Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013)
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Season 1: I was up for more from the creators of Parks & Recs, but B99 has its own identity, even if the comedy can be compared. While shaky cam is the order of the day, the workplace comedy about a Brooklyn police precinct doesn't have documentary-style interviews breaking into the action. I like to think the lead detective/class clown Jack Peralta is so into cop movies and TV that he imagines his life this way. There is an element of nostalgia for iconic screen cops, in the references, the show's theme, etc., though (and I don't know that it's done on purpose), the "I learned a valuable lesson" Full House moments at the end of several episodes do feel forced. But I laughed, I came to enjoy these characters very quickly (early favorites are Rosa and Captain Holt, great deadpan, and we need straighter characters to offset Peralta who can be too much at times).
Season 2: Took no time at all to devour Brooklyn Nine-Nine's second season. Now THIS is funny. The characters are allowed to be both smart and stupid, each in their own way, and it's amazing how it actually works as a cop show as well as a sitcom. It's not reinventing the wheel as far as Family Guy PSSHHHT interruptions or soap opera elements go, but every episode had me giggling at least once. I love this show. Captain Holt is definitely the stand-out character for me, so his participation in the pull-at-your-heart-strings cliffhanger shows the production knows that full well. Like, noooooooooooooo!!! I will not spoil it further, but leave it up in the air like that. If you were a fan of Parks & Recs and haven't taken the plunge yet, this is the other AWESOME comedy about civil servants, and you don't want to miss a frame of it.
Seasons 3 and 4: Chugged Brooklyn Nine-Nine Seasons 3 and 4, and reviewing them as a unit because I find it a little difficult to say something interesting about the same sitcom twice. B99 basically continues its run from the past two seasons, with engaging characters and a strong mix of absurd comedy and police action. While there have always been continuing plot threads, there seems to be more continuity through these particular seasons, with guest characters sticking around longer and people dealing with consequences of previous episodes. Happy to see the Peralta-Santiago relationship isn't trapped in a will they/won't they/on and off loop and is just allowed to be, and also that Hitchcock and Scully are getting more to do. While B99 probably won't ever overtake Parks & Recs for my top comedy in this style, it's certainly doing its best to do so.
Season 5: I'm used to Brooklyn Nine-Nine's format by now, and I know getting out of the previous year's cliffhanger will be done within a couple episodes. It was true of Season 4's witness protection program plot, and it's true of this last season's prison term for Jake. And even so, I kind of resent the efficacy of the resolution. Not that there's no fun to be had at the precinct, but putting Jake in other kinds of crime fiction opens the show up to taking down a new batch of macho tropes that I don't think 2 episodes really do justice too. Moving on from there, B99 continues to tickle, charm, intrigue and tweak the heartstrings. In this season, a character comes out as bisexual, two of the cast get married, and Captain Holt sets his sights on the Commissioner's office. I hope he gets it, if only for the Batman jokes. Best episode: "The Box".
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