Brooklyn Nine-Nine, on FOX (s1-5) / NBC (s6-7), Thursdays at 8:30PM
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This show is incredibly funny and quirky (I'm often tempted to move my review to the "quirky" section, but for now I'm leaving it under "sitcoms"). And the cast works really well together. I liked the show a lot, right from the start, and since then it has continued to grow on me.
Andy Samberg (of SNL fame) plays Detective Jake Peralta, a cop in Brooklyn's 99th precinct. He's the best detective there, but is constantly clowning around. Other detectives include Amy Santiago, who is more serious and uptight; Charles Boyle, who is a bit odd and quirky, and worships Jake; and Rosa Diaz, who is rather scary, and not a people person. But Boyle has a major crush on Diaz (for most of season one). The squad leader is Sgt. Terry Jeffords. Considering he's played by Terry Crews, you'd expect him to be a badass, but a year prior to the series he had a nervous breakdown while on a case, and since then has only done desk work. (He's definitely more sensitive than you'd expect, particularly since the birth of his twin daughters, Cagney and Lacey.) There are also a couple of older cops, Hitchcock and Scully, who don't do much of anything and are pretty inept. And there's an administrative assistant named Gina Linetti, who seems a bit nutty, sarcastic, massively egocentric, and doesn't take her work seriously. (Which is a lot like Jake, except that he actually cares about doing a good job.) Though sometimes she's surprisingly good at her job, either by accident or by... being unconventional. And she and Jake have been best friends since they were kids, I guess. Anyway, the precinct gets a new captain at the start of the series, Raymond Holt. (He's played by Andre Braugher, who is famous for playing very serious characters, a fact which this show plays on to brilliant comic effect. Seriously, I can't think of any more hilariously stoic character than Holt.) It's taken him many years to get his first command, because he's gay, so he wants to prove himself by making the 99th the best precinct in Brooklyn. So of course he isn't happy about Peralta's antics, and wants him to start taking his job more seriously. Meanwhile, Santiago is very eager to earn Holt's respect, but her efforts to do so are always incredibly awkward.
So... I should probably say a bit about things that happen in season one. We occasionally see Holt's husband, a Classics professor named Kevin Cozner (Marc Evan Jackson), who has a similarly reserved personality. (He kind of reminds me of someone like Niles Crane.) Terry eventually gets recertified for field work, though he still spends most of his time at the precinct, trying to rein in the chaos of all the detectives. Boyle, who is a foodie, eventually starts dating a food author named Vivian Ludley (Marilu Henner). They soon get engaged and begin planning a wedding, but ultimately they break up, instead of marrying. Throughout the season, it seems that Jake may have romantic feelings for Amy, which he finally confesses to her in the season finale, even though she's dating a detective from the 82nd precinct named Teddy Wells. The season ends with Jake getting fired, as a pretext that allows him to take on a months-long assignment for the FBI, working undercover in the mob.
Jake returns to the Nine-Nine, and he and Amy resume their friendship, trying to ignore the awkwardness caused by his confession last season. It also turns out that Boyle and Gina have been hooking up, a fact which disgusts both of them (but especially Gina), so they spend several episodes hiding their relationship from everyone else. An old adversary of Holt's, Madeleine Wuntch (Kyra Sedgwick), becomes Deputy Commissioner, and throughout the season she'll make trouble for Holt and the Nine-Nine, though he usually ends up getting the best of her. Also this season, the Nine-Nine forms a task force to stop the spread of a new drug called "Giggle Pig," with Diaz in charge of that. Gina spends a lot of time with her dance troupe, Floor-Gasm, but they eventually eject her from the troupe, so she starts a new one, called Dance-y Reagan. Jake starts dating a defense attorney named Sophia Perez (Eva Longoria), though they have a professional distaste for each other's jobs, and they eventually break up. Amy and Teddy also break up. Boyle and Gina's relationship doesn't last long, but it results in Boyle's father, Lynn (Stephen Root) and Gina's mother, Darlene (Sandra Bernhard) dating and eventually getting married. Rosa starts dating Holt's nephew, Marcus (Nick Cannon), though it's very awkward for both Rosa and Holt, since neither of them are very comfortable with "feelings." Jake briefly reconnects with his father, an airline pilot named Roger (Bradley Whitford), who had abandoned Jake and his mother years ago. The season ends with Jake and Amy trying and failing to fight their feelings for each other, as well as Wuntch forcing a promotion on Holt, which means he has to leave the Nine-Nine.
