Wednesday, September 18, 2013

PUT DOWN THE YO-YO AND STEP AWAY FROM THE GIRL:At least based on critical and Twitter reaction, seemed like there was pretty much universal adulation for Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and I agree.  It's got a tricky balancing act to pull off in future episodes, balancing the Sambergian weirdness of him running around in a Speedo with making sure that the crimes being investigated are at least somewhat plausible/serious, but the pilot pulled that off pretty well.  Two particular things I wanted to note:
  • I particularly admired how the writers took care of the (necessary) information dump, by having one character explain to the new Captain who these folks were and some of their quirks.  It lays out the characters without feeling like we're being lectured to or giving us Too Much Exposition.
  • Unlike a lot of sitcoms in particular, the characters and universe seem to be pretty well-developed at this point.  Contrast with Parks and Rec and New Girl, both of which took time to figure out who their characters were and how they fit into the larger world.  
It's a difficult balancing act, to be sure, and I'm going to be interested to see how Fox's audience embraces it (honestly, it felt to me more like an HBO show with profanity/naughty bits stripped out), but I'm sold.


  1. Adam B.9:57 AM

    I thought it was cute; I wasn't blown away. Intrigued by the 3rd act revelation on Braugher's character and where they'll go with it.

  2. Eric J.10:10 AM

    I enjoyed it, and think there are good things ahead for the show, but I don't think they're going to go in the direction I think they should, which is to make this a new "Barney Miller." Keep the show 90% in the squadroom and the rest of HQ. I think the more we see them on the street, interacting with the rest of New York, the more likely the show will be to edge into schtick and wackiness. It's a good ensemble with some interesting relationships already developing; keep them boxed in for a while. Also, making the show cheaper doesn't hurt it's chances for survival.

  3. Marsha11:00 AM

    I liked it a lot. (I had already read about the "third act revelation" so I wasn't surprised, but I think it's a great development.) I also like that the show so far seems to follow The Wire's way of NOT making the commanding officers into idiots that the rogue cop is constantly showing up. (Consistent with Samberg's comments that he's basically playing "comedy McNulty.") We have Braugher with something to prove for personal reasons, and Terry Crewes with a great reason to be behind a desk (Cagney and Lacey! Ha!) but both are clearly good cops and both are already several steps ahead of their underlings. that's a dynamic I like.

    I've scheduled the season pass. Possibly the only new show this season that will.

  4. Jordan12:33 PM

    This was one of two pilots I watched last night, and I really enjoyed it. I want to add that as a bonus, like Michael Schur's other show, they managed to put together a diverse cast without tokenism or making a thing out of it. Just the best people in the best roles. It was refreshing.

  5. Jordan2:47 PM

    I also watched Sleepy Hollow, which might be the dumbest, silly-seriousiest, bat shit insane thing I've ever seen on network tv. And it kinda worked. Think the Legend of Sleepy Hollow meets National Treasure meets Demolition Man meets Once Upon a Time, as told by a bad Guillermo del Torro knockoff religiously themed end of the world PG-13 horror movie. It should fall apart in so many places, and yet somehow does not.

  6. isaac spaceman9:26 PM

    I liked Brooklyn 99, but it was very piloty to me. I laughed, but I cringed a little too at the overly broad characters. The Clumsy Nerd and The Hard Case With a Soft Core and the Overly Competitive Partner are types, not characters. And while Samberg supplied literally all the laughs, I question whether it's a wise thing to build a show around its broadest character. Andy Dwyer/Joey Tribbiani/Kramer/Screech are great as supporting characters, but I don't think they would (or, in Joey's case, did) work as leads.
    Also, I'll say this again, I thought New Girl was great from the jump. Yes, they calibrated a bit, but the three leads (all but Winston, who sadly can't be called a lead, but who may actually have value as he morphs into the show's Screech) are essentially who they were in the pilot. And I thought Jake Johnson was great right from the start as the writers'-room surrogate.
    (this is Isaac Spaceman; Disqus won't let me in)

  7. Heather K11:25 PM

    Not entirely related, but I read all posts and responses on this blog authored by Isaac Spaceman in the voice of Nick Miller, and it pleases me.