Season 6 of Brooklyn Nine Nine premiered yesterday after a dramatic cancellation by Fox. It found a new home on NBC after the flood of support from both celebrities and fans on Twitter. I know this is a retroactive outrage but who makes these decisions? “This show that we produce is going really well. It is incredibly successful, popular, and has a strong fanbase… TIME TO PULL THE PLUG!” It’s like they have my fear of commitment.
Last night’s episode didn’t miss a single beat and continued to deliver its recognizable charm and humour. The main plot, starring Jake, Amy, and Holt, did the heavy lifting because the two side plots fell flat despite both involving Gina. She’s the best character! Nevertheless, most of the jokes landed and kept me laughing throughout. Plus, because it’s on NBC, the show can get away with using bleeped swears, like in this joke that made me choke on my tea:
Some of the show’s charm comes from Andy Samberg’s style of joke delivery, constantly subverting expectations and adding a layer of fast paced, under the breath comedy that keeps me in fits. We saw a lot of this at the Golden Globes, especially in his reference to the Black Panther assassinations – that seemingly NO ONE talked about. But just like the Golden Globes, Samberg was the straight (pun totally intended) man for the true star: Andre Braugher.
After realizing he doesn’t become the next commissioner, Holt spends most of the episode depressed in a beautiful resort. He is 100% a mood, regularly delivering straight-faced, over-the-top statements while dressed in ridiculous shirts and sipping colourful cocktails. (Note to self: Tropical Existential Depression is great name for a band.) On a small, but important aside, can we take a moment to appreciate the brilliant costume designer for this episode: (article continued below photos)
However, Tropical Existential Depression isn’t the only mood embodied by Holt. After being told that his rival won’t stay commissioner for long, Holt replies, “He’ll just be replaced by another mediocre white man. Nothing will ever change.” Now THAT IS A MOOD. In a post #MeToo world where most of the accused men face zero consequences and where the patriarchy runs rampant, Holt succinctly captures the frustration of what it’s like to live in the Western World in 2019. But what brings Holt back to form, and what the show presents as the solution, is the phrase “I don’t give a hoot.” Coming from a character whose entire personality can be summed up as “stickler for the rules,” this is like a call to revolution. The way to break this cycle is to make noise and not give a “hoot” about those who don’t like it. The genius of the show is that this message can be delivered while Holt is tied spread-eagled to the bed wearing a shirt that says “1 Tequila, 2 Tequila, 3 Tequila, FLOOR!” Remember when the show dealt with police racial bias and the difficulty of coming out to your family? Brooklyn Nine Nine is uproariously funny, but it also doesn’t f-ck around.
Attached - Andy Samberg on The Today Show yesterday in New York.