Why NBC was totally right to save Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Last week the great American TV Gods gave us quite the scare, as Fox decided to cancel Brooklyn Nine-Nine. BROOKLYN NINE-NINE. It’s only the best sitcom of the last ten years.

Thankfully, after a level of internet outcry that’s usually reserved for someone saying something a bit inappropriate and stupid, those lovely people at NBC decided to pick up season six.

And oh, they were right to. Oh, they were so very right to. Why? Let me go full Boyle and explain.

The characters

I’ve only got one issue with Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and it is thus; it is impossible to pick a favourite character, for they are all truly, truly magnificent. I’ve tried to choose many times and all that’s happened is that I flit between them wildly and then need to go for a lie down.

Most sitcoms make it pretty easy to pick your favourites – despite its fantastic supporting case, Spaced is really all about Daisy and Tim – or the villians of the piece (here’s looking at you, Ross Geller). But Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a true ensemble. Take away any of them and it wouldn’t be as good. Which probably explains the palpitations I got when I briefly thought Gina might not come back from maternity leave.

And rather than playing them for cheap laughs, Brooklyn Nine-Nine bloody loves all its characters. Even the apparently disgusting Hitchock and Scully. It’s hard to love men that lazy and inept, but Brooklyn Nine-Nine manages it.

The issues

When I hear that a TV show is going to try and engage with the important issues of the day, I have the same reaction that I used to have to someone whipping out an acoustic guitar at a party. Do they really have to? It’s going to be a bit crap, isn’t it? And then we’re all going to have to applaud them anyway even though it made us want to rip our ears off.

Not Nine-Nine, though. Nine Nine is the equivalent of discovering that the guy with the acoustic guitar is actually Bob Dylan. Except quite a bit funnier. It’s dealt with racial profiling, and homophobia, and coming out to your parents, and a whole lot more besides. And it’s done it without making me want to die even once.

Boyle and Diaz

In this era of enraged incels, Brooklyn Nine-Nine did what literally no other show I can think of did; it had a man go after a girl, fail to get her, and then have him continue to treat her with dignity and respect, rather than a big helping of rage and bitterness.

Or, if you take it to a basic level, treat her like a human, rather than a walking vagina who owed him sex. It shouldn’t be groundbreaking, but it is.

The cold opens

If there’s one thing I believe, it’s that the world needs more silliness. And clearly the writers of Brooklyn Nine-Nine believe the same thing, for their cold opens bring a whole new level of silliness to the show.

Destroying stinking shoes with explosives and then discovering that the explosion only makes the smell worse? Done it. Accidentally setting a vending machine on fire? Yeah, that too. Fancy dress hijinks and linguistic japes? Oh yes.

Not much makes me spit my tea out with laughter – mostly because tea is the most precious substance on this earth and must be protected at all costs – but Brooklyn Nine-Nine has done it more than once. And I forgive it. I forgive it every time.

The cameos

Sure, cameos are pretty common sitcom fodder. But Brooklyn Nine-Nine does thembetter than most. Take this one: Nick Offerman as Captain Holt’s gynaecologist ex-boyfriend. Not satisfied? How about Bradley Whitford as Jake’s dad? Fancy a bit more The West Wing-themed parental action? Then have a look at Jimmy Smits as Santiago’s dad.

So, thank the TV lords for NBC. In fact, don’t just thank them. Write them a lovely poem. Then be that terrible person with the acoustic guitar and set it to music. And if that’s not enough choreograph a dance – perhaps inspired by Gina’s dance troupe Dance-y Reagan?

Or, you could just let out an almighty cheer.



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