Review: ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ borrows from a classic ‘Parks and Rec’ episode

03.29.16 1 year ago 18 Comments

A quick review of tonight’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine coming up just as soon as I use Frasier’s name in vain…

Because Dan Goor and Mike Schur worked together on Parks and Recreation before creating Brooklyn, there’s always been a fair amount of Parks DNA in this show, where you can see the through line from, say, Leslie Knope to Amy Santiago, or from Ron Swanson to Ray Holt. But “Paranoia” is probably the show’s most overt copying of a Parks episode to date, with the dueling bachelor/bachelorette party structure – one of them mixing work with pleasure, the other turning into a series of mini-parties – making it impossible to ignore the resemblance to season 5’s “Two Parties,” where Chris decides to give all the guys the bachelor party they never had, while Leslie’s bachelorette party gets derailed by Lot 48 business.

Hey, if you’re going to steal from yourself, might as well steal from some of your best work, right?

As with “Two Parties,” the most fun was had on the mini-party idea, which got tweaked to turn it into a competition between co-maids of honor Charles, Amy, and Gina. Frankly, I wish we could have spent even more time there. The quiz where the three of them had to guess details about Rosa’s life felt like it could have run on for much longer without losing comic steam, and the podiums were among the more clever pregnancy-disguising methods the show’s used of late for Melissa Fumero (who had her baby over the weekend).

Pimento’s bachelor party, on the other hand, never entirely clicked for the same reason a lot of the Pimento material this season hasn’t: when he’s dialed up to 11, even if his paranoia turns out to be right in this case, he doesn’t at all fit the tone of the rest of the series. When he’s just been slightly weird, like the episode where Pimento and Diaz first started flirting, he can be amusing, but when he’s completely unhinged, it’s a bad match of a show and an actor who are both very funny apart from one another.

At the same time, Stephanie Beatriz was – as she gets to be from time to time, but never so much that the effect is ruined – excellent at letting Rosa’s emotions shine through, first in expressing her genuine love for Adrian, then her unhappiness at learning that he had run off to avoid future assassination attempts. And the idea of the detective squad conducting a secret operation to bust the dirty FBI agent and bring Adrian out of hiding provides an interesting – and serialized – direction for the season’s final episodes. (In case you missed it, FOX renewed Brooklyn for a fourth season last week.)

What did everybody else think?

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