Review: Bill Hader, romance and… pigeons? liven up ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ premiere

Senior Television Writer
09.27.15 30 Comments


“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” is back for its third season, and I have a quick review of the premiere coming up just as soon as I carry the gene for webbed feet…

I’m usually skeptical about story devices like the one here about Holt being reassigned to PR and the Nine-Nine getting a new captain. Because we all know this is going to be a temporary thing, the show has to get an enormous amount of value out of the temporary separation to make it seem like something other than filler.

Fortunately, “New Captain” does, indeed, have a lot of fun with this inevitably temporary change in the status quo. Holt’s growing despair at being tasked with naming the pigeon mascot – and, worse, having to wear the costume – was a delightful tweak at the fundamental dignity of the character, the show got just enough use out of Bill Hader as Dozerman (“Wire” reference?) without exhausting a character who’d have become grating in another week or two, and the arrival of The Vulture as the new captain promises many fun times ahead.

And the show is moving really smartly and amusingly with Jake and Amy’s relationship. I groaned at the brief suggestion that they were going to call it off in the wake of Dozerman’s death, but I suspected Goor and company were better to contrive that into a romantic obstacle, and they were. As Mindy Kaling has said, if a couple on a show get together and it’s boring, it’s because the characters are bad. Peralta and Santiago are, instead, well-drawn and funny characters who clash in funny ways whether as friends or as a couple, and Jake’s awestruck “Title of our sex tape!” alone should be enough for the show to keep these two together for a good long while to explore all the possibilities of two extreme opposites attracting.

What did everybody else think? And do you prefer the title of Gina’s would-be reality show (“Linetti Set Go”) or her would-be fragrance line (“Gina In a Bottle”)?

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