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Why You Should Start Watching: Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Why You Should Start Watching: Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Created by Daniel J. Goor and Michael Schur
Returns Sunday, September 27th at 8:30 pm (ET) on Fox

The Premise: The series focuses on the trials and tribulations of the Nine-Nine police precinct in New York City, following a cast of comedy stalwarts led by Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher.

Where We Are: Season three begins this fall; 45 episodes have already aired

What You Need To Know: The crew of the Nine-Nine division includes Detective Jake Peralta, a good detective who is not so good with other aspects of his life, who works alongside Detective Amy Santiago, a rigid, meticulous law enforcement official who seeks validation unabashedly, as well as Detective Rosa Diaz, a gruff, stand-offish individual who nonetheless can be a very supportive friend when needed, Detective Charles Boyle, a food connoisseur and self-admitted people pleaser, and Sergeant Terry Jeffords, a tough but fair captain who’s devoted to his wife and twin kids, but also has what it takes to be a good police officer and leader. They’re all led by Captain Raymond Holt, a gay black man who has gotten his own precinct for the first time in his career, and who is determined to see it succeed while also helping his staff reach their full potential. Working alongside him is Gina Linetti, a dance and celebrity-obsessed administrator who’s always ready to make sure nobody’s ego gets too big.

Where We Left Off: Holt’s longtime feud with his arch-nemesis Wuntch, played for comic effect for much of the season, turned serious, as Holt discovered Wuntch intended to use the success of the Nine-Nine precinct against him, forcing him to take a promotion that would put him behind a desk and away from the precinct. The Nine-Nine team, shaken by the loss of the Captain they had all grown close to, promised to treat his replacement fairly, while Gina resigned to follow Holt. Amy and Jake, meanwhile, followed through on two seasons’ worth of sexual tension by kissing each other.

Why You Should Start Watching: The primary strength of Brooklyn Nine-Nine has grown to be the characters and the relationships they have with each other, making this a very easy series to jump into mid-stream. The characters on Brooklyn Nine-Nine are a very diverse group, both demographically and personality-wise, with a group of talented performers and writers at the helm ensuring that there’s at least one character that each viewer will find hilarious and identify with.

Speaking of the cast, while Andy Samberg can be loosely said to be the show’s lead, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is filled to the brim with strong comedic talent, all of whom get their turn in the spotlight. Terry Crews, Chelsea Peretti, and Joe Lo Truglio have all proven their comedic capabilities in other projects and here get characters worthy of their skills, as well as a show where their excellent work is not wasted. Melissa Fumero and Stephanie Beatriz, while being new comedic discoveries of the series, more than hold their own as well, taking characters who could have been one-dimensional cliches in other shows and elevating them, alongside strong writing, with performances that put them in contention as the episode’s highlight in any given week. Andre Braugher, however, often steals the show. Using his deadpan delivery to fantastic effect, Braugher works wonderfully in the show’s universe, giving no indication that his career has consisted mostly of dramatic roles.

The show’s always been able to utilise guest stars well, be it Marc Evan Jackson, Chris Parnell, Eva Longoria, Garret Dillahunt, Craig Robinson, or Marilu Henner, among others. With the likes of Bill Hader set to make appearances in the upcoming season, this is bound to continue, adding an extra layer of enjoyment for new viewers as well as veteran watchers.

What You Should Watch Beforehand: While the plotlines are easy to catch up on and are never really emphasised on the show, here are a few episodes that display how well this cast and these characters work with each other.

Season 1, Episode 6, “Halloween”: The first Brooklyn Nine-Nine episode to celebrate the October 31st occasion, this first season outing kicked off what is poised to become an annual set of dares between Captain Holt and Peralta, and is an excellent showcase of how well the characters come together.

Season 1, Episode 9, “Sal’s Pizza”: This early season one episode displays just how quickly this show hit the ground running, as it not only focuses on how Santiago and Diaz relate to each other, but also highlights Gina’s strengths in understanding people.

Season 2, Episode 4, “Halloween II”: The second entry into the Halloween Dare category not only illustrates just how much Captain Holt has endeared himself to the crew at the Nine-Nine precinct, it also lets the team work together and displays their camaraderie in a different way from the first entry, while also highlighting the Peralta-Boyle friendship.

Season 2, Episode 10, “The Pontiac Bandit Returns”: While this is the second go-around for Craig Robinson’s Doug Judy, in many ways it’s the more amusing one. With the detectives, especially Peralta, unaware of Judy’s status as a notorious car thief in his first outing, this episode displays just how well Judy and Peralta click despite their differences, while also giving Robinson and Beatriz chances to shine.