thanks to a well-assorted and very close-knit cast. Alongside the comedy, each episode has a storyline about a police case; this goes to show how strong and prepared the detectives really are.
This police force is made of an evolving cast
The light-hearted, arrogant, and rebellious personality of Jack Peralta (Andy Samberg), the protagonist, is to counteract the rigid composure of bureaucratic Amy (Melissa Fumero) desperately in search of the approval of others.
Boyle’s childish and morbid enthusiasm responds to Gina’s narcissism, Lieutenant Terry’s hysteria, and the inscrutable composure and rigidity of Captain Holt. Not to mention the underrated duo, Scully and Hitchcock; two old men trying to survive in a sedentary manner in a changing world.
The alchemy that binds each character to the other also overlaps with a constant evolution of the figures that over time shape and redefine themselves in relation to others. This is the case of Peralta, played by Andy Samberg, a famous comedian known for being in The Lonely Island. He is, above all, in a sedentary manner in the changing world of the Die Hard movies and keeps a mouse on his desk, wanting to rediscover himself as a reliable detective.
This police is inclusive
Brooklyn Nine-Nine was one of the first comic shows to include several minority characters in the main cast; always without making them mono-dimensional stereotypes but treating them as fully-rounded characters.
For instance, the group includes among the protagonists an African-American gay man, happily married, at the head of the entire district. In the group of detectives, we find two very talented women of Latin American origin. One of them is bisexual, and her coming out is the focus of two entire episodes.
The show also tries to address topical issues: police brutality against black people (season 4, episode 16) and homophobia. The writers always do it with the right balance of sensitivity and humor, especially without ever falling into clichés and bad taste. Although, in The Office, the same author, Michael Shur embraces bad taste and uses it to create brilliant cringe comedy.
This police is loved
To give an idea of how much fans appreciated this work, we have to look back at 2018. Fox had pulled the plug on the production after five seasons. Nevertheless, the huge wave of messages and petitions from fans (and also many figures in the same sector) then convinced NBC in less than 24 hours to buy the series and give it a new home.
As the writers have stated, season 8 will be the last for the Brooklyn Nine-Nine police department. Cool cool cool no doubt no doubt!