‘Nine-Nine’ Problems and ‘Brooklyn’ is One

I’ll preface this article by saying I am a huge “crimedy” (crime-comedy, copyright pending) fan; “Monk,” “Psych,” and the like are all great. I also very much enjoy Andy Samberg and his band, the Lonely Island. So I naturally had high hopes for Samberg’s latest endeavor, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” a new crimedy that debuted on Fox in September. Unfortunately, the new series falls short. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” is nothing more than a heavy-handed parody of crime shows.

In “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” Andy Samberg plays a goofball detective named Jake Peralta who, though great at solving crimes, believes he is above the precinct’s banal rules and procedures. But with a new, rule-loving captain in town, Samberg begins to learn respect for authority while keeping his quirky spirit. Sound like a clichéd spoof? It is.

Like its plot, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s” characters are largely just a repetition of tired material. Whereas I have always appreciated subtle character development, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” chooses to be upfront. The entrance of a new captain provides the perfect, predictable opportunity to literally describe each character one by one. Not much creativity involved there.

Nor does the show’s horrendous writing provide any redemption. In one riveting scene, Jake wins a bet against his partner Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) and then proceeds to introduce himself as “Detective Right All the Time” and his partner as “Detective Terrible Detective” to a crime witness. If they are seeking a more mature audience, they should probably consider more impressive jokes.

I’ll admit I did chuckle a few times in these opening episodes. But these small laughs did not make up for the rest of material. If you are looking for a hearty belly laugh, you’re in the wrong place. While it’s still early in the season, I will allow for some hope for the series. But as of yet, I am unimpressed and curious how long the show will last.

Published October 20, 2013 in Arts and Entertainment, tableau


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