Brooklyn Nine-Nine is an ensemble comedy about a talented-but-carefree detective, a by-the-book police captain and their precinct colleagues. While based in the workplace, the series is not really about the job—it’s about the men and women behind the badge.
At first glance, Jake Peralta and the rest of the police officers at Brooklyn’s 99th police precinct seem like the dregs of the force. But although they’re a motley crew, they get the job done, and do it with heart. And the occasional heist competition.
Note: This show is ongoing, but the first four complete seasons and the start of the fifth are all available on Hulu.
Andy Samberg as Jake Peralta
I’m not a huge fan of Andy Samberg’s post-Saturday Night Live roles—they’re often far more stupid than they are funny—so going into this show, I was wary. But the character of Jake Peralta is actually one of the most nuanced performances I’ve ever seen Andy play. Sure, Peralta can be dumb as a post, but he’s also a brilliant cop who often saves the day with his smarts. Do I laugh at him while he does so? Of course. But I’m frequently pleasantly surprised.
Andre Braugher as Captain Ray Holt
Andre Braugher has many “stoic authority figure” roles under his belt, and when you first meet him, Captain Holt seems to be yet another of such roles. Thankfully, the character is so much more than meets the eye, and quickly became one of my most favorite TV characters ever.
Terry Crews as Terry Jeffords
I feel like Terry Jeffords is just Terry Crews playing Terry Crews, but with a different job/life/last name. No one tell me if this assumption is incorrect.
Joe Lo Truglio as Charles Boyle
I know I’ve seen Joe Lo Truglio in other roles, but he’s such an everyman/sidekick guy that he sort of blends into the background of both the things he’s in and my memory of them. That’s perfect for Charles Boyle, who remains a true sidekick, but in a really standout way that will have me actually remembering him this time.
Chelsea Peretti as Gina Linetti
The SASS on this woman. And the confidence. If Chelsea Peretti is one quarter of the fierce woman Gina Linetti is in real life, then she’s a force to be reckoned with.
Amy Santiago is the character I most identify with out of the entire cast. Y’all might not think this is something I should be admitting so publicly.
Stephanie Beatriz as Rosa Diaz
Another character who seems a bit flat when first introduced—it’s kind of a theme to this show—Stephanie Beatriz breathes life into Rosa Diaz, who could be nothing more than a “tough Latina” stereotype. Does that mean I’d chance getting on Rosa’s bad side, though? NEVER.
Hitchcock and Scully, however, are fit the stereotype of the desk-riding, donut-eating, do-nothing cop to a T. And the show wouldn’t be the same without them.
Couch-Sharing Capability: Ensemble Cast
Although it’s a sitcom, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is one of the “new” style of such shows. It’s both hilarious and heartfelt, silly and smart, inane and insightful, and—THANK GOODNESS—doesn’t feature a laugh track. It has a killer cast who get better and better as the episodes go by, and some seriously clever ideas (e.g., the Halloween Heist episodes*). It’s the perfect show to watch with all of your friends, and I feel like it might appeal to people from all walks of life.
*Take my word for it, they’re spectacular, and this latest one took the absolute cake. (I really don’t know if they’ll be able to top it in season six, but I think I’ll be OK with it.)
Recommended Level of Inebriation: Stay Hydrated
Watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine from the start means that it’ll be a while before you realize you haven’t moved in close to 10 episodes—it’s that good—so plan ahead and have water bottles filled and nearby.
And maybe, after you finish a season, head out to your local (cop) bar to buy the gang a round.
Use of Your Hulu Subscription: Time for a Binge
Currently in their fifth season (~95 episodes), committing yourself to catching up with Brooklyn Nine-Nine is, well, a commitment. But since the shows are half-hour episodes (less without commercials), it’ll seem like no time has passed until you’re bemoaning having to wait a week or more for a new episode. (If you don’t believe me, I have a friend you can talk to who’s still kind of salty at my husband and I for getting her husband and her hooked while the show was still in production.)