A review of tonight’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine coming up just as soon as I’m not the basis of a character on Empire…
One complaint I’ve heard about Brooklyn for the last year or so is that Captain Holt has become an increasingly wacky character, which makes each bit of Holt-related silliness less impactful than when they were the exception to his robotic behavior rather than the norm. I can certainly understand that complaint, and have made it about other sitcoms over the years that over time made certain characters broader and more one-note. (Even my beloved Cheers was guilty of this near the end.) And a subplot about Holt’s obsession with balloon arches would certainly have seemed way too quirky for the way the character was written in the first season or two.
At the same time, funny forgives a lot, and I was in hysterics for pretty much every beat of that story, from Andre Braugher’s nearly erotic delivery of “I birthed her” when describing the first arch, to the way he defiantly popped the balloons one by one with his pen after Amy complained, to the incredibly slow build of his cry of “VINDICAAAAAAAAATION!!!!” at the end when Rosa says that she loves the arch. In terms of character logic and tonal consistency, it’s almost certainly too much, but the individual execution each time they do one of these things is so marvelous that I really don’t mind — especially when there are still nods to the more stoic version of the character, like when Holt laments that he’s, “So drunk, I’m alliterating. Like a beatnik.”
The rest of “Monster in the Closet” was more of a mixed bag. Amy’s dream of getting to organize a wedding in less than 24 hours, and the way it turned into a nightmare as everyone but Scully and Hitchcock proved to be incompetent and/or drunk, provided good material for Melissa Fumero and a lot of the cast. But Pimento has always been an acquired taste, and a storyline that puts Jake together with both him and Gina requires him to be a bit too much the grown-up, when Andy Samberg’s at his best in the role when there’s at least one more responsible character in any scene with him.
Parks and Rec had a history of its impromptu weddings turning out smashingly (both on the night of and in the years that followed for each couple). In this case, it would have felt odd for everything to be happy and heartwarming for Diaz and Pimento, so it’s better that they decided it was too soon. We’ll see how much Pimento is around going forward, since he seems to work best either in quick hits (the scene with poor Nikolaj that gave the episode its title) or being grossly sexual with Rosa.
What did everybody else think?