Brooklyn Nine-Nine Is Back And Better Than Ever

brooklyn 99 new episode stillNBC

Dust off your Die Hard crib notes and stock the fridge with some mango yoghurt because Brooklyn’s finest are back!

Our American friends across the pond were blessed with the eagerly-awaited return of Brooklyn Nine-Nine last night, on Thursday 10 January, which will go down in TV history as a day of retribution for the Fox Broadcasting Company.

Much to everyone’s relief – especially that of NBC I’ll wager – the Nine-Nine is better than ever… And this time Scully and Hitchcock are running the show.

Just kidding.

After the beloved cop comedy was dropped last year by Fox (boo hiss), our saviours and new favourite network NBC picked it up for a sixth season which has premiered to great acclaim and the highest ratings for two years…And you can see why.

The reviews are so much more than a nod to the welcome decision in keeping the show on the air. After all, five seasons down and we’re still not done with the good folk who call the 99th precinct their home away from home.

There are still stories to be told here, and this season proves it from the get-go.

In fact, watching the first episode of season six of Brooklyn Nine-Nine is sure to fill fans with great relief. Not only has NBC allowed creators, Michael Schur and Dan Goor, to stay true to the tone and charm of the comedy, but the new network has actually facilitated an improvement.

That’s right. I said it. Brooklyn Nine-Nine has never been better.

It’s a big claim and not one I put down in black and white pixels lightly, as so often, the death of a show comes from overhype from wannabe online critics like myself.

But, hand on heart, if you love Brooklyn Nine-Nine and all it stands for, you will love the premier episode of season six. Here’s why, without any spoilers. (Don’t say we don’t hear you sound off in the comments.)

This episode proves all the characters – in their own unique way – are akin to an old pair of jeans. Tried, tested, and better with a bit of wear.

It picks up right where it left off after Amy Santiago and Jake Peralta’s car-crash but cherished wedding day with Holt, Gina, Boyle, Scully, Hitchcock, Terry and Rosa drinking in the police bar and celebrating over a bottle of beer, subtly paid for by advertisers.

Huzzah! No change there, then.

Over the course of the next 20 minutes, we see the gang detach and unfurl on a number of different levels – emotionally and geographically – and the trademark mild threat the writers have executed so consistently throughout the show returns.

Gina, ever the rascal, and Boyle, ever the busy-body, continue their delightful verbal sparring, Rosa gets angry and Terry panics as he tries to put out fires. Hitchcock, egged on by Scully, ends up looking like a loveable fool.

Now to Ross and Rachel two-point-oh: Mr and Mrs Jake and Amy Peraltiago.

With newlyweds, you’d expect a certain degree of separation from the dependent group mentality for which we’ve come to love the Nine-Nine.

Yet, one of the most relieving qualities of the returning narrative is to see Jake and Amy’s characters, despite enjoying their matrimonial bliss, have steadily clung to the individual qualities which made them such an unlikely but infallible fictional couple.

Jake is still as adorably childlike in his cluelessness when it comes to adult social interaction. Amy is still perfectly practical with a penchant for pencils. Their relationship – and by extension the bonds between the Nine-Nine – is still silly and sincere.

Side note: You also get a fascinating insight into their sex life in real time for, like, the first time ever.

All the same, the episode manages to keep the gang ‘noice’ and ‘toit’ – as it should be – while offering die hard fans of the show (and the show’s constant Die Hard quotes) plenty of little Easter eggs to go hunting, hoping to catch references from past seasons.

This premier proves the detectives and their superiors at the 99th precinct are all comedy heavyweights alone, but together they intertwine to create a fast-paced but familiar juggernaut of entertainment which has you laughing all the way to the moralising end.

Each character has their own turmoil in the episode which leads to rifts typical of such a close-knit group but, come the closing credits, the innately kind and caring force are once again united in a common cause.

Moreover, despite the constant japes, I counted at least three plot points in which serious issues plaguing modern day America were addressed – from institutionalised racism, to brutality disguised as ‘vigilant policing’, by way of the dying bee population.

And, amid the intersecting plot points which are so synonymous with these idyllic professionals and personal dynamics, laced with silliness, Hitchcock says labia too many times.

It’s a real whirlwind during which it becomes clear there might be more to life than the NYPD. But, for our beloved cops, it’s the Nine-Nine that binds them together in the important things: Friendship, loyalty, and getting the bad guys.

Their common ground will serve them well for the upcoming season, which looks to be not without serious dramas and mishaps ahead, requiring the gang to get a whole lot closer over the next 12 episodes.

Fellow Brits and companions in Brooklyn Nine-Nine fandom; you are in for a treat. Americans, if you haven’t watched it yet, I am going to count to three. There will not be a four.


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