By Sara Nigro
“Brooklyn 99,” a fan-favorite sitcom that aired in 2013, follows a funny, lovable cast of detectives who work for the NYPD’s 99th precinct. The characters fight crime while bringing humor to the real-life personal situations they deal with on a daily basis.
The comedy stars former SNL actor and comedian Andy Samberg as Jake Peralta, Melissa Fumero as Amy Santiago, Stephanie Beatriz as Rosa Diaz, Joe Lo Truglio as Charles Boyle, Andre Braugher as Captain Holt, Chelsea Peretti as Gina Linetti, and Terry Crews as Terry Jeffords.
The level of comedic value and authentic characters is leveled to other sitcoms such as “How I Met Your Mother,” “The Office” and “New Girl.” Each character has their own defined personality traits that make them irreplaceable in every sense of the word, and the plot is constantly improving its creativity and inventiveness.
What I value most about this show is the diversity of the cast, as well as the non-offensive comedy, which separates it from other outdated comedies. The main cast includes two Latina women, one incredibly tough and the other incredibly intelligent, both of whom are talented detectives. There are also two black men on the show, one being the captain of the precinct and a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and the other is a loving father of daughters who is not afraid to show his emotional, affectionate side. They are able to represent New York and the U.S in a way that allows for all of their viewers to relate to some aspect of the characters they see onscreen.
“Brooklyn 99” has perfected the art of making jokes, which are hilarious and relatable, while also being respectful. While there is often an argument detailing that comedy has to be somewhat offensive in order to be funny, “Brooklyn 99” breaks away from this idea. The main character of Jake Peralta, as a presumed straight, white, male, is not necessarily educated on the struggles of the people around him, but he is never ignorant. He is open-minded to learning and growing as his knowledge of social issues expands.
Additionally, they don’t stray away from important, often neglected social issues such as racial profiling and sexual assault. In the episode “Moo Moo,” Crews’ character Terry Jeffords is subjected to discrimination based on his race and it is addressed in a serious manner in which the characters acknowledge the very real issue of police brutality.
Also in the episode “He Said, She Said,” a victim of sexual assault faces difficulties in relation to her career and social standing. Similar to the “Moo Moo” episode, the plot of the episode is taken seriously, addressing an all too common issue that millions face. Later in the episode, one of the detectives on the squad also reveals her own personal experience and impactfully states, “This kind of stuff has happened to literally every woman I know. I just wanted to help make it better for this one woman.”
Although there are important topics and impressive messages for the audience, the true core of the show is its comedy. Jake Peralta is such a lovable character you can’t help but root for him in all that he does. As the show progresses, each character’s personality becomes more solidified through their interactions and humor, allowing the audience to feel personally connected to the world they can escape to thirty minutes at a time.
The show’s ability to find a lightness, understanding and humor among its viewers is what has made this sitcom such a hit. “Brooklyn 99” has recently resumed filming for its eighth and final season and is set to air in 2022.