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Brooklyn Nine-Nine Opens strong with 'Pilot' episode

Brooklyn Nine-Nine poster

Written by : published Thursday 19th September 2013

Brooklyn Nine-Nine Opens strong with 'Pilot' episode main image

There was some nice buzz here and there in corners on the internet that Brooklyn Nine-Nine was one of the better pilots this year. So the question is: Are the laughs plentiful in the new Andy Samberg vehicle Brooklyn Nine-Nine which premiered this Tuesday, September 17th, 2013?   I’ll let you know about the Brooklyn Nine-Nine“Pilot” but first I really need to take off this male thong, it is really riding u- okay, nope, it is totally inside me now.


Ahem. Okay, thanks for your patience on that.


So in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Samberg stars as Detective Jake Peralta, an amazingly skilled detective who is, well, a big ol’ kid. Okay, that is an understatement.  So Peralta works with Detective Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) who is desperate to prove herself, Detective Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) a kind-hearted but oafish detective, a busy-body Administrator Gina Linetti (Chelsea Peretti) and the tough as nails Detective Rose Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz) who Boyles happens to have a crush over. Things in the Nine-Nine are going well, but there is a new captain coming on-board.


Enter Captain Ray Holt (Andre Braugher) who is a no-nonsense kind of guy. He likes ties, he likes uniformity and although very distinguished when you hear Sergeant Terry Jeffords (Terry Crews), Holt, the dude who caught the disco strangler back in the 1970’s and has an air of hubris and accomplishment around him, seems to have something to prove. When Holt’s no-nonsense stlye interrupts with a bet between Santiago and Peralta, things heat up.

Never grow up. 

Usually good comedy pilots, and I again stress ‘usually’ along with the word ‘good’, are quite honestly few and far between.  While there are glimmers of hope in each pilot, usually a pilot is supposed to offer us a peak into the lives of characters and the adventure we will go with them on. Fact of the matter is though, most pilots featured ,even despite best attempts and master craftsmen behind the scripts, the characters are half-baked, and the show is half-cooked. In a way, it is a big glob of clay that is being somewhat formed and brought out in front of everyone.  Each actor, each writer, guided by the loving hands of the showrunners (sometimes with studio/network interference) craft the show into what it eventually becomes.  Even the better pilots (Go On for example) aren’t fully formed, but the meat and potatoes, the form and shape of what the clay will become is there. The finer details are worked out later and then are fully formed when the show comes out of the kiln. Sometimes it can take an entire season of a series for it to be cooked (which is usually the case), sometimes it is a few episodes. 


But it is important to note that besides the leads of a show (usually around three, in this case, Braugher, Samberg and Fumero) are the only characters really developed, everyone else is just a shadow of what they will become.  Sometimes though, a series will transcend that type of feeling.  Brooklyn Nine-Nine gives a distinct impression that every character on the show is fully formed. While this may change from episode two on, the big laughs, the fully formed characters seem there. In a way, this feels like a series introducing well-crafted characters in a show that we just happen to now be watching. And it is fantastic.


It is important to state that in terms of comedy, the show is a bit more under the surface with it’s humor.  The jokes are more “Oh that’s funny” then laugh out loud hysterics. And while it is important to praise the writing, it is important to praise the acting.


And I’m not sure how to say this without owning up to it, but yeah, I’m a d*ck.  I continue to be amazed and and shocked that I truly appreciate the talent that is Andre Braugher.  So much so that I re-posted the link of his name to IMDB to his credits. See? Andre Braugher. I’ll say it again: Andre Braugher, Andre Braugher, Andre Braugher, and Andre Braugher.

Okay, you’re going, “Nitro, bud, why are you a dick?”


Simply put, when I grew up and was not 100% aware of shows, etc, I would get glimpses of Braugher on television and or movies, and his general impression of a guy, a dude who carried himself in a quiet anger type of way.  He was to me, an actor who played a consummate jerk, or, well, let’s be real here, an asshole.  By the time I started seeing him pop-up regularly in things, being aware of Braugher officially I had already casted him forever as an actor who couldn’t play anything but the asshole role, despite his long career doing a multitude of character types. I mean, come on, anyone remember him in City of Angels right away? 


Heck, Rise of the Silver Surfer Braugher was the epitome of the type of character I always remember him playing. And when Ray Romano was going to do a new show with the dude from Quantum Leap, I was beyond estatic! But there was that guy who plays assholes. Ugh. Not him again. And then I watched Men of a Certain Age. And I’ll gladly eat my hat on this one because Braugher was one of my favorite characters in the entire show. And he made me completely begin to realize I had pigenon holed him into a type of role that my childhood may or may not have initiated. Since then, I would see Braugher show up here and there in older or new projects and each one I am again shocked.  I am shocked that I was a douchebag about the whole type of actor he was, what range he had. 


I won’t lie, the twist at the end of “Pilot” regarding his character is one that I won’t spoil here, but it is quite good, and you can see a nice mad something flash in Braugher’s eyes from the moment the twist is revealed, and you can tell he revels in it; he is having fun. And that goes into what makes Brooklyn Nine-Nine great too is that you can tell that sincerely every actor is having fun; they are having a blast! That kind of energy seeps through the performance from their words on their script pages to our earholes and it translates the good writing and smart direction and performances into something that is fun for us viewers too.


Brooklyn Nine-Nine was a pilot I was not at all looking forward to. But the show quickly started the process of winning me over by the first moment Samberg started making weird voices with a nanny-cam-styled Teddy Bear and sealed the deal with Braugher catches him wearing a thong during a back prank. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a great show with a wonderful cast headed up by the genius of Samberg and Braugher and delivers on something that a lot of comedy pilots don’t usually do, and that is give the impression of a well formed show. And that… is delightful.


Yes, even more than a cup of ice cream with a tiny little spoon.


Brooklyn Nine-Nine airs Tuesdays at 8:30PM ET/PT on FOX.

About the author goodbadgeeky


Nick ‘Nitro’ Arganbright has an extreme love for a good story, whether it be in film, tv, video games, comic books, music or more and it shows in each article and podcast he produced. The titular podcast he produces is called The Good The Bad & The Geeky with co-hosts Jon Bettin and Nathan ‘DJ Meat’ Haley. The podcast has helped him make a few contacts within in the industry which he hopes to use to entertain and inform readers of his reviews on Examiner.com and The TV King, offering an average joe opinion that is often overlooked in major print and online publications. If you’d like to e-mail him, please do so at [email protected] or you can tweet him on twitter at @goodbadgeeky.

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