Review: ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ – ‘M.E. Time’

Senior Television Writer
10.08.13 42 Comments

A quick review of tonight’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” coming up just as soon as I have sex on a futon in couch mode…

Though “Brooklyn” is clearly still finding itself, “M.E. Time” suggested the creative team is getting closer to their target. Yes, Jake is still an immature narcissist who doesn’t listen to anyone else’s advice and has great difficulty putting anyone’s needs above his own, but hooking him up with a coroner (played by Mary Elizabeth Ellis from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”) with a corpse fetish was both an amusing joke and one that felt like appropriate comeuppance for Jake trampling over Charles’ case so much. Down the line, the show’s going to have to find a way to make their hero less of a dick without neutering him or the comedy, but this was a solid, funny plot, and Andy Samberg did especially well reacting to all the grossness of the autopsy scene.

The episode’s highlight, though, involved Santiago’s difficulty in sucking up to Captain Holt, which featured two strong running gags in one: everyone’s complete inability to read the boss’s mood (a perfect use of Andre Braugher’s gift for deadpan delivery) and Terry’s artistic flair. Terry Crews is a painter in real life, so this is the show incorporating one of his talents in the same way that Ron Swanson and Nick Offerman are both good with wood, but I enjoyed seeing TV Terry go full artiste almost immediately, asking the witness, “Let’s start with the eyes. Were they desperate? Lonely? Did they portray heartache?” Though Crews and Braugher get the biggest laughs of that plot, I’m impressed by the work the writers have put into Santiago in the last couple of episodes. Given the set-up of the show – and the general structure of movies and TV shows centered around cocky man-children – Amy could simply come across as a killjoy, but it feels like the writers and Melissa Fumero have found ways to make her more complicated and funnier than that. (Giving her two consecutive storylines away from Jake, other than tonight’s opening scene, also helped in this regard.)

The supporting cast is quickly taking shape, and though I still have issues with the central character, he made me laugh enough tonight to let his innate jerkhood slide.

What did everybody else think?

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