Just a few months back, when a Minneapolis policeman killed George Floyd, people from all realms of life, who may never have been very vocal against police brutality were jolted out of complacency. When citizens all over the country began questioning the role and history of the police in this country, critics started to focus on the issue of “copaganda.” Instead, critics began telling stories that reflected the reality of what members of marshaled communities interact with cops, and especially the narratives that center officials as heroes of crime stories.
However, Brooklyn Nine-Nine sets off on a completely different foot. The series does not project cops and detectives as people made out of superhero material, but as people who have their own flaws, face the consequences that their actions bring about, in situations that are so very close to reality.
With its final episode for the final series out now, it is high time for you to catch on the series if you still have not given this series a shot. It will totally be worth your time. Here is a review of the show in a nutshell that might help you make up your mind.
In some aspects, the characters of this series had a less conniving starting place than most other TV officers. Since the starting of the show, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been deservingly commended for creating a racially diverse ensemble. Jake Peralta’s white Detective Jake Peralta and Andre Braugher’s Raymond HOLT, a black, homosexual, married captain of the NYPD, have become the co-lead of the show over the span of the series, but Latina characters detective Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) and detective Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz) have not fallen and written into stereotypes.
The plot really follows the adventures and misadventures of Jake Peralta and his squad of friends. They are all a couple of NYPD officers who work at Brooklyn 99 Percent. The captain of the 99th precinct, Captain Raymond Holt is a black gay cop who has had to face the wrath of several homophobic and racist cops and political situations and the dilemma continues well into the last episodes as well. Jake Peralta is one of the ace detectives of NYPD. Amy Santiago, one of the most competitive people you would ever meet is almost the female version of Jake Peralta, minus the Die Hard fanaticism and childish behavior, and plus a very responsible personality who aspires to be the youngest NYPD captain. Rosa Diaz, the badass cop, Charles Boyle the loveable little foodie, and Terry Jeffords, the yogurt-loving Sergeant/Lieutenant, make up the rest of the squad, all acing at their jobs.
The episodes in the series are characterized by notable attempts to admit discriminatory carceral procedures.
Brooklyn Nine-nine had a 2017 episode broadcasted called the “Moo Moo“, which focused on NYPD lieutenant Terry (Terry Crews), racially harassed and hazed by a beat officer in the area, following an earlier wave of demonstrations in 2016, following the deaths by cops from Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. The event has given rise to a dispute between Captain Holt and Lieutenant Jeffords, both Black members of the squad, regarding whether Terry is going to file a complaint or, as Holt first recommends, if Terry should hold off his complaint, which would also bring change but that would occur slowly.
Rosa’s coming out episode was a gem too and Jake was a supportive friend throughout. Coming out to your parents as a bisexual it’s quite a big deal and the show dealt with it in a very smart manner. Not everything went in a fairy-tale fashion. Her parents were initially taken aback, wanted to talk her out of it, telling her it was just a phase – the usual. The episode was neatly summed up by Holt when they visit Rosa on game-night and assured her that it can sometimes be scary but every time someone steps up and tells who they really are, the world becomes a better place.
The marriage and relationship that Jake and Amy maintain teach a lot about how the institution of marriage could be redefined in a more welcoming manner. Jake is understanding and supports Amy no matter how weirdly nerdy she behaves and Amy loves her slightly childish husband more than ever. There is an episode named he said she said which focuses on how the world and the workplace are so very different for men and women. There could not have been a better duo to lead the episode than Jake and Amy. The last season of the show adds to this wholesome responsible marriage of the two best detectives of the NYPD.
The Pontiac Bandit (aka Doug Judy) returns in an episode that offers his character a humorous send-off, which was well-deserving for our beloved repeat offender. In his regular run of punching bag moments, Boyle gains a couple of surprising triumphs. As a relationship Amy and Jake’s chemistry stay as wholesome as ever (the show depicts them as pleasant co-workers in a friendly romantic relationship that does not tamper with their jobs which I feel is a smart bet and the team maneuvers that perfectly). It is good to see that a sitcom that has given us some real good laughs through the years has got the chance to take a course of its own – to get the crowd more conscious of what certain cop-shows try to sell to the people, putting the cops on a high pedestal.
Obviously, the series has its own fair share of loopholes. There might be times when you might feel that the characters got off easy. Well, comedies tend to forgive the characters, while tragedies go through to the end, showing exactly how devastating the consequences of the character’s actions could be. So, too much negativity and seriousness would have destroyed the essence of the series. But all in all, the show does a great job at handling an array of contemporary issues, and more importantly, show cops as humans equipped with their share of flaws and never for once try to hide the problems of the judicial system.
You can find the series on Netflix. Totally worth a watch!