Why Brooklyn Nine-Nine Deserved to Be Revived | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Why Brooklyn Nine-Nine Deserved to Be Revived

TV Critic Matt Taylor breaks down the reasons why Brooklyn Nine-Nine deserves to be renewed, following an enormous online backlash when Fox announced its cancellation

Editor's Note: Since the time of writing, American TV network NBC confirms that they have bought the rights from Fox for a 6th season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Thursday May 10th, 2018 was a dark day for television. It was on this day that beloved comedy show Brooklyn Nine-Nine was cancelled. After weeks of uncertainty about the show’s future, Fox announced that they were pulling the plug after just five seasons. Frankly, this was a travesty. The show is among my personal all-time favourites (it probably comes second to Twin Peaks), and I, like all of the fan-base, was shattered to hear of its cancellation.

It’s hard to figure out why it was cancelled. Ratings are likely to be the main factor here, but the show is a critical darling, and deals with current and relevant social issues with sensitivity and care. It says a lot about the state of television when a show as endearing and fantastic as this gets axed, but The Big Bang Theory can run for thirteen seasons (plus a spin-off), Rick and Morty scores a 70-episode renewal, and a once-great show like The Walking Dead gets to continue its existence of painful mediocrity.

At the time of writing the show has not yet been picked up by any other network, but sources close to Entertainment Weekly and Deadline say that several are circling it, with streaming service Hulu apparently being the front-runner. With that in mind, here’s why Brooklyn Nine-Nine needs to be revived, immediately.

It has a cast of wonderful and diverse characters

Each character is unique in their own different way, and not one of them succumbs to a negative stereotype
B99 has some of the funniest, most animated characters ever seen on television. Each is unique in their own different way, and not one of them succumbs to a negative stereotype. Let’s break it down: we have seven main characters. Of these, four are male and three female. Of the four men, two are white – the other two are black, one of whom is gay. Of the women, one is white, two are Latina, one of whom was recently revealed to be bisexual. Straight out of the gate we have more diversity than in many other mainstream TV shows – but it doesn’t stop there. Each character has their own qualities that make them stand out.

Of the two white men, one (Andy Samberg’s Jake Peralta) is a complete subversion of the cocksure, rule-breaking Maverick-type character we’re so used to seeing, and the other (played by Joe Lo Truglio) is a loving family man who’s really passionate about his hobbies in a way that feels extremely rare.

The two black men are played by Andre Braugher and Terry Crews, and they’re perhaps the best parts of the show. Braugher’s Raymond Holt is captain of the precinct, and is gay. This is something that is brought up in the pilot, is handled as a norm, and is casually mentioned in conversation throughout the series. It’s never dwelt upon, it’s just there, and in accepting it, B99 shows perhaps the greatest level of tolerance and diversity I’ve ever seen on screen. Crews plays Terry Jeffords, a man who appears to be a terrifying tower of walking muscle, but is actually a total sweetheart. His three favourite things are his wife, his twin girls, and his yoghurt.

The ladies are equally as fantastic: Stephanie Beatriz plays Rosa Diaz, a closed-off tough girl whose favourite movies are those directed by Nancy Myers. Melissa Fumero’s Amy Santiago is a wannabe teacher’s pet who’s so passionate about her job it takes pride of place over any kind of social life. Finally, Gina Linetti is by far the show’s most extra character – Chelsea Peretti does not care at all in her portrayal of ‘Beyoncé’s spirit animal’.

What we have here is a wide range of characters who are both diverse and humorous, and are a key part of what makes Brooklyn Nine-Nine too good to let die.

It has some of the best cold opens to any show, ever

The cold opens of B99 are fantastic. They range from the simple to the complex, from the sublime to the ridiculous. Often they have little to no impact on the rest of the episode at all. And that’s fine! When they’re this joyous it really doesn’t matter. Any of them could be classed as the best; the full bullpen, the Christmas tree incident, Boyle’s Diane Wiest infection, the football game against the fire department. All of these are wonderful, but the standout has to be one of the most recent: 5.17 opens with Jake getting a lineup of crooks to sing The Backstreet Boys (I’m deadly serious – it’s on YouTube, check it out). The clip is only a little over a minute long, but it’s a minute-and-a-bit of pure genius. Andy Samberg’s enthusiasm combined with the look of confusion on the criminals’ faces, as well as the fact that Jake’s after a murder suspect, all combine to create a miniature work of art. How anyone could cancel a show so ridiculously joyful is simply beyond me.

It has a really loyal fan-base

Within hours of the cancellation’s announcement, Brooklyn Nine-Nine was the top trending topic on Twitter
Seriously. Take a look at Twitter! Within hours of the cancellation’s announcement, Brooklyn Nine-Nine was the top trending topic on the social media site, ahead of Eurovision. As I’m writing this, #RenewB99 is still trending there. Every tweet I’ve seen about the show has been one of either celebration or upset, with many pushing tens of thousands of likes and retweets – not a single aggressive tweet. Not one. Many express their love for the show in wonderful ways, and what’s more is that they’re supported by the cast. The level of interaction on Twitter between cast and fans is unlike any I’ve ever seen. There are retweets, tweets of support, tweets of gratitude, even tweets from high-profile fans like Mark Hamill, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Guillermo del Toro. These are good people, and loyal fans, and they deserve better than to watch as their show is dumped unceremoniously from the air. The issues the show raises and its representation of so many groups of people (not to mention its non-toxic masculinity, its condemning of America’s corruption, and its being bloody hilarious) are too important to be let go like this. This show deserves more.

And that’s my list. I haven’t even mentioned all the Wuntch insults, Holt’s amazing catchphrases, everything Terry loves, the names of Amy’s sex tapes, Gina’s attitude to literally anything, or the Halloween episodes – this show is too damn good. It’s sad knowing that the fifth season may well be its last, but hopefully another network will have the sense that Fox lacked: Hulu, Netflix – we’re looking at you. Don’t let us down.




13th May 2018 at 9:00 am

Last Updated

16th May 2018 at 3:16 pm

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