Between seasons two and three, there were a few webisodes featuring Hitchcock and Scully.
Jake and Amy kissed at the end of last season, and this season they begin dating. In the premiere, the Nine-Nine gets a new captain named Seth Dozerman (Bill Hader). However, he's soon replaced by newly promoted Captain Warren "The Vulture" Pembroke (Dean Winters), a douchey detective who had been a nemesis to Jake a number of times throughout the first two seasons. But he's only around for a few weeks, before Holt gets reinstated as commander of the precinct. (Until then, we saw a bit of Holt and Gina working for the NYPD's PR department.) Also this season, Rosa breaks up with Marcus. Terry's wife, Sharon, gives birth to their third daughter, Ava. And Boyle starts dating an art gallery owner named Genevieve Mirren-Carter (Mary Lynn Rajskub). And I missed a couple of episodes, unfortunately. But then a cop named Adrian Pimento (Jason Mantzoukas) returns to the Nine-Nine after being undercover in the mob for 12 years. He starts a relationship with Diaz, but this gets interrupted by mob boss Jimmy Figgis trying to have Pimento killed. So the Nine-Nine fakes Pimento's death, and tries to gather evidence against Figgis and his informant in the FBI. This involves Santiago going undercover in a women's prison and pretending to be pregnant, for reasons I won't get into. Also, Holt enlists the help of his former partner, Bob Annderson (Dennis Haysbert), who is now in the FBI. In the season finale, the Nine-Nine manages to take down part of Figgis's group, but Figgis himself remains at large. And he threatens to kill Jake and Holt. So the two of them move to Coral Palms, Florida, and assume new identities.
At the start of the season, Jake and Holt have been living in Coral Palms for six months, as neighbors named "Larry" and "Greg." They have occasional contact with a U.S. Marshal named Karen Haas (Maya Rudolph). Meanwhile, Holt's replacement as captain of the Nine-Nine is Jason "C.J." Stentley (Ken Marino). At first, he's very laid-back, but eventually he forbids his team from going to Coral Palms, as they want to help Holt and Jake. But they go anyway in the third episode, in which we finally meet Figgis (Eric Roberts). The Nine-Nine team take down Figgis, and Holt and Jake return to Brooklyn. However, C.J. punishes their disobedience by putting them all on the night shift. Later, Pimento comes out of hiding, and resumes his relationship with Rosa.
Also, it seems that Charles and Genevieve adopted a young Latvian boy named Nikolaj last season, though I'm pretty sure we don't actually see him until this season. Also this season, there's a crossover episode with New Girl. And in one episode, we meet Amy's father, a retired cop named Victor (Jimmy Smits). And at the end of episode 9, C.J. leaves the Nine-Nine, and everyone finally returns to the day shift. And in the one-hour midseason finale, there's a manhunt for escaped fugitives. Meanwhile, Jake and Amy decide to move in together. And... something happens at the very end of the episode that I don't want to spoil (at least until the season resumes).
...And now that it has resumed, I still don't feel like there's any need to spoil it. So I'll just get on with other events. We learn that one of Brooklyn's police precincts is going to be shut down, and for a few episodes, it seems the Nine-Nine is in danger of being that precinct. Of course, in the end, it isn't. Then there's a rather powerful episode in which Terry has to decide whether to file a complaint against a cop from another precinct, who had racially profiled him one night, and only let him go because he found out Terry was also a cop. And there's an episode where Amy takes the sergeant's exam, though we won't find out whether she passed or not until the middle of next season. There's an episode where Jake befriends Holt's mother, Laverne, who is a federal judge. There's an ep where Jake and Rosa are working on a drug case that ends up interfering with a case that a cop named Lt. Melanie Hawkins (Gina Gershon) and her task force are working. Hawkins is apparently a very well-respected officer, whom Jake and Rosa both admire, so they're excited when they get a chance to join her task force. However, at the end of that episode, Jake discovers that Hawkins and her team are actually crooked. This leads to the penultimate episode of the season, in which Jake and Rosa try to gather evidence against them from the inside, but Hawkins ends up framing them for bank robbery. Meanwhile, we learn that Gina is pregnant, and the father is Boyle's cousin, Milton (Ryan Phillippe). The season finale skips ahead two months, to Jake and Rosa's trial.
