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A Bill Kuchman Pop-Ed: 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' Triumphs at the Golden Globes ... Now Start Watching

This past Sunday, a sitcom did something that very few sitcoms have done over the past years: Beat The Big Bang Theory at an awards show. The sitcom that pulled off this miraculous feat was Fox's Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Yes, a freshman comedy that (sadly) barely anyone watches dared to triumph over the laugh track-fueled power of The Big Bang Theory.

Like I said, barely anyone is watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine, so I'm going to assume that I have to explain the show to you. The show takes place in New York City and follows a bunch of cops around. The main character is played by Saturday Night Live vet and Lonely Island's Andy Samberg. I know that Samberg can be an acquired taste, but he's toned down the "Andy Samberg from SNL" bit for Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Samberg scored a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy on Sunday for playing Detective Jake Peralta, which I'm going to interpret as proof for my theory that Samberg has evolved from his SNL persona.

Thankfully, Samberg wasted little time making up for one his first big post-SNL decisions, co-starring in That's My Boy with Adam Sandler. A movie that awful could have quickly derailed Samberg's career, so he's lucky to have found Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Like great sitcoms The Office and Parks and Recreation, Brooklyn Nine-Nine's strength lies in its ensemble cast. Samberg may be the name on the marquee, but Brooklyn Nine-Nine has a full roster of talent backing him up. Andre Braugher plays Captain Ray Holt, an openly gay Commanding Officer who had to fight discrimination within the police department to reach the position he's in now. Because of that, Holt isn't interested in Jake's office pranks and tendency to not take the job seriously.

Melissa Fumero plays Detective Amy Santiago, the foil to Samberg's Jake. Amy and Jake have chemistry, but for the most part their relationship has been antagonistic, with the two often trying to get the better of each other both in the office and on patrol.

Old Spice commercials veteran Terry Crews plays Detective Sergeant Terry Jeffords, who only recently returned to active field duty after the birth of his twins. Joe Lo Truglio, who's had minor parts in films like Superbad and I Love You, Man (also with Samberg), plays Detective Charles Boyle, an admitted foodie who happens to be in love with Stephanie Beatriz's tough and mysterious Detective Rosa Diaz. And finally, Chelsea Peretti rounds out the cast as Gina Linetti, the office administrator.

When I was getting into Brooklyn Nine-Nine, I came to the conclusion that the show had the most Office-y feel of any sitcom currently on TV. I mean that in the best way possible. Forget the meandering final seasons of The Office and think back on its glory days. The Office took a random collection of coworkers and made them a family. That's what Brooklyn Nine-Nine is in the process of doing.

While The Big Bang Theory is made up of one-dimensional characters who say really smart things and trick American TV viewers into thinking they're actually watching something intelligent, the characters on Brooklyn Nine-Nine aren't geniuses. They're normal (well, TV normal) people just trying to get through a day of work and maybe have some fun with their coworkers while they're doing it. The jokes on the show are layered and smart, never pandering to the audience. And there's no laugh track. That's a big positive for Brooklyn Nine-Nine. A show should earn its laughs, not tell an audience when to laugh.

It's no surprise that Brooklyn Nine-Nine has an Office-y feel to it, since Michael Schur co-created the show. Schur was previously a writer and producer for The Office, also playing Mose Schrute in several episodes. Schur and his fellow Brooklyn Nine-Nine co-creator Dan Goor also work together on Parks and Rec.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine should get some major attention when Fox airs it in the lucrative post-Super Bowl slot. The network is pairing Samberg's show with New Girl on Sunday, Feb. 2. If you haven't been able to find the time to watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine when it airs on Tuesdays, take this chance to catch an episode. You're probably going to be food drunk after the Super Bowl, and even though you have to somehow roll yourself into bed to go to work the next day, stay on your couch for long enough to see what Brooklyn Nine-Nine has to offer.

If you don't like it, TBS always has The Big Bang Theory repeats on. Ask someone who knows how to use the remote to change the channel for you.
A Bill Kuchman Pop-Ed: 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' Triumphs at the Golden Globes ... Now Start Watching Reviewed by Bill Kuchman on 1/16/2014 Rating: 5

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