TL;DR – A great welcome back and set up for the final season
Disclosure – I watched this on SBS On-Demand
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Review –
When Season 7 finished, and we heard that Brooklyn Nine-Nine was going to come back for one more final season, there was a moment of joy that we would get one last outing for a series that has been on the bubble for a long while. But then the whole world changed (or at least it became clearer), and the question is ‘how can a show based around a comedy in a police station’ work? Well, today, we get to see just how they will address the elephant in the room.
So to set the scene, we open in the middle of the Pandemic when Jake (Andy Samberg) and Charles (Joe Lo Truglio) showing Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz) that they created a way of doing a High-5 that is Covid-safe. However, Rosa has more important news. She just put in her resignation for the police force and the Nine-Nine. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.
It was said during production that all the scripts that had already been written for the show were getting ditched, and the whole season was being refocused, and you see that in the very first moments. The show opens with its trademark comedic style before yanking the direction 180 degrees in an instant. This is a world that the show has dived into before, with most of the big bads sitting police officers in recent years. But never has the show engrained it into every fabric of the story before.
We get three different plot lines in this first episode that all tackle racism and the policies that have a role in perpetuating it. The first is Charles and Terry (Terry Crews), with Charles trying to show he is an ally by ramming it down people’s throats in that kind of insufferable way that I think we have all seen before [and probably been at least a bit guilty of doing]. This is where the show tries to drop a little of its comedy, but it is much more subdued. The next is about Jake and Rosa finding out where they fit as colleagues and friends in this changing world. They are now attacking problems from two different positions, which has strained their relationship to the breaking point. It is here where we get a fantastic guest spot from John C. McGinley, who is always a delight even when he is playing someone as scummy as he is here.
However, the show holds back its biggest emotional punch for the plotline between Amy (Melissa Fumero) and Raymond (Andre Braugher). Amy has just come back from extended maternity leave to find the Nine-Nine to be changed entirely. Even the Captain has become distant, making small talk with Amy. We get this farcical exchange about them using one of Terry’s relationship books to get back into the groove, and for the most part, it exists to be a drag on the rest of the episode. However, this is just a feint to hide the big emotional reveal that Raymond separated from his husband. The shift from farce to heartbreak comes in an instant, and it is a shift that I think few actors could even come close to pulling off as well as Andre Braugher does.
In the end, do we recommend The Good Ones? Yes, yes, we do. I am not sure if the show can make this tone shift work in the long run, but they nail it in this first episode. More than that, it makes you entirely sure that you want to see what they have in store for the rest of the season.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Directed by – Cortney Carrillo
Written by – David Phillips & Dewayne Perkins
Created by – Dan Goor & Michael Schur
Production/Distribution Companies – Fremulon, Dr. Goor Productions, 3 Arts Entertainment, Universal Television, NBCUniversal & SBS.
Starring – Andy Samberg, Stephanie Beatriz, Terry Crews, Melissa Fumero, Joe Lo Truglio, Dirk Blocker, Joel McKinnon Miller & Andre Braugher with John C. McGinley, Rebecca Wisocky & Shawntay Dalon.