The school year has just begun, and this means many new beginnings. You might try a new hairstyle or dress differently; you may sign up for a new exercise class like Zumba or aquarobics. And you may decide to indulge in one of the many awesome shows that are either premiering on television or returning for a new season. Question is, how do you choose a new show?
Not to worry: I’ve got your back. The best show returning to television this fall is undoubtedly Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Do you have a problem with me making baseless, opinionated assertions like that? Okay, challenge accepted—here are nine iron-clad reasons to watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
1. It strives to be different
While there are many television police dramas past, present and future to watch, there are very few police comedies. Brooklyn Nine-Nine follows the detective squad in the NYPD’s ninety-ninth police precinct as they solve cases, form relationships, and engage in shenanigans. The production team actually spent time with real police officers and listened to their stories about the job and learned a lot about how often hilarity ensues in a precinct. So if you’re tired of NCIS and Criminal Minds making police work look like nothing but drama, try Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
2. It embraces representation
Brooklyn’s detective squad is composed of one of the most ethnically diverse casts on television. Brooklyn makes the bold move of having two Latina and two black detectives represented on screen, thus avoiding tokenism—although it is unfortunate that this is bold rather than commonplace. Both Latina detectives bring different dynamics to the show, and the same is true for the two black detectives. Many background and minor characters are also people of colour, and the family lives of the two black detectives are explored in detail. While many shows and networks are afraid to lose white audiences by including multiple people of colour, Brooklyn has no fear when it comes to representation.
3. It’s hilarious
Brooklyn Nine-Nine never fails to make me laugh, even now that I’ve watched every episode several times over (no judgment, okay?). Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s amazing cast members work together so well, and the dialogue is always witty and unexpected. Detective Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg, Saturday Night Live alum) and Captain Raymond Holt (Andre Braugher) often steal the show with their characters’ personality clashes, and the squad always seems to be up to something wacky. Each character brings their own hilarity and leaves the audience in stitches every episode.
4. The characters are well-rounded and relatable
Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s characters contain multitudes and stay away from stereotypes. For instance, Detective Rosa Diaz is a leather-wearing, motorcycle-riding badass who would rather jump out of a window than talk about her feelings, but she has moments of emotional vulnerability that show how much she cares about her friends on the squad. At first, the protagonist Jake Peralta appears to be nothing more than a typical arrogant, immature jerkass. But as the series progresses, we see that he’s great at his job, always obeys the law (if not always his captain’s orders), cares deeply about feminist issues, and has a huge capacity for love.
5. A perfect balance of drama and comedy
While Brooklyn Nine-Nine would never be considered a drama (or even a dramedy), the stakes are high enough to compel the audience when the action gets intense, especially during each season finale. The show never gets too dark due to its frequent comedic relief, but interpersonal issues, tough cases, and conflicts with the administration make you desperate to know what happens next. To mediate the tension, there are always tons of laughs and sweet character moments, making this cop show unique for its hilarity, action, and heart-warming scenes.
6. Well-handled romantic relationships
Without spoiling anything, Brooklyn Nine-Nine handles romance with a light hand, rather than with an incessantly and unnecessarily heavy hand like some other shows do. Interpersonal relationships are a big focus of the show, but romantic relationships aren’t given much more weight than friendships. Individuals who are dating someone are still given their own storylines, and partners sometimes hardly interact at all in an episode. Brooklyn Nine-Nine turns away from the suffocating notion touted by media that romance is the be-all, end-all goal of life, and makes it something more normal and routine. There’s also an emphasis on communication between partners, rather than needless drama caused by not talking to each other.
7. Detective Charles Boyle
In my opinion, Jake Peralta’s best friend Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) is one of the most hilarious, heartwarming, and admirable characters on television. He’s obsessed with fine (and weird) food, loyal to a fault, completely oblivious to personal boundaries, a total beta male, and utterly unapologetic about himself. He’s one of my favourite characters on the show because I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone on television exactly like him. Charles is never afraid to own who he is, even when others make fun of him for being weird or gross, and I have to admire and love him for that.
8. It speaks up for social justice
Brooklyn Nine-Nine proves that including social justice on a television show doesn’t mean that it has to be utterly serious. Brooklyn has several episodes that revolve around social justice issues, such as the fact that Jake’s hero, a man who wrote about New York cops in the seventies, is stuck in a time in which many of Jake’s colleagues would have received unfair treatment as police officers and the NYPD was a more poorly managed organization. There’s also an episode about a detective who is racially profiled by an unknown police officer and struggles to know whether or not he should report the issue to the administration. Throughout the series, jokes are thrown in for the benefit of those marginalized by society, such as a gay character who talks incessantly about full, weighty breasts when pretending to be straight. The show never makes a marginalized group the punchline and approaches the issue of social justice in a refreshing, satisfying way.
9. It’s coming back for a fifth season this fall
On Tuesday, September 26 at 9:30 p.m. on City, the first episode of the fifth season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine will premiere! The last season ended on a gut-wrenching cliff-hanger, so we’re all dying to see how everything works out in season five. The fifth season will also include the ninety-ninth episode of the series, which the writers have been saying will be huge.
So what are you waiting for?! Go watch the first four seasons on Netflix right now! (Unless you have homework—then you should do that first. But then Brooklyn Nine-Nine.)