9 Reasons to Watch Brooklyn 99

Brooklyn Nine-Nine returns to FOX this Tuesday, September 26th and we here at HC Mount Holyoke couldn't be more excited! Even though last season ended on quite possibly the worst cliffhanger ever, this show remains one of the funniest, most genuine, and most inclusive comedies on television today. If you aren’t already as obsessed with the squad as we are, here are 9 reasons why you should be watching this hilarious show:


1. Jake & Charles’ bromance

Jake and Charles’ (slightly codependent) bromance is #friendshipgoals. They love and support one another unconditionally, while still telling each other the harsh truth when it comes down to it. Though Charles’ obsession with Jake’s love life can be a little creepy, it’s clear that they want the best for one another and would do anything for one another.


2. Rosa’s unapologetic attitude

Rosa Diaz is the “take no nonsense” bad bitch you’ve always wanted to be. While she may be a former gymnast and ballerina, she’s also unapologetically the toughest member of the squad. She’s a little hard to figure out because she’s sort of an enigma (her friends don’t even know where she lives), but that doesn’t keep you from warming up to her refreshingly honest and self-confident personality. And even though she would (hardly) ever say it out loud, she loves her friends and would never let anything happen to them.


3. Captain Ray Holt

Captain Holt is one of the most interesting and likeable characters on the show. His witty dry humor and his air of professionalism often clashes with Jake’s more laid back approach, to make for classic gut wrenching humor. He also provides the opportunity for critique of the politics embedded in the police force and how one is able to rise in the ranks. Captain Holt was the first openly gay captain in Brooklyn and encountered a lot of homophobia and racism in the force on the journey to get there, but he eventually became one of the best cops in Brooklyn. So while this explains more about why he’s so by the book and can sometimes be described as rigid (because of all the hurdles he faced to get to the top), it also opens the door for real and intentional commentary on the homophobia and racism experienced by officers in police forces.


4. Important commentary on social issues

Though Brooklyn 99 is a comedy, it doesn't shy away from touching on important issues. Not only do they discuss Captain Holt’s experience as an openly gay, black cop, but they also discuss police brutality and racial profiling, sexism in the workforce, gun control, and transphobia without losing any of the lightheartedness that the show is known for. When Terry is stopped by a cop for being black, the show counterbalances the pain that he is experiencing with Jake and Amy’s difficulty taking care of Terry’s daughters. When Jake comments on how broken our country is for our lack of gun control, it is sandwiched between two jokes.

By being willing to address the very real issues people have with the police and with our country (and by being willing to demonstrate that the cops of the 99 are the exception and certainly not the rule), Brooklyn 99 goes from a carefree sitcom to a show that stands with the marginalized people of the United States against police brutality. Brooklyn 99 does not try to adopt a narrative of “all cops are good”, but it highlights the complexity of the discourse around police brutality in the US and doesn't shy away from calling out police brutality and racism. In an age where people think you have to be offensive to be funny, Brooklyn 99 demonstrates that you can take on the injustices of the world with sensitivity and humor.


5. Diversity of the cast & breaking stereotypes

Brooklyn 99 has very carefully subverted stereotypes. While this is a show about cops, it doesn't portray singularly white, male cops. The captain is an openly gay black man who is serious but loves his squad, and Sergeant Jeffords is a buff black man who also loves his family and is amazing at art. There are two Latina characters who are different from each other in almost every imaginable way; the show is successful in debunking ideas that are often perpetuated in the media about Latinas being monolithic and breaks stereotyped representations of Latina women. Brooklyn 99 is also a break from the categorical sexualization of Latina woman (and women in general) so often apparent in media representation. This is definitely a feminist show and it has female characters that own their own sexuality. (Spoiler alert) For example, when Jake is so focused on getting Amy’s father’s approval and Amy’s father is hesitant to give it to him, Amy reminds them both that she does not belong to anyone and that the decisions she makes about who to date are not in their control and are solely hers to make. Snaps for Amy!


6. Jake Peralta & Amy Santiago

Jake and Amy’s personalities may be in direct opposition to one another, but this pair is quite possibly one of the best relationships on the show. Amy’s perfectionism and obsessive personality, alongside Jake’s passion for police work and lackadaisical attitude, makes for loads of laughs whenever they interact - and they have amazing chemistry. Their “will they, won’t they” dynamic will have you on the edge of your seat and you’ll find yourself shipping them as hard as Charles does.


7. Sergeant Terry Jeffords

Need another reason to convince you to start watching this show? Terry Crews. That’s a good enough reason in itself, isn’t it? Terry is an endearing character often referred to as the “mother hen” of the 99 because he looks out for all his friends and the people in his department. He is very caring and sensitive which nicely complements his tall, bulky, and muscular build. He is a true family man who loves his children as well as his wife to death. He makes the absolute best pigtails for his three little girls while taking down crime lords all in the same day. Terry is a multifaceted character just like the others in the show and that is what makes it so interesting. Brooklyn 99 features well-rounded and complicated characters with complicated lives who face very everyday issues, and we are able to see how Terry balances his work and family life.


8. Norm Scully & Michael Hitchcock

Scully and Hitchcock are another example of #friendshipgoals. They’ve been partners on the force since the ‘70s and they don’t do anything without each other. They may not be great cops (or even good cops), but they collectively hold the title for “Most Arrests” in the 99th precinct and they deserve the (extended) break they’ve been taking, complete with as many snack and nap breaks as their hearts desire.


9. Gina Linetti

Gina is by far the strangest character you will encounter on the show. She keeps all the other characters around on their toes and is constantly challenging authority. With her awkward dance moves, snarky commentary, and seemingly unfounded narcissism, she seems to be from a completely different planet. Gina does things that no one and nothing can really explain to entertain herself (and the audience). On the flips side, she is loyal to her friends and passionate about dance (and Terry). Though she’s somewhat of an acquired taste, she’ll keep you laughing (at her) throughout the show!

With a loveable cast and multi-dimensional, hilarious characters, Brooklyn 99 is the best way to spend thirty minutes of your week (and an excellent way to procrastinate if you’re starting the show from the beginning). The show may not be perfect - there are always ways to add more types of representation and address more issues - but they’ve gone the extra mile in ensuring that people of diverse backgrounds see themselves on television screens as heroes who are kind, compassionate, fallible, and above all, incredibly funny.  


Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

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