TV Guilty Pleasures: Brooklyn Nine-Nine

My housemates and I, like many others I am sure, tends to go through phases of watching one TV show religiously. We watch it start to finish – and maybe back again – in a matter of a couple weeks. There have been many shows, but without a doubt one of my favourites has been the recurring residency of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. And yes, recurring. We have watched it from start to finish at least twice, and often play the best episodes again when we cannot think of anything else to watch, or do not want anything else to watch. I have had a lot of exposure to this show, and has it lost its magic? Not even a little bit. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is one of those shows that can make me laugh even on the fifth time watching the same episode and hearing the same gags. I am deeply invested in all of the central characters’ story lines and I am honestly dreading the day the show ends or takes a turn for the worst. Now, I will admit that I sometimes play the show in the background when I am trying to work, or even trying to fall asleep, but far from this being symptomatic of the show starting to bore me it is demonstrative of my steadfast love for it. I have seen it so many times that it has taken on a sense of comforting familiarity that I find genuinely conducive to relaxation or concentration. It has the same quality for me that Friends had, or still has, for many people my age; you can enjoy its hilarity with a group of friends, by yourself or have it on in the background and feel oddly secure, as if you are in the company of the characters.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is that for me. This is undoubtedly down to the brilliantly well written and performed characters that flesh out the world of the 99th precinct. The writers always stay true to each role, never making them say anything that feels out of character, and this immerses viewers further into the action and the comedy. The fact that each character has such a distinct voice and set of mannerisms means that, despite them sometimes bordering on slapstick, they all still feel real and believable. All of the central characters feel integral to the show, and if any of them were to leave it feels like the whole thing would fall apart – much how the departure of Chevy Chase, and then Donald Glover, led to the demise of Community. While you could say that the show’s huge dependency on each and every single one of its characters could possibly be a threat to its continued success, it is also the thing that drives the show and makes it so watchable. If you are a Creative Writing student like me then the phrase ‘Character is Action’ will be a familiar one to you. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is the show that has crystallised that saying for me, and proven it to be true.


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January 2022
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