Review: ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ – ‘USPIS’

Senior Television Writer
11.23.14 36 Comments

A review of tonight’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” coming up just as soon as I imagine a letter had unprotected sex with a phone…

“USPIS” is a classical type of sitcom episode, one that’s built around a beloved guest star coming in to do his schtick while all the regular characters react to him doing it. But what happens when the guest and/or his schtick aren’t so beloved anymore?

Once upon a time, I found Ed Helms funny. I’m sure that I did. I liked him as a “Daily Show” correspondent, liked him as the new irritant when Jim transferred to the Stamford branch on “The Office,” even liked him to an extent after Andy became part of the main “Office” ensemble. But “The Office” ran Andy and his oblivious douchery into the ground long before that show ended (really, even before Helms was chosen to succeed Steve Carell as the new lead), and his role here as postal cop Jackie Danger (pronounced “Donger”) just felt like a stale retread of things I’ve seen Helms play way too many times before.

And to make matters worse, Jake’s disgust with Danger’s unbridled idiocy and self-importance meant that we got two episodes in a row of Jake refusing to take a colleague’s advice – or, in this case, orders – until the last possible moment. Ordinarily, the problem with that specific Peralta storyline is that it just makes him seem like a fool for not listening sooner; here, he seemed both foolish (for not understanding the value of playing nice with an outside agency) and completely in the right (because Danger was too much of a clown to be even vaguely credible).

This may be one where those with more affection for Helms – and/or those who are newer to that thing he’s asked to do over and over and over again – might have enjoyed more. But save for some stray Holt and Terry gags in the subplot about Santiago trying to quit smoking, this was a near-complete miss for me.

What did everybody else think?

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