‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ has been cancelled, and your sadness is noted.
In the worst possible news, the eternal villains at Fox have announced theyâre cancelling the delightful Mike Schur/Dan Goor comedyÂ Brooklyn Nine-Nine.Â While we can only hope that a streaming service rescues the show from eternal death, itâs worth remembering exactly why this show is an important part of a healthy comedy ecosystem.
Brooklyn Nine-NineÂ fits in to the constellation of comedy shows that are both hilarious and utterly heartwarming, joining the likes of New Girl, or other Schur vehicles like Parks and RecreationÂ andÂ The Office. Itâs an important distinction â These are whip smart comedies about characters who (mostly) like each other.
When itâs firing on all cylinders, Brooklyn Nine-Nine manages to carry off the rare feat of being the silliest, cleverest and most emotionally affecting comedy show on television. Itâs not an easy formula to carry out, and not every episode manages to nailÂ it each time.
But mostly itâs a goddamn revelation, and one of the best viewing experiences on television. LetâsÂ take a look at exactly what makes it so perfect.
Like many of Mike Schurâs shows, the set-up is a workplace oriented ensemble of wacky characters, thrown together by the structures of their job. With Brooklyn Nine-Nine itâs a team of detectives (and an administrative assistant, I guess), and they do police stuff.
While the crime-solving aspect of the show gives it a certain focus and energy (which is somethingÂ The OfficeÂ slightly lackedÂ with its setting in anÂ inherently boring workplace), you wouldnât call it a procedural parody. The joke is not that theyâre a bunch of bad, fake cops. The joke is that a cobbled together unit of weirdos somehow works as a good crime-fighting team.
While it might seem that the show revolves around Andy Sambergâs handsome-doofus cop, Jake Peralta, itâs actually much more of an ensemble than that.Â Jake is honestly not the singular protagonist. More fittingly, you could say he exemplifies what the show is all about: heâs a silly, adult-sized child who absolutely loves his job. Heâs also very good at it. Heâs an avatar of the unbridled enthusiasm that powers the show.
As he says: âEyes closed, head first, canât lose!â
â Ali (@RoyMustang786) May 11, 2018
âFirst time back at the Nine-Nine. I really miss these people. The whole crew. Jake, Terry, bleugh. I forget all their other names.â
The above is a quote from Gina Linetti, the mean cat of the group, played by the hilarious Chelsea Peretti.Â Characters like hers are why the show works so well. Sheâs an absolute machine of hilarious quotes, aÂ sometimes cruel commentary on everyone else, a force of perfect, narcissistic chaos. But sheâs also given the chance to be more than that (when she wants).
The same is true of all the others in the team â when they need to be, theyâre a two-dimensional gag (Terry loves yoghurt! Boyle loves Jake! Amy loves organisation! Diaz loves not expressing emotion! Captain Holt loves understatement). But they can easily wrap an entire episode around their complex emotional needsÂ and desires.
Basically every character is iconic, especially the bit-characters. Jason Mantzoukas as Adrian Pimento, anyone? What a deranged masterpiece.
Theyâre developed characters, and the show explores that. Every single actor in the show is hilariousÂ when given the chance to play and explore. The show wouldnât be half as good without this perfect blend of talent.
The heartwarming glory of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, as sappy as this sounds, comes from the fact that everyone kinda loves each other. Thatâs not to say that thereâs no conflict â that would be a ridiculous, bizarre representation of a workplace.
Most of the friction in the show comes from the bucket of odd characters being bounced against each other, and the navigation through those conflicts. A classic example is basically every interaction between classic clown Jake Peralta and the epitome of the âstraight manâ, Captain Holt. They clash over almost everything, but always come back to a beautiful level of respect.
Thereâs also a love story in the show â while not quite as iconic as Pam and Jim or Leslie and Ben, the journey of Jake and Amy is still pretty joyous.
The characters are all joyful to watch together, and thatâs what makes this show tick along.
Itâs pretty important to remember that Brooklyn Nine-NineÂ is a gloriously weird and funny show that isnât afraid of truly leaning into a very dumb gag. Some of the feature episodes, such as the recurring Halloween competition, or the Jimmy Jab GamesÂ are just laugh-out-loud funny. The cold-opens at the beginning of each episode are legendary â watch this one below, itâs honestly one of the greatest moments inÂ TV comedy.
The show is also famous for recurring gags, such as elaborate Wunch insults, or the perfect âname of your sex tapeâ gag.
You canât disregard the fact that despite being a silly love-fest, the show has also tackled some pretty big societal issues. Captain Holtâs arc as an out gay black man is both powerful and touching, and multiple episodes dive deep into the structural inequality he has had to deal with. Thereâs an amazing episode about racial profiling, which was really only possible because thereâs actually more than one black cop on the show. Recently, Detective Rosa Diaz very classily came out as bisexual on the show, which set the internet ablaze with gratefulness at that kind of representation. Itâs an important show!
Basically, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a rare unicorn of a comedy, which we will all be poorer for losing. Letâs hope someone rescues the it.
â giselle đ„ (@nataIyarostov) May 10, 2018
Patrick Lenton is an author and staff writer at Junkee. He tweets @patricklenton.