Brooklyn Nine-Nine | Review to Date

[title size=”1 to 6″ style=”options: default, sidebar”]Get information and perspective on the latest episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine here:[/title]

[title size=”4″ style=”options: default, sidebar”] “M.E. Time” Episode Review, Oct 8, 2013:[/title]

This week’s episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, “M.E. Time,” ends up pushing the boundaries for network television, as Jake Peralta’s love affair with a medical coroner brings an all new meaning to the idea of weird sex, which is exactly the strange kind of humor that is starting to set Brooklyn Nine-Nine apart from the other run-of-the-mill comedies on television.

To put it simply, Detective Peralta engages in a romantic relationship with the new district coroner, who just so happens to be turned on when Jake pretends to be a dead body. Gross? Absolutely. Edgy? You betcha. Hilarious? Without a doubt. The whole idea of necrophilia is so taboo that those types of jokes are usually left for the likes of South Park or Always Sunny in Philadelphia. However, Brooklyn Nine-Nine approached the idea in a tasteful enough way for it to be broadcast on primetime network television, which is a testament to this show’s potential.

It’s not surprising that the show displays such finesse as many of the people involved in the show were once over at NBC–somewhat of a powerhouse in the comedy sitcom world with hits like The Office, Parks and Recreation and 30 Rock. Fox is really trying to make a statement with Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and so far, it’s working.

While the subplot surrounding Detective Santiago and her quest to get on Captain Holt’s positive side was probably one of the weaker storylines so far, “M.E. Time” stands out as one of the best episodes yet with the edgy and hilarious main plot. If the show keeps improving with every episode like it has been, Brooklyn Nine-Nine will definitely be able to contend with the comedy giants.

[title size=”4″ style=”options: default, sidebar”]”The Slump” Episode Review, Oct 1, 2013:[/title]

I gotta say, it looks like Andy Samberg is finally catching his stride with the whole sitcom thing. Not to say the first two episodes were bad, but they were rough, which is to be expected in the first season. However, it seems like it only took three episodes for Brooklyn Nine-Nine to truly blossom, as “The Slump” offers up the most laughs so far.

“The Slump” centers around Jake Peralta’s (Andy Samberg) inability to close a case, having more open cases than he can keep track of. While this storyline is entertaining enough, most of the laughs are derived from Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero)  running a program to turn at risk teens into junior detectives. After denying Gina Linetti (Chelsea Peretti) the chance to help out, Linetti sets out to sabotage Santiago, turning the at risk teens against her at every turn in some absolutely hilarious exchanges (Seriously, Amy, black people can sell drugs just as well as white people).

In my review of last weeks episode I complained about the flashbacks a lot, as they reminded me too much of Family Guy, however the more I see it in Brooklyn Nine-Nine the more I realize how unique it is from other shows. The directors have chosen to keep these flashbacks short and sweet, resembling 30 Rock more than anything else in how quick the jokes come across, and if you blink you might miss it.

While this is the most hilarious episode so far, the show still lacks something. At that something is background story, or perhaps more accurately, a depiction of the characters lives outside of the police department. In most shows we get an idea of the character’s personal lives, as those often play an important role in how they interact in their professional occupations, even in the most absurd comedies. We still haven’t seen much of this, so hopefully we’ll get more of that in later episodes.

Overall, it seems like the third time’s the charm with this show, as the funny jokes and stellar actors have my arrested attention.

[title size=”4″ style=”options: default, sidebar”]Sept 24, 2013, Episode 2: “The Tagger:”[/title]

Pilot episodes are always tricky. So many different aspects of a television series need to be established within the first episode that often times there is little room left to truly focus on the show’s strengths. This was the problem with Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s first episode, as all the introductions for each character left no room for any particularly interesting plot. The second episode “The Tagger” improves upon these initial downfalls while still searching to find its own stride.

Episode two focuses on Detective Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) chasing down a man spray painting lewd images all over public property while Detective Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) seeks psychic advice in his never ending quest to woo Detective Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz). This is where episode two improves upon the pilot, as both storylines are genuinely funny and entertaining in themselves, and the characters only add to the humor. In fact, Gina Linetti (Chelsea Peretti) often steals the show and is possibly the funniest person on the show.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine does, however, still rely on cheesy gags that never were that funny in the first place. True, Andy Samberg does seem like the kind of guy who would camp out in the office or wear only a speedo to work, but at the end of the day these actions aren’t that funny because there isn’t much believability behind them. Furthermore, the show makes heavy use of flashback sequences for jokes, reminiscent of early Family Guy episodes, which may work for some audiences but for the most part is nothing more than an old and overused gimmick.

“The Tagger” improves where the first episode failed, deriving comedy from both the plotlines as well as the characters, eliciting some pretty great performances from the actors. That’s not to say the show is in the safe zone though, as some lingering issues still keep Brooklyn Nine-Nine from being a breakout comedy series it so desperately tries to be.

[title size=”4″ style=”options: default, sidebar”]Official Trailer for Brooklyn Nine-Nine:[/title]

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[title size=”4″ style=”options: default, sidebar”]Pilot Episode Review:[/title]

After leaving Saturday Night Live almost a year ago, Andy Samberg returns to network television with his buddy cop comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine, bringing with it all the expectations attached to the one time sketch comedy king. But can Samberg and his fellow officers arrest the attention of prime time audiences?

The show centers around clueless and lackadaisical NYPD detective Jake Peralta (Samberg) along with his uptight partner Detective Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) as they adjust to their new, stricter captain Ray Holt (Andre Braugher). Accompanied by other faces familiar to the comedy scene such as Chelsea Peretti, Joe Lo Truglio and Stephanie Beatriz, the show certainly boasts enough comedic talent to be genuinely funny, however this tends to be a crutch the show relies on too heavily in its freshman effort.

The problem with Brooklyn Nine-Nine is that it focuses too much on deriving humor from the actors, which succeeds at several points in the episode quite well, however the overall story isn’t very funny. The jokes seem forced and out of place rather than flowing naturally from the ways in which the characters react to events within the plot. Furthermore, the show doesn’t seem to take advantage of its premise. The detective and crime fighting work is generic and boring, and the character interactions seem like they could take place in any environment. Basically, if you are going to make a comedy about police officers, it’s important to truly take advantage of that entire culture, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine just doesn’t do that.

Andy Samberg’s return to television wasn’t as uproarious or outrageous as many hoped it would be, but at the same time it’s difficult to tell exactly how good a show could potentially be just from the pilot episode, since it’s still in many ways in its formative stages. Plus, if Samberg learned anything from his years on SNL, it’s that not everything can be a hit, so don’t count Brooklyn Nine-Nine out just yet. But until then, most audiences will probably post bail to get out of this one.