by Julian Spivey
The best new comedy of the 2013-2014 television season, Fox’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” wrapped up its freshman season in supremely hilarious fashion last week.
The comedy surrounding a Brooklyn police precinct that stars “Saturday Night Live” alum Andy Samberg as Det. Jake Peralta was the most successful fall comedy among audiences and critics alike. Don’t let the small television ratings fool you because nearly all sitcoms are struggling to gain ratings today and this show reportedly has a big DVR/online following. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” even shocked the entire industry by winning the Golden Globe award in January for best comedy series, the biggest upset of a television award show I can ever remember.
When “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” debuted in the fall I was hopeful it would be a great comedy, but was also skeptical. I knew that Samberg was a very funny comedian, but also knew that he had qualities that could easily become annoying or grating. Thankfully, his character never comes off as either negative trait. Samberg’s performance of Peralta as wacky, rebellious and yet serious when he needs to be is a perfect mixture that has already turned the character into one of the most interesting and funniest of any character on a network sitcom.
The rest of the cast of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” have all proven to be equally as interesting and hilarious forming a truly funny and, at the same time, delightful show.
Television veteran Andre Braugher as Capt. Ray Holt is hilariously portrayed by the usually dramatic actor as an almost robotic human being with a strict persona and visibly emotionless. Terry Crews, maybe my favorite character of the ensemble, is a brick building of a man with a uniquely high-strung and highly excitable persona that is always funny given Crews’ tough guy appearance. Stephanie Beatriz as Det. Rosa Diaz is the sarcastic genius of the cast giving most of her laughs in a nonchalant, badass manner. Melissa Fumero as Det. Amy Santiago was the one character that probably took the longest to get into because of her obnoxious brown-nosing and need to be the best, but warmed up nicely toward the end of the inaugural season due to her becoming one of the gang and a nice partner for Peralta to work off of. Their relationship is the best of any in the series. Joe Lo Truglio as Det. Charles Boyle is the clumsy, awkward outcast of the group who has a tough time finding love with a woman, but has an unapologetic love for the art of food. Truglio’s portrayal of Boyle is good for numerous laughs over the span of an episode. Chelsea Peretti as the precinct’s administrator Gina Linetti is maybe the weak link among the cast, but that’s simply because her performance as an annoying character can come off as a little too realistically annoying at times.
In the first season finale “Charges and Specs,” Peralta is warned by New York City Police Commissioner Podolski not to pursue charges against a high profile philanthropist whom Jake suspects of laundering drug money under the guise of charity. Jake, being the excellent detective that he is, refuses and gets into hot water. Late in the episode it is revealed that Peralta was right all along, but in order to catch a potentially bigger fish he’s asked by Capt. Holt to intentionally get himself fired so that he can go undercover with the FBI.
Also, in the finale Boyle has just been broken up with by his fiancée Vivian (played by guest star Marilu Henner), which sends the normally docile and nerdy Boyle into a stage of rebellion, well rebellion the best way he knows how – dressing in leather and eating nothing but a bag full of boiled eggs. The season ends with a very awkward image of Boyle and Gina in bed with a “what the hell have we done” look on their faces, which should be interesting come season two as Boyle spent much of the first season entranced by Det. Diaz.
My favorite part of the finale was the announcement by Jake to Amy that he has feelings for her and he wanted to get them off of his chest, despite her being attached to somebody else, before going undercover just in case something bad happened. The show started setting up a potential relationship between the two around the midpoint of the season and it’s one that I’m really rooting for. The chemistry between Samberg and Fumero has been pretty palpable from the very start of the season and the two would make an incredibly cute couple. Their budding relationship is the storyline that I most look forward to come the second season.
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” wasn’t just the strongest new sitcom of the television season, but as its Golden Globe win would suggest one of the funniest and all-around best comedies on television in general. The show is supremely hilarious and has already become perhaps the best ensemble comedy cast on television. The ratings are likely going to need a boost in the second season for Fox to justify keeping it around for too much longer, so I highly suggest looking for this show online during the summer hiatus if you haven’t started watching it already. You won’t regret it.