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Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Undercover” Review (2×01)

28 Sep

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Episode 2.01 - Undercover - Promotional Photo

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is such a well-realized show, one that effectively set up its various character dynamics in season one and continues to develop them with ease and laughter. As we head into season 2, we know where everyone’s at, and all the character beats that are hit are completely in line with what we know about the characters. The comedy derives not from cheap gags, but rather from the little quirks we’re familiar with or from the relationships we’ve seen.

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Charges and Specs” Review (1×22)

26 Mar

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine burst onto the scene last fall as TV’s best new comedy, and over the course of the season, it’s grown into a hilarious and well-crafted show with interesting characters and stellar writing. Tonight’s season finale neatly wraps up the season-long arcs and previews what should be a fantastic season 2.

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Christmas” Review (1×11)

3 Dec

brooklyn-nine-nine-christmas-andy-samberg-andre-braugher-foxWell, it’s the last Brooklyn Nine-Nine until January, and it’s naturally a Christmas episode; smartly, though, it forgoes the festivities in favor of a narrower character focus. I think the idea of younger Holt=present Jake is really interesting, and it helps explain why Holt feels the need to mentor him and why it’s working. It’s not just Holt teaching Peralta how to be a better cop, but also how to avoid the mistakes he made during his own youth. This is why the character work worked for me here; although we see some of Peralta’s more annoying tendencies, there’s a subtle aspect to their relationship that keeps it grounded. Jake is impulsive, but he’s persistent and he genuinely cares about Holt/wants his respect, and it’s nice to see Holt’s lessons taking effect.

This relationship is like a contrast to Amy-Holt; both Amy and Peralta want to please him, but Amy tweaks her personality a bit around the captain, and Peralta doesn’t change much. In fact, Jake salivates at the thought of what to do with his power over Holt, while Amy would probably immediately acquiesce to all his demands and give up the power. There are some great dynamics going on here, and they haven’t gotten stale yet because the show is able to inject growth and humor throughout.

Speaking of humor, although the episode isn’t quite the ensemble showcase last week’s was, it still provides some hilarious moments: Terry’s psych evaluation (“Kittens. Cute. Calm. False sense of security. Gun, die.”), the “tush vs. touché” discussion, and Holt popping and locking, to name a few. The case itself is fairly entertaining, but although I do think Boyle getting shot in the butt is funny, it feels a bit easy for an ending. Still, that final scene is nice and sappy; the show’s earned sap, and it’s a great way to send these characters out for now.

GRADE: B+

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-“…I smell like Sandalwood.” “THAT’S what that is!”

-The Rosa subplot is sweet.

-“A Safe House-watching safe house is a safe, safe house.”

-“The next time someone threatens to kill me, I’ll come straight to you.” “Thank you, sir, I can’t wait.”

-More flashbacks, please.

-“That’s right. Boom. Just kicked Santa in the testicles.”

-“It’s me, Charles, from work!”

-“Psychologists are just people who weren’t smart enough to be psychics.”

Credit to FOX and Brooklyn Nine-Nine for all pictures. I own nothing.

Tuesday Comedy Roundup-New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine

16 Oct

627-5NEW GIRL, “THE BOX” (3×05)

Nick Miller is a guy with not much direction in his life, and this episode nicely reflects this idea; he avoids his bills, he doesn’t really understand how finances work, and he wants to play the saxophone in an alley while Jess walks by in a mini skirt, with a gem-studded purse. We’re starting to see signs of focus from him, but it still takes Jess a while to get him to do so. I’m glad she doesn’t set a quota here, as Nick isn’t the kind of person that’s going to live up to it; instead, the storyline culminates in a sweet, anti-bank “protest” at the end of the episode.

In addition to this, we have Schmidt trying to become a good person. I do like that Jess comes right out and states Schmidt’s transgression, and it helps motivate him to help a biker in need. Yet, as expected, the storyline doesn’t do much for him, but it’s a step in the right direction. The C-plot involves Winston, who strangely disappears for much of the episode; however, the final tag is a fantastic gag involving a candelabra and genies.

GRADE: B+

627-7BROOKLYN NINE-NINE, “The Vulture” (1×05)

Brooklyn Nine-Nine really seems to be finding itself and its characters, and its unique voice is now shining through, illuminating one of the best new shows of the year. This particular episode involves “The Vulture” (also known as Dennis Duffy from 30 Rock), a cop who swoops in and steals cases; Peralta takes offense to this and tries to vulture his own case. The episode does a nice job highlighting the virtues of having such a wonderful cast; Peralta’s team plays nicely off each other, especially with a running gag in regards to women having hairdryers in their purses.

In our B-plot, we have the wonderful trio of Braugher/Peretti/Crews, three actors whose characters shouldn’t work together, but do. They highlight each others’ differences, and each shines in a sweet storyline, one in which Holt just wants to help his friend.

Ultimately, the gears are fully oiled and running for this show, and hopefully we see some upticks in the ratings soon.

GRADE: B+

Credit to FOX, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and New Girl for all pictures. I own nothing.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Pilot” Review (1×01)

18 Sep

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s pilot is one of the most enjoyable sitcom pilots I’ve seen in a while. It’s not laugh out loud funny, but it’s enough to put a smile on your face all the way through (especially after the horrid “Dads”). The series revolves around Jake Peralta, the best detective in the Nine-Nine, but also a bit of a buffoon. However, when a new CO, Ray Holt, arrives, the atmosphere of the station changes.

Whether or not you’re a Samberg fan, there’s no denying that he’s reined in his character enough to seem human. He still has that same SNL slapstick humor going, but he’s toned it down just enough to play a sitcom lead. An essential part of that is Braugher’s character, a no nonsense person that can still dish it out as good as he can take it. I love the fact that he’s aware of his sense of humor, and I love the fact that the show doesn’t go down the standard “He’s serious but he’s unaware he’s funny!” trope that we see all too much. In addition, I’m pleasantly surprised with the revelation about his homosexuality. It’s not something that defines him, and it’s something that’s never tackled with enough nuance in other sitcoms. However, Schur and co. already seem to have a good handle on his character.

In the background, we have Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio, who I still find funny), Rosa Diaz, and Amy Santiago. The show has built up a great supporting cast, and while the Samberg-Braugher relationship is the focus, I’d love to see the show touch on the interactions amongst the other players.

Grade: B

Other thoughts:

-The reveal of the first clue (Newspaper headline reading “NYPD Appoints Openly Gay Man As Captain”) is hilarious, and an inversion of the standard sitcom joke construction.

-“They have adorable chubby cheeks.” Andre Braugher’s delivery of that line is amazing.

-“I will tell you on six conditions. Number one: Let me use your office to practice my dance moves. Second…”

-“It’s like a white noise machine.” “Okay, first of all, that’s racist.”

-This is a great cast.

Credit to FOX and Brooklyn Nine-Nine for all pictures. I own nothing.

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