In a world where sitcoms have usually found it difficult to find the balance between being genuinely funny and socially relevant, without sounding preachy or offensive, Brooklyn Nine-Nine comes in as a breath of fresh air and manages to do all that and more with relative ease. How you ask? Well, read on to know more.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is probably the most “woke” sitcom in recent times on TV. The only other sitcom that manages to match the show’s “wokeness” if not take it a notch higher is ‘The Good Place’, which is also created by Michael Schur, the co-creator behind Nine-Nine.
- Charles Boyle – A short, sweet, and sensitive man can be equally brave, literally and figuratively.
- Male friendships can be intimate and emotional
- Sergeant Terry Jeffords – Tall and muscular men can be sensitive and soft.
- Captain Raymond Holt – Nonstereotypical Gay Representation
- Rosa Diaz – A badass that everyone’s terrified of can have her own fears and insecurities.
- Amy Santiago Jake Peralta – An unconventionally perfect romance
- Gina – A real talent leaves for a reel talent to excel
Schur and Dan Goor, the creators of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, beautifully manage to create a sitcom which manages to stay funny to the bone while touching on sensitive social issues. On top of that the cop-caper through its casting, multi-dimensional character arcs, and storylines manages to offer diversity, representation, and a wholesome dose of breaking gender-stereotypes.
So, without further ado, let’s have a look at how Brooklyn Nine-Nine manages to stay so cool, cool, cool, cool, cool, cool, cool, cool, cool!
Charles Boyle – A short, sweet, and sensitive man can be equally brave, literally and figuratively.
Joe Lo Truglio’s Charles Boyle is a lovable mess and he’s not afraid to show it. He loves food to a point where you can call him a food connoisseur. When he falls in love with someone, you’ll find him directly at the deep end of things. But he is equally good at accepting rejection.
Remember the time when he is in love with Rosa Diaz, and is equally petrified to confess it to her, so he just keeps staring at her and making her uncomfortable. He doesn’t play the good-guy victim card there, but rather apologises for his behaviour, and is sensitive towards Rosa’s choice, eventually becoming very-good friends with his crush.
Charles shows that sometimes there is bravery in accepting your flaws. But when the time does come, he is also not afraid to take a bullet for his friends. Though on the butt, Charles does it for Terry, the conventionally tall and muscular black man, who at that time is afraid to even hold a gun. The best moments of Charles Boyle however are reserved for his unconventional bromance with Jake Peralta (Andy Sandberg), where he is not at all afraid to be himself.
Male friendships can be intimate and emotional
Boyle and Peralta’s friendship is an unconventional bromance where Boyle expresses his insecurities and sensitive side to Peralta without fear of judgement. He has no issues interfering in Peralta’s love life, or even being jealous when Peralta meets an old friend or partner. He encourages Peralta to do the same.
Charles has no problem being the self-proclaimed Alfred to Peralta’s Batman. Not that Jake is reserved in his show of affection. The show breaks the typical male friendship representation of being cool and reserved by making Jake equally embrace the dynamics of his friendship with Boyle. Peralta does not shy away from grand gestures to show his affection for Boyle because he knows that’s how he’d like it.
These gestures are sometimes as grand and meticulously planned as marriage proposals.
Sergeant Terry Jeffords – Tall and muscular men can be sensitive and soft.
In Terry Jeffords (Terry Crews), Brooklyn Nine-Nine has a muscular man of colour, play a man who is sensitive, nurturing, and caring and loves his family. In the first episode itself, they use a storyline where Terry is afraid of leaving his twin girls fatherless, because he had a completely non-fatal shooting encounter.
He is a man who has 1% body fat and his shirt can barely contain him, but he is known to paint, write, illustrate kids’ books, and be a great mentor to the rest of the team. All this while having an insatiable craving for yogurt. In one of the episodes, the show manages to very sensitively touch upon the topic of police injustice towards black people, when Terry is confronted by a white officer outside his own house while looking for his daughter’s toy.
Captain Raymond Holt – Nonstereotypical Gay Representation
Captain Raymond Holt (Andre Braugher) is a stoic, stern, black man. And he’s gay. Usually, being gay has been stereotyped as loud and expressive, but Captain Holt is anything but emotive.
The show focusses on the discrimination that Holt faced due to his colour and homophobia after he came out as gay in the 1980’s while being in NYPD. He has only managed to become the Commander of the Brooklyn Nine-Nine precinct, despite the great work he has done over the years.
The series also follows Holt’s non-stereotypical relationship with his husband, Kevin (Marc Evan Jackson), portrayed to be an intelligent and well-read power couple, that diverts from the usual representation that is feminine and overtly emotional.
Rosa Diaz – A badass that everyone’s terrified of can have her own fears and insecurities.
Firstly, kudos to Nine-Nine for casting a Latina actress for a leading role. And they have two of them in Stephanie Beatriz and Melissa Fumero, playing Rosa Diaz and Amy Santiago respectively.
In Rosa, the show builds a character, who rides a motorcycle, wears a leather jacket, hides weapons other than her cop-gun, and basically has the entire precinct petrified. She is also mysterious in a way where even Jake who has been friends with her for many years has no idea about her life. Rosa well, likes it that way. But we do eventually find out about her past as a ballet dancer and a gymnast, which proves that there could be more than one side to everyone.
And there is! Rosa is further revealed to be a bisexual woman and though badass, she is afraid of coming-out in front of her co-workers, friends and family. Later however, she does come out and the precinct is supportive of it, even though her family isn’t.
Brooklyn Nine Nine deals with the issue of coming out to family and loved ones, and handles it brilliantly. Rosa does eventually go out on dates with women in a few episodes. Progressive much, right!
Amy Santiago Jake Peralta – An unconventionally perfect romance
If there was a couple the internet was rooting for after Ross and Rachel then it has to be Santiago and Peralta. Amy and Jake are the conventional example of opposites attract. She’s a nerd who loves paperwork, puzzles, learning and reading.
He on the other hand is goofy to a point where he is almost annoying, childish, and faraway from wanting to do any kind of paperwork. But what the show makes of their relationship on the basis of their understanding level as a couple is perfectly unconventional. Amy dreams of becoming a Commissioner one day, and the first step towards that goal is by becoming a Sergeant.
This means that she will be Jake’s boss and the implications of the promotion make her hesitate about the decision. Jake though knows what it means to her, a lifelong dream, and makes sure that his now wife knows that he has no qualms about she becoming his boss. He rather thinks that she was always meant to be his boss, and motivates her towards achieving that goal. Amy on the other hand loves Jake for who he is and never tries to bring his childish enthusiasm down.
Gina – A real talent leaves for a reel talent to excel
We can all agree that Gina’s the best! And though it was heart-breaking to see her character leave the show, her exit was everything Gina deserved. Gina during the show can easily be spotted for being the character, which is not making the most of their talent.
They help but only when things have gone out of control. They lack motivation. But when Gina is expecting a child, she chooses to start her own business rather than being a stay-at-home mom. Her child becomes her motivation to become more than what she was. Now that deserves a 100 emoji.
If you have more reasons to suggest why Brooklyn Nine-Nine is the most noice and toit show ever, do let us know in the comments section.