Tuesday Comedy Roundup: Brooklyn Nine-Nine 1.02, The Goldbergs 1.01, New Girl 3.02, The Mindy Project 2.02

Brooklyn Nine Nine Ep 1.02 "The Tagger"

Brooklyn Nine-Nine, 
Season 1, Episode 2, “The Tagger”
Directed by Craig Zisk
Written by Norm Hiscock
Airs Tuesdays at 8:30pm EST on FOX

This week’s episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine flows even better than last week’s pilot, and even suggests a format for the show. The new comedy grows more promising as the crime this week provides even more entertainment than last week’s. Right from the beginning of the pilot, it’s clear that the driving force of the show is going to be the disagreements between Detective Jake Peralta and Captain Ray Holt, paired with the competitiveness between Jake and Amy. “The Tagger” focuses on the aftermath of the pilot as Jake is forced to spend a lot more time with the Captain.

Rosa is a lot less hostile towards Charles this week and it’s still unclear what her intentions actually are. As she fluctuates between interested and abrupt, amusement is provided by watching Charles (Joe Lo Truglio) act awkwardly around her. Although it is highly likely she is just messing with him, it would be interesting if her character became less one-dimensional and actually did like him. In the meantime it is great fun watching her be so hostile towards him and most people. Christina Peretti as Administrator Gina Linetti is also extremely fun to watch- her mannerisms are eerily similar to Zoe Lister-Jones on Whitney.

With roles reversing and Amy being the smug one this week, there’s a strong feeling that this is a dynamic that will switch each week. What’s surprising about “The Tagger” is the fact that Jake and the Captain become a union so early on in the show. Although he is not quite there yet, and is generally an idiot, more amusing hiccups are on the cards.


The Goldbergs, Season 1, Episode 1, “The Circle of Driving”
Directed by Seth Gordon
Written by Adam F. Goldberg
Airs Tuesdays at 9pm EST on FOX

Among the overwhelming amount of new comedies to premiere this fall, The Goldbergs seems like one of the more promising shows. There are many elements of the sitcom that are reminiscent of fantastic past comedies like Roseanne and That ’70s Show, the most notable being the similarities between Jeff Garlin and John Goodman. The premise for the show is definitely one of the more inventive among the new pilots and with a number of these new network comedies focusing on families, it’s really great to see something a little more creative being done.

Despite how exciting the premise for the show may be, the pilot itself is actually quite boring. “The Circle of Driving” is essentially an extended version of the trailer for the show, so if you’ve seen that, the pilot is not that entertaining. There aren’t many laugh out loud moments, but it does succeed in introducing the characters clearly, something a number of pilots have struggled to do. By the end of the pilot we get a feel for the characters and the dynamic between them, as well as the format of the show. We’re able to grasp some sort of idea about each character’s ideals and their motivations. As well as the running theme of family, a lot of these pilots fail to engage the same way existing comedies do. They seem to focus too much on trying to make people laugh straight away, instead of giving the audience some background for the characters. With so many great, long-running comedies already on network television, it’s seems a perfect pilot is something almost impossible to create. However, The Goldbergs‘ is one of the better ones and really shows promise.

Now we know what each member of the Goldberg family is about, hopefully the entertainment will begin.

New Girl S03E02

New Girl, Season 3, Episode 2, “Nerd”
Directed by Fred Goss
Written by Kay Cannon
Airs Tuesdays at 9pm EST on FOX

Following last week’s extremely boring season premiere, this week’s “Nerd” is a real improvement. Nick and Jess’ transition from friends to lovers is progressing nicely, and providing amusement particularly through the change in Mr. Miller. With the rest of the loft in chaos, Nick has somehow become the most sensible of the bunch. Not only is it hilarious to see him struggle with this new found responsibility, it’s also enjoyable seeing him want to do well by Jess.

New Girl is really good at getting funny guest stars and using them well, and “Nerd” does exactly that. Seeing Jess act out of character is unusual at first, but it provides Nick with the chance to be there for her and the two of them together deliver. This second episode of season three is the first to reintroduce us to one of fans’ favourite elements of the show, its flashbacks. The flashbacks in New Girl are always hilarious and here they continue to work with the present day narrative every time.

Winston gets a little bit more attention this week, but it’s still nowhere near enough. Three seasons in and the writers still do not quite know what to do with him; it’s a shame because Lamorne Morris is really funny. In the first season, there are a number of moments where Winston shines, and is able to provide laughs. It isn’t until mid-way through season two that his character development starts to decline. With traces of the intensity we first saw in season two’s “Bachelorette Party”, Winston redeems himself this week. With Daisy out of the picture, hopefully the writers will do something more creative with his character.

The Mindy Project S02E02

The Mindy Project, Season 2, Episode 2, “The Other Dr. L”
Directed by Michael Spiller
Written by Jack Burditt
Airs Tuesdays at 9:30pm EST on FOX

Following its strong season premiere last week, “The Other Dr. L” continues to move along quickly whilst keeping us somewhat entertained. Even though a lot has changed, the show stays true to Mindy, who hasn’t changed that much – the pre-title sequence scene alone proves this. She is silly and ridiculous, but good fun, and it’s extremely entertaining to see how far she will go to get things to go her way.

With Mindy struggling to remain faithful only two episodes in, it probably won’t be long until she fails completely. It’ll be interesting to see if Mindy tells Casey, or anyone, about her kiss with Dr. Paul. With James Franco now gone (will he come back at a later date?) and Anders Holm appearing less and less on the show, there need to be more distractions around or more focus on Danny and Mindy to keep the show moving. There is a lot more focus on Danny post-breakup this week, but it’s not particularly funny. The scenes he shares with his fellow bachelors fail to amuse, and are merely there just to fill the episode. It’s good that Danny is committed to moving on, and it provides hope that the sexual tension between Danny and Mindy will rise again soon. With a number of impressive and exciting guest stars coming up on the show, Kris Humphries’ cameo appearance feels misplaced, like little more than a low blow aimed at Kim Kardashian and her family.

Although this is a fairly uneven episode, it sets up things well in anticipation for next week’s installment.

– Catstello

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