I’ll admit, I was skeptical at first. Can Andy Samberg hold his own as a main character week after week? By the end of his SNL career, he was mostly just rapping in digital shorts. Can he show depth and range? Will he just be Andy Samberg-ing all over the place? Would it even be a bad thing if he was?
It seemed at first glance like Brooklyn Nine-Nine might just be a weak attempt by a network to snag a popular SNL alum and center a show around him without really developing a clever concept or good writing.
But, my friends, I was wrong. I was oh, so wrong.
After seeing a few people whose opinions I trust say that the show was worth watching, I decided to give it a shot…and ended up binge-watching all of the episodes thus far.
Here are five reasons you should be watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine, if you’re not already:
1) An unpredictable ensemble cast. The cast is diverse, both in terms of characters and race, and none of it feels forced or stereotyped. The characters’ personalities are not typical sitcom characters. You can’t put them in a category in your brain and write them off. You wouldn’t be able to tell just by looking at them what their quirks or character traits would be. It’s fun and interesting to watch them interact, because you don’t yet know what to expect. I also appreciate that they don’t make jokes with a broad stroke. Sure, there are two Latina women, two black men, and the police chief happens to be gay. But none of those things end up being that character’s schtick or the center of the joke. It gives the show some complexity and depth, which I think makes it more entertaining.
2) Santiago’s goodie-two-shoes, straight-laced personality. Amy Santiago is clearly the female counterpart to Andy Samberg’s Jake Peralta, but rather than being the typical “hot” girl, Santiago is more concerned with rules and sucking up to the chief. She’s constantly picked on for being a nerd, and I love the positioning of her character. It was unexpected and makes for fantastic interactions with the other characters.
3) It’s funny. This should be a given, if I’m recommending it, but I mean it. It’s clever and witty, and you won’t necessarily see the jokes coming. It’s still Andy Samberg—so you won’t be disappointed if you’re a fan of his goofy humor—but it’s not something you’ve already seen 100 times.
4) The police precinct setting. There’s actually an element of intrigue in many of the episodes because it takes place in a police precinct. The cases are a secondary component of the show, of course, but I enjoy the hint of added mystery. I think the setting also makes the show unique. A police-based comedy could be a bit cheesy, but they have the right cast and writers. It’s fun to see the same type of coworker interactions play out among detectives that you could also easily see in an office building.
5) You will be supporting quality, clever shows. It seems like all the quality comedies nowadays (allow me to push up my bifocals and grab my cane) are constantly in danger of being canceled. While you probably won’t affect Nielsen ratings regardless, since you’re going to watch it on Hulu or DVR, talking about it online or at least giving Hulu the information that you enjoy watching it probably helps. So this is my plea to help good shows stay on the air. Luckily this is Fox, and New Girl & Mindy Project are still on the air, so I have high hopes. But still. Support it.
Have you seen Brooklyn Nine Nine? Who’s your favorite character so far?