Brooklyn Nine-Nine is one of the best shows on television right now. Its consistent quality over the past five seasons and over 100 episodes has centered on the show’s commitment to diversity, the honest portrayal of LGBTQ characters, the respect it treats its female characters, and the subversion of common television tropes.
As the Wrap pointed out: “Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine is exactly the kind of show everyone says they want. It’s smart — smart enough for the most discriminating comedy nerds — but also inclusive in every way. It has a diverse cast, celebrates blue-collar workers, and has a sweet, goofy sensibility.”
The news that this season may be the last has upset many fans.
every year they threaten to get brooklyn nine-nine off the air and so every year I think about this line pic.twitter.com/JeWHqBa6UG
— caro îmwe (@carxlinv) March 15, 2018
In hopes that the network executives will let Brooklyn Nine-Nine continue on, we’ve put together what we think makes the strongest case (pun intended) for renewing this magical show.
Let’s start with the obvious: This show is beautifully diverse. The characters’ identities are, as Mic points out, “never used as punchlines: they are simply a part of who they are.” While ostensibly focusing on Andy Samberg’s character, Jake Peralta, the show is a true ensemble comedy that showcases all the characters and finds humor in their personalities and life, not their identities.
As Samberg said of the show, “The worst kind of comedy, the worst kind of stand-up to me is when they talk about what you’re looking at — ‘I’m Jewish’ or ‘I’m wearing glasses. You want to hear jokes about life and things you can relate to. I don’t think this show will ever go out of its way to make comments in that regard.”
When Stephanie Beatriz (who plays Rosa Diaz) found out that Melissa Fumero (who plays Amy Santiago) was cast before her, she gave up hope that she was going to get on the show. As she told Latina.com, “I felt my guts roll up into my throat and try to escape out of my mouth. Omgomgomgomg that’s it then. There’s no way in hell a major network is gonna cast two Latina actresses in such a tight ensemble show I AM SCREWED.” Yet: Beatriz was cast alongside Fumero. Two Latina leads was not something the show’s creators shied away from.
The two highest ranking officers on the show are black men. And the captain (who is played by none other Andre Braugher), is a black gay man. This isn’t the focus of his character — rather, it’s one of his many layers.
When Rosa Diaz comes out as bisexual in the 99th episode, fans rejoiced. Beatriz, who plays Rosa, told Variety, “I was so excited about it because as somebody who identifies as bi — queer — I just had nothing like that when I was growing up.” And now, there are rumors Gina Rodriguez was cast to play Rosa’s girlfriend.
— Gina Rodriguez (@HereIsGina) January 25, 2018
This show is feminist, plain and simple, in ways that many sitcoms have yet to embrace. Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) is consistently supportive of his female co-workers and aware of his male privilege.
And the female characters shine. As Kat George argues in her fantastic essay ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Deserves Applause For Refusing To Get Cheap Laughs From Gender Stereotypes, “When its women show their vulnerability, it’s not strictly because they’re women. They’re vulnerable because they’re human, just as any of Nine-Nine’s male characters are. The women aren’t portrayed as being in petty competition with one another or absorbed by romantic pursuits. And they’re rewarded for their endeavors based on merit rather than gender.”
One: the way that romantic relationships are dealt with. They show healthy relationships, moving at normal paces, and oh do we LOVE a good slow-burning romance with wonderful payoff.
Two: This article could go on and on about the way the show has navigated tricky waters as a workplace sitcom about detectives — but we’re just going to focus on the best example — the episode that addressed police brutality. “Moo Moo,” Season 4 Episode 16, tackled racist cops. The premise of the episode is Terry Jeffords (Terry Crews) is out at night looking for his daughter’s blanket, and a cop stops him. Before Terry can explain himself, the cop has already drawn his gun and shouts at Terry to kneel on the ground.
At the end of the episode, grappling with what to do, Terry tells Captain Holt, “When I got stopped the other day, I wasn’t a cop. I wasn’t a guy who lived in a neighborhood looking for his daughter’s toy. I was a black man, a dangerous black man. That’s all he could see, a threat.”
The episode was widely hailed as one of the series’ best, particularly because, as Paste Magazine writes, “Dan Goor and Michael Schur didn’t conceive [Brooklyn Nine-Nine] for the purpose of addressing the social and political ills that plague American society.” Essentially: Even though it isn’t a show that “deals” with issues, it still finds ways to talk about issues. As GQ put it: “Few shows have found their groove as well as Brooklyn Nine-Nine has, and that groove is ‘Big Floppy Golden Retriever of Comedy That Also Sometimes Talks About the Issues.'”
Three: The police work isn’t the center of the show, but is still a key part of it. Not much more to say about this, other than each episode is genuinely engaging and the multi-episode plots work.
From the deadpan humor of Captain Holt (Andre Braugher) to the amazing one-liners of Gina Linetti (played by Chelsea Peretti) to the physical comedy of Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Trugilo)… basically “the cast of Brooklyn Nine-Nine sings in just about every mode of funny, pivoting from slapstick goofery to witty barbs and smart character-based gags effortlessly.”
And, as the New York Times puts it, “Despite its often childish gags, there’s a core of generosity and kindness in the show’s antics that makes the characters and relationships feel real and even grown-up.” What makes the show funny is the depth of the relationships between characters.
And the fans want Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Remember when Olympian Red Gerard overslept after a late night of Netflix and then won gold? He was watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
brooklyn nine nine deserves to be renewed for it's powerful presence on television that we need right now. it highlights struggles for particular groups in society, promotes healthy relationships and the lead character is a dorky feminist. watch it and please, fox, renew it.
— paige loves fatma (@frenchtuckdiaz) March 15, 2018
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is an important part of the pop culture landscape that fans adore. End of story.
(But please, network executives, don’t let this season be the end of Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s story.)