So, Jake and Rosa were found guilty, and went to prison. The first two episodes of this season show them in prison, and deal with their friends' attempt to prove their innocence. Meanwhile, Jake has a cannibal for a cellmate, named Caleb (Tim Meadows). He also gets involved in a prison gang led by someone named Romero (Lou Diamond Phillips). By the end of the second episode, Hawkins's guilt has been proven, using information provided to Holt by a mob boss named Seamus Murphy. In exchange, Holt has to agree to do an unnamed favor for Murphy at some point in the future. Meanwhile, Jake and Rosa return to work at the Nine-Nine. Also, Gina gave birth to a daughter named Enigma, between seasons. She spends the first half of this season on maternity leave. Later, Rosa breaks up with Pimento. Also, Jake and Amy get engaged (in what I thought was one of the best TV marriage proposals ever). Holt eventually learns that he's in the running to become the new commissioner. Also, Rosa comes out as bisexual. Her friends immediately accept this, though her parents, Oscar (Danny Trejo) and Julia, are not okay with this revelation. Eventually, Murphy asks Holt for the favor, which he provides, while also finding out and preventing the reason for Murphy's request. This leads to Murphy making a threat toward Holt that involves Kevin. And then the show went on hiatus until spring. When it returned, I guess the good guys took down Murphy. So Kevin would be safe, but there was still some strain in Holt and Kevin's marriage, for awhile. Boyle gets a food truck, but... that doesn't last long. There's a really great episode called The Box, which is just Holt and Jake interrogating a very clever suspect named Philip Davidson (Sterling K. Brown). And Amy finally learns that she passed the sergeant's exam, so she becomes a squad leader on a different floor of the Nine-Nine. (She still spends a lot of time with her old squad, of course.) Holt's main competition for commissioner is Captain Olivia Crawford (Allison Tolman). Jake meets his half sister, Katie Peralta (Nasim Pedrad) for the first time. And... plenty of other things happen, including plans for Jake and Amy's wedding, which finally takes place in the season finale. Also in the finale, Holt learns whether or not he got the position as commissioner, but it isn't revealed to the audience.
Well, there are some other things I've left out that might turn out to be important next season. If so, I guess I'll mention them when the time comes. Meanwhile, shortly before the season ended, FOX cancelled the show, and it was almost immediately picked up by NBC for a 13-episode sixth season. (It was later expanded to 18 episodes.)
So... Holt does not become Commissioner. That job is won by John Kelly, who uses his power to make things difficult for Holt and the Nine-Nine. Meanwhile, Jake and Amy go on their honeymoon in the season premiere. Then there's an episode with flashbacks to when Hitchcock and Scully were hot, young detectives. And Rosa starts dating a woman named Jocelyn Pryce. Gina quits her job at the precinct, and becomes an internet guru. Jake and Amy have a serious disagreement over whether or not to have kids. Oh, and I guess I never mentioned that every Halloween, the members of the Nine-Nine have a "heist" competition to prove who's the best detective, or whatever. It's always crazy and awesome, but since this season started in January instead of September, we learn that last Halloween an incident prevented them from doing their annual heist, so this year they do it on Cinco de Mayo. Also, Terry is promoted to lieutenant. And in the two-part season finale, Holt, Jake, and Boyle discover that Commissioner Kelly is involved in illegal wire-tapping to gain evidence of various crimes. So Jake assembles a "Suicide Squad" to obtain proof of this and take him down. The team includes Madeleine Wuntch, the Vulture, and C.J. And... I guess I won't say any more about that, for now. But as always, the show remains awesome.
At the end of last season, Wuntch became acting commissioner, and busted Holt down to patrol officer, a position he holds for much of this season. His partner is Debbie Fogle, but we eventually learn that she's working for a crime boss, so she gets arrested. Halfway through the season, Wuntch dies, and Holt gets reinstated as captain of the Nine-Nine. Jake and Amy decide to have a baby, but for several months they are unable to conceive. They finally do, though. Also, this year's Halloween heist episode takes place over three holidays, concluding on Easter. And in the season finale, there's a borough-wide blackout, and Amy has her baby, whom she and Jake name McClane (or "Mac" for short).