Saturday, September 28, 2013

Andy Samberg Takes Brooklyn

Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Fox Television
Tuesday Nights; 8:30 PM
With Andy Samberg, Andre Braugher
Produced by Dan Gohr, Michael Schur
Five Scoops of Bosco

Reviewed by Allen Bacon, The Daily Bosco

When you think about it,  there have been very few Strictly Comedy Police Television Shows over the years.

I'm not talking about the hybrid Crime Dramedies like Castle, but the ones that go straight for the funny bone-type of comedies.

The reason you may think that there have been more is because the few that have been on network television are memorable.  Shows like Car 54 Where Are You?, Barney Miller, Police Squad! or Reno 911!

My theory on the other reason why we have not seen a lot of this genre is our attitude toward first responders, especially after 9/11.  We seem to like our crime and police dramas real, serious, and respectful to Authority as opposed to fun and full of belly laughs.

If you were a fan of the Saturday Night Live Digital Shorts from Andy Samberg (who can forget the legendary segments he did with Justin Timberlake), Barney Miller, Police Squad, The Naked Gun, or any combination of these, then you are going to love the new addition to the genre, Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

That's because this new comedy on Fox which debuted last week is reminiscent of all of those classic comedic television programs and segments.  I dare you not to laugh hard while watching this.

SNL Alumni Andy Samberg plays it smart here by transitioning to episodic television comedy as opposed to going directly to the big screen like many of his SNL Alumni pals (even though he has had supporting roles in movies like That's My Boy) .

Plus the transition allows a natural extension on his absurd, video shorts and segments he wrote and developed on SNL which have been his bread and butter since doing youtube videos with his pals back in high school.

Andre Braugher plays the serious, no nonsense, Captain of the precinct wonderfully with a twist.  We find out in the pilot he is Gay.

Andy Samberg is the loose canon, Jake Peralta, who while being a great detective does everything he can to slide by on the rules that the Captain is trying to establish.

That formula may be familiar but the challenge is in the execution and so far, the show pulls it off well.

A great ensemble, largely unknown cast of actors round out the 99th Precinct and the use of flashbacks to fill us in on the back story (a devise perfected by Samberg's SNL writing mate Tina Fey on 30 Rock) make the show fun to watch.

The only challenge is going to be how, if the producers and writers choose, to transition the show to more relevant stories, tackling serious subjects in the vein of Barney Miller.  

In the meantime, good old fashioned doses of belly laughs every Tuesday night are good.

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