While the fall turned into winter and Brooklyn Nine-Nine began to hit its first season stride, something amazing happened with the show. No, not the full season pickup and the post-Super Bowl episode announcement that happened back in October, though that is the type of amazing worthy of Boyle’s newsletters. No, the show got nominated for two Golden Globe awards, one for Best Series – Musical Or Comedy and Best Performance of an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy for Andy Samberg. I think it should have been for Andre Braugher or that Terry Crews should have gotten a supporting actor nomination, but I’ll take what I can get.
I know that most people consider the Golden Globes a joke compared to the Oscars or Emmys, but think about it. How rare is it that a freshman show that isn’t associated with HBO or Showtime get nominations at shows like this? Parks and Recreation didn’t even get a nomination in the Best Series – Musical Or Comedy until this year!
So what’s so special about Brooklyn Nine-Nine that it’s already getting Golden Globe nominations?
I think part of it that Michael Schur definitely learned from the mistakes learned from the first season of Parks and Recreation. The characters were immediately defined and likeable, and we already see progress the characters are making.
But also, it’s just truly funny, and the set of episodes since ‘The Vulture’ prove it.
It’s super rare that a show gets to cover all of the major year end holidays in the first season, but Brookyln Nine-Nine managed to do so in such a way that makes me want them to do all the holidays all the time. They were heartfelt and extremely funny in ways that were appropriate and balanced for each holiday. ‘Halloween’ had costumes and mischief (which I talked a little bit about in my Favorite Halloween Episodes post), ‘Thanksgiving’ was all about coming together as a family and food, and ‘Christmas’ was about being together and helping each other out. For Santiago throwing a Halloween party for Boyle to apologize for being a grouch, there was Peralta breaking up costumers dressed as Hillary Clinton and Kim Jong Un. For Boyle creating a takeout Thanksgiving meal and Peralta showing his gratefulness for his family at the 99, there was Santiago failing at cooking and Jeffords being the ultimate kind of hangry. For Holt and Peralta rallying the team to find the perp sending Holt death threats, there was hitting Santa in the ‘nads and Team Pop N Lock! ‘Christmas’ also featured the plot developments of Boyle taking a bullet in the butt to protect Diaz and Jeffords coming back into active duty after some slight manipulation from Gina in the middle of his psychological assessment. We’ll see where it takes the show in the second half of the season.
Of course, since not all days in November and December are holidays, the team still had some regular weird cases to deal with. The episode ’48 Hours’ was an episode filmed earlier in the season that was bumped later and it kind of shows. However, I still adored the episode for seeing a sleep deprived 99, Kid Cudi being a sarcastic perp, Peralta trying to annoy an answer out of him, and Holt and Jeffords bonding over a lack of sleep and family troubles. Have I mentioned how much I love Terry Crews for playing such a sensitive character? Because Jeffords is kind of perfect.
‘Old School’ and ‘Sal’s Pizza’ were much better in quality in terms of comedy and character development. ‘Old School’ gives the audience an insight to Peralta’s old school cop worship as Stacy Keach, the writer of his favorite childhood book, is assigned to follow him for a day to compare the cops of now and then. Peralta strives to make himself look cool for Keach, but it ultimately comes back to bite him in the ass with his childhood nickname of “Pineapples” and when Keach tries to use his drunken complaints about the 99 in his article. He eventually gets Keach to retract the statements, but gets them thrown right back in after he punches Keach. Well, for good reason: Peralta punches Keach because he calls Holt a “homo.” Which I doubt Peralta would have done at the beginning of the season, so how’s that for character development?
There’s also a subplot about Boyle and Jeffords trying to help Diaz present herself better on the stand to… varying results. It’s really hard to make Diaz look pleasant unless she’s imagining beating the prosecutor, which is perfect for her.
‘Sal’s Pizza’ was my favorite of the non-holiday set on several levels. First was for the rivalry between the police and the fire department lead by Fire Marshall Boone (Patton Oswalt) that I’m told is very accurate for New York and the second was for Boyle’s newsletter and obsession with all the pizzerias in Brooklyn. However, my favorite parts of the episode were the subplots. Jeffords becomes determined to find an IT person for the department after a hacker exposes the search histories of everyone in the department. Holt assigns Gina to help with the interviews, which leads to her being super obnoxious and annoying while Jeffords tries to give serious questions. However, she reveals that she was doing this to see how the potential IT people would react to the various idiosyncracies of the department. Which is… kind of brilliant and seals the deal that Gina is indeed an evil, evil genius. And it ends with Jeffords crushing a magic 8 ball to make a point to their new hire, who ends up being the hacker who broke into their system in the first place.
The subplot that really sealed the deal of why this show is way more awesome than any other show currently on Fox (except for maybe Bob’s Burgers) is the one Santiago and Diaz share. Santiago finds out that Diaz got a job offer to be a captain at a precinct in a small New Jersey town. This immediately makes super competitive Santiago passive agressive towards Diaz for turning down a job she would love to have. Diaz drags her to the precinct to show her how boring the job would be. This alone wouldn’t have made it very interesting, but the best part was the discussion they had in the car on the way back. Santiago talks about how competitive she can be from her childhood of being the only girl among her seven brothers, and Diaz reminds her that in a department full of dudes, they really can’t afford to be competitive with each other. Then the best line I’ve ever heard on a cop show happens:
Santiago: You’re saying you have my back?
Diaz: Yeah, I got your back.
So yeah, not only has this show declared that they’re not going to use stereotypes for their two very different Latina characters in order to make them funny, they’re not going to make them compete with each other? Thank you, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, for having a writing staff that isn’t about the asshole humor life.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine returns to Fox tonight at 8:30 EST/7:30 CST with ‘Pontiac Bandit.’ If the preview clips have been any indicator, the second half of the season is going to be even more excellent.