Just before the New Year, I wrote a thread on Twitter urging people to watch a TV Show that I had just discovered and that I thought was groundbreaking: Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
I got a lot of positive feedback (12K retweets and 13K likes, when did I become Twitter famous?), so I’ve decided to turn my thread into an article for everyone to see and share!
Many people from many countries reacted to my tweets, shared tips on how to binge it, added extra reasons why it was worth-watching and nuanced my opinion. But what was the most satisfying was peeps telling me that I convinced them to start B99.
So this is my revised and complete recommendation of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
The amazing Brooklyn Nine-Nine might get cancelled after season 5 due to bad ratings. It hasn’t been renewed yet and we still don’t know when new episodes will be released. That’s why I’ve decided to list a few reasons why you should start binging it now!
Spoiler alert: it is a spoiler-free post, I’m only stating facts.
WHAT IS IT? WHERE CAN I WATCH IT?
Brooklyn 99 is a cop sitcom. Each episode is 22 minutes long, laugh track-free and follow a case or simply life in the precinct. It’s on Netflix in the UK, Mexico, Canada, Belgium and France among others. If you live in a country where B99 is not available on Netflix, you can find it on Hulu (US) – where they post updates every week. You can also watch it on various TV channels across the globe such as Fox, TBS and E4. Visit JustWatch if you want a list of where to stream the show in your country (thank you @VierasTalo!). You can also buy it on Amazon.
Wherever you live, don’t forget to watch it on a legal platform so the ratings are counted. If you can’t afford Netflix or Hulu, remember that you can sign up for a one-month-free trial.
WATCH IT FOR THE GOOD REPRESENTATION
The cast is fairly diverse and composed of 7 main characters played by the brilliant Andy Samberg, Stephanie Beatriz, Terry Crews, Melissa Fumero, Joe Lo Truglio, Chelsea Peretti and Andre Braugher. The captain of the precinct is a happily-married Black gay man (that’s a lot of adjectives) and the sergeant is a Black man as well. Two of the detectives are badass Latinas. The lead is Jewish and one of the cops is canonly bisexual (both irl and on the show).
I can’t stress enough how important it is for minorities to see characters they can relate to and who resemble them. That’s why representation matters on TV and that’s one thing B99 did well.
HOMOSEXUALITY IS NOT A JOKE
The captain’s homosexuality does not serve a comic purpose. None of the cops use his homosexuality as a joke and his character is not stereotyped as it would be in most shows. Yes, he is gay and this is not used as a running gag. Kudos for that!
L-O-O-OVE IS IN THE AIR
There’s also this really cute couple that you are GONNA ship till you die. You only see bits of their relationship, so it doesn’t take over the show. They are the most supportive, healthy couple on TV because they respect and love each other. There’s no toxic masculinity and they set their pride aside to solve their issues. That’s the kind of wholesome relationship that we wanna see (and experience?). Plus, one of the detectives ships this couple as much as we do and that’s really fun to have a allied on the inside. The official YouTube channel even makes fan edits, I mean, what?
YOU DON’T HAVE TO OFFEND ANYONE TO MAKE PEOPLE LAUGH
The show is utterly funny without being problematic. I’d say it’s one of the least problematic shows on TV right now. Plenty of jokes are made but never at someone’s expense. The show respects LGBT+ people, persons of colour and women. They even acknowledge how hard life can be for them. What I like is that male characters aren’t afraid of expressing their feelings and don’t use feminine characteristics as an insult. The only thing that was pointed out to me is that two overweight minor characters are stereotyped and some fat shaming comments are made towards them.
THEY KNOW HOW TO TELL A COMING-OUT STORY
One of the detectives came out as bisexual not a while ago. Not only did they shatter clichés but they also used the word “bisexual” numerous times (that’s significant, watch any TV show and tell me how many times they use that word – almost never). Never once did they use the term “confused” or the “I don’t wanna label myself” kinda crap.
CONDEMNS REAL LIFE ISSUES
They tackled current and serious issues on multiple occasions such as racial profiling, the penal system, harassment and life as a trans person. They also call out sexism, transphobia and racism on a regular basis.
WATCH IT FOR THE MAIN CHARACTER
You’d think the main character is your typical white male lead but his character development will impress you. He is woke, an outspoken feminist and respects everyone around him. Also, he’s really goofy.
DON’T YOU LOVE IT WHEN TV SHOWS REFERENCE SOMETHING YOU’RE A FAN OF?
DO IT FOR THE MEMES
It’s a meme fountain. Even if you’ve never watched Brooklyn Nine-Nine, you’ll notice plenty of memes (be it gifs or iconic dialogues). Every situation, every character and every line can resonate with you. It’s always nice to know your classics, right?
YOU’LL LAUGH YOUR ASS OFF BUT YOU’LL ALSO CRY WHEN IT GETS REAL (AND IT DOES)
You’re probably watching it because it’s a sitcom, you want to have a laugh, unwind and you ~will~. The jokes are extremely funny and subtle most of the time. But, the show also gets real and tackles real issues and knows how to tell a sad story. So, don’t get surprised when you get attached to the characters and start crying at times.
Next time you want to recommend a show, remember how important it is to pitch a TV show succinctly and spoiler-free. At least, that worked for me and my new favourite sitcom.
Disclaimer: thank you to the twitter users who contributed to my article. You’re da real MVPs.