TV Preview: Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: TV2, 9.00 Wednesday


By Doug Coutts

Brooklyn Nine Nine is a cop show. It’s set in New York because that’s where you’d set a cop show, especially if you were a producer who’d never had an original idea. (Although, to be fair, that is sort of the industry definition of a producer.)

Where BNN differs from other cop shows is that it’s only 30 minutes long, which would tend to indicate it’s a comedy even though many of the other comedy indicators – like amusingness – are missing.

The cast and sets look like they’ve been borrowed from The Wire, although The Wire did have some funny moments, and the lead character – whose edginess they hoped might remind us of Judge Harry from Night Court – is played by someone from the I’m Sorry But Adam Sander Is Unavailable talent agency.

They’re trying too hard and it doesn’t work – for me anyway; you may be made of sterner stuff. I don’t mind glib dialogue if I haven’t heard it a hundred times before, and the characters are a job lot from Acme Clichéd Casting.

If you want a cutting edge cop show comedy, set in New York, sit down with Barney Miller. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you won’t want to see what’s on Food TV five minutes in.

What other critics said:

  • “The show beautifully embraces then subverts almost every cliché that could be associated with a cop show … This season opener came with enough witty one-liners to reassure fans that it hasn’t lost its fizz and, having looked ahead at future episodes, I can safely say that the best is yet to come.” — The Telegraph.
  • “Fresh off his ‘suspension,’ the weirdly competent Detective Peralta (Andy Samberg) is back … sort of. He quickly goes undercover for a Mafia sting. Thankfully, the ep eschews tired gabagool gangster clichés, relying on the show’s strengths: quirky workplace comedy, goofy throwaway lines, and, best as always, Andre Braugher’s superb Captain Holt.” — Entertainment Weekly.

Doug Coutts has had a career in and around television for close to 40 years.  He spent 13 years as a floor manager at Avalon Studios before going freelance and never earning as much again. His writing has spanned TV genres — from Shortland Street dialoguery and quiz shows to documentaries and comedy — while a lengthy stint as TV reviewer in the Auckland Star earned him two mentions in Metro magazine’s Hot List and an angry letter from Jon Gadsby. You can read more of Doug (the satirist) at: Weakly Whirled News.

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