Morning TV Round-Up: ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ & ‘The Grinder’ reviews

Senior Television Writer
02.03.16 13 Comments

It’s morning round-up time, with quick thoughts on last night’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Grinder coming up just as soon as I wonder what Jane Seymour’s up to…

Brooklyn Nine-Nine often has to walk a very narrow line with me as far as Jake’s fundamental immaturity. It’s a note that Andy Samberg plays well (both here and throughout his career), but there’s a point past which the manchild stuff goes too far, even for a show this goofy. Fortunately, putting Jake into a parental context justifies it more than when he’s acting like an 8-year-old on the job, and his disgusted response to his parents’ reconciliation worked very well. (I particularly liked his pouty, “I wished that you would leave!” after blowing out the candles on his blue cake.) Santiago got infantilized in the process, but that also works for Melissa Fumero, and was a nice reminder that while Jake and Amy are very different in most ways, they’re both extremely defined by what they were like when they were kids.

The body cam story was another instance this season of the show trying to incorporate real-life policing issues into this comic context. It worked a bit more naturally with Holt’s subway poster campaign, but the crowd’s reaction to the naked Boyle video was a good enough payoff. And trapping Captain Holt in a room with Gina, Scully, and Hitchcock turned out to be a nice interpersonal nightmare for him akin to what Jake was dealing with at the birthday party.

FOX has been showing episodes of The Grinder out of production order, though possibly not out of the order in which they were intended to air. When you have a prominent guest star like Timothy Olyphant, for instance, you may have to shuffle production to accommodate his schedule, though that wouldn’t necessarily explain why “Grinder vs. Grinder” was shot before the most recent Olyphant episode to air. Given the meta nature of the show, at some point I assume an episode’s going to open with the family watching an episode of Grinder: Los Angeles (or, if you prefer West Coast Grinder) and the kids note that the continuity doesn’t make sense.

Regardless of when this was meant to air – and the joke about how Claire and Debbie hadn’t somehow met already was funnier for coming so late in the season – the Dean vs. Olyphant courtroom battle was a delightful mix of gibberish, narcissism, and the usual twisted logic Dean brings to each case, and it was fun to see Stewart for once embracing the way that the rules of Mitchard Grinder’s universe have started to apply to their own.

What did everybody else think?

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