Back when Brooklyn Nine-Nine debuted in the fall, I wrote that I liked it, but I wasn't sure if the wider population would.
The ratings have kind of backed that up as Brooklyn Nine-Nine continues its rookie season, airing Tuesdays on Fox and City. But Fox apparently hasn't quit trying to catapult Brooklyn Nine-Nine to the next level of public awareness, granting it a post-Super Bowl slot next month, in a one-hour comedy block with New Girl.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine has proven to be an unusual show rhythmically. I almost feel as if it takes me until the two-thirds point of any episode to get my brain moving at the proper speed. Inevitably, I find the last eight or 10 minutes funnier than the first 10 or 12 minutes. Weird, right?
It's a big cast that includes Andy Samberg as Detective Jake Peralta, Andre Braugher as Captain Ray Holt, Terry Crews as Sergeant Terry Jeffords, Melissa Fumero as Detective Amy Santiago, Joe Lo Truglio as Detective Charles Boyle, Stephanie Beatriz as Detective Rosa Diaz and Chelsea Peretti as Gina Linetti. And with amusing bit players such as a couple of otherwise useless coffee experts, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is trying to force-feed us a 30 Rock vibe.
But sometimes it's a bit crowded and rushed. I understand the pacing has to be brisk. What's left of a sitcom audience in 2014 wouldn't settle for anything slow. I guess the goal would be tight and bright, rather than frantic.
One character who makes me chuckle consistently is Beatriz's Det. Diaz, who is so hard-nosed and serious that in a recent episode her co-workers went to great lengths to see if they could get her to smile, because it's something they never had observed. The chip on Diaz's shoulder is the size of Brooklyn itself.
I also like Crews' Sgt. Jeffords, who is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder to the point that he's half-scaredy-cat, half-ticking time bomb. His most recent mental-health checkup allowed Peretti's Linetti to reassure him that ďpsychologists are just people who weren't smart enough to be psychics.Ē
If Brooklyn Nine-Nine has a polarizing character it's probably Samberg's Det. Peralta. He certainly is the most juvenile of the bunch, even in this heightened world. Now, I think Samberg is funny, as I did through his many years on Saturday Night Live. But my eyes are open to the notion that some viewers might find Det. Peralta more irritating than amusing. Comedy is so personal.
In the episode coming up, Det. Peralta strikes a deal with an arrested man named Doug Judy, played by Craig Robinson, who is best known as Darryl on The Office. Plus, the body-cast-restricted Det. Boyle returns to work after being, well, shot in the butt.
Speaking of shots, airing Brooklyn Nine-Nine after the Super Bowl is a shot in the dark. But hey, sometimes long-shots win big games.