“The Slump” – Brooklyn Nine Nine

Screen Shot 2013-10-05 at 7.10.13 PMWe’re not sure Brooklyn Nine Nine has quite hit its stride yet. While “The Slump” was, admittedly, far funnier than last week’s “The Tagger” (closer in tone to the pilot), we feel as though it’s still suffering from a certain unevenness and lack of direction.

We’re beginning to feel as though the writers are trying to position it less as a sitcom and more as a comment on humanity. Peralta’s weekly faux pas and moments of idiocy may be the drive in the story – his clashes with Chief Holt are the central arc – but we feel as though they’re the least interesting part of it, and are supposed to be the least interesting part of it. They’re the reason there is a show, but they’re not the show.

Peralta’s strand this week, in which he hit a slump in his freakishly good detecting, was funny as hell (at times), but drily unentertaining. Santiago, Diaz and Gina, on the other hand Continue reading

“The Tagger” – Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Screen Shot 2013-09-29 at 1.51.05 PMAnd, already, the slackening-off starts. This second episode of Andy Samberg’s new comedy vehicle exhibited a dramatic lessening in humor since last week’s pilot. The laughs were more infrequent, the potential slightly lower. And yet we haven’t given up hope. A less-funny-than-last-week episode is still a damn-sight-funnier-than-much-else-on-offer episode. And there were a lot of situations and one-liners that gave us hope that last week’s was the norm.

A lot of what we loved about the first episode was still present here – the back-and-forth between Boyle and Diaz, the courage to be serious in a comedy, the occasional reminders of why McGinley was Peralta’s favorite captain, Peralta’s dual-personality as frat-boy idiot and exceptional detective (often appearing simultaneously to bizarre but excellent effect) – and, if the humor was slightly more lacking, that only means that Brooklyn Nine-Nine is still trying to find its footing. We still have faith in this show, although that’s best described as blind faith, now. We’re still holding Parks and Recreation as its metric. If it rose to even a 10th of Parks and Rec’s quality, it would be worth watching. So, for now, it still is. – K

Quoteworthy: “If I have to do things his way, I’m going to do them my way.” – Peralta

“Pilot” – Brooklyn Nine Nine

Screen Shot 2013-09-21 at 7.36.52 PMWe wouldn’t be the first reviewers to say that Brooklyn Nine-Nine is the best new comedy of this new season, but we will be slightly more complimentary than most. Where others have positioned the Andy Samberg vehicle as the best bad show of the season, we’re prepared to say that it’s one of the best good shows. And here’s why we love it:

First and foremost, its pedigree. Brooklyn Nine-Nine comes from the writers/producers of Parks and Recreation, an NBC classic that has never failed to bring the laughs. While the first season was, perhaps, a little more skimpy with the hilarity, that only goes to show how very extensive Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s potential is. If it’s this funny now, imagine what it will be like a few weeks from now. A few months.

Its humor. Though it remains to be seen if the show can maintain its humor into a second episode, let alone sustain it for a full season, it has, so far, been of the utmost quality. It’s situationally funny, it’s facially hilarious, but it is hard to pin down any one line that makes you laugh. But you don’t have to. It’s not all about the jokes (though it’s one-liner game is fairly solid).

Its plot. Few comedy shows worry too much about overarching plot, at least not straight out the gate. From the start, we can see that continuous threads are going to be hugely important – the competition between Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg, Saturday Night Live) and Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero, One Life to Live, Gossip Girl) to see who can get the most arrests (if Santiago wins, Peralta has to give her his car. If he wins, she has to go on a date with him); the clashes between Peralta and CO Ray Holt (Andre Braugher, Law & Order: SVU, Salt); how Continue reading