It’s been three long months since fans have had their weekly dose of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which went on hiatus in the middle of the fourth season after a hilarious two-part mid season finale that left the precinct more than a little off kilter. After three and a half seasons of consistently great characters and and an “impossible to catch all the jokes so definitely rewatch the episode” pace, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has established itself as the spiritual successor of shows like Parks and Recreation and 30 Rock.
Dan Goor, who wrote prolifically for The Daily Show and Late Night With Conan O’Brien before transitioning to sitcoms, wrote for Parks and Recreation before co-creating Brooklyn Nine-Nine with Mike Schur. He brought those late night sensibilities to his writing style, helping craft characters that feel grounded and yet have a knack for ridiculous hijinks. Goor was kind enough to talk to Uproxx ahead of tonight’s premiere, giving fans of the Nine-Nine a little taste of what’s to come for their favorites.
A lot of characters have had really big changes this season so far, with Charles settling in to becoming a dad, and Amy and Jake’s relationship becoming a lot more committed. What can fans expect in the coming episodes?
I think more of the same. More characters experiencing life changes. The episodes ahead are some of the funniest episodes we’ve ever written. We also have an arc, that’s incredibly high stakes and dramatic while still having a lot of comedy in it. We have the precinct put under the gun, and that’s a different high stakes, cool arc than the one I’ve been talking about. There are great guest stars. I mean it’s gonna be like, a power-packed half season. It’s like a whole season of awesomeness in one half-season.
Those are pretty high claims, because its not like the show isn’t funny before, so knowing that the best is yet to come is great to hear.
That’s very nice of you to say. I feel like a real bragger. But in terms of where the character development is headed, I think a more general answer might be better. There’s some new big things that happen just from our characters. You should expect to see more huge character moments. I don’t want to pick what they are, but things have happened to characters and these changes have allowed us to do more in terms of development. And I’m not just talking about Scully finding love.
One thing that I think Brooklyn Nine-Nine does really well is avoid stereotypes. You know, you’ve got body builder Terry who loves yogurt and farmers markets, Rosa is stoic, and Amy’s a nerd. You know, etc. etc. Why is it important to you, as a writer, to have these kind of differences represented on television?
Well, for one thing, I think that it makes your writing process more interesting. And I think if you’re trying to create characters that feel like real people that will be liked, it’s best to avoid strict stereotypes. I think in real life we are more than just a stereotype of ourselves and so it’s best to flesh these characters out and make them feel more like real people.
Yeah, definitely, I would agree. Do you have a favorite character to write for?
So funny that you asked that, I just did a panel and a bunch of our writers have favorite characters. I don’t have a favorite character to write for, I love them all. They’re all my children. I can’t imagine liking one over the other.
One thing that I really like about Brooklyn Nine-Nine is the cold open. I feel like you guys have perfected that sort of encapsulated joke. What is the key to getting those right?
I think the key to writing those is finding clear comedy moment, making sure that there is one joke or game that you’re playing the entire time. Having that one thing that grabs the joke and gives it an unexpected twist. I think oftentimes when they’re physical, they’re really funny. I love the one where Hitchcock brings in lemonade and Scully brings in a goldfish in the same exact type of mason jar and he drinks the fish. The one with the yeast infection. That one is really funny. Not trying to do too much. Again, it’s about the one great joke or physical moment while still staying true to the characters.