A quick review of last night’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” coming up just as soon as my mouth smells like rotten trout milk…
Cops allegedly love doughnuts, so it’s perhaps appropriate that so far, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” has been the quintessential example of a doughnut show: delicious and chewy on the perimeter, and offering nothing in the middle.
The creative team has done a terrific job at establishing the rest of the detective squad, from significant players like Santiago or Terry – the latter of whom was so funny last night (especially in the scene where he had to stifle a yawn), I kept wishing Terry Crews would be turned into the new star – to minor ones like Hitchcock and Scully, and yet Peralta remains the show’s thinnest, most annoying character. The concept of “Brooklyn” seems to be “manchild detective slowly grows up under the guidance of a disapproving new father figure,” but the emphasis has been way too much on the child half of Jake rather than the man. I’m not sure a single scene of “48 Hours” would have to be rewritten if you wanted to replace Andy Samberg with a 12-year-old and treat this as a cop version of “Doogie Howser, MD.” That the other cops are now continually annoyed with his juvenile behavior doesn’t help, because he keeps doing it for 97% of every episode until he gets a brainstorm at the very end.
There’s a lot to like about “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” and I’ll keep watching for Crews’ energy, Andre Braugher’s deadpan, the weirdness of Chelsea Peretti, gameness of Joe Lo Truglio and Melissa Fumero, etc., but Peralta needs to be reinvented, and fast. The last two comedies Mike Schur worked on radically changed their approach to their main character after a six-episode first season – “The Office” by softening Michael Scott just a little, “Parks and Rec” by changing how the other characters reacted to Leslie Knope – but there’s not going to be a hiatus here until spring, so any transformation will have to be done on the fly. I hope they realize that it’s necessary.
What did everybody else think?