Brooklyn Nine-Nine: TV review - when will US sitcom writers stop trying to make TV viewers into better people?
Ellen E Jones
Ellen is The Independent's TV critic. She writes a daily review of Last Night's TV and a weekly 'Inside TV' column for the i paper, as well as a column on general topics for the main paper most Wednesdays. Ellen is a former Hollywood correspondent and a contributing editor to Little White Lies, she's written on TV, film, lifestyle, travel and politics for publications including the Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, Esquire and Total Film.
Thursday 16 January 2014
In E4's new US import, Saturday Night Live alumnus Andy Samberg stars as Detective Jake Peralta, a police officer who doesn't take his job as seriously as he should, yet somehow manages to get results. As his squad leader Sergeant Terry Jeffords (Terry Crews from Everybody Hates Chris) put it: "The only puzzle he hasn't solved is how to grow up."
Samberg, is both the show's biggest draw and – notwithstanding his recent Golden Globe win for Best Actor – also its biggest drawback. Amid an ensemble cast of various misfits, he's the romantic lead (there's clearly a romance blossoming between Peralta and his partner Detective Amy Santiago), but his character is also too smarmy and successful to be endearing. He's The Office's Tim combined with The Office's David Brent, and, unfortunately, that's a combo that doesn't quite work out on screen. No wonder Samberg looked so confused during his Globes acceptance speech.
The script was written by Daniel J Goor and Michael Schur, whose previous credits include Amy Poehler's municipal workplace comedy Parks and Recreation the US version of The Office. Like both of those shows, this was perfectly watchable and intermittently amusing, but never quite sharp enough to really trouble the funny bone. And, as ever, there was a moral to the story. Something to do with teamwork... blah, blah... and not judging a book by its cover... blah, blah, blah.
When will US sitcom writers stop trying to make TV viewers into better people? Can't they see it's too late for us? We're already set in our ways.
There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turningTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Cyclist in Russia narrowly misses being hit by car and lorry
- 2 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 3 What are your fingerprint words?
- 4 Gary Lineker involved in Twitter row after presenter rubbishes claims he will be warned by BBC over foul-mouthed tweets
- 5 Pink Floyd new album: Band unveil cover art for first record in 20 years
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Labour Party conference: Ed Balls to set out plan to freeze child benefit to balance books