Nine Out Of Nine

"The Pontiac Bandit episodes are beautifully handled and hilarious."

After an eternally long wait; Season 5 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine arrived on Netflix a few months ago and I’ve since bought Season 6 on Prime which is updating weekly. I absolutely love the first 4 seasons of the show, so to finally have the 5th season available has been very welcome. I think it is actually the best season of the show. (Bearing in mind that I haven’t seen most of season 6 or  any of 7 yet). B99 is one of the best comedies I’ve watched; For a myriad of reasons, I’ve struggled repeatedly to express, in written form, just how much I love it and why. So, I’ve decided that I’m just going to haphazardly throw reasons I like it into this article, shake it about and see what comes of it.

This is your MINOR SPOILERS WARNING for all of B99 up to the end of Season 5.

Captain Holt, as played by Andre Braugher, is utterly brilliant. Often deadpan, giving nothing away from his facial expressions, difficult to read and with impeccable timing. The character grows over time and some of my absolute favourite moments of the show are lines from Captain Holt that are delivered with unexpected vigour and panache. “Hot Damn!” “Bingpot!” and others are just incredible. His gradual thawing out as a character has been a joy to behold.

The cold opens to the show are incredibly well put together. There are loads and loads of good ones; Amy being late, the line-up karaoke & the one with the inflatable Christmas Tree to name just a few. They are the perfect way to start each episode as they showcase, in a few short moments, exactly what the show is. Check out some compilations on YouTube – you will not regret it.

All of the characters are properly 3 dimensional people. Each of them seems to be based primarily on 1 trait or aspect of a personality; Jake is very childlike still, Amy is the super organised type that aims to impress, Charles just wants to be loved, Gina is an egomaniac, Rosa is fiercely independent and capable but struggles with emotions… I could go on. I think everyone has thought about, or acted like, each of these characters at some point in their lives. We’ve all wished we could hide our emotions, we’ve all just wanted approval, we’ve all wished we were so organised we had everything sorted out, we’ve all thought we were the absolute best human ever & we’ve all wished we could zipline across a street, crash through a window, point a gun at a bad guy and back it all up with a cool one-liner.

Detectives Jake Peralta, Charles Boyle & Rosa Diaz

What makes the show is the fact they’ve taken these exaggerations and made brilliant characters out of it who feel real. Who feel like they belong there. I genuinely get the impression that they all love being at the Nine Nine. That they love one another and it shows in their interactions and how the stories go. As often as they clash and argue, they turn up and help when it matters. When Terry gets mistreated because of the colour of his skin – everyone at the Nine Nine is there for him. When Rosa reveals that she’s bisexual and her parents don’t take it well – the Nine Nine is there for her. They epitomise the feeling of a family, not bound by blood but by their love for one another.

There’s a few recurring elements of the show that are always excellent. The Pontiac Bandit episodes are beautifully handled and hilarious. Holt’s ongoing feud with Madeline Wuntch creates a load of excellent moments. Nothing, however, can top the Halloween Heist episodes. There’s been one in every season and each one has been incredibly funny to watch. I won’t go into details as that would genuinely spoil it, just know they are brilliant.

My favourite episode of Season 5 though is one that doesn’t really feature much of any of that. It’s the one with the interrogation. We spend basically the entire episode with Jake, Holt & the suspect they are interrogating and it’s just masterfully done. There’s good tension in the episode, with some great laughs and it resolves in such a satisfying conclusion I can’t help but love it.

There you have it. My haphazard and poorly structured attempt at telling you why I like Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Just go watch it, you’ll be doing yourself a favour.


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Adam is a Writer, Editor & Podcaster here at Out of Lives. He casts a wide net across popular culture with video games & anime, in particular, featuring heavily in his work for the site. Hailing from a town just outside Glasgow, this Scotsman can usually be found roaming the Northern Realms on The Path or behind the wheel of a Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket Powered Battle-Car.
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