What sets Brooklyn Nine-Nine apart from contemporary sitcoms
After nearly getting cancelled by Fox following their (incredible) fifth season, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is making a comeback tonight for season 6, thanks to NBC! The show has evolved so much in the past five seasons that the description on Netflix almost feels terribly inadequate. It is no longer a show about “brilliant but immature detective Jake Peralta learning to follow rules”, but rather about a precinct full of people who are all individually quirky and complex, and together, a wholesome family. So in celebration of getting some more Nine-Nne in our lives, let’s take a look at all the things about this show that we love so much.
While there exists many shows of the same kind – Parks and Recreations, New Girl, etc – Brooklyn Nine-Nine is one that shows off one of the most diverse casts. Of all the seven main characters (not counting Hitchcock and Scully), only two of them are white males. Two are black males – both of them in roles that are superior in rank to the white males – and two thirds of the females are women of color. This certainly makes the series all the more appealing to a wider range of audience, and is a major win for women and people of color everywhere!
There are shows where characters do horrible things to their loved one and are genuinely terrible people sometimes. In Brooklyn Nine-Nine, however, there is nothing of the sort. Each character is unique and yet all of them are essentially good people. While characters do hurt each other occasionally, and there are ups and downs in their relationships, it is usually minor things and they do their best to correct their bads. In summary, this is one of the most wholesome shows, where all the characters are genuinely loving in their own ways and trying their very best to be good people and to be good to each other.
The complex and well-developed characters
Nine-Nine is one show that definitely does not care about gender stereotypes. Of the two male characters, Charles Boyle is explicitly feminine at times and incredibly emotional and caring – something we rarely see in male characters. Jake Peralta is constantly trying to better himself and take accountability for his own actions. One of the black male characters is openly gay and in a loving marriage with a white man, and yet the show does not exploit his sexuality for humor or storylines.
The other black male character is a loving father who proudly bonds with his daughters and spends time with them without making that seem like a big deal. Rosa Diaz is a bisexual woman of color. Her parents reject her sexuality at first. Amy Santiago is a badass woman on her own and in one of the Halloween Heists openly challenges the idea that she is “Just Jake’s girlfriend”. When it comes to creating characters who challenge all kinds of stereotypes, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has done an incredible job!
The contemporary relevance
Even as a comedy TV show, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has done a lot to highlight contemporary issues. In recent times of racial profiling and police shootings, the show had Terry go through a horrible experience of a similar incident. The show didn’t even try to sugarcoat that reporting these things – as Terry did – can actually harm the survivor’s own career prospects at times. Captain Holt being an openly gay black man is very open about both the administrative and personal hurdles he had to face for it. In one episode, Holt actually refers to a recent incidence of an overachieving minority student who had made a clock which was thought to be a bomb. So Brooklyn Nine-Nine not only outdid it in terms of humor, but it has been incredible in terms of starting conversations about contemporary issues across the U.S. – where the show is based.
The cold opens
The biggest debate across the Nine-Nine fanbase – after “Is Kelly Scully’s wife or dog?”, which cold open is the best? Is it the one where Jake does the full bullpen? Is it where Scully drinks his own goldfish? What about where Charles gets a “Diane Wiest” infection? Or – my personal favorite – the one where all the perps sing “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys? Brooklyn Nine-Nine has given us some of the best cold opens, and there are plenty of compilation videos of them on YouTube to prove it.
It feels like fans have been waiting forever for season six, and the day is finally here! So tonight, we are staying in, we are popping some corn and putting on our pajamas for the long awaited sixth season. I’m so excited to see more development on these characters, and I hope the nups are getting even more toit this season.