*Warning: Some Spoilers*
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a sitcom about a group of NYPD detectives in Brooklyn’s 99th precinct. The show begins when the precinct gains a new Captain, forcing the detectives to rethink their laid-back work ethic in order to impress the Captain and keep their jobs.
The show often plays on the extremely different personalities of all characters involved. We have the job-smart, goofy man-child Jake Peralta. His organised and loveable best friend Charles Boyle. The overly-organised, eager to impress and neurotic Amy Santiago. The blunt, scary, secretive badass Rosa Diaz. The robot-like, strict, sometimes humourless Captain Ray Holt. The kind, soft-natured but ripped and fearless Terry Jeffords. And lastly the too-cool-for-school, sardonic and surprisingly wise Gina Linetti.
Like all sitcoms humour is probably the most important element to this show. Each character has distinguishable character traits that the writers use and stretch for comedic effect. This often creates situations that would be completely unrealistic in reality, but work for the show.
Despite being funny, it manages to stand out from most other shows currently on television and here’s why: Four of the seven main characters are people of colour.
They have a black captain, a black sergeant, two Latina detectives. Four characters who are people of colour. No demeaning roles as maids or gardeners, but strong, commanding roles as detectives. Aside from this they present both interracial gay and straight couples – (Holt & Kevin) and (Jake & Amy). Let’s not forget the now broken up Rosa/Marcus and Jake/Sophia, which were just more examples of interracial relationships portrayed on TV.
When it comes to diversity, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has it in spades. However the writers show this diversity in a seamless way. Race and sexuality almost never come into the discussion, their storylines and relationships are presented just like any other. The writers focus on the characters needs and motivations and let prejudice (if any) come second to their character developments.
The only time race or sexuality seem to be prevalent is in relation to Holt’s past and the racism and homophobia he suffered before he made it to Captain. The writers keep alive the prejudice, making sure we as an audience know the tribulations many people have suffered (and sometimes still do) in the workplace because of race or sexuality, but they never make it the main plot. They make past and present issues relevant, without clouding what the show is ultimately about – a group of badass detectives working together to take down criminals and having fun along the way.
During May 2018, the network Fox cancelled Brooklyn Nine-Nine despite the show being one of its most loved and watched TV shows. Outrage ensued and fans took to social media to vocalise their anger. Within a matter of days (rumoured 31 hours) the show was picked up for a sixth season by the NBC network. Thankfully.
Fans were overjoyed and rightly so. After finally having a show that is completely diverse in all aspects, but ultimately stays true to its sitcom genre by being one of the funniest shows I’ve come across, it would have been criminal to cancel it. As far as I’m concerned Fox have missed out by cancelling the show and it is NBC’s gain.
Here’s to another successful, all inclusive year at the Nine-Nine, and hopefully, many more years to come.