While there are many successful sitcoms on television, there aren't quite as many successful all-night "comedy blocks" as there used to be. ABC hasn't been able to find proper companions for its Wednesday night mainstays The Middle and Modern Family since both shows debuted in 2009, with a cavalcade of comedy shows coming and going within that time. Fox has been having the same issues with their Tuesday night comedy lineup as well, trying to find suitable companions for New Girl and last year's hit series The Mindy Project. On Tuesday night, Fox aired two new comedies in the 8 PM hour, the controversial and poorly-received Dads and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, created by Parks and Recreation writers Michael Schur and Daniel J. Goor. While I honestly couldn't bring myself to fully watch the Dads pilot (I had laundry to do, but I caught the last 10 minutes or so...), I rather enjoyed Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
The show performed well in its 8:30 PM time slot, pulling in a healthy 2.5 rating in the 18-49 demo and 6 million viewers overall, a 43% increase from last year's debut of the short-lived Ben and Kate. It should be noted that it also out-performed its lead-in Dads, which brought in a 2.1 rating in the 18-49 demo and 5.57 million viewers. But, who cares about the numbers, right? Should you be watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine? My answer is yes, and here are five reasons why.
1. We Need More Funny Cop Shows
The police procedural is a genre steeped in classic shows such as Hill Street Blues, NYPD Blue and my favorite series of all time, The Shield. However, the police comedy procedural doesn't have such an amazing history, with the wonderful series Common Law serving as the latest failure last year. What's great about Brooklyn Nine-Nine is it has essentially a reverse formula than other procedurals. Instead of having all drama with bits of comedy sprinkled in, this show has plenty of laughs, with some honest dramatic moments thrown in as well. I think this will be a formula for success moving forward.
2. Andy Samberg's Star Is On The Rise
I have long been a fan of Andy Samberg, but it never felt like he had a true showcase to shine on a major scale like he does in Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Of course, we all love the Lonely Island shorts and his other roles on SNL, but still, that was a small part of a very big show. Here, he is the top dog, playing the goofy but effective Detective Jake Peralta. It really feels like he realizes this is his biggest showcase, and he's truly making the most of it. His performance is rather flawless and, most importantly, natural and organic. It feels like a role tailor-made for his style, and I sincerely hope he keeps knocking it out of the park every week.
3. Andre Braugher. Enough Said
I was heartbroken last year when practically NONE OF YOU watched the brilliant ABC series Last Resort, which featured a towering performance by Andre Braugher as the captain of a rogue U.S. Navy nuclear submarine. Despite its brilliance, the show was cancelled after its initial run of 13 episodes. Andre Braugher is one of my favorite working actors, and it's great to see him showcase a different side of his repertoire in Brooklyn Nine-Nine. He plays the precinct's new captain, Ray Holt, a by-the-book authoritarian who clashes with Andy Samberg on the regular. He is one of those actors who can do so much with just a simple facial expression, and his dynamic with Andy Samberg is pitch-perfect. Oh, and there is a fantastic twist reveal regarding his character at the end of the pilot.
4. Joe Lo Truglio and Stephanie Beatriz's Workplace "Romance"
It wouldn't be a workplace comedy without a workplace romance, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine features one of the best examples of this I've seen in recent years. Joe Lo Truglio plays the timid and clumsy detective Charles, who has his eye on the downright scary (yet gorgeous) Meghan, played by Stephanie Beatriz. While it is certainly a "B story," the Pilot episode beautifully sets up this goofy, semi-unrequited romance, with Charles trying to overcome his meek ways to ask Meghan out. When she agrees to go to a film festival with him, the indecisive Charles doesn't know what movie to pick, so he buys tickets to every movie, hilariously drawing Meghan's ire. I can't wait to see how this relationship, one of the highlights of the pilot for me, moves forward. On top of this, the rest of the supporting cast is fantastic, with Terry Crews, Melissa Fumero, Fred Armisen and Chelsea Peretti.
5. All New Shows Need The Chance to Grow
While Brooklyn Nine-Nine certainly seems safe from cancellation now, who knows what that status may be next week. Shows get cancelled within the first few weeks of their run every year, most times, at the first sign of failure. The TV landscape is becoming eerily close to the feature film world, where an opening weekend disappointment equals complete box office failure and an early exit from theaters. Brooklyn Nine-Nine's numbers were solid, but not incredibly amazing by any means, so any significant drop in the ratings could put the series on the bubble before it truly has a chance to thrive. I sincerely hope that Brooklyn Nine-Nine is given the fighting chance it surely deserves.
Do you agree with what I had to say about Brooklyn Nine-Nine? Disagree? Hate my tactic of asking multiple questions in a row? Then let your voice be heard and drop me a line on Twitter @GallagherMW. Brooklyn Nine-Nine airs Tuesday nights at 8:30 PM ET on Fox.