Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Brooklyn, Television, Literature, Media, Theater, Humor, Comedy, Award

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2020/11/10


Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a single-camera, situational comedy set in a police department in Brooklyn, New York City. The series, aired by Fox television, follows the lives of oddball detectives and a quirky office clerk under a new leadership after the appointment of the precinct’s new captain. The main characters in the show are Detective Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg), Det. Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz), Det. Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero), Det. Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio), Det. Hitchock (Dirk Blocker), and Det. Scully (Joel McKinnon Miller), Sergeant Terry Jeffords (Terry Crews), Gina Linetti (Chelsea Peretti), and Captain Ray Holt (Andre Braugher). Dan Goor and Michael Schurr, writers and creators of another situational comedy Parks and Recreation, created Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine Characters

The characters in Brooklyn Nine-Nine are stereotypic such that each character on the show represents a stereotype. In the same manner, however, the characters also defy stereotypes often introduced in television shows. Det. Jake Peralta is a smart detective but is also immature and compulsive. Captain Ray Holt is an African-American and a homosexual who exudes a robotic persona. Amy is a perfectionist. Charles is Jake’s best friend who loves food and enjoys things that things uncharacteristic of a detective. Rosa’s character defies stereotypes because Beatriz plays a tough and unemotional detective on the show. On the surface, the characters are stereotypes because they are pigeonholed into unambiguous characterization that defines their actions, behavior, and responses to one another. Nevertheless, the combination of the characters also defies stereotypes because the show embraces diversity, particularly in terms of race and gender (Associated Press).

Relevance to Social and Political Issues

While Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a comedy, some of the story lines in the series relate to social and political issues. Det. Hitchcock and Det. Scully’s characterization, for instance, relate to the inefficiency of some police officers and detectives. Brooklyn Nine-Nine seemingly shows the reality that not all uniformed men are skilled and efficient in their jobs.
Other social issues tackled on the show include widespread drug use in the city of New York and the prevalent influence of mobs or gangs in the area. In the first season, Jake goes undercover to apprehend a mob operating in the city. In the second season, the precinct is focused on addressing drug pushing and use in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine also tackled politics on the show. In one episode, Jake arrested a young man for vandalizing police cars. Jake had to let the man go, however, because the latter is the son of an influential individual. This part of the show is a criticism and reflection of how influential people abuse their power. The show also tackles politics in the workplace by focusing on the rivalry between Capt. Holt and another same-ranking officer.
In the second season, Brooklyn Nine also explored the role of lawyers in defending criminals. Although Jake ended up dating a defense attorney, he made many references about the way that lawyers ignored their client’s crimes while looking for ways to defend them. This particular story line shows the tense relationship and interaction between police officers or detectives and defense attorneys.

The Narrative

Essentially, Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s narrative focuses on the personal and professional lives of the characters. The overarching story line is the precinct’s mission to eradicate drug pushing and addiction in Brooklyn. The narrative then branches out to story lines about the personal lives of the detectives and their working relationship.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine also followed a love or romantic story line. In some episodes, the show explores the relationship and tension between Jake and Amy. In the first season of the show, Jake and Amy made a bet – if Jake makes the most felony arrests within the year, Amy will go out with him on a date, but if Amy wins the bet, Jake will give her his car. The romantic story line followed this narrative while episodes built the relationship between the two. Towards the end of the first season of the show, Jake admitted his feelings for Amy. In the second season, their characters receive the same treatment while the writers create tension between the two.
Since Brooklyn Nine-Nine does not consistently follow a story line based on ‘detective life’ in a precinct, one may say that the show’s narrative is not hegemonic in nature. Although the show slightly tackles some social and political issues, which will be discussed in the succeeding sections, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is primarily a situational comedy and the show seems committed to doing so whether the narrative focuses on the life of detectives or the personal lives of the characters on the show.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Expansion to other Formats

In one of the episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Capt. Holt and Gina deal with the addiction that comes with playing online games. Instead of working, Gina spends her time playing Kwazy Cupcakes! Capt. Holt advises Gina to pay attention but when he tries the game himself, he also gets addicted to it. This story line illustrates how online games and applications, particularly on our mobile phones and other portable devices, turn into addiction and prevent us from getting work done. Brooklyn Nine-Nine however, was able to expand this aspect of the show to another format when RED Games, under the Universal Partnerships & Licensing, sealed a deal to create an actual version of Kwazy Cupcakes! for iOS and Android devices.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s expansion is also palpable in various licensing for the airing of the show in other networks and countries. Several television networks in the United Kingdom (RTE Two in Ireland and E4), Canada (City network), Australia (SBS), and New Zealand (TV2) among others bought licensing for simulcasts of the show through their networks.

Audience’s Reaction to the Program

Perhaps one of the most important responses to Brooklyn Nine-Nine was the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s (HFPA) acknowledgment of the show. The HFPA is composed of several members working in the entertainment industry, particularly journals and photographers. Every year, the HFPA organizes the Golden Globe Awards, an awards ceremony that honors distinguished films and television shows. In 2014, Brooklyn Nine-Nine won the Best Comedy award at the Golden Globes. Andy Samberg also won in the Best Actor in a Television Series (Musical or Comedy). The awards received by the series illustrate the warm reception of the show. Aside from the Golden Globes awards, Brooklyn Nine-Nine also won awards at the American Comedy Awards, Critics’ Choice Television Wards, and the Creative Arts Emmy Awards.
Aside from the awards the show received, the viewership is also testament to Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s success. The first season of the show generated about 3 million viewers. The continuous success of the show in terms of ratings or viewership is the primary reason for its renewal for a second and third season.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Affective Appeals

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is appealing to the audience because it is, first and foremost, a comedy. The primary purpose of ‘television entertainment’ after all is to entertain an audience. As defined by Gray (3), television entertainment is meant to provide audiences enjoyment or amusement. Hence, a television show becomes a success when the audience takes pleasure in watching it regularly (Gray, 3). “To talk of television entertainment is therefore to talk of programs, segments, or channels that enjoy, amuse, delight, and perhaps even enlighten” (Gray, 3). Brooklyn Nine-Nine has and continues to attempt this through sidesplitting story lines and narratives. It is for this reason that the show has affective appeal among the audience. People respond to the show because they are thoroughly entertained by the characters and the story line (Virtue). Virtue argued that Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s appeal is because the show “consistently comes up with robust, ripely comedic plots and then buffs up every crackerjack line to an arresting chrome shine”.

Works Cited

Associated Press. How Fox’s cop comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine gets diversity right. 24 Jan 2015. Online. 13 Feb 2015. http://www.thenational.ae/arts-lifestyle/television/how-foxs-cop-comedy-brooklyn-nine-nine-gets-diversity-right.
Gray, Jonathan. Television entertainment. New York, NY: Routledge, 2008.
Virtue, Graeme. Have you been watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine? 28 Mar 2014. Online. 13 Feb 2015. <http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2014/mar/28/have-you-been-watching-brooklyn-nine-nine-e4-review>.

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