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Tania is currently the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Hudsucker and an Associate Editor at Womanista. With past writing credits as a freelance writer and journalist with Quietly, the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF), and NBC News' Newsvine, she is currently a member of Indianapolis based, Society of Professional Journalists—one of the oldest organizations in the US that promotes and represents journalists. As a writer by vocation and entrepreneur by nature, Tania is a life long learner who enjoys traveling and meeting new people. She is an avid Indianapolis Colts, Elvis Presley, and baseball fan as well as a lover of pancakes and fine cheeses, film, and music. Tania is a Hoosier at heart with a passionate wanderlust for always traveling and road-tripping across the great United States. She is currently attending Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana and studying journalism. Follow Tania on Twitter: @westlifebunny.

BOLO Issued for “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”

May sound odd to say, but I’m all about cops. I love them! I have since I was a wee one. I was the kid who grew up watching the funny side of cops through films like Police Academy, The Naked Gun, and—not proud to mention it (because I can quote certain scenes)–Kindergarten Cop. I was the little girl on her tricycle who once asked an officer of the law for a hug when I won a bicycle safety award from an elementary school event hosted by our municipality and the local police department. I oddly enough even have a best friend who is a law enforcement officer but that just worked out from sheer kismet, though looking back, maybe I have a type. Who knows! What I do know is that I love watching stories about police officers, whether it’s a television show like COPSCampus PD or The Wire; serious and gritty films like The Departed, End of Watch or Training Day, or buddy cop comedies like The Other Guys or Rush Hour. I just love them! I have an affection for law enforcement officers that knows no bounds. Take away my cop shows or movies, it would be a BOP–“breach of peace.”

Detective Peralta (Andy Samberg) goofing off in a scene from “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”. Image Credit: FOX Broadcasting Corp.

When I first heard FOX was going to premiere a new show this fall called Brooklyn Nine-Nine, I grew very excited! For good reason too since the half-hour sitcom starring Saturday Night Live alum, Andy Samberg has a familiar and genuine offbeat approach similar to fan favorites like The Office, Parks and Recreation and 30 Rock. No surprise since some of the brains behind Brooklyn Nine-Nine are David Miner, Dan Goor and Michael Schur who have previously worked on those cleverly constructed workplace comedies. The series which premiered in September garnered 6.17 million viewers alone and has improved each week, resulting in a full season pick-up earlier this month from the network.

The single-camera shot show follows talented but childish detective Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) in the fictional 99th Precinct of Brooklyn and his relationship with his quirky co-workers and strict, no-nonsense new captain (Andre Braugher). Braugher who plays Cpt. Ray Holt is a veteran of the law who is brought in to shape up the precinct,  particularly Peralta who tends to be an egoist among his peers. It may seem like the cliche story-line where a generic smart-aleck pairs up with a serious mannered mentor in the field, but it turns out to be a comedic riot as the two butt heads and warm up to each other week after week while solving crimes and learning more about the other and their duties. Samberg is genuinely likable, goofy and charming without coming off too loud, while Braugher who is known for more serious roles nails this new-found comedic suit down to the wire and comes off as if he’s being doing comedy his whole career.

As with the case of The Office, 30 Rock or Parks and Recreation, the two are backed up by a hilarious top-notch ensemble cast from the likes of Joe Lo Truglio (Superbad) as the department’s hard-working yet klutzy Detective Charles Boyle who sometimes dresses like a serial killer and pines over Detective Rosa Diaz played by Stephanie Beatriz (Modern Family), a tough-as-nails and scary cookie; Melissa Fumero (One Life To Live), an ambitious and competitive detective who can’t quite yet make her mark; Terry Crews (Arrested Development) as Sergeant Terry Jeffords also known as the detective squad leader with mountains of muscles but is a giant “scaredy-cat”; and Chelsea Peretti (China, IL) as Gina Linetti, the nosy and sardonic  civilian administrator.  What’s great about the dynamic between all these characters is that they know their voices very well and the relationships formed between each partnership. Combine two of these characters at any given time and you’ll continuously have a fresh and distinctive story-line every time. It’s highly appealing to watch these characters and know that there are endless possibilities to plot-lines full of hi-jinks and vibrant humor.

Something that always catches my eye with a television show is the writing. You can have a great cast with a great set, but writing counts most and with this show you can clearly see how it stands out as a positive. The writing on Brooklyn Nine-Nine is smart and fresh, doesn’t feel like it’s been done before and is frankly very apt in its execution. There are so many one liners that have caught my attention in these past five or six episodes that the DVD release is definitely exciting me. There’s dialogue coming from Cpt. Holt who yells, “It’s over, Disco Man! Put down the yo-yo and back away from the girl,” said in Andre Braugher’s baritone voice; or when Sgt. Jeffords goes to the gun range with the Captain and says how the target silhouette looks exactly like a friend of his, to which Holt responds, “You have a friend who’s a silhouette?” and Jeffords answers, “Yes!”; or the continuous monotone voice of Gina who will just not stop talking about herself or what she thinks. Then of course there’s the physical comedy that earns appropriate and well-timed laughs like Det. Peralta falling out of the ceiling in Holt’s office; or Det. Boyle dropping his muffin and in his attempt to reach it, ends up banging his head on the counter and steps on his muffin; or Sgt. Jeffords having a breakdown over building a toy castle for his daughter.

The cast of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” Left to right: Melissa Fumero, Terry Crews, Andy Samberg, Andre Braugher, Stephanie Beatriz, Joe Lo Truglio, and Chelsea Peretti. Image Credit: FOX Broadcasting Corp.

In an interview with The Huffington Post, executive producer Dan Goor (Parks and Recreation) shared that they were inspired by the 70s sitcom called Barney Miller, a comedy based in a police station in Greenwich Village. With its realistic mix of diversity and ethnicity, Barney Miller was setting standards for its time. Goor cited the show as one of Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s major influences calling it one of the most realistic depictions of police work ever seen on television as per actual law enforcement officers. “You’re not constantly running at full speed down an alley. It’s life in the precinct…that was inspiring to us; you can do a modern comedy set in a police precinct without relying on that drumbeat of detective work,” Goor says. The producers go on to saying how with the NYC Police Department made up of 50% Caucasian and 50% non-Caucasian officers, they felt it necessary to produce such evidence in their own writing. Brooklyn Nine-Nine pairs two Latina actresses in a primetime show on a major network, something that is rarely seen these days.

I’m issuing a BOLO–be on the lookout–for Brooklyn Nine-Nine because this show is my top pick for the 2013 fall season! The show itself is thoroughly contemporary in its sketch-comedy stylings with cutaway scenes, physical and thoughtful humor. From the pilot to now, you can clearly see the show has certainly found its comedic niche while still invoking the spirit of similar sitcoms but with its own mold and identity. I think it successfully serves as a rare cop comedy in the primetime slot, sitting in at 8:30 pm over at FOX. It’s filled with literal LOLs and a diverse ensemble that will definitely keep you entertained and interested. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is certainly one of the fall’s strongest comedies and has grown very much so from the a pilot. It’s a clever, fresh, appealing and wittily thought-through comedy that is sure to leave you laughing!

Brooklyn Nine-Nine airs Tuesdays at 8:30 pm on FOX. Check your local listings!

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  1. BOLO Issued for “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” | westlifebunny - November 8, 2013

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